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Sep 3, 2009 06:50 AM

Upscale Comfort Food

I'm trying to develop a menu for an upcoming party. The theme is upscale comfort food. I'm trying to do something different and innovative. For example, while lobster mac and cheese is good - it's been done before. I'm looking for unique and show stopping. One idea that was bounced around was spaghetti and meatballs - lobster meatballs with squid ink pasta.

This party is usually about 4-6 courses, the main course being a duo plate of meat and seafood as to satisfy meat lovers and vegetarians, or people that want to eat both. The party is too big and the time period is too short to serve different meals.

I'd appreciate any suggestions to get my brain on a roll :)

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  1. check out my "pretty" shephard's pie - this could work. I did it as a joke because of something my son said to me once. Ok, sorry can't find the pic bu this link might work:

    1. how about a potato gratin with wild mushrooms and black truffle?

      1. For example, while lobster mac and cheese is good - it's been done before.
        I don't know if any of these are fancy enough for your thoughts, but they are served in a friend's very upscale restaurant with many compliments from the patrons...

        Lobster or shrimp Mashed Potatoes
        Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
        Tuna Meatballs with Spaghetti

        The Tuna meatballs sell out every time he offers it as a special.

        5 Replies
        1. re: fourunder

          The tuna meatballs sounds great! Did they have a sauce with them?

          1. re: krisrishere


            The tuna meatballs are cooked through in tomato/ guess is about somewhere between 10-20 minutes. You'll have to experiment with the size of the meatball you make to see what cooking time is best. He prepares and serves the dish exactly as regular meat meatballs with just enough binding ingredients to hold the meatballs together.

              1. re: krisrishere


                I just asked a friend who works in the restaurant I mentioned above. He says they use the belly portion of the tuna and the meatballs are made exactly with the same seasonings as his regular veal and pork meatballs....also, they form them into a slightly flat shape and cook them on a greased sheet pan in the oven first....and then the tuna meatballs are warmed in the sauce before serving. Sorry, but he does not know the temperature set for the oven cooking.

                Since you live in the South, I would suggest you consider serving Shrimp and Grits or Mixed Sea Foods over Polenta. On another recent thread about shrimp ideas, I mentioned one of my favorite restaurants in Charleston serves a dish called Maverick Grits...which won a national best recipe award from a magazine years back.

                You can check out this thread for ideas:


                1. re: fourunder

                  The meatballs sound fantastic. A play on shrimp and grits is definitely on my idea list. Thanks again!

        2. I make an upscale seafood lasagna that is always a big hit. Shrimp, lump crab, fontina with the mozz along with provolone and parmesan reg. Ricotta with spinach...all layered with Bechamel.

          7 Replies
            1. re: Janet from Richmond

              I would think the shrimp and crab would be painfully overcooked by the time all the other ingredients were hot and melted. No?

              1. re: c oliver

                I put the shrimp (large) in raw. The crab holds up fine. Neither get overcooked. However, I cannot stand reheated seafood, especially shellfish, so whatever is left either Dh eats or it gets chucked. I make it with three layers of filling and 4 layers of noodles. I put the raw shrimp in the middle layer and the lump crab in the top and bottom layers.

              2. re: Janet from Richmond

                That sounds great, but it would be really hard to do for 200 and not overcook it. Crab is also a no-go..too many allergies.

                I like the lasagna idea though!

                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                    could you share your recipe for the seafood lasagne?

                  2. in columbus ohio i was served "steak in a bowl." it included sliced fillet, truffles, and foie gras, in a reduced sauce of red wine and veal stock. it had the very homey--almost homely--look of a stew, but gracious...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: silverhawk

                      That sounds sooooo wonderful. "Upscale" indeed.