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Aug 20, 2006 12:51 AM

What can I add to this menu that won't make my dinner party unbearably hot?

I'm having a group over for dinner tomorrow night, and had a full summery-menu all planned out, but the weather's starting to get humid again in NY, and my menu involved some last-minute broiling--shrimp skewers. My kitchen is my dining room, and I don't want to make all my guests sweat. Here is what I will definitely serve:

Roasted zucchini marinated in olive oil, vinegar, mint, and anchovy
Prosciutto with broiled figs and almonds
Roasted beet salad with haloumi cheese
Pasta with tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella
Individual peach galettes with whipped cream

I can do all the roasting/baking ahead of time and serve the food at room temperature, so I'm not worried about the appetizers. One person is a seafood-eating vegetarian, but she doesn't care if she has to eat around meat. Is there any main dish I can make that I won't have to worry about keeping hot, that will go with my summery Mediterranean menu?

Thanks a lot!

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  1. Shrimp with bay leaves and very large chunks of garlic. Heat the olive oil with the garlic and bay leaves (scatter a few around) until the garlic is cooked. Add the shrimp and cook through. This can be served hot, warm or even room temp. It is best with some bread to sop up the goop, though. It's based on a Spanish tapas dish.

    1. I know frittata is more a brunch item, but it could work as a main course for a light dinner. It's another item you can make in advance and served room temp. It would be great with some simply dressed arugula on the side.

      Another though is a poached salmon, which is also great at room temp. It can be served simply with some lemon wedges and dill yogurt on the side.

      Have a great party!

      1 Reply
      1. re: anna

        First of all your menu sounds great. Second, why not just rework the shrimp into a room temperature dish. Cook ahead, platter up and bring out about 30 minutes before you need it.

        What about cookig the shrimp with a tomato glaze of pureed sun dried tomatoes, ginger, smoked paprika, orange juice, roasted garlic and fresh picked marjoram. Drizzle with spicy olive oil such as a hot weather French one.

        Please mail me the left overs.

      2. I'm skip the pasta and make the tomato tart from the martha stewart living site - gorgeous and delicious

        1. Gazpacho with poached shrimp.

          I've noticed variations on this theme at many restaurants this summer.

          1. Thanks for all the suggestions! I went with oakjoan's idea, and the shrimp were a big hit. Good thing I decided to go for room temperature food, as 3/5 of the party were over 40 minutes late.