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Cutting "richness",

mexivilla Dec 6, 2013 04:43 AM

A friend is having a holiday dinner for ladies from work. She plans on serving shrimp in a gruyere sauce in crepes. She would like to add a sidedish which would cut the "richness" of the sauce. Suggestions?

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  1. C. Hamster RE: mexivilla Dec 6, 2013 04:49 AM

    Acid cuts richness.

    A crisp side salad with a tasty vinaigrette would be good.

    1. roxlet RE: mexivilla Dec 6, 2013 04:50 AM

      A crisp salad would do the trick. I find that going a little heavier on the vinegar definitely helps when I make cole slaw to go with my husband's pulled pork, which is very rich.

      1. d
        DowntownJosie RE: mexivilla Dec 6, 2013 05:03 AM

        I would serve a hot vegetable as well as a salad.
        I love broccoli rabe sautéed with garlic it pairs beautifully with something rich.
        Roasted veg
        Cauliflower, asparagus, spinach and Broccoli are natural pairings with cheese sauce, they can be steamed or roasted
        This recipe looks spectacular. I would probably omit the Parmesan though.

        1. alkapal RE: mexivilla Dec 6, 2013 07:02 AM

          i'd recommend a winter salad. there was a thread a couple years back with tons of tremendous combinations.

          i'd favor something crunchy, and including shaved fennel and frisee, with toasted almonds or pecans, a champagne-shallot vinaigrette & pomegranate seeds.

          6 Replies
          1. re: alkapal
            C. Hamster RE: alkapal Dec 6, 2013 07:53 AM

            I think a winter salad would be perfect. Your idea sounds great!

            1. re: alkapal
              hotoynoodle RE: alkapal Dec 6, 2013 12:59 PM

              am with you on a salad with sharp dressing and peppery greens.

              or fennel/clementine/red onion.

              1. re: hotoynoodle
                c oliver RE: hotoynoodle Dec 6, 2013 05:13 PM

                I've made this Batali salad with fennel, blood orange and pomegranite.


                1. re: c oliver
                  alkapal RE: c oliver Dec 6, 2013 11:13 PM

                  like hotoynoodle's salad with clementines, that blood orange salad has pretty colors, too -- to contrast with the dull-ish colors of cheesy shrimp crepes.

                  and whatever salad (or side) it is, it needs CRUNCH -- because the crepes are soft, soft, soft.

                2. re: hotoynoodle
                  alkapal RE: hotoynoodle Dec 6, 2013 11:10 PM

                  that citrus component is excellent for pairing with the shrimp!

                3. re: alkapal
                  pheenmachine RE: alkapal Dec 7, 2013 02:11 PM

                  Oh man, this sounds really good.

                4. m
                  magiesmom RE: mexivilla Dec 6, 2013 07:06 AM

                  Butter lettuce with citrus vinaigrette and sautéed broccoli raab

                  1. ipsedixit RE: mexivilla Dec 6, 2013 08:02 AM


                    1. monavano RE: mexivilla Dec 6, 2013 09:21 AM

                      Oven roasted asparagus with a lemon vinaigrette drizzled over. Serve with a little bit of lemon zest and slivered almonds on top and thinly sliced lemon all around for garnish on the plate.
                      Elegant. You get acid and crunch for contrast in flavor and texture.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: monavano
                        shanagain RE: monavano Dec 6, 2013 12:48 PM

                        That was going to be my suggestion as well (sans almonds). Roasted green beans would be nice, also.

                      2. j
                        jaykayen RE: mexivilla Dec 6, 2013 02:22 PM

                        Brut champagne

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: jaykayen
                          maria lorraine RE: jaykayen Dec 8, 2013 07:17 PM

                          Great idea on the bubbles. Or any high-acid opulent white wine. Like a great quality Alsatian number. Always does the trick.

                          As far as another dish, I'd create a brand new course, not serve anything with the crepes.

                          Perhaps a soup first, or fruit to follow.
                          Nothing with the crepes course, tho,
                          other than wine.

                          1. re: maria lorraine
                            c oliver RE: maria lorraine Dec 8, 2013 07:23 PM

                            Good idea, ml.

                            1. re: maria lorraine
                              alkapal RE: maria lorraine Dec 10, 2013 03:27 AM

                              i'm not digging soup before crepes.

                              and i think it needs something with the crepes, my two cents.

                              1. re: alkapal
                                hotoynoodle RE: alkapal Dec 10, 2013 12:37 PM

                                agreed. i'd be wanting something acidic and crunchy to counterbalance the insanely rich main.

                                (i also am a hater of cream and cheese with seafood, so take that for what it's worth, lol.)

                                1. re: alkapal
                                  maria lorraine RE: alkapal Dec 10, 2013 01:18 PM


                                  If the dish is cloyingly rich, and thus, out of balance, then a simple squeeze of lemon or some other infusion of acid should be added to the dish to achieve that balance. But the wine can help in that regard as well.

                                  I'm a big fan of classic simplicity, a course with wine, which is why I'm not a fan of serving salad *with* a dish. As a separate course, I love salad.

                                  But I understand there are many ways to approach this that work well.

                                  PS. I'm probably not that fond of soup either before crepes, given the sauce.

                            2. Ttrockwood RE: mexivilla Dec 6, 2013 05:07 PM

                              Hearty greens- this brussel sprout and radicchio slaw has a nice vinegrette too:

                              Wilted spinach with red onion slivers and sauteed cherry tomatoes would also work

                              1. Master RE: mexivilla Dec 7, 2013 02:21 AM

                                Raw celeriac slaw dressed with a champagne/white wine vinaigrette.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Master
                                  alkapal RE: Master Dec 7, 2013 07:33 AM

                                  mmm i love celeriac!

                                  it is rather expensive here in northern virginia.

                                2. Cherylptw RE: mexivilla Dec 7, 2013 02:38 AM

                                  As long as you feature any of the following elements: acidic, sweet, crunchy, or bitter, you'll have what you're going after. Here's a really pretty salad that would be great with the main course : http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe...

                                  1. i
                                    INDIANRIVERFL RE: mexivilla Dec 7, 2013 08:25 AM

                                    Why detract from an awesome concept[?

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                      c oliver RE: INDIANRIVERFL Dec 7, 2013 08:29 AM

                                      Not sure I understand. It doesn't seem like the crepes alone would constitute a meal, does it?

                                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                        alkapal RE: INDIANRIVERFL Dec 7, 2013 01:41 PM

                                        i'd be really wondering what happened to the rest of my meal. ;-).

                                      2. m
                                        mexivilla RE: mexivilla Dec 7, 2013 09:54 AM

                                        Thanks everyone. I will pass this on and report the results.

                                        1. greygarious RE: mexivilla Dec 7, 2013 01:21 PM

                                          It's not essential to add oil by using a vinaigrette. I like to make slaws, year-round, from whatever crunchy vegetables I have on hand, using only sweetened vinegar and water. For me, usually white or rice vinegar, and Splenda. Up to you. Let the slaw marinate for a couple of hours before serving. It keeps in the fridge for weeks though the veggies continue to soften.

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: greygarious
                                            alkapal RE: greygarious Dec 7, 2013 01:40 PM

                                            i would never use splenda,

                                            1. re: alkapal
                                              magiesmom RE: alkapal Dec 7, 2013 02:11 PM

                                              Me either.

                                              1. re: magiesmom
                                                Gloriaa RE: magiesmom Dec 8, 2013 04:23 PM

                                                It does not sound good to me at all. I don't think there is a place for artificial sweeteners in anybody's diet!

                                                1. re: Gloriaa
                                                  tonyabbo RE: Gloriaa Dec 8, 2013 04:51 PM

                                                  You would think differently if you had diabetes.

                                                  1. re: tonyabbo
                                                    hotoynoodle RE: tonyabbo Dec 9, 2013 09:33 AM

                                                    right. and people are perfectly capable of using sugar if they prefer. jeebus.

                                                    1. re: tonyabbo
                                                      magiesmom RE: tonyabbo Dec 10, 2013 09:04 AM

                                                      not necessarily true, I have diabetes and I still never use artificial sweeteners.

                                                2. re: alkapal
                                                  greygarious RE: alkapal Dec 8, 2013 03:26 PM

                                                  I suggested sweetener and vinegar type according to your own preference. It was not my intention to start a poll.

                                                3. re: greygarious
                                                  c oliver RE: greygarious Dec 7, 2013 01:44 PM

                                                  Somehow I'm not seeing slaw with this dish.

                                                  1. re: greygarious
                                                    Bada Bing RE: greygarious Dec 10, 2013 11:32 AM

                                                    A real traditional balsamic is also good by itself as a salad dressing, and no fat at all.

                                                    I happen to live near a storefront that does most of its business online, and they import and bottle great balsamic for killer prices:


                                                  2. s
                                                    Springhaze2 RE: mexivilla Dec 10, 2013 08:10 AM

                                                    My brain went to something with cherry or grape tomatoes as a side. I make a simple salad from blanched snap peas, cherry tomatoes, scallions and fresh parsley with a vinaigrette using red wine vinegar, olive oil and dried thyme. The red and green are nice for the holidays.

                                                    Or roasted cherry tomatoes sprinkled with fresh herbs and also serve a crisp salad.

                                                    1. c oliver RE: mexivilla Dec 10, 2013 08:14 AM

                                                      Just read about this salad on COTM. Savoy cabbage, parsley and capers.


                                                      And if you read down a bit, she mentions another one that also sounds good.

                                                      1. m
                                                        mexivilla RE: mexivilla Dec 15, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                        As promised dinner report.
                                                        Seabreeze cocktail with brocolli, carrot and celery spears with a Philadelphia Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Cream Yogurt Dip

                                                        Appetizer was a baked concoction of spinach, ricotta, onions, garlic, oregano, and eggs cut into squares. (Spanakopita without the feta or phyllo.)

                                                        Entre was the shrimp crepes with a gruyere bechamel sauce decorated with parsley accompanied by asparagus with lemon. Served with Pino Grigio.

                                                        It was felt with desert that was enough so no salad.

                                                        Desert was a Baileys cake.

                                                        Sidenote, she had previously made crepes using an electric crepe maker. First two crepes were burnt, thermostat had apparently died. After panicking she then discovered how much easier it was just to make them in a nonstick pan with less cleanup.

                                                        Seven of the Mexican ladies had never had a Seabreeze or crepes. Thought both were great.

                                                        All guests were full, satisfied and complementary.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: mexivilla
                                                          Ttrockwood RE: mexivilla Dec 15, 2013 04:05 PM

                                                          Thanks for the report! Sounds like a lovely (delicious!) gathering :)

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