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Old 12-08-2005, 03:02 PM   #1
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Smokehouse Dinner menu help

Hi All,

Looking for some input here. Once a year, my wife and I host a "wine" dinner with our friends (There are actually 6 couples, and there's a dinner usually about every 2 months). The whole point is to get together, and enjoy a meal that's paired with matching drinks (usually, but not always wine).

In the past, we've done down home American, and last year was eastern European. This year, we've settled on kind of a smokehouse dinner (Foods that are grilled or smoked are fine).

Currently we're planning it as follows:
  • Goodies while people show up - smoked salmon pate, cheese, crakers, etc.
  • Soup - smoked onion soup (a twist on french onion)
  • Lite course
  • Main course - maybe the smoked beef tenderloin from the virtual webber bullet site http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/beeftenderloin1.html
  • Desert - probably some sort of cobbler and ice cream
Any suggestions? We have plenty of time to plan and test things, which is why I'm posting this now. For a lite course, we were thinking of something maybe a bit bigger than appetizers, maybe liked a grilled/seared tuna dish.

We're also still debating sides, although I keep pulling for grilled asparagus, if we can get it.

Thanks!

John

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Old 12-08-2005, 10:01 PM   #2
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Your party sounds like it is lots of fun. As part of your lite course you could have grilled cherry tomatoes. They are so easy. Plum or roma tomatoes can be used and just cut them in half.

Skewer tomatoes onto soaked bamboo skewers. The best way is to parallel skewer the tomatoes to make them easier to turn. Combine together olive oil and two garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press. Brush olive oil mixture on tomatoes. Grill tomatoes 8-10 minutes or until they are soft to the touch. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
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Old 12-09-2005, 07:56 AM   #3
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Sounds great SC!! Thanks!

Keep 'em coming folks! I need lots of food - we're cooking for about 12-14 people here!

John
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Old 12-09-2005, 08:36 AM   #4
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How 'bout a blackened tuna with cayenne caper mayo?
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:32 AM   #5
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ronjohn, another idea with cherry tomatoes is to skin them then soak them in vodka and worcestershire sauce overnight. serve on toothpicks with a smoked cheese like gouda (to keep in the spirit of the evening), and a horseradish-ey dip and crackers. it's a deconstructed bloody mary.

another favorite smoked food is trout. i love a good smoked trout, paired with a delicate cream sauce. ohh, i've got an idea. try filling puff pastries with a roll or bits of smoked trout, and drizzle the cream sauce on top. garnish with a sprig of the herb that's in the sauce, like dill, or thyme.
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Old 12-09-2005, 12:49 PM   #6
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For an appetizer, to go with your smoked salmon pate, I'd like to suggest a puff pastry covered baked brie, garnished with apple slices and grapes.

One side dish I'd recommend is oven roasted vegetables. Toss chunks of potatoes, carrots, sweet onions and sweet red peppers in Italian dressing (I use Good Seasons Zesty Italian), and roast in oven until they are caramelized. You could also roast your asparagus the same way, then squeeze a little lemon juice on top. You could also do this in a foil pan on your grill.
When you grill your tomatoes, sprinkle a little dried oregano on the them along with the olive oil and garlic.
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Old 12-09-2005, 01:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
For an appetizer, to go with your smoked salmon pate, I'd like to suggest a puff pastry covered baked brie, garnished with apple slices and grapes.
That sounds great, but I'll have to let Sheila make that one! (Ronjohn + Puff pastry = one big mess!)

Thanks for all the ideas so far, please keep them rolling in. We still need to test a few things like the soup, so feel free to suggest for any course, since we may need to change menu items based on ingredient availability, general suckiness, etc.

John
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:17 PM   #8
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Just a quick update -

We did a try run of the smokehouse dinner this past weekend, and we found a few things..

1) we have enough food that we've scrapped the lite course.
2) the smoked onion soup turned out really well, but we're going to make it a day ahead to let the smoke flavor really come out more. (The leftovers were better)
3) The main course is going to be the smoked and seared tenderloin, but I'l change the wood from just cherry to a mix of cherry and mesquite to get bit stronger smoke flavor on it. It will be served with roasted garlic mashed potatos, grilled asparagus, and portabello caps. Will also have an au jus, and horseradish sauce (plus plain hot horseradish for the true believers), and we'll serve it with a nice super tuscan red wine.
4) desert will be baked apple halves with caramel and chocolate, french vanilla ice cream, and a 1997 port.

And we have two open spots!

John
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Old 01-31-2006, 04:03 PM   #9
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now you have only one open spot!
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:35 PM   #10
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Well, the dinner went off without a hitch, and everything was a great success! Now the only problem is - since we outdid ourselves this time, what to come up with for NEXT year?!?!?!?

Oh well... I've got some photos, I just need to get them from the unofficial group photographer first...

John
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