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menu planning around lobster mac and cheese

My sister's birthday is coming up and there will be a dinner at our house. I know the entree will be lobster mac and cheese (I like Ina Garten's recipe) and we will have ice cream cake for dessert. It's the other choices that have me stumped. Does anyone have creative suggestions beyond a green salad and fresh fruit? Many thanks - Amy

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  1. Are you serving in courses? If so, you could work in a little more protein that way - a seared scallop appetizer using some seasonal vegetable (maybe corn or tomatoes) would be a nice light starter.

    1. I had another idea - but perhaps this is too rich and too similar to the mac and cheese - there is a warm French lentil salad with leeks and a dijon vinaigrette that I love and can be done ahead and served at room temp. Not sure.......

      1. I think some really sweet and juicy heirloom tomatoes dressed with a light shallot vinaigrette and fresh cracked black pepper might be nice. I love tomatoes with mac n cheese.

        1. I had lobster mac&cheese at a seafood restaurant recently. They served it accompanied by red potatoes and cole slaw. I relished the cole slaw, but took the potatoes home for another meal.

          I agree with the others recommending fresh tomatoes.

          1. i like the simple tomato idea; maybe gazpacho, depending on the seasonings in your mac and cheese.

            a shaved asparagus salad would work. so would a tossed julienne of fennel and carrots with almonds. either topped with a sharp vinaigrette.

            wherever you go, skip starch and skip dairy. :)

            i'd also do very crisp cookies with dessert, like ginger/lemon or a nutty biscotti. your foods are super soft.

            1. Try to stay away additional rich (especially dairy or starch) or soft smooth Dishes.
              Cople of quick thoughts,

              Chard, Kale, Spinach or other cooked bitterish Green, Sauteed with Garlic and Lemon

              Okra, Corn and Tomato Succotash with Bacon and Tabasco.

              Summer Bean Salad with Roasted Peppers and Lemon Vinaigrette.

              6 Replies
              1. re: chefj

                corn and beans are pretty starchy -- i'd pass on them too.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Fresh beans are not high in Carbs and though Corn may have a high sugar content they do not come off as starchy (like potatoes)

                  1. re: chefj

                    if you meant greens beans and such, i'm sorry, yes, you're right. i was thinking along the lines of cannellini and garnbanzo.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Yes my thoughts were Wax, Blue Lake and Romanos.
                      There really is no good word to differentiate between beans in the pod(young and fresh) and matured beans.
                      I used summer beans in hopes of that being clear but alas....

                2. re: chefj

                  Cooked greens are generally soft & smooth.

                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                    Only if you stew them. When Sauteed (as I suggested) they keep their texture.

                3. Green beans, blanched and lightly dressed
                  Spinach salad with tomatoes

                  1. You need something with crunch and texture, and something tart to cut the richness of what you're serving. I would not serve another seafood like scallops, which are also very rich, or more starch, like corn, legumes or potatoes. Tomato salads are nice & colorful, if a bit boring. My suggestions would be:

                    Steamed haricots verts
                    Fresh fennel cole slaw or salad
                    Shaved Brussels sprout salad or slaw
                    Kale salad with lemony Caesar vinaigrette
                    Quick pickled vegetables (cucumbers, daikon, carrots, cauliflower, fennel, green beans)

                    Hope that helps!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                      I like the shaved asparagus salad idea but I think I would do an arugula salad with jicama or kohlrabi nchunks .

                    2. I don't see anything wrong with a green salad and fresh fruit. Use a variety of greens, I am loving baby kale in salads.
                      Green salads can be creative, and would be a perfect accompaniment.
                      Present the fruit artfully, and if it's fresh, it will be good! The star is your sister, and the lobster mac-n-cheese!

                      1. this is one of my most favorite salads! it has a roasted cherry tomato vinaigrette (SO GOOD!!!) and i roast lots of extras to toss with the greens. i also add avocado and heart of palm. i think the recipe also calls for goat cheese which i of course add. :)


                        1. This will probably sound a big strange....but I think some grilled sausages might be a nice way to add some protein. You could even do some seafood sausages. It adds texture too. Kind of like a deconstructed jambalaya. (sp?)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: perk

                            do you need more protein? there is lobster, cheese, milk.

                          2. I think the lobster Mac and cheese is begging for something tart and crunchy. A shaved fennel salad, a zucchini carpaccio salad...you could add nuts to the salad but I would stay away from cheese. I would also choose bitter greens, ie radicchio, endive etc... You could also have a platter of roasted veg with balsamic vinegar and basil.

                            1. fresh french green beans sauteed in just a tad of oil so they stay crispy and salt them with truffle salt