14 Fast-Food Dinner Party Fixes Slideshow
January 25, 2012
Steak frites wouldn’t be complete without a side of slim-cut fries. So, when steak is on the menu at one The Daily Meal editor’s home, it is always served with a side of Mickey-D’s fries. Come on… they are addictive…
Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Grilled Chicken
Not all of us are lucky enough to have an outdoor grill, or even a grill pan. But what would your classic game day menu be without BBQ chicken sandwiches? Pick up a bucket of some of the Colonel's best, and then slather the breasts with a healthy coating of sauce. Set out some fresh-baked buns from the market, perhaps some lettuce, cheese, and tomato, and you'll see that whipping up a self-serve sandwich spread has never been so easy (and finger-licking good).
Boston Market's Mac and Cheese
When you’re craving comfort food, what is better than a rich and creamy mac and cheese? Boston Market’s has a strong following (the one fresh from the takeout counter, not the frozen one in a box). It’s one The Daily Meal editor’s guilty pleasure.
The next time you’re hosting a cocktail party, order in a couple of thin crust cheese pizzas and dress them up your way. Lulu Powers likes to sprinkle herbs on top of bite-sized pieces, while one The Daily Meal editor tops her slices with fresh arugula. A drizzle of truffle oil, maybe?
White Castle's Classic for Cocktails
If you ask us, no cocktail party is complete without a tray of sliders. But making mini burgers for a cocktail party of 30 is neither fun nor wise when you're short on time. So let White Castle do the work for you. Pick up a couple of their 30-packs, then dress each two-bite burger with your choice of toppings, be it tomato chutney, horseradish sauce, or simply cheese (with some ketchup for dipping, of course).
Chinese Takeout White Rice
Whether you’re making burritos, sushi, a hearty chili, or a light Thai curry, you’re going to need cooked rice. So what to do if you don’t have a rice cooker at home, or if you need the rice immediately? Order in a couple boxes of this inexpensive, perfectly cooked side from your local Chinese takeout spot, of course!
This addictive cheese dip has a strong following. It is no wonder that some will order a double order of Qdoba’s chips and queso to-go whenever Mexican or chips and salsa are on the menu.
Fried chicken is one of those dishes that might be easy to make, yet is cumbersome if you don’t have a deep fryer (dipping chicken in batter, dealing with hot oil…). It is no wonder that picking up some of this Southern favorite is a popular fast-food fix when entertaining. Try it yourself the next time you’re serving soul food at home, or bring some with you to your next outdoor picnic. It's kid-friendly, and when served with a honey mustard dipping sauce, the perfect cocktail party pairing for beer and wine.
Whether you’re hosting your egg-and-cheese-loving friends for brunch or looking for the perfect Southern-style side dish for honey-baked ham, only a perfectly cooked biscuit will suffice. Those in the know go to Popeye’s, which serves up still-warm biscuits with a golden bottom crust and a tender inside full of rich, buttery flavors.
Dunkin' Donut's Donuts (for Dessert)
Burnt the cookies you were planning on serving for dessert? Save yourself another trip to the store to get more butter, eggs, and chocolate chips and instead stop off at the local Dunkin' drive-thru for the makings for instant profiteroles — glazed doughnut holes.
Split each hole in half, stuff it with your pick of ice cream, and perhaps a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Francophiles might not approve, but you'll save dessert with this fancy profiterole dessert that will knock your guests' socks off.
Chinese Food Seasoning Packets
You have pork chops, but no marinade, and the guests are coming in a little more than an hour. Have no fear — if you have some of those little packages of soy sauce, duck sauce, and mustard that come with your takeout order you're in luck. Take inspiration from one of our interns who combined the packet contents together for a flavorful marinade for her Chinese Packet Pork Chops. Who knew they’d come in handy?!
Quizno's Chicken Caesar Salad
Salads aren't hard to throw together; after all, it's usually greens and dressing. But make anything more complex, certainly with grilled chicken and crisp croutons, when you're entertaining a crowd, and it becomes downright burdensome.
When served in a salad bowl all your own, no one will know when you stop off at Quiznos for one of their party-sized salads instead of doing everything yourself (top it with some sun-dried tomatoes to ensure no one knows). They might even like it so much they'll ask you to bring it again next time!
While roasting a chicken at home is pretty easy to do, sometimes we just don’t have the time (or oven space) to do it ourselves. A still-warm roast bird from a local Peruvian restaurant is the mess-free solution to making chicken tacos, chicken fajitas, and chicken salad for a crowd. And, if the evidence is disposed of, now one will know the difference.
Taco Bell Nachos
Game day isn't complete without nachos. Topped with guacamole, salsa, jalapeños, and black olives. Oh, and more cheese. But when you've got a soft spot in your heart for Taco Bell (and that cheese), attempting to recreate the crispy, gooey goodness at home just won't cut it. So order a couple orders of cheese nachos, to go, then doctor it all up with a hearty sprinkling of cheese — it'll become a new game day staple.