Home Cooking 8

Help! - Dinner for 4 to 13!

Deenso | Jan 9, 200807:24 AM

My husband and I are having an informal dinner party weekend after next and I don't yet know how many guests I'll have. Number of diners could be anywhere from just 4 (including us) to as many as 13. I'll know better by this weekend, I hope. Here's what I'm thinking of serving...

With pre-dinner drinks: a charcuterie platter, including roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, olives, etc.

Appetizer: potato-filled ravioli with tomatoes, leeks and pancetta.

If it's just dinner for 4, I'm going to roast a beef tenderloin and we'll have a sit-down meal. If the numbers go up to 8, I'll want to add a side of roast salmon and we'll turn it into a buffet. And, if it goes all the way to 12 or 13, I'll add a roast pork tenderloin. (Figuring all these things will leave me with plenty of leftovers for Sunday and Monday - great sandwiches.)

Side dishes: baked, stuffed tomatoes with goat cheese; sauteed spinach; sauteed green beans.

Desserts: coconut cake (Paula Deen recipe) and, if everybody's coming, a red velvet cake.

Thing is, I've never roasted a side of salmon. It seems to be a fairly simple thing - put the salmon on a baking sheet, sprinkle it with a bit of vegetable oil, salt and pepper, and roast it for 10 to 12 to 15 minutes. But I don't know what the temperature should be. Am I underestimating the ease of preparation? I figured I'd experiment this weekend, 'cause I don't want to serve something I've never tried before to my guests. I'd really appreciate any insights/guidance you can offer. Comments on my menu would also be welcome.


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