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Old 04-08-2007, 04:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Special dinner party - pieces missing from the menu

I'm planning on throwing a dinner party in a few weeks, and I have most of my menu planned out. I think it's a pretty solid menu that goes really well with a Shiraz I have picked out (I planned the main course around the wine), but I'm stumped about appetizer, soup, and dessert. Sure, I could pull together some random things for any of those courses, but I'm really going for a thoughtful, well-planned, harmonious menu.

The main course is:

-pan seared lamb chop in brandy-tarragon demiglace with matchstick fennel
-gateau aux pommes Anne
-sauteed chard with shallots

For the appetizer, I was thinking of something very light and simple, like sliced honeydew melon wrapped in prosciutto. I'm just afraid that this is too simple and might not go well with everything else.

I'm stumped about soup. A cream soup is out of the question because I cannot consume milk protein. Again, I'm looking for something to mesh with the rest of the meal.

I'm also stumped about dessert. Again, no milk. I can use all the butter I want but no milk, cream, etc. I would prefer something that can be prepared ahead of time, since everything else will be rather time consuming. What kind of dessert goes well after a meal of lamb?

Again, the constraints are that the missing parts must fit into the big picture, and milk products other than butter are not to be used.



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Old 04-08-2007, 05:12 PM   #2
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Your menu sounds delicious and ambitious. I think your appetizer suggestion is a good one. Fresh. Sweet and salty combo, which is a great way to get the taste buds of your guests excited for dinner.

Here's a link to a soup we LOVE in our house. It looks like a cream soup, but there is not a drop of cream in it. I've even served it chilled with great success. It's from a 1995 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. It's delicious and pretty. It's a soft, lovely pale green.

Zucchini and Rosemary Soup Recipe at Epicurious.com

Best wishes with your meal.

"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 04-08-2007, 06:13 PM   #3
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I think you're right on with your proscuitto wrapped melon balls.

An asparagus soup would be a good choice with your meal, since it's in season right now. I saw one the other day that was basically nothing more than asparagus, braised in chicken broth, then pureed. If you wanted it to look creamy, you could add potatoes.

A fruit tart or gallette was the first dessert that came to my mind. Or strawberry shortcake, if you can get ahold of some good fresh berries.
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