10 Easy Dishes to Wow Your Guests

Because what host or hostess doesn’t love hearing, “oh wow. You made this yourself… from scratch?”

Roasted Marrow Bone

Often, some of the most impressive dishes are not that difficult to prepare. Take, for example, short ribs. Once they’re slowly braising, as long as you keep the temperature low, you can nearly forget about them. Inspired by dishes we’ve made that have elicited cries of delight from our friends and family, we put together some old favorites – and new must-trys—for you to create your own awe-inspiring meal at home.


To start:

Roasted Marrow Bones

From Brian McBride, Blue Duck Tavern

Marrow is a rare treat, often served at fine restaurants along with a braised meat. This rich dish can be served along with an earthy red wine as an appetizer, or as an accompaniment to the main dish.


Mile-High Popovers

From Leite’s Culinaria

Serving popovers with a meal may seem too ambitious, but they’re really quite easy to make and bake. This fool-proof recipe works every time; just remember to let the batter sit, and no peeking when they’re in the oven (or they’ll collapse).


Mussels with Coconut Green Curry and Lime

From Tyler Florence

Serving mussels may seem intimidating to most (most shellfish seem daunting), but they’re quick and easy to cook. The coconut, curry, and lime adds and an exotic, fresh flavor.


Cheese Souffle

From Tamarind and Thyme

The classic French dish that intimidates most cooks, for fear it will not rise. As long as the whites are free from any trace of egg yolk, and they are whipped and folded in right before baking, your soufflé should successfully rise.  



Main Dishes:

Boeuf Bourguignon

From Kitchen Musings

Slowly braising meat in a rich red wine sauce melts any toughness into fork-tender goodness. Wonderful served with homemade pappardelle.


Salmon Fillet en Papillote with Julienne Vegetables

From FoodNetwork.com

Cooking fish in parchment packets ensures each piece is moist and flavorful. Plus, these quick-to-cook packets, when carefully sealed, will tell you when they’re ready: the packets will puff up.


Wild Mushroom and Truffle Risotto

From Eat Blog Sleep

Earthly wild mushrooms with a creamy risotto is a luxurious dish that takes time to cook, but not much else. A topping of grated truffle, or a drizzle of truffle oil, is a truly over-the-top finishing touch.




Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes

From The Bites Site

This restaurant favorite can be made a couple of days in advance and popped into the oven during dinner. Delightful when served with a dollop of whipped cream, or ice cream, and raspberries.



From The Wright Recipes

Profiteroles are essentially ice cream sandwiches made with pate a choux, a twice-cooked dough, and can be filled with your favorite ice cream flavor. Your guests can customize their dessert, too: make the choux in advance, fill with ice cream to order at the table, and pass around a pitcher of hot fudge.


Maple Crème Brulee

From Whisk

Another easy dessert that can be made in advance, and then topped with sugar and broiled in the oven before serving. You can also find vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and pumpkin flavored recipes, too.