Restrictions have nothing on her.

Dinner party dilemma?

Posted: July 9th, 2009 | Author: rita | Filed under: Rita | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Every few weeks or so or every time I hear of a fantastic new recipe there is a burning within me, a burning desire. Yes, I must throw a dinner party! What stops this from happening is mainly time, cost and coordinating guests’ tastes and dietary restrictions. Putting aside the first two — cause, yeah — the most important requirement is that everyone can eat everything I make. If you’re kosher, this doesn’t only mean no bacon in the fettuccine alfredo (or whatever), but if there is a meat dish there cannot be any dairy served in anything else at the same meal. In addition to deciding which “type” of dinner to make (meat or milk), one of my best friends is vegan AND kosher, so it’s always a toughie deciding what to make if she’s coming!

Well, it’s high time for another dinner party and to prepare first I have to plan a menu. Ok. Should I go with something light and refreshing but probably more expensive? Or a meal in a pot that can feed a bunch of people but will be heavy, non-summer-y? More specifically, for the two options:

Light and refreshing
- Something dairy for sure
- Spinach or summer squash quiche sans crust (I never use crust)
- Agristada, a delicious fish dish poached in a thick lemon sauce
- Some sort of salad
- Watermelon popsicles?

- I’m dying to make agristada
- More appropriate now that nature finally decides it’s summer
- Healthy?

- Expensive
- Not sure if people go for the healthy thing
- Can vegans eat most of this? No.

Meal in a Pot – Cuban food night!
- Arroz con pollo
- Tostones (fried plantains)
- Sangria?
- Side salad
- Watermelon popsicles?

- I’m dying to make arroz con pollo and Cuban food
- Feeds a lot of people at once
- Less expensive, possibly

- Hot, heavy, not suited for the season necessarily
- Kosher chicken is expensive (but might be cheaper in total than the first option)
- If my vegan friend attends, need to think of something she can eat!

So, what to do? There’s more leeway with Option 1 but may cost more, but Option 1 sounds more fun to make. I enjoy making lots of different foods! I’m thinking this will probably be for about 6 – 10 people. My heart says Option 1 but my wallet says Option 2. Any suggestions, guys? I’m thinking this will go down in about 2 weeks.

6 Comments on “Dinner party dilemma?”

  1. 1 Laura said at 11:30 am on July 9th, 2009:

    Both sound delicious, but I always choose things that I could never make myself…so I say #2. Just crank up the AC if the meal feels too out-of-season!

  2. 2 Steele said at 11:41 am on July 9th, 2009:

    I would go with Option 2. It just seems more like a dinner party kind of meal. Option 1 seems good for a smaller get-together, which will also help out in terms of cash.

  3. 3 leah said at 12:28 pm on July 9th, 2009:

    i’m with ya. planning a dinner party next weekend. dying to make a dish with shrimp (cheap) and scallops (not). and when you add alcohol and people’s preferences. stress!

    I’m voting option 2. Could you shred the chicken from the arroz con pollo and serve it as tacos? may even take less chicken. same flavors. rice and beans in the tacos for vegans? a bit more casual and summery?

  4. 4 Jesse said at 1:16 pm on July 9th, 2009:

    You know, I can’t imagine you have too tough a time keeping things kosher. As for the vegan, just get a head of lettuce or something for her to gnaw on.

  5. 5 Adi said at 8:49 pm on July 9th, 2009:

    I vote for the latter. With enough sangria, everything’s cool ;)

    As for the vegan among you, can you just make the arroz without the chicken and just add some veggies or some vegan protein? As a veggie I often bring my own meat substitutes places because I hate to be an imposition. Perhaps you could ask her ahead of time about the menu, see if she would like just sans-chicken or if there’s something else she would prefer? I’m not saying you have to cook something completely different, but maybe she will step up and offer to bring something.

    In any case, both menus sound great and I’m sure you’re going to have a blast =)

  6. 6 Bakezilla said at 12:02 pm on July 11th, 2009:

    I’m going to be the oddball here, but I think option one sounds amazingly delicious and much more summery, which is great, since summer finally decided to show its face. And the vegan can fill up on the salad option.

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