Indian Inspired Go-To Dinner Party Menu

ON THE MENU:

Naan Bread Pizza

Grilled Tandoori Lamb Chops over Sautéed Potatoes & Cauliflower

Mixed Berry Charlotte

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BLUEPRINT: Indian food is one of my all-time favorite cuisines. I love making it for a dinner party as it’s very unexpected. Indian food lends itself to make ahead preparation and will surprise your guests with its wonderful aroma and spice. For this Go To Dinner Party Menu; you can make the berry charlotte the day before, you can have the naan pizzas completely assembled and ready to put in the oven, and the lamb chops marinating ready to pop on the grill. You can also make the potato and cauliflower sauté ahead, keeping it warm until you are ready to serve. Have the oven preheated prior to your guest’s arrival. Once cocktail and hors d’oeuvre time is coming to an end, put the naan breads in and plate up the salad. Right before calling your guests to the table,  preheat your grill and get your lamb chops on. Serve the naan pizzas over salad and turn your chops about 5 minutes into your first course. Return to finish the first course and once complete;  have your spouse/partner clear the first course, while you remove the chops from the grill. Cover them with foil and a kitchen towel while plating up the potato and cauliflower sauté. Make sure to warm the plates/bowls and have your cilantro sprigs washed and ready to go in a Ziploc.

 

Grocery List:

  • Fruit: 6 cups berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries), 1 lemon
  • Produce: 2 medium size ripe tomatoes, 1 bag butter lettuce (approx. 7 ozs), 2 bags baby yukon gold potatoes, 2 medium cauliflowers, 1 medium onion
  • Fresh Herbs: bunch of basil, bunch cilantro (enough for 6 sprigs)
  • Meat & Fish: 12 lamb chops
  • Dairy:  8 – 12 ozs of fresh mozzarella, 1 small container sour cream, 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Frozen: n/a
  • Staples: 2 tbs olive oil, 1 can chopped tomatoes (approx. 14 1/2 ozs)
  • Baking: 2 tbs corn starch, 1/2 cup sugar
  • Spices: salt, pepper, 2 1/2 tsps cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • Other: 3 naan breads, Patak’s tandoori paste/marinade, 8 – 10 slices hearty large slice white bread

Naan Bread Pizza

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, cutting board, chef’s knife, paring knife, egg slicer,

Serves: 6

  • 3 naan breads
  • 8 – 12 oz block of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 3 tbs fresh basil
  • Kitchen Moxie vinaigrette
  • 6 – 7 ozs of butter lettuce

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Thinly slice the tomatoes and  mozzarella (I like to use the egg slicer here) and evenly divide among the naan breads. Chiffonade the basil and sprinkle on top. Bake for 7 – 8 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the naan is crispy.

Place the butter lettuce in a large bowl and toss with Kitchen Moxie Vinaigrette.

To Serve:  Cut each of the three naan breads into triangles. Place a scoop of the dressed butter lettuce into the center of small plates and top with two pieces of the naan pizza. Serve immediately.

Grilled Tandoori Lamb Chops over Sautéed Potatoes & Cauliflower

All my Indian inspired dishes come from an amazing cookbook I received as a gift over a decade ago – Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking.  My friend Michele knew of my love for Indian food and thought this cookbook would inspire me …  and she was oh so right. The potato and cauliflower sauté is a play on Jaffrey’s Cauliflower with Potatoes and the lamb chops are an inspiration from an Indian restaurant my husband and I used to frequent back in London.  

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, Ziploc bag, large sauté pan, cutting board, chef’s knife, bbq grill (or grill pan), large pot, steamer basket, aluminum foil, kitchen towel

Serves: 6

  • 12 lamb chops
  • 4 tbs Patak’s tandoori marinade
  • 2 tbs sour cream
  • 2 1/4 lbs baby yukon gold potatoes (quartered)
  • 1 1/2 heads of cauliflower (cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (approx. 14 1/2 ozs)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tsps cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 6 cilantro sprigs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

For the Lamb Chops: Combine the sour cream and the tandoori marinade. Whisk to combine. Using a pastry brush, coat the lamb chops with the marinade and place in a Ziploc bag. Refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably longer. Take the lamb out of the fridge and bring to room temperature. Prep your outdoor grill or heat a grill pan greased with olive oil to medium high heat. Remove the chops from the marinade and grill each for approximately 7 minutes per side for medium (or to your desired temperature). Let the chops rest for at least five minutes (covered with foil and a kitchen towel) while you plate up the rest of the meal.

Tip: Coscto has great frenched lamb racks that you can cut into your own chops – eight for $17.99

For the Sautéed Potatoes and Cauliflower: Steam the cauliflower and potatoes until just tender, but still with a little bite. Set aside and let cool.  Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onion, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne. Cook until the onion is soft, stirring occasionally. Add in the cauliflower, potatoes and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Sauté until the potatoes and cauliflower are heated through.

To Serve: Spoon the sautéed potatoes and cauliflower into the center of 6 warmed plates/bowls. Place two chops crisscross on top. Place a sprig of cilantro in the center and serve immediately.

Mixed Berry Charlotte

This is another Annie Bell recipe  from Gorgeous Desserts and is considered to be a summer pudding in Britain, but I think it’s a perfect ending to a somewhat heavy Indian inspired supper. I use my base for crumble and top it with the bread. Have fun with it and use whatever cookie cutter you have on hand to create fun shapes from the bread.

Serves: 6 – 8

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, cutting board, chef’s knife, paring knife, mixing bowl, large baking dish (about 3 1/2 quarts), spatula, cookie cutter (if you plan on creating a shape with the bread), microplane/zester

  • 6 cups of berries (whatever you have on hand: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 a lemon zest + juice
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 8 – 10 slices of hearty white bread

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place the berries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest into the mixing bowl. Using a spatula, gently combine. Place the berry mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. Cut the crusts off the bread and butter on both sides. Cut the bread in quarters, creating four triangles, layer over the top of the berry mixture and bake for 30 – 40 minutes.

Tip: You can make the dish a little prettier by using cookie cutters on the bread. Don’t remove the crusts. Butter on both sides and then press out the shape with the cookie cutter on a cutting board.

To Serve: This can be served warm or at room temperature. Scoop out a section and place on a dessert plate. You can top with whipped cream or keep it as is. Delicious!

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