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I'm drawing a blank on completing this dinner...

I'm excited because we're having friends over who love food. I've wanted to make gougeres forever so that's where I started the planning. I've decided to do Coquilles St Jacques (aka scallops au gratin), gougered, green vegetables to be determined when I see what looks good that day. For appetizers, I'm doing shrimp wrapped in bacon w/ her special spicy jalapeno jelly because she loved the idea when I was telling her about it. So, where I'm stuck is:

1) I need one more thing to serve with dinner. She made pasta and cheese for kids when she had us over and I have the feeling her son is picky. So, I need one kid friendly dish. I was thinking possibly meatballs stuffed w/ gravy and lingonberry sauce that DQ and MMRuth worked on. It doesn't quite go but would work with gougeres. Any other easy kid friendly ideas?

2) Dessert. This is my favorite thing to make but they love cheese so I think I'll do a cheese platter and something small on the side. I have a ton of ideas but nothing is popping out at me. Do you have anything that would go w/ a fruit and cheese platter?

3) Wine pairings. I'm not a huge white wine fan, don't like chardonnay for the most part but it seems to fit with the menu. Anything? I can go for my stand bys but would love to venture out. Thanks!

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  1. for dessert, how about individual fruit tarts with blackberries. That will be a nice counterpoint to the sharpness of the cheese. Serve with sauternes (and maybe use a bit in the tarts as well).

    For the wine, how about an un-oaked chardonnay or a dry reisling?

    And for the kid, maybe a call to her will help spell out how picky he really is. When I was a kid, I loved simple steamed shrimp, and maybe he does, too. That and some buttered noodles may be all you need.

    1. Hi! Sounds very delicious!

      1. Not sure I can help you here--only to say I agree you should keep it simple/basic so there's something "less adult" on the table. ;)

      2. Mine, too...I keep coming back to a really nice brownie. Fruit and chocolate are complementary. I love the Ghirardelli recipe (on the sweet ground chocolate can) with raspberries or strawberries (with or without white chocolate chips) added in--about 1/4 cup of each.

      3. I was going to say Sauvignon Blanc. Here's a handy pairing guide. Maybe one of these options will strike you:
      http://www.novusvinum.com/pairings/fi...

      Have a nice dinner!

      1. 1.)How are you serving the scallops? Are you plating in the kitchen, or putting it all on table family style? Are the geen vegetables going on the main plate, or served as a separate course?

        2.) How about tiny brownie bites. I make the triple choc. brownie recpie from epi, glaze the top w/ ganache, refridgereate it so it stays fudgey, and then cut it into very small squares (maybe 3/4 inch). Decorate the top w/ a small twist of orange rind (or whatever suits your fancy) They are decadent, but not as filling as a big dessert if you can control yourself quantity-wise.

        3) I'm not much of a "pairings" person, but my two favorite whites right now are Kim Crawford Sauvingnon Blanc(NZ) and Montinore Gerwerztraminer(Oregan).

        6 Replies
        1. re: danna

          I'll keep an eye out for Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc--thanks for the suggestion. I wanted something on the dry side so that might work. I hadn't thought of a gerwerztraminer (that's a hard word to type out) but that might work well for dessert. Thanks!

          I haven't tried the triple chocolate brownies from epicurious but am going to check it out now! Sounds amazingly decadent.

          1. re: chowser

            Kim Crawford Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are two of my regular go-tos for dry, unoaked whites.

            1. re: chowser

              btw, the gerwerz is not sweet...I'm not so sure I'd do it with dessert...but then again, I'm no expert.

            2. re: danna

              Okay, there are two triple chocolate fudge brownie recipes from Gourmet on the epi site but neither have chocolate ganache. Are you talking about one of these:

              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              1. re: chowser

                funny, those appear to be the same, just double in one instance. but, YES! that's my recipe, clipped a long time ago. You're on your own with the ganache...just melt some choc and pour in enough cream and/or butter to make it pour and then reset.

              2. re: danna

                Thanks for the Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc suggestion, Danna and LindaWhit. We tried it last night and enjoyed it. The screwtop threw me at first, in trying to open it because I had tried the foil cutter and cut the top instead before seeing the ridges. But, I think it'll be perfect. It's a little stronger than other sauvignon blancs I've had but I like the pear taste.

              3. Do you gratinee your Coquilles with cheese? If so, perhaps gougeres with cheese would be too much. A wonderful French bread is always good, especially if you're having even more cheese for afters.

                This may sound daft -- but you could save leftovers from your earlier meals of the week, and then offer the kid a "menu" and let him choose... "Billy, would you prefer Spaghetti Bolognese, Meatloaf, Chili, or Chicken Vindaloo?" :D

                1. Desert, this is kid and adult friendly. I love it because it has some sugar for the sweet tooth, brownie for kids and fresh fruit. A little alcohol in the sauce makes it flavorful and the sauce you can split so some for kids and some for adults.

                  Brownie Parfaits with fresh fruit.

                  Brownies: About 2 cups of brownies, I break up, not sliced or crumbled but just lightly broken up. I make a standard cake brownie, your own recipe, boxed or store bought. I have a simple plain recipe I use normally, but it depends what I am using it for so it always changes.

                  Cream: 1 1/2 cups cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup sour cream

                  Fruit: 1 1/2 cups raspberry preserves, 1 teaspoon orange juice, 2 teaspoons grand manier (no alcohol for the kiddies)

                  Garnish, a fresh orange slice, raspberries and a chocolate curl or grated chocolate.

                  Make the brownies and set aside. Mix the cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and sour cream and chill. Then heat up the raspberry preserves in two bowls (Micro is fine for this, OJ for the kids and OJ and grand manier for the adults.

                  Now the parfait. I serve in large wine glasses or small glass bowls, any glass works great. Brownie, cream, fruit, brownie, cream, fruit, etc. Top with the cream and fresh raspberries for a garnish and a sliver of chocolate.
                  ------------------------

                  Kid friendly, adults love, easy but very elegant

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: kchurchill5

                    yum- i love making parfaits like these. pretty and tasty.. and i'm not usually one for chocolate

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      I like chocolate but in limits. With the fruit and cream it makes it much lighter. Most kids love it, Just mention brownies, as much as adults do I think. And pretty I did my in champagne flutes once. Too thin, but was pretty. Even small glass bowls work or even a whole glass bowl as a trifel.

                      1. re: kchurchill5

                        I like putting the trifle in martini glasses... something about a martini glass..

                        1. re: cheesecake17

                          Very pretty as well, besides nothing wrong with any kind of martini. I had a chocolate martini with a chocolate mint ice stick which was very interesting once. Neat concept. It had a mint foam on the top. Pretty good whatever it was.