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Feb 1, 2012 11:49 AM

Dinner party for multi-allergy guest

I have a dillemma on my hand. I'm suppose to be hosting a dinner party for a group of friends. All adventurous, well travelled, open minded "foodies." One miner issue, one of them has food allergy to many usual and unusal things. List of no-nos includes: all grains (rice, oats, barley, etc), all dairy (including butter), all nuts, fruits w/ big ston cores (such as plums or dates), garlic, mushrooms, onions, all poultry, most of the oils (only safe one is vegetable and canola), all soy products, and probably a few others that I don't know yet. I have decided on fish for my entry (and gotten the safe fish list from the person), and a non-dairty home made sorbet for dessert. But I'm drawing a blank on what to serve as my side and appeziter. I am an pretty experienced home-cook and baker, have a pretty well stocked kitchen, and is in a major metropolitan area where I can source most items w/o too much issues. Can anyone suggest something other than mix salad? Thanks in advnace!

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    1. Holy moly! You are being very nice and very accommodating. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances with various food allergies and intolerances, and try to work around that if at all possible so everyone can cook everything I serve - but - this list is really daunting. Wheat wasn't mentioned above - perhaps an appetizer pizza with a tapenade topping? If you go vegan, a lot of vegetables would be available as sides - but - gosh. I bet this person is used to having enough to sustain him and her and would understand if you make some things the others would enjoy and be sure to warn him/her about.

      1. Does this person adhere to a low-carb diet? If so, I would make whatever carb side you and your guests would like and make sure to have an extra large serving of protein and vegetables for the allergy sufferer. If not, potatoes and sweet potatoes don't seem to be on the no-no list, so perhaps you could do something there - pommes Anna with bacon fat instead of butter, perhaps? Or homemade frites/pommes souffles in vegetable oil? Latkes made with half sweet and half regular potatoes, fried in oil or bacon fat?

        As for vegetables, just choose one (or several) that the allergy sufferer can eat and roast it simply in either bacon fat or an allowed oil. For an appetizer, butternut squash or fennel or cauliflower soup without onions, garlic or dairy? This cute little scallop "sandwich" with appropriate substitutions: ? A variety of tapas so that your other guests can have some options and the allergy sufferer can just stick to things that work for him/her?

        1 Reply
        1. re: biondanonima

          I was going to suggest some sort of potato side...
          roasted veggies are always a delicious addition.
          bless you heart for working so hard to accomodate your friend! :)

        2. I'd say you could put out a pretty varied antipasti for nibbles. make sure it includes some pickled veggies for your friend, then meats and cheeses and nuts for the others. You could also do a pretty simple pureed soup for an appetizer, like a broccoli puree soup that you can top with cheese or cream or truffle oil or bacon for the others. Can she eat bread and eggs? A savory bread pudding could be a good side dish, depending on what you do with your fish. Mashed sweet potatoes might be okay, too, which you can flavor according to your fish prep - with maple, perhaps, or chipotle.

          I hate to be a negative nellie, but I did have the same initial reaction as Sunshine: "Oh come on." Very nice of you to try so hard to accommodate.

          1. You could do a salad with roasted apples or pears and mixed lettuces and make a vinegrette from some of the roasted fruit, fruit juice & vinegar. A side of baked potatoes or peeled & roasted potatoes, drizzled with a bit of vegetable or canola oil & seasoned with some non allergy inducing spices or braised greens (kale, collard, mustards, etc) with a smoked meaty background such as bacon, pig knuckles or tails & veggie stock as a side. Roasted butternut/acorn squash or glazed carrots are other options.

            You could do salami chips or make cups out of them (press into a muffin tin) then fill with pickled chopped veggies for an appetizer.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Cherylptw

              I love the salami chip/cup idea. Do you just bake them until they're crispy? What kind of pickled vegetables do you use? They sound great.

              1. re: chowser

                Yes, for the chips, bake until crispy. To do cups, place slices in a muffin tin then top with another muffin tin and bake until crispy enough to remove the top tin. For the veggies, you can use any jarred veg pickles or even a chopped antipasti mix like roasted bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, artichokes, pepperoncini, provolone, mozzarella & shards of parmesan tossed with an vinegrette (obviously no onions, olives, mushrooms, or cheeses for the OP's guest) But she could toss in some small diced & sauteed yellow or zucchini squash, fresh chopped spinach, or thinly shaved fennel, etc.

                I've also made chips from proscuitto which are my favorite (made the same way). These chips, scattered on that pear salad I mentioned is delicious.