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Help me fix a menu please!

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  • raisa Dec 24, 2011 06:34 AM
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I have friends coming over. Whenever it comes to sit down dinner, I get really confused with courses. DH and the friends are requesting for steaks. So I'll be making rib-eyes with mushroom sauce. To me steak is just incomplete without buttery mash. But it might be boring to others. So, what kind of potato dish should I make? May be a gratin would be good? or the starters, I am thinking eggs veronica. i would love to serve a pasta, hopefully homemade fettuccine alfredo but at what point of dinner should I serve the pasta? Along the steak or before/after the steak? The same question goes for salad. Please sort m out. I am also doing some vegetables to serve with the steak.

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  1. Well.. at a typical Italian dinner the courses would be, in order:
    Appetizer
    Pasta, risotto, or soup
    Steak and vegetables
    Salad
    Dessert

    But... why would you serve pasta? You're already serving potatoes, if I take your mash to mean. I would make a vegetable as a side dish for the steak then serve the salad before the dessert.

    1. I would not do potato and pasta. I think it would be too heavy. I love potato gratin. Maybe some roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta. If you do mashed potatoes, then I think creamed spinach would be a nice side. As for a salad, you could do a classic wedge or a caesar. And for a starter, I love cocktail shrimp when I am serving beef as my main.

      1. I think the buttery mash would be just fine. I think if you are going to do the pasta, it should be a very small portion before the steak, as both are quite rich.

        I prefer my salad last, but I believe I am in the minority. Given the heaviness of the rest of your menu, I'd go with a light salad. Maybe something with citrus and a vinaigrette - nothing with a creamy dressing.

        1. The problem you have is that a steak dinner isn't really something that you build a menu around, especially with ribeye as it is usually a large/satisfying cut of meat.

          Sounds like ALOT of food. I'd hold off on the pasta. If you are stuck on the idea of doing courses, serve a light salad first with some arugula and some sort of supremed fruit.

          A gratin is going to be even heavier than mashed potatoes with the cream AND cheese, so I would DEFINITELY NOT serve fettuccine alfredo.

          As for serving a salad after the main course, I don't think it really matters. In fact, it may be best to serve it before as people will look at you funny as most have come to expect a salad BEFORE the main course.

          As for the eggs, I've never heard of eggs veronica, but if it is a hot dish, then I probably wouldn't serve it at all.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jameshig

            There is a school in France, where the gratin comes from, that has NO cheese in the gratin - that is how my French BF learned it, and it is often served this way in Paris, where he hales from. It is still rich, but totally tastes like buttery, rich potatoes. Very thin potatoes, with 2/3 heavy cream and a 1/3 milk, s&P and a little garlic, that's it!
            This would actually be wonderful with steak, and nice as it can be done well ahead and kept warm, which simplifies serving.
            Skip the pasta - too rich. Second the idea of shrimp or other seafood for starter.
            Small salad, also light and simple to follow mains.

          2. In this house, steak always demands saute potatoes. Usually with salad, rather than vegetables. And, because steak won't hang about after its cooked, we never have a starter.

            1. i think steak is hard to do a course meal with...the person cooking the steaks has to stay right on it and misses the first courses...that said I love lemon/ butter angel hair with a ribeye instead of mashed potatoes.
              i dont know what that egg dish is either

              3 Replies
              1. re: LaLa

                But you wouldn't start cooking the steaks until the first course was finished so there's no need for anyone to miss out since I assume there's no hurry to get the meal finished.

                1. re: escondido123

                  i quess if thats they way you WANT to entertain...i like to be present for my guest...but thats just me.

                  1. re: LaLa

                    Since we usually eat in the kitchen, I am always with my guests. But for a formal occasion when we use the dining room, there are certainly times when I am away from my guests--but never while we are enjoying a course but rather between courses when last minute cooking needs to be done...I would consider steaks last minute and would not be my first choice but the OP did say she was having steaks so went with that.

              2. Eggs Veronica is either egg drop soup, deviled eggs with crab, or an omelette... accordimg to Google. LOL

                1. I used to work in a kitchen a few years back and they served this thing called eggs veronica. I totally forgot that you guys wouldn't know what it means. My bad. It is soft poached egg over asparagus and hollandaise sauce, permesan shaved over. But that is too rich too. So basically I will stick to this.

                  1. shrimp cocktail served in lettuce cups.
                  2. Rib-eye with mushroom sauce, mashed potato and sauteed veggie (green beans, carrots, broccoli etc.)
                  3. A leafy sharp salad in a separate dish to be passed on.
                  4. Desserts.

                  Thank you so much for clearing my head.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: raisa

                    Your meal sounds wonderful and the courses make more sense than your original plan. The only change I'd make it to serve the salad before the main---unless you're really going for that Continental vibe.

                  2. This is what I did. I prepared everything other than the steaks earlier. I served the shrimp cocktails with drinks at the sitting room. As it was served in tiny lettuce cups, it was easily passed as finger food. Then I cooked the steaks in two pans. While they cooked and rested, I arranged the plates and served the rest of the dinner at the dinning room. So everything went smoothly. I didn't have to get up from dinner other than to take out the dessert from fridge. Thank you all for helping me.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: raisa

                      Glad to hear all went well. Thanks for the update :)