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Critique my menu please

Having ten best friends for dinner Saturday.
Draft menu

White fish dip
Apple and caramelized onion tarts in puff pastry
Hogs in blanket
Cukes w dill dip

Ina 's grilled Shrimp
Rack of Lamb
Would like a veg like roasted beets
Israeli Couscous with turmeric, caramelized onions, and tomatoes from Food 52
Need a great new salad

All comments welcome

Dessert
Souther living Blackberry cobbler and vanilla ice cream?

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  1. What is dipped in the whitefish dip? Is it a mild fish flavor or will it be too assertive at the beginning of a meal...?
    The roasted beets sound very "fall", not sure where you are located but grilled corn with an herb butter, or green beans with almonds,and grilled squash with a raw salsa all feel more "summery" than a roasted veg.
    I make this salad constantly with a few changes- half the oil, and massage the dressing into the salad ahead of time to soften the kale. I often swap out the brussels sprouts and use all kale- a few serious veggie haters have become converts from this dish!
    http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kale...
    A simple side of sliced heirloom tomatoes with sea salt and a drizzle of good basalmic is classic
    I make a summery green salad using a mix of arugala and spinach, raw sweet corn off the cob, diced cucumber, super thin fennel, chickpeas, sliced toasted almonds, currants/raisins and a basalmic black pepper vinegrette.

    The menu sounds very chic and sophisticated but the hogs in a blanket stick out to me as retro-y and disconnected with the rest of the menu. Even if you omit that dish there will be plenty of options.

    1. Looks great so far. In terms of a salad, what about tomatoes, basil, and burrata? Tomatoes are fantastic right now. You could also do that over romaine or arugula to incorporate a lettuce.

      I love beets but perhaps a veggie that's in season right now could be more special.

      Where are you from? That piece of information could help us give you better suggestions since we'll then know what's realistically available to you.

      Good for you for hosting a great dinner party! Cheers.

      1. Sounds wonderful if you are having lots of cocktails to go with all of those salty hors d'oeveurs (sp?). even so, I would skip the white fish, as much as I love it. how about just putting out some cheese and crackers along with the other heavy appetizers? then with dinner, red wine and perhaps potatoes and like others have mentioned corn or other summer veg. along with that a salad- greens with mint perhaps. I put arugula, mint, a little boston lettuce and feta in my salad the other day. have fun!
        and dessert sounds great.

        1. Lucky friends! Do you know that all are ok w/ seedy blackberries in the cobbler? If not sure, perhaps have some simple shortbread cookies for folks to enjoy with the ice cream, too.

          For salad - have you tried Roxlet's Green Goddess dressing?
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9004...

          or this lemon caper dressing by April Bloomfield?
          http://food52.com/recipes/16940-april...

          Either one will make your standard salad greens/raw veg mixture outstanding.

          If you add a couple spears of roasted asparagus atop each salad, that's also a luxurious touch.

          1. Pls. no fish dip, or Hogs in blanket are unnecessary, Blueberry and Spinach salad with artichoke and lightly cooked peppers, with a light sweet dressing will do fine