I'm making dinner for 6 on New Year's Eve. Here's the menu - do you think I ought to add a potato or other starch dish? If so, any recommendations for a relatively stress-free preparation? I'll have a lot going on, but I've already prepared the vegetable mixture for the couscous and made the coconut cake. The duck will roast at 250 degrees for 4 hours, then 350 degrees for the last hour; the gratin will go into the oven at 375 degrees when the duck comes out and goes into the warming drawer. So a potato dish could cook during that last hour with the duck or the half-hour with the gratin.
Items with an asterisk are vegetarian. (One of my guests is a vegetarian and his wife doesn't care for duck).
with cocktails before dinner: Salmon Rillettes and Vegetable Pate* with toast points
Hot Wine Broth (& Pureed Black Bean Soup*)
Roast Duck with Madeira Sauce
Vegetable Couscous* with Cucumber Raita*
Cauliflower & Leek Gratin*
Oh, and, by the way, Happy New Year to all!