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Surprise Dinner on Thursday Night

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Surprise Dinner on Thursday Night

Pat Goldberg | Sep 9, 2003 12:24 PM

I am going to host a surprise dinner on Thursday -- but I am the one who will be surprised. Don't ask why, but I won't know until Wednesday evening or Thursday morning how many people are going to show up. It might be as few as 4 or as many as 14.

Both because of this uncertainty and the possibly large number of people, I have decided to make things that can be served buffet style. I also want to make use of the wonderful stuff available at Wednesday's green market. This will allow me to buy things that I can use in a variety of ways for ourselves should the crowd be on the small side.

So I plan to roast peppers and to fix tomatoes in a shallot vinaigrette. I think I will make a potato salad from one or another of the special potatoes available. Dessert will be peach crisp and/or plum clafouti, depending on the size of the crowd.

The question is what to do about protein. I want to offer things that 1) can be purchased on Thursday morning and simply cooked; and 2) can be served cold or at room temperature. Assuming a crowd, I would like to do one meat and one fish. If it is a small number, I will do only one of them.

I suppose I could poach some salmon but, frankly, I am bored with salmon. Any other fish suggestions? And what about a meat dish? I thought about a fillet of beef, but that requires advance ordering, something I am trying to avoid? Any suggestions?

Any and all ideas welcome.

Pat G.

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