I'm planning to do a roasted pork shoulder (boneless, but skin on - marinated in garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, vegetable oil, and vinegar overnight, then roasted for 3 hours at 350) for my sister and my husband in two weeks. I'll serve a salad of watercress with sliced oranges and onions with a vinaigrette that includes mustard and cumin, pan-fried sweet plantains and baked rice with pigeon peas. The recipes for the pork, plantains and rice came from Tyler Florence's Food 911 on TVFN and looked really good. I keep thinking I should have a starter, but I'm at a loss. I would like something that's light and ultra simple. Allergy consideration: can't have shrimp. Or do you think the watercress salad, served first, would suffice?
As to dessert, I've got a few things in mind and have to pick one: Coconut Rice Custard (from Real Simple's April issue); Cook's Illustrated Lemon Tart (from January 2000) - I've done this several times with great success, but it's a bit labor intensive and I'm not sure I want to go there; Mark Bittman's Date or Apricot Squares (NYTimes 3/9/2005). This looks pretty easy, a bit rustic, and can be done ahead and refrigerated for a couple of days. Anybody have an opinion on any of these three, or a suggestion of your own? Only one allergy to consider - cinnamon. Anything else is fine.
Thanks in advance for your input!