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Need Menu Suggestions, Please!

c
ChrissyMc Jun 25, 2009 04:30 AM

I recently started my dream job as a cook in a private residence. My 'new family' is very easy-going, and always open to new foods. I make up the menus for the week, and they are always happy to let me decide. I am very lucky!
I have a million ideas in my head, and sometimes it's hard to narrow it down, which brings me to tonights dilemma. What to make for a side dish. I am making stuffed flounder. The stuffing will either crab or vegetable based, not breadcrumbs. I plan on a seafood gazpacho (shrimp), as a starter, and roasted asparagus as the vegetable. So...what else? I think I've been making too many rice dishes lately, pilafs and orzo. They aren't overly fond of potatoes but they are an option. I am drawing a blank here! Help!
Thank you.
Chrissy

  1. c
    ChrissyMc Jun 25, 2009 06:18 PM

    Thank you everyone for all your suggestions. I wasn't able to read all the ideas you gave me before i had to leave..I ran out of time! But I really loved all the suggestions, and will manage to add them in to next week's menus. When I got to work, I opened the vast cupboards in the pantry, closed my eyes and pointed. The closest thing I landed on was angelhair pasta. I made a cilantro pesto and they loved it1 Except for the 6 yr old who won't eat green things in his noodles, lol.
    Thanks again!
    Chrissy

    1. j
      jenhen2 Jun 25, 2009 12:53 PM

      I like summer succotash made with edemame, corn kernels, diced red bell peppers, onoins and garlic. I think it goes great with seafood!

      1. bermudagourmetgoddess Jun 25, 2009 12:47 PM

        I know you said they are not fond of potatoes but have to agree with kchurchill, a stach would go well

        Lemon Herb Warm Potato Salad
        2 lb new potatoes
        1/4 C chopped parsley
        1/4 C chopped Basil
        1 tbsp chopped chives
        Zest on one lemon
        Juice of one lemon
        1/4 C Olive Oil
        Salt and pepper to taste

        Wash the potatoes and cut the larger ones so that they all cook evenly. Fill sauce pan with water and place potatoes in cover until it comes to a boil. Once potatoes are fork tender (17-20 minutes) drain. While potatoes are cooking chop the herbs, zest and juice the lemon. Once the potatoes have cooled to room temperature add the zest and lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper, toss well, now add the herbs and toss again. Garnish with a couple of wedges of lemon.

        Serve room temperature

        OR

        “Grilled” Goat Cheese Crustini’s
        Stick bread, sliced and grilled
        4 oz of Goat Cheese of choice, room temp
        6 sun dried tomatoes chopped
        Basil oil, just a drizzle
        1 tsp of dried mixed herbs de provence
        Salt & pepper to taste

        Take stick bread and slice into 1/4 inch to 1/2 slices and grill over med heat; grill both side to a nice golden toasty brown, remove and place on a platter, drizzle with good olive oil. Place Goat cheese spread in the middle of the platter and let your guests spread on the goodness!

        1 Reply
        1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess
          kchurchill5 Jun 25, 2009 12:52 PM

          Love lemon potato salad with dill instead of basil, but I would eat either or. Both great flavor. Love the warm potatoes like that. It is a nice light side dish, nice idea.

        2. kchurchill5 Jun 25, 2009 11:58 AM

          Grilled mushroom bruschetta is easy and great. Sauteed mushrooms and shallots with a light sherry, then just topped on grilled bruschette spread with some fresh goat cheese. Easy delish.

          1. icey Jun 25, 2009 11:53 AM

            Chrissy, I am assuming that when you are talking about orzo, you are talking about the small tear shaped pasta (for lack of a better word). If that is the case, how about a REAL orzo salad. Orzo in Italian is barley, and it has a great chew which I would think would be nice with your meal and you can add in all sorts of cool summer veggies. Other than that I really love the suggestions for just some nice simple grilled bread.

            1. kchurchill5 Jun 25, 2009 11:45 AM

              I go three ways, since you already have veggie (asparagus), gazpacho, I would go for a light starch.

              I would do a simple grilled loaf of baguette or whatever on hand with a simple pesto and parm topping lightly grilled.

              Or I would go with a simple fresh lemon risotta or lemon orzo. I make orzo cooked in veggie broth with some lightly sauteed onions, lemon juice and lemon zest with a little parm. Lots of fresh herbs to make it like and summery with the fish. It is easy and not too heavy and compliments the fish nicely.

              1. JungMann Jun 25, 2009 11:42 AM

                I think the flounder served atop the roasted vegetable would be main and side enough, but if you want to gild the lily, how about a ring of thinly sliced yucca chips on the plate?

                1. l
                  laliz Jun 25, 2009 11:35 AM

                  a simple breadbasket; some sourdough and some good Italian rolls

                  1. nomadchowwoman Jun 25, 2009 09:23 AM

                    How about cous cous w/diced cucumbers and tomatoes, maybe some feta?

                    1. shaogo Jun 25, 2009 05:57 AM

                      The seafood app and entree, in summer, cry out for cucumbers (as mentioned above). I'd seed and slice the cukes with thinly sliced sweet onion, and sauce it with a dill vinaigrette. The idea of a lovely slaw is also cool.

                      If the side must be a starch, why not make garlic/asiago toasts or something like that? Finally, with seafood one can always resort to using little red potatoes with interesting seasoning.

                      1. bayoucook Jun 25, 2009 05:49 AM

                        Maybe a spinach/melon/feta or goat cheese salad, light and cool. Or a slaw like Fiona suggested. Congrats on your new job!

                        1. f
                          Fiona Jun 25, 2009 05:18 AM

                          Hi - I don't know where you ar so I don't know what kind of weather you are having - but generally I am thinking summer. How about something cool and light - jicama cole slaw (just sub jicama for cabbage in any recipe); sliced cucumbers and red onions marinated in oil and vinegar, sour cream or yogourt; tabuli with lots of finely chopped red peppers and cucumbers and herbs that would complement the stuffing in the fish.
                          Good luck and congratulations on the new job!

                          1. CreativeGuy4U Jun 25, 2009 05:02 AM

                            Potatoes O'Brien with a touch of maple syrup would be great.

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