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First course for cioppino?

jeveuxtemanger Apr 16, 2007 01:02 PM

If a fabulously rich and flavorful, red wine-enriched cioppino is your main course, what would you serve as a first course for a casual (yet hopefully somewhat elegant) dinner party?

  1. hotoynoodle Apr 16, 2007 01:22 PM

    asparagus with hard-cooked egg shredded on top
    garlic flans
    stuffed mushroom caps
    simple plate of olives, nuts, artichoke hearts and a few slivers of prosciutto
    very small portion of angel hair pasta finished with lots of lemon and slivered mint
    fried stuffed olives
    endive spears with couscous salad
    roasted yellow peppers with parsley, almonds and preserved lemon

    1. deliciousnyc Apr 16, 2007 02:12 PM

      we make this every year as part of our christmas eve fishes dinner and usually its preceded by a very simple spaghetti aglio e olio but with added anchovies into the pan....also - make sure to make extra cioppino - the leftovers are amazing over some pasta....

      1. c
        cocktailhour Apr 16, 2007 02:15 PM

        fennel tart.

        1. farmersdaughter Apr 16, 2007 03:26 PM

          Something earthy but not too heavy, perhaps mushroom crostini?

          1. e
            emilief Apr 16, 2007 03:34 PM

            Ceasar salad.

            1. Sam Fujisaka Apr 16, 2007 03:54 PM

              Very light red onion, pear and arugula salad with a bit of red wine vinegar-oil-salt-pepper-touch of honey dressing. Dress the feather cut onions ahead of time; add pears and arugula immediately prior to serving. Light and simple is key because of the heavy complexity of the cioppino.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                susancinsf Apr 17, 2007 09:41 AM

                This is basically what I generally do. I might add a bit of Humboldt Fog cheese (crumbled) if the group are big eaters....

                1. re: susancinsf
                  Sam Fujisaka Apr 17, 2007 10:08 AM

                  Actually, right! I forgot some shavings of Parm-Reg or Pecorino.

              2. waver Apr 16, 2007 08:18 PM

                Thinly sliced fennel and celery with orange segments and herbs. Use the leftover orange juice in the vinagrette.

                1. TonyO Apr 16, 2007 08:21 PM

                  Baby Arugula dressed with olive oil, sea salt, and shaved parmesan. Need to save room for the main event !

                  1. m
                    mpalmer6c Apr 16, 2007 10:58 PM

                    Sourdough french bread. Nothing more.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mpalmer6c
                      Emme Apr 16, 2007 11:53 PM

                      This sounds good.

                      Otherwise, perhaps a few little bruschetta rounds.

                      Or, an artichoke heart and hearts of palm salad with a light vinegarette.

                    2. r
                      ricepad Apr 17, 2007 10:09 AM

                      I like the previously mentioned Caesar salad and sourdough, but I'm having a hard time imagining a somewhat elegant dinner party that features cioppino. Every time I've had cioppino, it's been a 'roll up your sleeves and get messy' affair. That's part of the fun!

                      1. n
                        normalheightsfoodie Apr 17, 2007 10:12 AM

                        I believe in this case, less is more. The highlight is the cioppino.
                        I would say a salad.

                        The Pear and Fennel sounds good. You will already have a fish based dinner, Caeser would be repetitive.

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