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Jan 22, 2009 01:15 PM

Dinner Party Menu Help

Here's the plan:

crown pork roast
fennel custard (one per guest - thank you Batali)
winter dark greens (a braise-y mess of goodness)

lemon curd tarts with lavender whipped cream
or winter spiced chocolate cakes (soft inside) with a dollop of frozen honey mousse

Here are the questions:
1. should i add roasted parm/rosemary potatoes or is it too much?
2. which dessert -- the cakes have a tinge of bite - ginger, cardamom, white pepper..

any in put would be simply divine.

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  1. Roasted potatoes with rosemary ALWAYS get eaten, no matter how much other food there is..

    I like the idea of the lemon tarts. I love lemon curd.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jaykayen

      Ditto - roasted rosemary potatoes are great with crown roast of pork; and I agree that lemon tarts would be nice. I think I would omit the whipped cream and just put the lemon tarts back under the broiler to brown a bit and sift powdered sugar over the top. Maybe decorate with a few buds of lavender.

      1. re: jaykayen

        LOL my thoughts exactly... especially when I saw the question... would roasted potatoes be too much? There's always room for P-O-T-A-T-Os

        1. re: janetms383

          these responses made me giggle. who the hell don't luv a potater? love the idea, sarah, for the tart. maybe a little demerara sugar and a quick blow of the torch (which i have not used yet - this is my chance!!) - thanks!

      2. If you are putting a pilaf in the center of the crown roast (better to soak up the delicious flavors), then I would say the potatoes are starchy overkill. If not, go for it.

        The cakes sound amazing and would add another layer of textural contrast against the bite of the greens, the softness of the custard and the meatiness of the pork. Moreover their spicing sounds very intriguing after a heavy meal.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JungMann

          The last crown roast of pork I did, didn't have much space in the middle for pilaf. Definitely still would suggest potatoes.

        2. Another vote for potatoes and the lemon tarts (I want whip cream on mine, please)
          I have never had fennel custard-sounds really good. In fact I googled to see a picture!
          We eat our fennel as a kind of dressed salad-sort of.

          1. Definitely potatoes, but done up a different way - too many strong seasonings there. I think you want people to remember the custards.

            Lemon dessert gets my vote.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pepper_mil

              The fennel custards are pretty delicate. - thanks pepper mil. So - maybe potatoes with just a simple crust of salt, pepper, olive oil - and a little thyme or parsley for color. plus, I'm considering accompanying the pork with a dribble of light cream sauce made with mustard & tarragon, so potatoes with flavors more subtle than rosemary/parm is probably a better idea. Plus, i've got the winter greens, which will be assertive.

              to boccone dolce - i would eat fennel like an apple if i could. i love it raw in salads, braised, roasted, grilled... this custard is from Mario Batali's Molto Italiano book. also has a chestnut custard recipe and one for cardoon custard.

              1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                my friend makes wonderful roasted potatoes by peeling, drying very well, cut in medium cubes and shake in a bag with 1/2 flour, 1/2 grated parmesan (not shredded). In a baking dish, you melt 1 stick margarine (not butter) and put in a single layer. You can roast at any temperature depending on what else you're cooking. As they start to brown, turn with a spatula. Keep roasting until golden and a nice crust has developed... hmmmm