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Great Food Ideas for the Week or Weekend with Friends

Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

Looking for some Great Food Ideas, if you sometimes wonder what to make when having a romantic night with your love of your life or just having some friends over for the weekend or a week night…

Here are some Great Ideas to get you started

Grilled Steak and Vegetables: A classic and hearty weekend dinner option. Marinate the steak with your favorite seasoning and grill it to perfection. Pair it with a colorful assortment of grilled vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms for a delicious and nutritious meal.

The Cooking Mechanics:

  • 2 quality steaks, sirloin, striploin or fillet (must be well aged to ensure tenderness)
  • 75-100g green vegetables e.g. green beans, mange-tout, asparagus
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoon. olive oil
  • Salt and lots of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon. Balsamic or wine vinegar

Heat the grill/pan. Marinate steaks and veggies in oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Grill steaks 3-6 mins each side. Cook veggies for 4-5 mins. Serve with jacket potatoes. Enjoy!
Sourced from: bordbia.ie

Pasta Night: Create a pasta bar with various pasta shapes and sauces. Offer options like spaghetti, penne, fettuccine, and a selection of sauces such as marinara, Alfredo, and pesto. Don’t forget to add toppings like grated cheese, fresh basil, and garlic bread on the side.Create your own DIY Pasta Bar, perfect for weeknight dinners or elegant gatherings. Set up a pasta station with a variety of toppings and let everyone load up their pasta dishes with their favorite ingredients!

The Cooking Mechanics:

  • Cook your pastas. Toss each variety in oil and place in their own bowls.
  • Place varieties of sauces, cheeses, meats, and veggies in their own bowls.
  • Place all the bowls on a table or bar. Let each person serve themselves.

That’s it – instant pasta party!

Cook pasta as directed on the package until al dente. Drain and toss in olive oil to prevent sticking. Offer a variety of pasta shapes at your pasta bar for added fun and choice! Sourced from: allshecooks

Taco Fiesta: Prepare a taco buffet with a variety of fillings, including seasoned ground beef, grilled chicken, and sautéed vegetables. Offer an array of toppings like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and cheese. Let everyone build their own custom tacos.

The Cooking Mechanics:

1.Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and fry the garlic until softened (take care not to let it burn). Add in the spices, mushrooms and tomatoes, stir well and cook for a further 6-8 minutes or until golden.
2. Boil the corn in a large pot of boiling water until tender, then drain and set aside.
3. Transfer the mushrooms and tomatoes to a bowl, wipe the pan clean and cook the corn over medium heat with a little extra olive oil until golden and just slightly charred. Remove, and allow to cool before cutting off the corn kernels and setting aside in a small bowl.
4. Meanwhile, warm the tacos/tortillas by wrapping them in a stack in tinfoil and placing in a dry pan over gentle heat. Meanwhile, prepare your guacamole by adding all of the ingredients to a bowl and mashing roughly with a fork. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
5. To serve, layer the fillings into your warmed tortillas or store-bought taco shells and serve immediately. Notes To save time: instead of using whole corn, use frozen corn kernels and fry with a little olive oil until golden and just charred.

Cooks in: 20 minutes Serves: 2-4

Smokey Mushrooms

  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 level tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked sweet paprika or 1 tsp chipotle spice mix if you have
  • 500g Portobello mushrooms, sliced

Handful cherry tomatoes, halved 1 whole corn on the cob

Fiery Guacamol

  • 1 ripe avo
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 small chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To Serve

  • 8 corn taco shells or flour tortillas (I prefer tortillas)
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce or red cabbage
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Extra chopped fresh coriander, chili and a little finely chopped red onion if you have

Notes
To save time: instead of using whole corn, use frozen corn kernels and fry with a little olive oil until golden and just charred.
Sourced from: SarahGrahamFoods


Homemade Pizza Party: Make pizza night special by creating personalized pizzas. Provide a selection of pizza dough, sauces, and toppings such as pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, and various cheeses. Let each person create their dream pizza, and then bake them to perfection.

The Cooking Mechanics

Pizza Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water (100 degrees F)
  • 1 packet (2 1/2 teaspoons) dry active yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for greasing
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Toppings:

  • Basic tomato sauce, for serving
  • Fresh mozzarella, for serving
  • Grilled chicken, for serving
  • Roasted broccoli, zucchini or mushrooms, for serving
  • Sliced prosciutto, for serving
  • Cherry tomatoes, for serving
  • Extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for serving
  • Bacon and Sweet Onion Marmalade (recipe follows)
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving
  • Baby arugula, for serving

Bacon and Sweet Onion Marmalade Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces sliced bacon
  • 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onion (about 2 large onions)
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

For the pizza dough:

1. Combine the warm water and yeast in a small bowl and whisk to dissolve. Let sit until it starts to foam, 7 to 10 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, olive oil, and salt, mixing well.
3. Stir the yeast mixture into the flour until just combined and a smooth ball forms.
4. Grease a clean bowl with olive oil, transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and let it rest on the countertop for 45 minutes.
5. Preheat your oven to 550 degrees F with a pizza stone or ovenproof nonstick pan inside.

For assembling and baking the pizza:

1. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, punch it down, and divide it into 2 pieces.
2. Roll each piece into a flat disc with a rolling pin.
3. Spread tomato sauce evenly on the pizza crusts.
4. Slice the mozzarella thinly and distribute it on top of the sauce.
5. Add chicken, vegetables, prosciutto, and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with oil and vinegar.
6. Spoon on the Bacon and Sweet Onion Marmalade and sprinkle with Parmesan.
7. Bake each pizza until bubbling and the crust is golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes.
8. Let cool for 3 minutes, top with arugula, and serve.

For Bacon and Sweet Onion Marmalade:

1. Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in a large sauté pan over medium heat until browned but not completely crisp.
2. Add onions, thyme, and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until very tender (12 to 15 minutes).
3. Drain any remaining fat, deglaze with vinegar, and scrape up the fond (brown bits) from the bottom of the pan.
4. Stir in sugar and continue cooking until the pan is dry.
5. Set aside to cool. The marmalade can be stored, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 weeks.

Enjoy your homemade pizza with Bacon and Sweet Onion Marmalade!
Sourced from: FoodNetwork

Mediterranean Feast: Prepare a Mediterranean-inspired dinner with dishes like grilled chicken or lamb kebabs, hummus, tabbouleh salad, and warm pita bread. Serve it with some tzatziki sauce for a refreshing and flavorsome meal.

Griddled chicken with Quinoa Greek Salad

A light dish of grilled chicken fillets and authentic salad with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, tomato and mint…

Cooking Mechanics:

Total time : 20 mins | Easy to Make | Serves 4 | Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 225g quinoa
  • 25g butter
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g chicken mini fillets
  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 300g vine tomato, roughly chopped
  • Handful of pitted black Kalamata olives
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • Small bunch of mint leaves, chopped
  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon

Method:

Step 1
1. Cook the quinoa following the package instructions.
2. Rinse the cooked quinoa in cold water and drain thoroughly.

Step 2
1. In a bowl, mix the butter, chopped chili, and crushed garlic into a paste.
2. Toss the chicken fillets in 2 tsp of olive oil, adding some seasoning.
3. Heat a griddle pan and cook the chicken fillets for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
4. Transfer the cooked chicken fillets to a plate, dot them with the spicy butter, and set aside to melt.

Step 3
1. In a separate bowl, combine the chopped vine tomatoes, Kalamata olives, finely sliced red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and chopped mint.
2. Add the cooked quinoa to the bowl and toss all the ingredients together.
3. Stir in the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
4. Season the mixture well.
5. Serve the quinoa salad with the cooked chicken fillets on top, drizzled with any buttery chicken juices.
Sourced from: BBCGoodFood

Enjoy your delicious Quinoa and Chicken Fillet Salad!

“Explore these delightful food ideas for your next family get-together or fun-filled evening with friends. Bon appétit!”

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