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Old 09-07-2007, 04:04 PM   #11
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Depends. Would it be a sit down dinner or more of a cocktail party type dinner?
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:05 PM   #12
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I think a sit down, but very casual. Kind of family style but for good friends.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:22 PM   #13
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For family-style, I'm thinking that everything will be on the table at once---nothing coursed out, is that correct? Keeping that in mind, I would use dishes that would come out together and wouldn't require multiple cooking temps (i.e. two items that would need to cook in the oven at different temps). For these things, I usually utilize Mediterranean flavors because they're simple, straightfoward, and pretty easy to prepare.

A sample menu could be:

Italian Cheese and Meat Platter (Gorgonzola, Fontina, Tallegio, Asiago Cheeses---for cheese platters you want a variety: soft, semi-soft, and hard; Prosciutto, Coppa and Sopressata salamis, Mortadella; Italian olives, EVOO and balsamic, sliced baguettes and focaccia). This can be made ahead, stored in the fridge and brought out for guests to nibble over wine.

Caprese Salad - Made ahead, dressed at the table.

Orzo Pasta Salad - Made and tossed ahead

Stuffed Chicken Breast Roulades - Stuffed with goat cheese, proscuitto, and sage. Seared then finished in the oven. Finished with pan sauce made with lemon, butter, white wine, chicken stock, and fresh herbs.

Paella - One pan dish on the stove

Greek-style Oven roasted potatoes - Can be done at the same temp. that the chicken is roasted on

Sauteed Rapini with pinenuts, garlic, and raisins.

Basically you'd time the chicken, paella, and potatoes to be finished at roughly the same time, and then do the pan sauce and rapini to order. The potatoes and chicken will take some time in the oven (say 20-30 minutes) and the paella will have it's time where it will be left on it's own, so that will give you some time to mingle while you're also cooking, as long as you're aware of the cooking times of all the foods.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:40 PM   #14
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Wow, that is a splendid meal. So elegant. But you've put elements of comfort type foods so that it's not intimidating. Thanks so much for posting this. I've pasted it into my notebook and maybe someday soon, I can try a simplified, pared down version of this meal.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:49 PM   #15
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omg ic, that all looks so wonderful I am also going to try some of these ideas. Thanks so much
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