This post was most recently updated on February 17th, 2020
You might have people coming over and you have no idea what to cook. Don’t panic! It helps to know what your visitors like and sometimes you can ask this question: What’s your favorite dish? Other times, you can’t. So, you’re left wondering, what to cook for your guests.
What to Cook For Your Guests?
This article offers some ideas on what to cook. Something different perhaps! There are a ton of favorite foods that may inspire you.
My curious mind started with online responses and I collated a couple of those (see below).
But I was most interested in what my colleagues had to say because they had traveled a bit and/or had cultivated a range of tastes. I asked a few of them what was their favorite food and their best advice for serving it.
By the way, a favorite of mine is turkey, and my advice on cooking and serving it is to smoke it on a charcoal ceramic grill (you can get the recipe here). That’s my best advice if you want a smokey barbecue flavored turkey with locked-in juiciness.
“What is your favorite food and your best advice for serving it?”
This is what my colleagues had to say. They responded with some interesting food ideas.
Maureen McDermott from Life on the Mediterranean loves artichokes.
“To be honest, I’ve only known artichokes to come from a jar soaked in oil. I’ve never tried making them before now. Mediterranean Artichokes are great as an appetizer or side dish”, she said.
Her advice on serving it: “Baking Mediterranean Artichokes: Cut off the tips so they are level, insert a knife in the center to open it up a bit. Put in a clove of garlic, sprinkle with olive oil, squeeze of lemon, along with some salt and pepper. Double wrap each artichoke in aluminum foil and bake for 1.5hrs at 425F. When ready, pull the leaves away and scrape the soft artichoke meat between your teeth. Divine!”
Sashimi (Raw Fish)
Raw fish was the reply from Sandra Muller from The Smarter Writer. Here’s her best advice on how to serve it.
“One of my favorite foods is raw fish, aka sashimi (or hwae as it’s known here in South Korea). The best way to serve it is super fresh – fresh off the boat or out of a tank. I don’t mind a drizzle of lemon, but I really love a bit of wasabi mixed with soy sauce. In Korea, people eat hwae with a thick kind of sauce called samjang – it’s a mix of chili paste with garlic and soybean paste. Heaven! It’s worth picking up a pot from your local Asian supermarket.”
Date Cups Filled With Peanut Butter
Dates are the favorite of Kay Winters from Paws and Pines.
“If you’ve never tried dried dates, you must! Not only are they incredibly healthy for their vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but they can be substituted in most recipes where you need to add a sweet flavor. I eat at least 5 every day as a snack because they are so delicious”, she said.
This is her best advice on serving them: “My absolute favorite way to prepare them is to fill them with peanut butter. First, pit the dates. Second, fill the dates with your favorite nut butter (I use peanut butter). Lastly, eat them up! Simple, right? Give it a try! I’ve gotten many people hooked on dates like this because they taste exactly like a peanut butter cup.”
I love these suggestions. Artichokes, dates, and raw fish! But, I suspect some might say these foods are for acquired tastes.
What People In Popular Forums Offered
I was curious to find out from the general population about other favorite foods. I collated the below ideas from responses online.
“What’s your favorite dish and why?”
I looked at the replies to this question that asked about people’s favorite dish. Below are five answers that received the most views:
- Baked Stuffed Lobster
- Fried Rice
- Butter Chicken
- Spaghetti with chocolate flavored ice-cream
- Chilli chicken
Yum! Lobster! But then, it is not within everyone’s budget. Fried Rice is nice, after all, it is a good easy dish on its own or as an accompaniment. Butter Chicken is not bad! Spaghetti with chocolate flavored ice-cream…might be a case of special taste. Chilli Chicken is again fowl, but popular.
“What is your favorite dish to cook and why?”
The above question that had over 100 replies. Below is a sample (15 responses). As it helps to know why people choose their favorite food, I’ve included the reason where given.
- Egg Omelet. Why? Because that’s one of the few things I know how to cook.
- Steamed Fish in Soy Sauce. Why? Because it is very fresh and tasty.
- Aloo Paratha (An Indian bread dish).
- Brownies (An all-time favorite chocolate dessert of Americans).
- Fried Rice. Why? Because there are so many different flavors you can try out with this one staple ingredient.
- Rissoto. Why? Because there’s plenty of variation in what you can add to it.
- Meals, done in a hot pot. Why? Because you can add in whatever you want to make soup or hearty eats.
- Orzo, cooked with chicken or vegetable stock.
- Steak Au Poivre. Why? Because you set it on fire!
- Beef and Quinoa Chili. Why? Because it’s great any time of the year (from cold winter nights to summer barbecues).
- Charcoal BBQ Grilled Pork Loin, sliced with a sharp knife into pork steaks.
- Shrimp and Grits. Why? Because it’s easy, quick, flavorful, and shrimp are inexpensive where I live.
- Eggplant Parmesan. Why? Because, it is a labor of love and when done right, is heaven on a plate.
- Macaroni and Cheese with Tuna and Peas. Why? Because it’s a very simple thing to make, just follow the directions and add tuna and peas.
- Spaghetti Bolognese. Why? Because it’s pretty easy and tastes great.
There are some interesting reasons mentioned in the above. I note that Fried Rice was mentioned again. It’s possibly a good all-rounder dish to include. Brownies is always a classic — I’ve yet to meet anyone who does not like them. Spaghetti Bolognese is always a hit, especially with kids. If you’ve got a charcoal grill, the BBQ Pork Loin would be ideal.
What about the presentation? Imagine your table…You’ll want to have a good looking serving platter or dishes to complement and make your food look totally irresistible.
Looking for something new to uplift the moment, there’s plenty to choose from. I found a Euro Ceramica Zanzibar Collection appealing. I loved the colors and its European decal look.
I’m not sure if this has been helpful for you. Obviously, there is a wide and varied idea of favorite foods. Some foods you either love or hate with a passion. I do appreciate my colleague’s suggestions but while I have acquired a love of dates, I’ve yet to find a love for artichokes and as far as eating raw fish, I much prefer mine cooked, with very little oil or butter. I wrote a buyers guide on the best ceramic cookware for healthy low-fat cooking.
The list from the forum included reasons behind the choice of favorite foods. Some of these reasons suggest they wouldn’t be the best ones for you to offer. For example: “Egg Omelet. Why? Because that’s one of the few things I know how to cook.” They’d probably appreciate you offering something entirely different.
Perhaps you can help. Can you offer us your favorite foods as suggestions?
What are Your Favorites?
Does any of this suit you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.