Need some starter suggestions
Replies: 33 - Last Post: Apr 9, 2013 3:29 PM Last Post By: Weaver
Apr 3, 2013 7:43 PM
Apr 3, 2013 10:33 PM
Apr 3, 2013 11:10 PM
17Yes, so shoot me for an expression of an opinion.
My thought is all about balance in a menu, and i do think that a simple starter is the way to start this dish, and as the pasta involved in both dishes is very much the very much the flavour in the background for me, with the eggplant being the hero in the starter, and the beef undoubtebly the hero in the main.
So, do please shoot me.
Apr 4, 2013 7:45 PM
Apr 5, 2013 6:09 PM
Apr 6, 2013 12:39 AM
20Thank you all and sorry for starting a diplomatic incident about pasta.
I went to the market this morning and bought a bunch of lambs lettuce and an assortment of different mushrooms (regular ones, shitake and pleurotus) and late this afternoon will either prepare a salad or else chop up the mushrooms with shallots and put them in phylo pastry and make one per person. Not very Italian, but all I could come up with, despite all the ideas here.
Many of you suggest large things -- I just wanted a starter (after the aperitif) so that people will also eat the lasagne without having to be rolled away from the table. And have room for dessert.
Apr 6, 2013 3:58 PM
Apr 7, 2013 12:32 AM
22No, Weaver -- no Italians. But I am living in France where dinner with guests lasts for several hours. We started with an aperitif at 7:30, moved to the table about 45 mins later and sat there until 12:30 am.
I like that because I have always found that if someone says, "Why don't we go sit somewhere else?", it breaks up the mood/discussion. And I like sitting at the table.
Apr 7, 2013 5:39 PM
Apr 8, 2013 3:33 AM
24Serve a selection of good wines with various courses at the dinner table including dessert wines with dessert, a selection of cheeses, dainty chocks/biscuits followed with choice sweet liqueue,and coffee with premier grade cognac.
That should keep your dinner guests gluded to the dinning table for hours on end,apart from scintilatingly(?) interesting conversation of course:))
Apr 8, 2013 3:55 AM
25We had one wine with the starter+main course and another sweeter wine with dessert. Since people come by car, at least one has to drink very little because of possible police stops. The alcohol limit in France is 0.5, so it doesn't take much to go over the limit..
We and many others have noticed that when you have French dinner guests, or at least foreigners who have lived here for a long time, you go through much less wine that if you have "foreigners". The six of us drank one and less than a half of the red wine, and about half the bottle of dessert wine. And we also discussed the fact that nearly nobody in France ever drinks a liqueur after dinner any more. That's really gone out of style over the last decades.
I was quite surprised by a Canadian friend who told me last year that when she plans a dinner party, she plans a bottle per person.
Wine glasses here are also much smaller than I see in N America.
Apr 8, 2013 5:39 AM
26I worked as a waitress in SF and the mother of the two brothers that owned it came from the mountains outside of Genoa...sometimes she'd make stuffed onions...
She'd also make caponata (as mentioned by someone else) and to me that's an entire dish in itself...the original recipes called for eggplant but I imagine Italian squash could be used as well. While it's best with fresh tomatoes, the canned whole ones can be used.
Mama Rebollini used to make frittata, also...what went into it besides eggs depended on what she had in her kitchen...
This is a good approximation...and if you do have access to asparagus, you can lay them in the pan so they're identifiable...or just chopped up, if you like:
Asparagus Frittata With Creme Fraiche & Chives
She used to cook a large one then cut in small sections and serve them as hors d'oeuvres, as the recipe mentions. I always thought they could be cut up and used for sandwich making...(cooled, of course).
Apr 8, 2013 6:29 AM
That's pretty high. Here in Sweden (and as I know in Poland too) it's 0.2. I don't know how the difference translates to amount of wine or beer. From experience I know that I can drink a glass of wine or one large beer to stay within the limit.
Switzerland used to have a higher alcohol limit than France, 0.8, but a few years ago they had a referendum, like they usually do, and changed it to 0.5.
Apr 8, 2013 6:40 AM
28Halfway down this page is a comparison of allowed blood alcohol limits. France is rather in the middle/average, while Sweden and Poland are at the low end. France's used to be 0.8 but was lowered a couple of years ago.
Apr 8, 2013 7:22 AM
29I think the police must be stricter in Poland about checking on drink drivers than in France because I find that here (in Poland) if friends are driving they will drink no more than half a glass of wine or a small beer with their meals whereas in France I have noticed my friends and family will happily drink a glass or two of wine before getting into their cars and think nothing of it... that has often shocked me when in France... but that's in Paris, so maybe they behave differently to southern Frenchies... :)
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