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Need dairy side dish for Sheva Brachos dinner

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I was asked to make a rice/pasta accompaniment to flounder and stir fry vegies. No potatoes because the appetizer is a potato thing. Soup is split pea. I am stumped. I would not serve any of these things at a Sheva Brachos and I don't know what would go with the flounder, but look a bit more elegant on the plate. I could do couscous, but that is so plain. This is a "heimish" crowd, but I would love to put something nice to give the plate the wow factor. 35 people.

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  1. kasha varnishkes

    1 Reply
    1. re: bcc

      thanks a whole lot for that. any serious takers on this question?

    2. Risotto?

      1. You can do an orzo salad - add feta if the crowd is ok with that, I really like this one:
        http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Greek-Or...

        The other thing you can do for a wow factor is make forbidden rice, it is a deep purple color and many people have never had it. Please note though that if you are serving on plastic is can stain your dishes.

        2 Replies
        1. re: EllieS

          I do a rice salad using royal rice with craisins, raisins, pecans, almonds, caroots and celery.

          Is that the sort of thing you are thinking of?

          1. re: EllieS

            Forbidden rice is delicious, but it can get very expensive if you're making it for a large crowd. A small bag goes for $4+

            I made a wild rice dish topped with a mango/avocado/cilantro salsa. Do you think that would work?

            Or you could do a baked pasta dish with eggplant. Or a warm pesto with grape tomatoes and walnuts.

          2. What about a fancier cous cous? This one is really pretty and very simple, and not too "out there" for the heimish crowd. I get asked for the recipe all of the time. I don't remember where it originally comes from.

            Fancy Cous Cous

            2 TBSP olive oil
            1/2 cup diced yellow summer squash
            1/2 cup diced zucchini
            1/2 cup diced red onion
            1 clove garlic, minced
            1 cup cooked chickpeas
            1/2 tsp ground cumin
            1/2 tsp ground curry powder
            1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
            1/2 tsp salt
            freshly ground pepper to taste
            3 cups cooked Israeli cous cous (cook it in chicken or pareve chicken stock)
            1/4 cup chopped fresh parsely

            Heat oil in skillet and sautee squash, zucchini, onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and spices and gently stir in cooked cous cous. Cook until hot for about 8 minutes and garnish with parsley.

            Served as an entree, it makes 6 big servings. It would probably be a side for about 10.

            4 Replies
            1. re: mamaleh

              Thank you to all so far. They sound terrific. I am leaning toward a rice dish so I don't freak them out too much. What is the recipe for forbidden rice just for my own knowledge? Also, please keep them coming. I'm not cooking this until Tuesday. Thanks.

              1. re: cappucino

                Forbidden rice is Chinese black rice, so named because, according to legend, it was forbidden to everyone except the emperor. You prepare it like any other rice, but it comes out dark purple.

                1. re: GilaB

                  I start with sauteed onions and garlic, then prepare like regular rice. It adds flavor...

              2. re: mamaleh

                The Israeli couscous recipe sounds good; how much raw couscous and broth would yield 3 cups, cooked (unless you mean 3 cups raw, cooked)? Thanks

              3. There is a nice cold rice salad in the Original Moosewood cookbook. (Sra somebody's Indonesian Rice Salad.) It has stuff like bean sprouts and cashews.

                http://www.ilovethefingerlakes.com/fu...

                1 Reply
                1. re: SoCal Mother

                  I love that recipe. Haven't made it in years, but I think it would fit the bill here; it's colorful, tasty, healthy, and a bit unusual.

                  I would also suggest the following recipe from the Got No Milk blog: http://gotnomilk.wordpress.com/2009/1...
                  The blogger added the chicken to the recipe; she says the original recipe did not have it, so it would be parve, and appropriate for your meal. I, myself, added diced dried apricots for a bit more color and sweetness. It's a really nice dish; I used it many times this summer as a shabbat main course (with the grilled chicken added).

                2. Well it's pasta and not rice, but in the original Susie Fishbein there is a recipe for sesame noodle salad (angel hair pasta, sweet red peppers, soy sauce, scallions, sesame seeds and sesame oil.) It's in the book as a chicken salad because she puts grilled chicken in it, but I usually serve it as a side dish and it goes over well. That stays with your oriental theme.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SoCal Mother

                    It is technically pasta.. but with an Asian twist. I haven't made this recipe.. but I've made similar ones.. it's delicious with snow peas too. Can be prepared in advance.