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Need menu ideas

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Ines Nyby

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Need menu ideas

by Ines Nyby » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:04 pm

Hi everybody.
I'm having a brain freeze trying to think of a menu that will be not only pleasing but relatively easy to prepare mostly in advance. The event is a dinner party the night following a class reunion which I am not attending due to prior commitments. No menu restrictions except for one person who has said she prefers gluten free. Mostly women will attend. I don't want to be stuck in the kitchen cooking while everybody catches up!
Thanks in advance for all help.
Ines
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Howie Hart

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Re: Need menu ideas

by Howie Hart » Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:23 pm

How many people? Do you plan on having sit down dinner? If so, I'd suggest a buffet with disposable dinnerware if you have more than 12 guests. That way, everyone helps themselves and disposes of their own dishes. I often find myself spending more time removing dishes between courses than I do with my company. You want to avoid having to wait on people. Leave wine bottles on the table so guests can help themselves. Appetizers, soup, salad, fresh bread, meat that does not have to be carved (chicken thighs? meat balls?), a starch dish, a vegetable combo and a simple dessert. I have a 3 compartment crock pot that comes in handy for such events.
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Need menu ideas

by Jeff Grossman » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:41 pm

Class reunion, you said? Heh, heh. What did they serve in the school cafeteria? :mrgreen:

More seriously, bake off some quiches: it's basically scrambled eggs and cheese in a pie crust, you can make several kinds, it's good at room temperature. Just gotta do something for the GF person. The rest is just like Howie said: salad, crudite with a dip, drinks in pitcher or bottle, and a few brain cells left to make a decent dessert. ("make" or "buy" ?)
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Dale Williams

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Re: Need menu ideas

by Dale Williams » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:22 am

Things I've done in advance recently to serve at room temp:
grilled leeks (parboiled first) with a mustard/caper/anchovy vinaigrette
poached salmon (yogurt/dill sauce)
grilled vegetables (I like squash & peppers with za'atar)
Gabrielle Hamilton's pickled shrimp:
http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pickled-shrimp


Bittman Or Melissa Clark) had a article on summer cold roasts in NYT a few years ago, just reminded that you need to push up the seasonings if serving cold. Worked well for me with lamb and beef (marinate and/or season aggressively, grill or roast, and maybe have a sauce )
Could do deviled eggs in advance and chill (little roe on top?)
Salad of course

A lot depends on if you know how adventurous your old friends are
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Rahsaan

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Re: Need menu ideas

by Rahsaan » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:05 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:
More seriously, bake off some quiches: it's basically scrambled eggs and cheese in a pie crust, you can make several kinds, it's good at room temperature.


This has become one of my go-to main courses when entertaining this past year. Prep time all loaded way ahead, just take out of the oven and serve. And forgiving in terms of when you serve it.
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Need menu ideas

by Jeff Grossman » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:13 am

Dale Williams wrote:Gabrielle Hamilton's pickled shrimp:
http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pickled-shrimp

Ooh, I remember one event at your house where Betsy (or you) made this. They were excellent.
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Re: Need menu ideas

by Barb Downunder » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:10 am

All the above suggestions sound great.quiches can be very prettily garnished and women particularly seem to like them. And go with lots of other dishes.
Re the guest who "prefers gluten free" , seriously if she is not coeliac/gluten intolerant ie not medically needing to be gluten free (it seems to be a bizarre trend to be gluten free for no good reason)
then I would not get fussed about that aspect.
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Jo Ann Henderson

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Re: Need menu ideas

by Jo Ann Henderson » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:42 pm

Can always do a crustless quiche for the GF guest.
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Re: Need menu ideas

by Jenise » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:07 pm

I love Dale's salmon menu. If it's super hot out, cold poached salmon is wonderful. Another twist on that is get a big filet of salmon and have it ready to go in the oven on a cookie sheet--about 225 F for about 40-45 minutes. Brush it with EVOO and have a topping of chopped topping of raw meyer lemons, including peel, with lots of herbs (dill and tarragon together would be my choices) in oil and vinegar ready to go on the side. Looks spectacular on a platter and will require minimal fuss if everything else is done a day or two before. Want a starter? How about a cold soup? Maybe a vichysoisse customized with some fresh, tart sorrel, or the peach gazpacho I posted on this board a few years ago. Easy do-aheads, and they KEEP. Add three or four interesting salads and a fruity dessert--things that look amazing when grouped on a sideboard for plating or set tablecenter for passing, and you're good to go.
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Ines Nyby

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Re: Need menu ideas

by Ines Nyby » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:00 pm

Jenise wrote:I love Dale's salmon menu. If it's super hot out, cold poached salmon is wonderful. Another twist on that is get a big filet of salmon and have it ready to go in the oven on a cookie sheet--about 225 F for about 40-45 minutes. Brush it with EVOO and have a topping of chopped topping of raw meyer lemons, including peel, with lots of herbs (dill and tarragon together would be my choices) in oil and vinegar ready to go on the side. Looks spectacular on a platter and will require minimal fuss if everything else is done a day or two before. Want a starter? How about a cold soup? Maybe a vichysoisse customized with some fresh, tart sorrel, or the peach gazpacho I posted on this board a few years ago. Easy do-aheads, and they KEEP. Add three or four interesting salads and a fruity dessert--things that look amazing when grouped on a sideboard for plating or set tablecenter for passing, and you're good to go.


Here's my problem--two of the guests hate fish, most particularly salmon. (I just found this out). Right now I'm leaning toward a room temperature Paella rice salad, with some saffron and chicken broth in the rice, topped with fresh julienned peppers, some sauteed spanish chorizo, chicken, tender chunks of Italian sausage and some sauteed shrimp. Garnished with fresh herbs and lime wedges. I'm thinking some chilled gazpacho to start everything off.
It's so blood hot here, cool food is sounding nice.
Dessert will be a plum walnut crisp (using almond flour in place of regular flour in the crumble topping. with icecream)
Thanks everyone. I appreciate your input..

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