"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Menu Planning > Today's Menu
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-06-2006, 12:40 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 6
Send a message via AIM to AeroGal619 Send a message via Yahoo to AeroGal619
Menu help....

I am hosting a dinner party in a few weeks and I'm a little lost on the menu. I have some ideas, but I'm not sure the dishes go well together. I have my eye on Penne a la Vodka, Mesclun Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette and Crostini, Strawberry Almond Cheesecake, and Pinot Noir for wine. How does that sound? ANd I need a side dish, a vegetable of some sort, but I'm not sure what goes. HELP!!!

Thanks in advance!

__________________

__________________
AeroGal619 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2006, 02:39 AM   #2
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 665
It sounds really nice to me, AeroGal! To figure out a veggie it would be useful to know where you are or at least what's in season now in your part of the world. However, even without that information my first thought is that since you already have a green leafy veg, a root vegetables in some form might be nice. I'm visualising your plate as being pretty much beige and green so it would be lovely to have a touch of something rich and red or orange-y in color -- a squash or carrots or rutabega (or some sort of 'root veggie medly') or even beets, perhaps roasted. Aside from color and eye-appeal, those all tend to be sweet and mellow in flavor which might contrast nicely with the lemon-y salad ...

Asparagus might also be very nice?

Are you avoiding meat entirely, by the way? Adding in a bit of proscuitto or bacon can add a nice note to certain veggies.
__________________

__________________
XeniA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2006, 03:57 AM   #3
Executive Chef
 
ironchef's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The SPAM eating capital of the world.
Posts: 3,558
Since your menu mostly Italian themed, why don't you take it a step further and instead of serving a vegetable course, serve a meat or fish course after the pasta which would be the "Il Secondi" in Italian dining. Your "Il Antipasti" would your salad, the "Il Primo" course would be the pasta, and the "Il Secondo" course could be something like Grilled Pork Loin with a Balsamic Reduction and sauteed broccoli or rapini. The "Il Doce" course would of course be the Cheesecake.
__________________
"Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
ironchef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2006, 08:06 AM   #4
Executive Chef
 
VeraBlue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northern NJ
Posts: 3,683
I rarely serve a side dish or vegetable when pasta is the main course. Normally, the pasta would have the entire plate to itself.

Now, I would suggest lamb or veal as a fourth course. I'd serve the pasta first, the salad second (or last, depending on who was dining) and then a meat course.

I'd do herb crusted lamb chops with mint coulis, roasted fingerling potatoes, and mashed carrots/chestnuts.

Good luck with your dinner.
__________________
How can we sleep while our beds are burning???
VeraBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2006, 08:12 AM   #5
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 665
VeraBlue, the mashed carrots/chestnuts idea sounds wonderful. Can you elaborate? Fully mashed such that neither is recognizable, or left a bit chunky? Anything else added in? Basic proportions?
__________________
XeniA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2006, 08:39 AM   #6
Executive Chef
 
VeraBlue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northern NJ
Posts: 3,683
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrton
VeraBlue, the mashed carrots/chestnuts idea sounds wonderful. Can you elaborate? Fully mashed such that neither is recognizable, or left a bit chunky? Anything else added in? Basic proportions?
Good morning Ayrton!

First, I'll roast the carrots, having dressed them with a bit of olive oil, thyme, honey, S&P and a couple of cloves of garlic. I buy the chestnuts cooked and peeled. When the carrots are fork tender I put them through the processor, along with the chestnuts, the garlic cloves, some butter and some heavy cream. S&P again, to taste. I usually do 4 to 2, with twice as much carrots as chestnuts.

Hope you are well.
__________________
How can we sleep while our beds are burning???
VeraBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2006, 09:21 AM   #7
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 665
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeraBlue
Good morning Ayrton!

First, I'll roast the carrots, having dressed them with a bit of olive oil, thyme, honey, S&P and a couple of cloves of garlic. I buy the chestnuts cooked and peeled. When the carrots are fork tender I put them through the processor, along with the chestnuts, the garlic cloves, some butter and some heavy cream. S&P again, to taste. I usually do 4 to 2, with twice as much carrots as chestnuts.

Hope you are well.
That sounds really, really good. Thanks for the details. I think you just got included in my New Year's Eve menu!
__________________
XeniA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2006, 10:59 PM   #8
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,973
I, personally, would not add a thing. Husband and I are in our fifties, and many of our friends are older. We're all discovering less is better. If I were to add anything it would be a small antipasto plate served on the coffee table in the living room with pre-dinner cocktails. My friends would be happy without another vegetable or meat dish for the meal itself.
__________________
Claire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2006, 12:15 AM   #9
Head Chef
 
auntdot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,418
Am truly humbled at the great advice given.

First thought was serve the salad first and forget about a side dish.

Then Ayrton mentioned the asparagus, and think that would make a nice starter. Cooked and served cold, with a bit of a vinagrette and maybe some grated cheese.

Would make the asparagus just a few spears, just a true appetizer.

Then follow with the pasta, then as a next course the salad, and then dessert.

Sounds like you want a vegetarian menu and that is great.

Just an idea. Have a great party.
__________________
auntdot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2006, 07:18 AM   #10
Executive Chef
 
VeraBlue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northern NJ
Posts: 3,683
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrton
That sounds really, really good. Thanks for the details. I think you just got included in my New Year's Eve menu!
Yay for me! I always wanted to go to Greece
__________________

__________________
How can we sleep while our beds are burning???
VeraBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.