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Three course meals suggestions

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Its getting to be that time of year again, Mother's Day approaches and I am going to cook for my mom and the family again (6 to 8) people. And I'm turning to the good people of Chowhound for help.

I am not a great cook, but decent. I do not have great skills or fanastic technique. I would say that I'm pretty average in the kitchen. That being said, I do not mind stretching a bit.

I plan to do a three course meal; so I am soliciting recipes and/or menus. Alcohol is not a factor, meaning I cook with it frequently, I just never developed a taste for it, same deal with my Mom. There are no real dietary restrictions, we are Jewish but do not keep kosher. (Bacon is delicious). She is not a huge red meat fan but does like lamb; so if anybody knows something in that area I think it would go over well. Other than that go wild.

Thanks for your help, and if I use anything I get from here I write up a little note to tell you how it went.


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  1. Fresh garden salad with a sour cream/horse radish/ lemon dressing.
    Six or eight medium shrimp, peeled, deveigned, with tales on, arrange them with tails up in a circle, in shallow individual size baking dishes (that you can serve it in) baked in the oven with a bit of butter, white wine, some herbs and sprinkled with bread crumbs. Served with slices from a real nice loaf of fresh artisan bread, oven roasted red potatoes and steamed kale.
    Tapioca pudding topped with whipped cream and freshly ground nutmeg.
    Wine - gewurztraminer or pinot grigio

    1. Well I'll offer a suggestion for a lamb main course. These rosemary and garlic lamb chops are simple (no complicated techniques or wild ingredients) yet delicious. They were featured as part of a menu so that might give you ideas for other courses. Otherwise maybe tailor the other courses to mom's preferences. I always like potatoes of some sort with this lamb, especially given the garlic and rosemary, but that's just me.


      1. Well, since she likes lamb, a roasted boneless leg of lamb is about the easiest thing in the world. I crush up some garlic, add some salt and olive oil, rub it all over the lamb, and add a couple of sprigs of rosemary (or you can add some dried rosemary in with the garlic), and wrap it in plastic wrap for a few hours or over night. Then roast it (various time/temperature recs out there). Throw some quartered potatoes in with it 40 minutes before it comes out of the oven. To go with the spring theme, how about a minted pea salad and strawberry shortcake for dessert?

        1. If you choose to do lamb, a traditional Spring food, (assuming you are in the Northern Hemisphere) continue the seasonal idea by accompanying it with asparagus and a rhubarb dessert. Steamed asparagus marinated in a lemon juice "vinaigrette", served at room, temp or a little chilled, is a treat. There are zillions of rhubarb recipes on this board and at www.rhubarbinfo.com.

          1 Reply
          1. re: greygarious

            What a wonderful combination! This sounds like spring to me. If for some reason she doesn't like rhubarb (hard for me to understand but . . . ) do something with strawberries instead, like strawberry shortcakes.

          2. Thanks for the ideas folks.

            Last mothers Day I went with sweet (caster sugar) and sour (balsamic vinegar) lamb chops, Roasted asparagus and rice wirth minced onion boiled in vegetable stock. And for desert I made a chocolated custardy/ mousse thing. That was a hit I swear. It really is quite good and very simple.

            I have to say thanks to the person that suggeasted rhubarb. I love that and I didn't even consider it...so thanks.

            Also the epicurious stuff looks interesting as well so thank you too.

            1. Here's a lovely lamb-based menu: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/men... except personally, I'd substitute as Pear Galette for the Lemon Tart.

              If you're open to other mains, such as fish or chicken, I'd consider:
              Bouillaibaisse or Cioppino (both simple and tasty, and seem more difficult and impressive than they are
              )Roast Chicken (Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken is easy and wonderful)
              Chicken Marbella

              Si'm sure mom will love anything and everything!

              1. I love doing a roast leg of lamb, so simple and versatile. Usually I use rosemary, garlic & parsley, but I like the idea of using mint and lemon, seems more spring-like. A rack is always elegant, and simple to prepare.

                And asparagus are wonderful right now. I love to simply roast them. Any roasted potatoes, rice pilaf or couscous would go well. I would round out the meal with some roasted tomatoes & heads of garlic, black olive relish & pita bread.

                Other ideas for mains can be a simple poached filet of salmon or halibut. Artichokes, spring greens and radishes are at their peaks right now for a pretty sautee.

                I also like the idea of creme brulees with raspberries for dessert. Or Lemon curd with fresh berries, and topped with some fresh sweet cream and crushed ginger cookies and mint sprigs for dessert. I would go with light and flavorful.