Eight foreign students coming to dinner - need menu suggestions!

<p>Yet again I call on all of you for help. I've just learned that my nephew will be driving a vanful of foreign college students to NYC this weekend. They will all come here for dinner Sunday evening. I do not usually cook for a crowd of 12 (4 of us, 8 of them), and I'm blanking on what to make that will be enjoyed by all. I believe that most of the students are male. They are from various countries - I remember Brazil, Angola, and Lebanon being mentioned.</p>

<p>Any ideas?</p>

<p>Next week we have several foreign students and friends over as well. Cook whatever you cook best. The world over, ALL students crave home style cooking. For me it will be Lasagna Bolognese, salad and apple pie. Lasagna made with homemade noodles and sauce cooked all day(of course!)</p>

<p>Is there any way you can find out their cultural/religious dietary restrictions? Do you need to get halal meat?</p>

<p>Assuming you can get around that issue, I think chicken and rice is enjoyed in more cultures than just about any other dish. It's also pretty easy to make in big batches. Put some hot sauce on the table and you're likely to please the crowd.</p>

<p>Some random thoughts:</p>

<li>All these boys will appreciate a home cooked meal, even if it does not remind them of their own home cooking.</li>
<li>Think Thanksgiving (but substitute the turkey if you think it's not been long enough since the last time.)</li>
<li>Stews and casseroles allow you to cook for many in a single pot or container.</li>
<li>Meat and potatoes are pretty universal. Rice is pretty universal outside of our borders.</li>
<li>Soups also fit the bill, but I know more people who will politely reject a bowl of soup than a serving of beef stew.</li>
<li>Have some green salad available, as well as rolls and desert. If they eat nothing else, they will not starve.</li>
<li>Make something YOU like. How wrong can you be?</li>

<p>I have asked about dietary restrictions, but don't have an answer yet. I expect them to be very hungry after a two-day, long car trip. I like your suggestions. I'd already thought of two large platters of salad and homemade rolls. I am thinking now of serving both lasagne and some sort of chicken, to try to hit everyone's taste. I have a great lasagne recipe.</p>

<p>One of the girls coming next week is from Tehran. She "escaped" and has not seen her parents for five years. When she visited four months ago, she asked if she could just sit in the kitchen and watch me cook. It reminded her of her mama. It wasnt tabouleh, it was just chicken stew. She just wanted to be with a mom, ANY mom. It still makes me cry. So do what you do best. It will be appreciated.</p>

<p>Chicken and rice always goes over well. Also a vegetable curry on the side in case there are those who are vegetarians. I've always had vegetarians in my kids' groups so I always add a big veggie side.</p>

<p>Me, I'd go with traditional American home cooking. They are foreign students, and are presumably here because something about America appeals to them. I'd make hamburgers and apple pie...</p>

<p>Swedish meatballs. From what I've heard, every culture has its version of Swedish meatballs; in fact, the Finns are upset because they feel they have been robbed of their proper credit for this delicacy.</p>

<p>It seems like it'd be a good idea to have something available that would appeal to a vegetarian in case any of them are so inclined.</p>

<p>I agree with 'dmd77' - they'd probably look forward to experiencing something more traditionally American.</p>

<p>I'm with dmd. I assume the kids are here to learn and explore our culture (or lack thereof, like some might say :rolleyes:). Food is a very important part of that, so unless they have some dietary restrictions, I'd serve what your nephew normally likes to eat at your house. When we traveled to Stockholm, I avoided the American breakfast served at our hotel, went for the smorgasbord instead and discovered that salmon and herring for breakfast are actually very tasty.</p>

<p>I second the turkey dinner idea...it is a great example of an American meal, which I think they will appreciate..or the cheeseburger idea..like the 4th of July !</p>

<p>I think as long as you have something vegetarian, and NOTHING with pork, you should have everything covered. </p>

<p>I would probably go with tortillas to make burritos with beef, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, etc. Rice. and a fruit platter.</p>

<p>Hate to say it but in a pinch, pizza always is a good choice.</p>

<p>Cook anything you like; traditional would be best. Twenty-six years ago, I was at Mrs. Pearl's Thanksgivings dinner. That was my first American meal. Her house was the first real American house I'd been to. I don't remember what I ate, but her kindness anf the memory stay with me all these years. Tears fill my eyes whenever I remmber those days.</p>

<p>One nice thing about American food is that it's all American, I think the lasagna with perhaps a something simple - like roast chicken, or stew would be fine. Apple pie, brownies, or at this time of year, some traditional holiday cookies would all be good. I agree it's nice to have something for the vegetarians. (Perhaps just a second lasagna without the meat.)</p>

<p>I'd go with a big soup-- maybe a vegetarian chili; with grated cheese, sour cream, diced scallions, etc as garnishes-- plus green salad, side veggie, some sort of bread or rolls, and maybe a cobbler for dessert. Easy to make for a crowd... and when it's 8 boys you should probably cook for 16. :)</p>

<p>Cheery Pie, Apple Pie, and a Peach Pie. with of course Ice Cream.
No such thing as a failed pie. If it looks a little rough, it looks good. If it looks to good, rough it up. </p>

<p>Make the dough to soggie texture, like cookie dough. </p>

<p>Clam chowder. All American New York.</p>

<p>You are in NYC, Chinese take out!!!</p>

<p>Many Asians do not like cheese, or anything milky.</p>

<p>oldfort, I was thinking the same thing.</p>