A friend and former colleague is coming into town and will meet my family/join us for dinner for the first time. I want to serve a great meal but don't want to stress myself out with overly complex preparations. Hoping to find some inspiration here because I've been in a serious cooking rut lately. I'd like to do a fair amount ahead of time.
Despite my rut, a few ideas have bubbled up. Not limited to these, just trying to get juices flowing!
- short ribs (perhaps the chipotle/coffee version or a red wine braise?) served over soft polenta
- grilled (maybe also w/ smoke) rib steaks with a compound butter
- seared scallops over grits w/ creamy tomato-chorizo sauce
- loaf of crusty no-knead bread
- old fashioned chocolate layer cake w/ fresh berries
Thanks in advance for your ideas!