Guests are coming to dinner

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Guests are coming to dinner

Postby Jenise » Sat Jul 29, 2006 3:47 pm

But they won't arrive until around 7:30 p.m. They'll have had a two hour drive to your house from a party where they'll have been noshing all afternoon. Like you, they live for food and wine. He's English, she's Canadian, and they take a very continental approach to dining. Oh, and they'll be spending the night because it's a long way home.

What would you serve?

I'm leaning toward two courses wherein the starter's a salad and the main is a non-meat soup, like a celeriac puree, but that's because I'm so brain dead after a rather exhausting week that I just can't seem to think of anything cleverer. I probably need to add a sweet, too, because of the 'Continental' thing, even though I'm dessert-challenged. Something easy and light.

Please, entertain me with ideas.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Guests are coming to dinner

Postby Bob Ross » Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:14 pm

An idea that would avoid the need for a dessert -- other fruit soups would work as well.

I've been playing around with an Iranian soup that is quite elegant. You'll play with the ingredient proportions, but here's what I used last night:

One bunch dill chopped fine include the stems chopped very fine.
1/2 cup raisins
Two small cucumbers peeled and coarse chopped
One pint yogurt -- we are using low fat vanilla.

Blend very well in a blender.

Cool to 45 to 50 F; stir the mixture when cool to put the raisins into suspension -- they will stay there.

This is very refreshing, and surpisingly not very filling -- would work well for someone who spent the day noshing.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Guests are coming to dinner

Postby Barb Freda » Sat Jul 29, 2006 5:37 pm

For dessert twice in the last week I've done a blueberry/peach clafouti. I know it's traditional with cherries, but that was what I had an abundance of...It was simple and delicious.

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Re: Guests are coming to dinner

Postby Gary Barlettano » Sat Jul 29, 2006 5:50 pm

I usually get the wowee-zowee effect when I start off with homemade bruschetta and offer fresh mozzarella, a stinky cheese of your choice (dry provolone would be nice), fresh basil, some prosciutto, and sliced tomato as toppings. You might want to toss in a few olives. If you also toss in a little Prosecco, even I'll make the trip up.

If you wanna zuppa, then maybe I'd go with escarole and cannelini beans in a chicken broth.

Dolce? Hmmmmm .... nice vanilla gelato with some fresh berries.
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Re: Guests are coming to dinner

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:16 pm

I like the idea of a salad starter and a soup main course. A simple soup would be nice either cold or hot. If you are in your berry season up there (love those WA berries) how about strawberries with balsamic and pepper over some vanilla bean ice cream. Here is one of my favorite simple soup recipes with my tweaks. Be sure to read the reviews in the following link. It is excellent. ... views/5100

This is the Cover Recipe from a Febuary
issue of Bon Appetit, a few years ago. It has wonderful flavor
and color and is a fast meal.

Seafood Stew with Tomatoes and Basil

4 servings

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 tsp dried oregano (second time I used 2
1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 1/2 cups bottled clam juice
1 cup dry white wine
2 6 1/2 ounce cans chopped clams, drained,
liquid reserved (I used fresh sea scallops)
1 lb. uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
(I buy the frozen, uncooked, deveined,
peeled ones at Costco)
1 6 ounce can crabmeat, drained (use fresh,
if available)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
cayenne pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in heavy pot over medium heat.
Add onion, garlic, oregano,and fennel seeds
and saute until onion is tender about 8 min.
Add tomatoes, clam juice, white wine and if
used, liquid reserved from clams. Increase
heat and boil until slightly thickened, about
15 minutes. Add clams (or scallops) shrimp,
crabmeat. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.
Mix in fresh basil, and simmer until shrimp
are just opaque in center, about 2 min.
longer. Season stew to taste with cayenne,
salt and pepper.

I also added some fresh lemon juice and lemon
zest. Have the Tabasco bottle at the table
for those who want to add some additional
Serve with some great sour dough and a lovely
white wine.
Make one day ahead or in the morning for flavors to develop.
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Re: Guests are coming to dinner

Postby Ian Sutton » Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:18 pm

A couple of thoughts occur to me
a) They've been noshing all afternoon. Therefore ideal to serve light stuff, ideally where they don't cause offence if they pick at it
b) They've been driving, so would like something to refresh

Add to this their continental style taste, I'd go for a small spread of tapas style "picking" food but maybe stealing all Gary's good ideas :twisted: of the Bruschetta, mozzarella, basil, prosciutto, tomato (and maybe some melon or salami) to make it more of an Italian antipasto. It also represents minimal cooking :P

To finish, fresh fruits - maybe strawbs or just a nice mix.

It also gives some nice options on wine matching :)

I know this is a little simple, but when I'm tired I like simple!


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Re: Guests are coming to dinner

Postby Barb Freda » Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:58 pm

Am I the only one wanting to know what you ended up making???

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Re: Guests are coming to dinner

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:51 pm

Barb Freda wrote:Am I the only one wanting to know what you ended up making???




"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field" - Niels Bohr
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