Actually, it's a very simple dinner I'm making on Friday evening for a friend. I'm doing a pasta dish that takes about 20 minutes to prepare from boiling the rigatoni to cooking the sausage and kale. I'm also doing a salad. I'd like to sear scallops to serve with the salad, BUT ... if I do the scallops, then I would like the salad to be the primo piatto. However, I then have to prepare the pasta for the secondo with a 15-20 minute delay. If you were a guest, would this be okay? Or can I sear the scallops earlier and serve them at room temperature with the salad?
I guess I can do the sausage and kale ahead of time, and have it sit in the skillet, and boil the pasta while we're eating the salad. But then I run the risk of the kale looking tired and changing color. Sometimes I think I should find menus where everything can just be reheated and served at once.
Orchestrating a meal where things get finished before serving is one of my biggest challenges in the kitchen. It also doesn't help that the kitchen is in a loft condo, and it totally exposed so I can't really make a big mess while I'm cooking.