Birthday celebration

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by natpag, May 25, 2014.

  1. natpag

    natpag

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    I am planning a Birthday celebration for my husband, going to host a small dinner party. I have been away from these friends for a while and would like to show off some of the skills I have developed over the last year. I have been working a 4 star dining establishement and would like to highlight a few dishes, but I am not sure what to chose because there are so many options. 

    I would like to do appetizers, maybe soup or salad, entree with sides and a decandent dessert. Any suggestion on menu planning. I have a few thoughts, was thinking of a Caprese Salad, maybe Rack of Lamb, with Rosemary Roasted Potatoe and Minted Peas,followed be a Pavlova with a rich Creme Fraiche with seasonal fruit. 

    \any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.... I was thinking Stuffed Mushrooms as an appetizer. This is a small village that lives on the coast and has abundant sea food available, what about some kind of prawns or crab....
     
  2. teamfat

    teamfat

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    I love crab stuffed mushrooms! I'll vote for those as an app.
     
  3. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    The whole idea sounds lovely actually.  Fresh peas are in season and pair perfectly with lamb.  Will there be a sauce?

    I like crab stuffed mushrooms as well, and that is something you can prep ahead of time.  Will this be a sit down coursed dinner?  If so, when will the mushrooms and salad be served, together or separately?

    If the caprese is a course of it's own you may want to consider napoleons as presentation.
     
  4. durangojo

    durangojo

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    Since you are blessed to live near fresh seafood, i would put the accent on that for appetizers....
    grave lax, simple crab cakes with some type of aioli or spicy remoulade and cold jumbo shrimp with bloody mary cocktail sauce
    Salad should be simple and mellow i think...mâché or baby greens with grilled asparagus,warmed goat cheese rounds and a lemon vinaigrette or a warmed brie wedge with pears and dried raspberries or dried strawberries(have you had them? absolutely addictive!).....nothing strong flavored like a Caesar salad considering the apps and the main course.
    Your entree and sides sound lovely
    Nothing says spring like pavlova, especially with fresh berries...don't think you need two desserts if serving a pavlova but hey its a party, so why not? Something small and decadently chocolate is always good. hope your birthday party is swell ;)

    joey
     
  5. durangojo

    durangojo

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    Coupla more ideas. one of the best things i have ever eaten in my life was fresh smoked oysters from tomales bay.
    Continuing in the fresh seafood vein,a cerviche either as appetizer, or a starter. scallops somehow, someway as a part of a salad course or as a starter maybe.
    Taking the main in a totally different direction from your lovely lamb but taking advantage of all the great seafood that surrounds you, a Paella covers a lot of ground. obviously all the seafood possibilities that i mentioned before as apps and starters would not be necessary.....a great salad(bring on the Caesar!)and some great bread sings home run to me.....yes, you are so right when you say there are just TOO many choices, TOO many ways to go.....i tend to go simple and it usually changes 10 times before i decide on a final menu, and i always end up adding 'little things' at the last minute.....usually while doing the shopping! ;)

    joey
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  6. natpag

    natpag

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    All these ideas sound so good, it's hard to decide. It will be an informal sit down dinner. I think sticking to seafood is a great plan. Everyone who is coming just loves Halibut, which is very easy to get, as well as prawns.

    Thinking a lovely Spinach Salad, with toasted Almonds, Fresh Strawberries, Feta Cheese a little Red Onion and Balsamic

    For the Halibut I do a great Herb and Garlic Crusted Grilled Halibut paired with Asparagus with Hollandaise, and New Baby Potatoes lightly seasoned with Salt and Pepper, simple taste and so good.

    I think I will definetaly go with the Stuffed Mushrooms, easy to do and can do them ahead of time.
     
  7. durangojo

    durangojo

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    +++ on the halibut choice....i am envious of your environs. A few years back i was cheffing on a private yacht and we spent three glorious weeks cruising in the san juan and gulf islands...just breathtaking!..
    A few more things rolling around my gray matter concerning your lovely dinner.....perhaps a sauce maltaise(blood orange hollandaise) to up your game a bit for the asparagus and really scream spring! i would also nix the red onion in the spinach salad....they just have such staying power no matter how thinly you slice them...you don't need them in that beautiful salad anyway imo.
    For do ahead appetizers gruyere gougeres are so simple and easy. you can make and freeze them, then bake off just before serving or you can make, bake, freeze, then reheat just before serving.
    that's all i got....you still sticking with the pavlova for dessert?
    all the best,
    joey
     
  8. natpag

    natpag

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    Love the idea for the Blood Orange Hollandaise, would just add that little extra to it. Yes I have my hear set on the Pavlova. I thought I might keep the appetizers more simple, something that gets you wanting to more.... just not sure what that is yet.
     
  9. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    But they're so yummy :(  I never eat the red onions in my salad, but I like the color and aroma that they add to my salads, is that strange lol?  To get the sting out of the red onion toss it with some salt and lemon juice first.
     
  10. natpag

    natpag

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    thanks for the tip on the red onion,, I didn't know that. But that is how you learn, by listening to each other and learning from others who have more experience and have been at it a lot longer than I.
     
  11. teamfat

    teamfat

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    You can also blanch onion slices for 30 - 45 seconds to get some of the harshness out of them and not lose the crisp crunch.