Adventures in Everyday Entertaining
Putting together a meal is like putting together a team. You can take team to mean sports, work, trivia, or what have you. The important thing is that a team of any kind is most successful when all of the members/parts work together. Some parts are the leaders or stars… others have supporting roles. When two parts start to compete with each other, problems ensue. This all pertains to menu planning. In my blog post Menu Planning: Having Guests for Dinner, I cover the basic things to consider when planning a menu for dinner guests. This time, I will focus more on making sure the different elements of your menu are working together as a team and not conflict with one another.
Last night I made some seasoned ribs that we got from our beloved local butcher, Westphalia Market. The ribs were great, but pretty simple. That gave an opportunity for a side dish to be the star. Enter mashed potatoes. But not just ordinary mashed potatoes. Oh no. To reach the star spot, I mashed them with sour cream, aged cheddar, and bacon. Then topped them with fresh chives! I then took the bacon flavor idea and carried that into the green beans. After blanching the green beans, I then sauteed them with shallots and a little dollop of bacon grease! The whole meal took on a bit of a Southern feel. The flavors complimented one another perfectly and there was a great balance. And of course, to top off our meal… our Cornbread with Roasted Jalapeno Butter!!
The main take-away is that a meal should be an awesome party for your mouth. Make sure that your taste buds, and those of your guests, are dancing around, excited about your menu choices.