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Advice need for dinner party w/Kosher & Non Kosher guests

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We're hosting a dinner party with 5 other couples this Saturday night. 2 couples keep kosher (so mixing of meat and dairy).

I really wanted to serve some panini sandwiches for appetizers, but am stuck w/the main course.

Should I forego the panini idea and any dairy altogether and stick to a pasta dish or what?

plus I really don't like to eat or better yet serve non dairy dessert! not my cup of tea.

any menu ideas?

please advise.
thanks so much

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  1. You could certainly do an all-dairy meal - do mozzarella and tomato panini for an app, or maybe bruschetta, and then do pasta or fish for a main course, and that way you could have a dairy dessert.

    1. yes, all dairy is the way to go, as if the kosher guests are really kosher the meat wouldn't necessarily meet their standards anyway (unless you specifically bought kosher meats from a kosher butcher with a heksher). dairy with fish is the way to go.

      1. Make the artic char with fennel from epicurious site. Then you are free to use all the dairy you wish. (You'll have to double the recipe.) This is delicious, can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature.

        3 Replies
        1. re: serious

          Is char kosher? Not all fish is Kosher. If you decide to do meat, there are lots of desserts that are not dairy. If it calls for milk, substitute with a non dairy milk. I do it all the time and no one knows the difference, even when I use margerine instead of butter.

          1. re: paprkutr

            Aren't all finny fish Kosher? Probably best to check I guess.

            1. re: paprkutr

              Yes, artic char is kosher. (I keep kosher at home.) Stay away from lobster, shrimp, clams, scallops (and any other shell fish), catfish, puffers, swordfish (ok by some standards, but not by others) and shark. You'll be fine with most anything else. Salmon is generally best for a group that large. And a kosher visitor will likely be more comfortable with a dairy (non-meat meal). If you buy a pre-made baked dessert, make sure it has no lard.

          2. I agree with the consensus here. Dairy is the way to go. I assume that your friends aren't super-strict Kosher, since they will eat food prepared in a non-Kosher kitchen, but many of the restrictions center on meat, and it's easier just to avoid it. When I was in a college (Brandeis) the students who kept Kosher would often look for Kosher or vegetarian roommates, since they could share a kitchen with a vegetarian without too much hassle.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jlafler

              I agree dairy with a nice piece of fish is the way to go - that way dairy dessert options would be available -

            2. Try to find out more about your kosher guests. I just had some kosher friends tell us they will eat kosher meat that has been cooked on our (non-kosher) grill and eat off our equally non-kosher dishes. Other friends will eat only dairy in our house and others won't eat at all. There are just too many variations to make assumptions.