Home Cooking 6

Ideas for a 4pm "dinner" (linner? dunch?)

jacinthe | Feb 11, 200607:05 PM

Under the influence of perhaps a little too much to drink one recent night, I got the brilliant idea of hosting a small lunch/dinner for 5 on Valentine's Day. This wouldn't normally be a problem, were it not for the fact that there are eating restrictions and time restrictions.

Eating restrictions:
2 of the 5 are vegetarian. I know that one of the two eats seafood (except for shrimp).

Time restrictions:
I won't get home until 2:45pm, which will be when I can start cooking. Everyone's coming over at approximately 4. I can obviously prep stuff, but only have time for it the night before, not the morning of.

Of course, denied meat, the only things that sound appetizing to me are dishes that include meat - a nice long braised stew, mmm. Julia Child's daube au boeuf, which I love. Roast chicken. These wonderfully thick pork chops with a parmesean crust. But no. My backup was going to be a shrimp dish until one of my friends told me that she didn't eat shrimp. Another small caveat is that one of the guys is a singer, and he's going on stage at 7, so I don't want to make anything super-heavy that will sit like a lump in his stomach while he performs. And with 3 guys and 2 girls, I figure that whatever I make, I need to make a lot of so that nobody goes hungry.

The only ideas that even remotely sound like fun in terms of main courses are macaroni and cheese (but too heavy, perhaps) or a mushroom risotto. Quiche? Lobster is tempting, but prohibitively expensive.

Any ideas? Thanks so much!

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