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Cutting "richness",

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. Acid cuts richness.

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

    1. 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. 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. 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

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

            1. re: alkapal

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

              or fennel/clementine/red onion.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

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


                1. re: c oliver

                  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

                  that citrus component is excellent for pairing with the shrimp!

                3. Butter lettuce with citrus vinaigrette and sautéed broccoli raab

                    1. 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

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

                        1. re: jaykayen

                          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

                              i'm not digging soup before crepes.

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

                              1. re: alkapal

                                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


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

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Master

                                  mmm i love celeriac!

                                  it is rather expensive here in northern virginia.

                                2. 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. Why detract from an awesome concept[?

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

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

                                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

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

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

                                        1. 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: magiesmom

                                                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

                                                  You would think differently if you had diabetes.

                                                  1. re: tonyabbo

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

                                                    1. re: tonyabbo

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

                                                2. re: alkapal

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

                                                3. re: greygarious

                                                  Somehow I'm not seeing slaw with this dish.

                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                    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. 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. 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. 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

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