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Can anyone help me with a side dish?

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Hi,

I'm having a dinner party in a few weeks and I've got my main course all worked out. It's a Spicy Beef Tenderloin recipe from the Food Network (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ty...). I've made it before and it is absolutely delicious and it holds well once cooked, so good for a dinner party. When I've made it before, it was for an afternoon/casual BBQ where the sides were potato salad, fruit, etc. I need to find something to elevate it to dinner party status -- this will be a fairly fancy event. The recipe was featured on an episode titled "Mexican Fiesta" so that is what is stumping me. I'm planning to grill some vegetables, but I'm totally at a loss on a starch -- things I've considered are Baked Cheese Grits, Potatoes Gratin and Risotto. My additional challenge is that two of my guests are vegetarian, so the Risotto seems like a good fit for them, but doesn't seem like it "goes" with jalapeno spiced beef. Any suggestions out there?

Thanks!

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  1. Instead of risotto how about a Mexican rice? Tomatoes, chilies, cilantro, etc. Use Mexican seasonings on the roasted vegetables, or vegetable stuffed chilies, and serve a tossed green salad with avocado slices.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      Or try this recipe, it is very good.
      http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/zare...

    2. In keeping with the Mexican theme, what about some black beans? I do diced onions, jalapenos and red peppers and sautee for a bit, then add black beans to the mix and season with salt and pepper. It's really easy and filling and good! You can top it with some chopped avocado before serving.

      1. Or try a savory bread pudding; maybe with corn bread? Or an old southern favorite, spoonbread.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kleine mocha

          oh ya, a corn bread savory pudding!!!

        2. Israeli Cous Cous with grilled veggies is my favorite. I call it a pearl cous cous, not like your normal tiny granular looking stuff. It absorbs sauce so nicely, and the really makes grilled or roasted veggies shine. You can make it with chicken stock for additional flavor or add tomatoes, garlic and caramelized onions. Top with a dusting of Romano cheese and scallions.

          1. How about Mexican Rice stuffed Peppers? That would work well for the vegans in the group, as well as the rest of the guests.

            1. how about a cassava rosti with Mexican spices

              1. Nopalitos. They are good from the can with a little butter

                1. Here is my favorite recipe for sweet corn cake. It would be a perfect go-with item for a Mexican fiesta. I would make it today to go with chili if I weren't feeling quite so lazy.
                  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-co...

                  By the way, I'd like to try the recipe you posted. I love Tyler Florence and the recipe sounds not only delicious, but easy--what a winning combo! Have a great party!

                  1. I'd toss together some canned black beans with some fresh (or frozen) corn, red pepper, onion, and some condiments to give it zing (maybe some onion relish for flavor).

                    For the vegetarian attendees, why not steam up a quick batch of rice to go with this? You can garnish this amalgam with cubed avocado -- it's cliche but very good nonetheless -- or perhaps some cubed, browned root veggies if you want to be more adventurous.

                    1. what about some roasted quartered red potatoes with some mexican seasoning (chili pwd & cumin). who can resist steak and pot.? I make one where I hit it with crumbled blue cheese and fresh chives just as they come out - but that might not goes as well with your steak.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lexpatti

                        I like this idea, maybe throw in some roasted peppers, carmelized onions, cotija or queso fresco? If you leave out the cheese, possibly a light vinagrette and it's almost like a mexican inspired hot potato salad?

                      2. Make a quinoa pilaf with some beans and peppers. Quinoa is a grain (or is it a grass) native to the new world. It's very tasty, and very much in line with your Mexican theme.

                        1. Thanks so much for all the great ideas. I'm thinking of going with a "green rice." I also like the potato idea. You guys are the best!

                          1. If your mind isn't totally made up, corn pudding with chipotle chilis might be nice.