Fall Menus for Dinner with Friends
I have three small dinner parties in the month of November. I'd love some suggestions for fall menus that people can leisurely enjoy over several hours of good conversation and plenty of wine. I'm up in Canada and its already snowy where I am so my ideas so far are sort of along the lines of warm and hearty. I'm talking make-your-mouth-water-just-thinking-about-it food here. Is this too broad a topic? Maybe broad is good. Get creative here! Or let me know your best dinner party menu so I can snag it and impress my friends too!
This past weekend my Gourmet Club dinner was as follows: All of the recipes were taken from Waldy Malouf's Hudson River Valley Cookbook. Three Celery Soup, Roasted fresh Ham with red Cabbage and Apples (divine) Mushroom and Onion Gratins (needed a bunch of fresh thyme to bring up some flavor) Cabernet Cranberry Sauce (from Chowhound) Green Salad with Mustard Herb Vinaigette (used a green pepper corn dijon mustard) Miniature Pumpkin Souffles. Great dinner!
A few loose ideas (not designed as one menu) for comforting and mouth-watering dinner party fare:
Prunes stuffed w/ goat cheese and almond wrapped in bacon
Cream of mushroom or cauliflower soup w/ finely shredded gruyere melted in it; garnished w/ hickory-smoked bacon bits and parsley
Butternut squash risotto or ravioli w/ brown butter & sage
Gratin of fennel and gruyere
Any classic french stewed dish like cassoulet, coq au vin, beef burgundy
Alsatian chicken (per Balthazar cookbook) w/ spaetzle or egg noodles
Osso buco w/ creamy polenta
Pears poached in red wine w/ nutmeg & vanilla-tainted whipped cream or mascarpone cheese
Maple and walnut tart
re: Carb Lover
Here are some salad/side dish ideas:
Warm spinach salad w/ apples and bacon dressing (can you tell my weakness is bacon?)
Radicchio & butter lettuce w/ shaved parmesan & pancetta dressed w/ balsamic vinaigrette
Spinach salad w/ pears, gorgonzola, dried cherries, and walnuts
Braised whole leek w/ anchovy dressing
Sauteed squash "ribbons" w/ garlic, dill, lemon
Baked whole cauliflower w/ caramelized onions
Cauliflower mash w/ gruyere
As soon as it gets cool out, I have to make the following: sauerbraten, goulash , barbq pot roast (usually with brisket) and stroganoff. And lots and lots of soup, at least one per week. That takes me thru to Thanksgiving, after that it's all holiday stuff.
As soon as the temperature drops, I have to make the following: Sauerbraten, goulash, Bbq pot roast(I make with brisket) and stroganoff. All the meats for these seem to go on sale about this time of year. Also I start making at least one soup per week, mostly dried bean, lentil, split pea, etc . Then after a month or so, it's time for the holidays and all the traditional stuff.