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Help with menu for casual dinner this weekend? Sorta Southern themed

Need your help, gang…

I just realized this coming weekend is our weekend to have houseguests and a bunch of people for dinner Saturday night (we do this twice a year, in conjunction with our local sighthound field trials). The date got away from me....

Last time, I did a big seafood feast and it was fabulous, but cost nearly a fortune. That isn’t happening again this weekend. So, I was thinking maybe a good ol’ Southern dinner. Here are my thoughts:

Baked ham
Scalloped potatoes (from the Les Halles cookbook...not really Southern, but good!)
Field peas (I have two bags of purple hulls still in the freezer from last summer)
Roasted cherry tomatoes (one of the guys LOVES these)
Cornmeal yeast rolls
Maybe some deviled eggs (just because I love them?)

I need ideas for:

Before dinner snacks: folks are always munchie coming in from the field, but I don’t want anything too heavy, as we’ll be having a relatively early dinner.

A cold/crunchy side to go with dinner… I could turn the field peas into a salad… Or do them the traditional way and make something else?

Dessert… I have a TON of frozen peaches I put up and haven’t used. They aren’t the best… they were a little over-ripe when I put them up. So, nothing that requires pretty peach slices. Need something easy.

Wine to go with ham and the Southern sides?

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  1. The peas as salad sounds interesting, I've never had them so am not sure about it, but is intriguing. Peach cobbler sounds good, could do individual ones in wide mouth canning jars (smaller ones).
    As for appetizers.... something with toasted, spiced pecans? Pimento cheese?
    check out this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/284528

    3 Replies
    1. re: wyogal

      I do field pea salad/salsa a lot... just have to decide if I want them cold or not.

      Why didn't I think of pimento cheese? I'll do some of that for snacks, with some little bread/toast rounds.

      Don't want to do anything fiddly for dessert... I can always do peach crisp... or maybe just make them into ice cream topping?

      1. re: onrushpam

        yep, either. The crisp is good, in a big dish, it's pretty easy and not fiddly. With ice cream. The ice cream with a peach compote would be delightful, too.
        Your dinner sounds yummy.
        On that other thread, someone mentioned pickled okra, too. Easy peasy. Just buy it.

        1. re: onrushpam

          I have been served pimento cheese in celery and thought that was a great appetizer. Tasty, but light.

      2. You menu sounds very satisfying and fun! Why not move the deviled eggs to the pre dinner snacks? Deviled eggs are SOOOO good and would be good with pimento cheese and toast rounds - maybe the pickled okra mentioned below as well.
        As for the cold crunchy thing - have you thought about homemade coleslaw? Especially made with red and green cabbage it would be pretty and, I think, in keeping with the spirit of your menu.

        1. I am loving your menu - it sounds ultra delish! I also think that the devilled eggs would be great as an appetiser. Another thing that I see a lot at dinner parties here in Austin is a spicy cheese ball. They are fantastic, albeit a bit on the heavy side.

          1. This menu, and your pantry, call out for peach cobbler or crumble; or a compote which you can roast the peaches ahead, and then macerate with rum or bourbon; vanilla ice cream (which you won't make).

            1. Your menu looks good! Can you make the rolls ahead, freeze them, and rewarm them?

              Appetizer ideas: Cheese straws, spiced pecans.

              Salad idea:

              Cucumber Salad

              1/4 cup rice vinegar
              1 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
              3 T. sugar
              1/2 t. salt
              1 t. minced shallot
              l/2 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
              1/4 cup cilantro leaves
              2 cups cucumber slices

              Mix dressing, add cukes. Serve right away.

              This salad would be a nice contrast to the richness of your meal.

              Peach cobbler would be amazing.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sandylc

                Living in the south I think peach cobbler would be great. What about sweet potato biscuits? Definitely deviled eggs for appetizers and some kind of cheese dip. Also I like the cole slaw idea and for the south yes to okra. Look to Paula Deen or Southern Living for other ideas.

                1. re: sandylc

                  I second the cucumber salad idea. So simple and delicious! I usually use tarragon vinegar but I will have to also try the rice vinegar!