Cooking for the in-laws--need help
- IndyGirl Jul 30, 2008 08:22 AM
Hoping you can give me some good ideas here. I need to make a vegetarian meal Friday night for my mother and father in law. FIL does not like squash, and both of them are rather health-conscious. Any ideas? I like to make fancy stuff when we have them over because they appreciate that sort of thing.
I wanted to make ratatouille, but then remember FIL's squash aversion.
I thought about homemade ravioli, and that's still not out of the question, but I wanted some other ideas.
Oh, and another thing--I want to make some kind of fabulous ice cream for dessert. FIL loves ice cream. Nothing weird--he doesn't like weird--just fabulous.
Hors d'oeuvres: Cilantro corncakes with chipotle-yogurt sauce; sauteed morels on crostini with goat cheese
Main: Vegetable paella
Sides: Asparagus flan; stuffed tomatoes with sherry vinegared rice
Dessert: Dulce de leche ice cream
If you want to take a little easier on yourself, I might sub roasted elotes for the corncakes and serve a simple torta of either potatoes, cheese or even leftover pasta drizzled with excellent olive oil and peppadews instead of the stuffed tomatoes. Typically I find pasta a rather pedestrian main.
Take a basic corn cake recipe, though make sure you leave in some whole kernels for textural variety, and add some diced red onion, perhaps a little jalapeno or diced red bell, cayenne, ancho (or aleppo) powder and chopped cilantro. The cilantro flavor will weaken with heat, so garnish with extra cilantro punctuate the flavor. I like heat, so I would top with the chipotle sauce, but an avocado cream would be lovely as well.
Stuff tomatoes with spinach,onions, bread crumbs, mushrooms, a little cheese, and herbs of choice, bake.
Stuff portebellos with chopped veggies, herbs, and some cheese, bakd.
Make a pasta primavera.
Mushroom pate, fritta, quiche
Grill portebellos like a steak and put a mango salsa over them.
Slice cauliflower into "steaks" rub with herbs and olive oil and roast.
Grill fruit kebabs and veggie kebabs.
Mushroom ragout over polenta (either soft or cutouts fried a bit)
Vegetarian tempura (too oily?)
A cold plate with a beefsteak tomato stuffed with orzo salad, deviled eggs with wasabi, watermelon chunks and feta wrapped up in proscuitto on a toothpick, a baby fricco folded like a taco shell and filled with guacamole
OK. So far, I am definitely making the following:
Cilantro corn cakes with chipotle cream sauce (or some variation on that--I'll make something up that day)
(they are light eaters, so only one per person)
maybe a second SMALL light appetizer--they are light eaters in general
Vegetable paella (Mark Bittman, maybe? He has a mushroom one that looks good)--does anyone have a tried and true vegetarian paella recipe?
maybe a side of roasted/broiled tomatoes stuffed with couscous, green onions, feta? or chives instead of green onions--I have fresh ones in my garden..
Dulce de leche ice cream
How does all of this sound to you guys?
I am characteristically wary of most Bittman recipes, but that does look good. Especially with the addition of booze! My only difference, though, is I like the added crunch of peppers or haricots verts. If you have some bells left over from the corncakes, you might consider throwing them into the paella as well. Mushrooms also do well in the paella.
Reports online seem to be resoundingly positive, so I guess I feel safe trying it. I've never made paella--not proper paella, so I plan tohave everything prepped by about noon on Friday so I can spend the afternoon being very careful not to mess anything up in that paella.
Your note on texture is well taken. I'll think about that some.