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Feb 21, 2013 07:01 PM

Small dinner party dilemma: differing food needs

I'm having 2 friends over Saturday with very different food... needs, for lack of a better word. The one friend is allergic to soy, wheat and alcohol. She is a pretty adventurous eater and very used to making do with her food issues, but I'd like to be a good hostess and make something she'll enjoy. The other friend is not remotely an adventurous eater: he's your basic meat and potatoes guy, he hates Mexican food, and would probably be happy with a bowl of cereal most meals. And to add to the challenge, my BF hates fish and shellfish, mushrooms, anything pickled, coconut and pineapple.

So my challenge is to feed all of us in a way that makes them and me happy. I'm struggling because every time I think of something, I realize why it won't work. Like, I was thinking of risotto, but it can't be too "weird" for the one friend and can't have alcohol in it for the other. I can't do Asian because I can't use soy. Maybe I'll just stick to a chunk of roast meat and vegetables and call it a night.

Unless you have any better suggestions?

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  1. Steak and potatoes.
    with a salad.
    Get a nice cut of meat, get some great toppings for the potatoes, and try a selection of vegetables ala salad bar. Get some weird stuff (for the adventurous) and some regular stuff (for the other one).

    1 Reply
    1. re: wyogal

      I like the potato/salad bar idea. I like giving people variety!

    2. In that situation I would consider making something where all of the add-ins and condiments could be on the side.... baked potato bar, taco bar, etc. or lots of little food like tapas and go "cocktail party style." People who don't drink can have mocktails and fizzy waters or bubbly juices.

      1 Reply
      1. re: weezieduzzit

        The potato bar is a great idea. I'm thinking maybe an ice cream topping bar for dessert too.

      2. You can make 'meat and potatoes' - but just tart them up!

        Roasted asparagus with coarse salt, lemon and shaved Parmesan.

        Roasted butternut squash with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.

        A Very fine roasted chicken (brined first) with a sage and orange butter under the skin.

        Potatoes daphinoise which is just cream, milk, a garlic clove and very thinly sliced yukon gold potatoes, plus S&P.

        A salad of arugula, thinly sliced braeburn apples, fennel and a Dijon vinaigrette, perhaps with a blue cheese for a 'salad and cheese course'.

        Dark chocolate, fresh figs, and toasted walnuts for dessert. Little purchased cookies for those who can?

        Red wine for most diners, and some nice sparkling water for your friend who can't have it......

        Who doesn't love a perfectly roasted chicken, and your house would smell divine when they arrive.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gingershelley

          I am leaning towards a roast chicken or pork loin with some sort of potato side and either a salad or green vegetable. Maybe I'll put out a variety of snacky stuff first - cheese, crackers, hummus, crudites.

          I might make ice cream for dessert. Easier than flourless chocolate cake and can be topped with Hershey's syrup for the non-foodie. :)