In the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess up front that we are a bunch of white people serving Chinese food for a party. It's something we do more or less annually, and it started in an effort to recreate some of our favorite dishes from Jennie Lowe's in the Bay Area. It's a casual gathering, but served as a dinner, not as a cocktail party.
Anyway, I have part of a menu, but our list is up to probably 14, so I'm thinking that we'll need some additional items, and I'd love some inspiration/suggestions. All of my cookbooks (except my book by Jennie Lowe) are packed, so I'm feeling particularly challenged by this.
The menu so far:
homemade potstickers (tricky, since they have to be cooked at the last minute, but always impressive)
(anyone know any prepared items that are good that we could add to this? if not, we'll probably just add bowls of popcorn with 5-spice powder or something similar)
beef in oyster sauce
another pan-fried chicken dish
need a dedicated vegetable dish (although it's not usually eaten much)
usually do something with pork tenderloin that can be cooked in the oven - any suggestions
white and brown rice
I'm thinking about bite size nibbles (mini cupcakes & cheesecakes, marshmallows, lemon bars), or Nigella's clementine cake (maybe one plain, one chocolate?), or the LA Times lemon upside-down cake with Meyer lemons. I'm not sure why I'm leaning towards citrus - perhaps just seasonality, or some odd sense that it's more compatible with the menu?
Drinks are usually some vodka concoction (blood orange martinis, maybe) and Pimm's Cup (we have an English host), and whatever wine is brought/in the kitchen.
I'm definitely open to suggestions, especially for things we can add to the entree category - especially anything that can be done truly in advance or in the oven, since we've pretty much maxed out our burners already (I've been trying to remember how we fit the 2 rices and 3 entrees on 4 burners last year!). Would some sort of soba noodle dish work? Dessert, too. I'm usually a big pastry person, but the whole event is a bit overwhelming, so I'm trying to do something a bit simpler this year. We're obviously not worried about or even aiming for authenticity, just thematic consistency.
Thanks for your input!
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