Fall Dinner Party, Thoughts on Menu?
I'm planning a dinner party for 7 tomorrow night and am finalizing the plan and about to start the do ahead things. I'm a little iffy on the main dish, so any thoughts/suggestions welcome.
Roasted Beet salad with Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts
Butternut Squash Soup
Herbed Leg of Lamb*
Fennel & Potato Gratin
Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
Whiskey-soaked Chocolate Cake
Would you do anything different? The Lamb felt like fall to me, but is pricey and other options might be nice to consider. (Everyone coming loves meat.) CH'ers, help a girl out? If I end up sticking with the lamb, any good recipes, I'm not married to one yet.
I agree that it's a little heavy at the moment. I'd do a salad with pears, blue cheese and toasted nuts, as pears are super-seasonal at the moment. Also lamb says spring to me rather than autumn. For me, it has to be game at this time of year but I'm not sure how easily available it will be where you live. I'd do pheasant (cooked in cider with apples is good) or rabbit.
instead of leg, you may be able to get shoulder or shank for less. same goes for a pork shoulder or butt.
how about a fresh salad with lots of bitter greens, some nuts and maybe diced apple to start?
If you're sticking with lamb, maybe try out seven hour leg of lamb from Saveur- the beans can "help the meat stretch and pick up lovely lamby flavors. I like doing braises for company, since the timing is more forgiving.
(I did a variation of seven hour leg of lamb for a party a few years ago, before this recipe came out, and it was one of the best received dinners to date!)
On the side, I might do some steamed, lemony green beans to keep things on the lighter side. Or maybe brussel sprout hash (lighter on the butter if you want to keep thing lighter)?