Home Cooking 13

Please help critique and/or round out this menu..

bella_sarda | Dec 29, 200707:41 AM

Having a small, informal dinner party for 6-8 on New Year's Eve. Here's what I've got in mind so far. I'm looking for a few extra flourishes to really make it complete---taste-wise, color-wise, texture-wise. Or, if you think something doesn't fit, I'm open to redactions.

Hors d'oeuvres:

cherry tomatoes stuffed with goat cheese and olive tapenade;

smoked salmon pinwheels (a mix of smoked salmon, cream cheese, and butter rolled up in slices of pumpernickel bread, pinwheel-style, cut fancifully on the diagonal)

First course:

butternut squash ravioli with browned butter and fresh sage (ravioli are store-bought but fresh and from an excellent source)

Second course:

roast pork loin with marmalade glaze, red onions and parsnips, (recipe from CooksCountry.com; have never tried it but it looks simple and everything supposedly gets caramelized and juicy from the marmalade sauce); I'm planning to add, as an optional additional condiment, a "mostarda di peperoni" I bought at Formaggio as a condiment--it's a spicy-sweet pepper-honey-raisin concoction that is supposed to work with roast meat. I hope it doesn't clash with the marmalade glaze.

simple mixed greens (arugula, spinach) with olive oil and lemon juice


Not sure yet, but thinking of either a ricotta-mascarpone cheesecake with raspberry sauce (the cheesecake has a layer of choc chips on the bottom), OR a honey-pine-nut tart (recipe from Jamie Oliver) OR a simple orange-flavored sponge cake with orange and chocolate icings and vanilla ice cream. (regarding the last option: I'm worried that orange cake after orange pork may be too much orange, but also thinking that a running theme might be interesting)

Some points to consider:
Of the desserts, the orange cake is simplest and the cheesecake the most onerous (requires draining the ricotta, according to Cook's illustrated)

Also: any fabulous wine-pairing suggestions for the pork (think of the condiments) ?

Thanks hounds!!!

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