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Help, anniversary

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

It's my mom and dad's anniversary, and me and my dad are cooking for my mom. I've already come up with this menu, and I want to see what you think should be changed, or added. The 3rd item might sound weird, but I know how im putting it together, and im pretty sure it will work fine. However, I need a palate cleanser as my fifth item, but I can't think what. When I think of fresh things my mom likes, I think of cilantro, mint, and cucumber, but you can add something to it, she's not picky at all. Here's the menu so far:
1.salmon rolls (crispy skin, avocado filling)

2.bread, butter, radish, salt

3.salmon w/ kiwi vinagriette, carrot, coconut

4.lamb with mustard, sprout salad

5.Palate cleanser sponge cake rolls


I myself want to change somethings on here, but I just can't think today. For example, I know my mom LOVES bread with butter, radish, and good sea salt, but I just don't think it fits there. Any help is appreciated

post #2 of 13
1. Not sure if that's smoke salmon or fresh salmon? Or raw salmon? Either way, sounds good.

2. I would skip the bread. Radish, butter and salt is a marriage made in heaven. It doesn't need anything else.

3. Kinda going back to #1 - same protein? Sounds good too though. But personally, I would avoid using the same protein in two different courses in the same meal.

4. Lamb with mustard sounds good, but with sprout salad? I'm not so sure. Is that a rack of lamb? Roasted? Glazed with mustard? If you want a cold salad with that, I'd go for watercress.

Well with your suggested ingredients, it seems like your palate cleanser should be a shot glass of raita, yogurt cucumber and mint, maybe even cilantro. Without considering your ingredients, I always think of "trou normand" for a palate cleanser: some kind of fruit sorbet (not sherbet) with liquor. For example apple sorbet with Calvados.
post #3 of 13
Originally Posted by mgchef View Post
I know my mom LOVES bread with butter, radish, and good sea salt, but I just don't think it fits there.

IMO it should be your first course - or more like a hors d'oeuvre really - let's call it amuse bouche.
post #4 of 13
make a sorbet if u can, a lemoncello sorbet is good i have a recipe somewhere.
Chef it up errrrday!!!
Chef it up errrrday!!!
post #5 of 13
The only way you can make #2 better is to make it an herbed butter, trust me it's awesome!  And I would put it as an hors d'ouevre.  Mix good quality butter with freshly chopped parsley, dill, and scallion, and salt.  Spread thickly on the bread and top with wafer thin radish slices.  Sprinkle with sea salt. 

Ok that's it I'm running out to the store to buy some radishes now.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #6 of 13
Looks like Mom likes Salmon also, what country are we in ??????????????? are you in Iceland
post #7 of 13
Your menu is somewhat confused. 

1.  Bread basket and crudites:  If you want to do bread, radish, butter, etc., they should be on the table when your family sits down, and the radish should be removed before the next, appetizer course.  It, or they if you prefer, are not an amuse bouche nor an appetzier.  They are a "bread basket" and a crudites with only one crudite.  The bread itself is a real opportunity to show off your baking skills.  If you don't bake your own, buy the good stuff.

2.  Appetizer, Salmon roll with avocado:  Unless you're doing a sushi-ya themed menu you should not have one salmon dish following another.  You need to decide between the salmon-skin roll (is it a sushi maki?) and the follow up salmon -- or else serve them together as two components of the same course and on the same plate. 

A better appetizer would be something which both compliments and presages the salmon to follow.  Consider something like fresh asparagus with a freshly made hollandaise -- to be eaten with the fingers.

3.  Fish course - Salmon:  As said before, too much salmon.  If you absolutely must have a fish course, consider either a fish soup; or, with spring here, a poached or smoked fish served cold with a light sauce, and some sort of light salad.

4.  Meat - Lamb with mustard, sprout salad:  Unless you've got some sort of real trick up your sleeve, the sprout salad is a horrible idea. It has no place at an anniversary dinner.

Serve the fish with the salad, and the lamb with a starch.  If you want to go meat, starch, veg consider something like brussels sprouts, green beans or asparagus.

5.  Palate cleanser:  You don't need a palate cleanser before dessert.  If you're going to serve one it goes between the fish and meat courses.  Since you aren't dressing the salmon with citrus you could get away with a lemon, lemon-lime, or grapefruit sorbet.  However, you don't really need one at all.  Serve champagne with the salmon, and treat yourselves to a final glass.

6.  Dessert - Mini Sponge Cake Rolls:  Unless this is one of Mom's favorites, they aren't particularly inspired as the ending for a festive meal.  When cooking for someone else, It helps to categorize desserts  as chocolate, citrus, vanilla, and fruit, the make a dessert which falls within her favorite category. 

Mousse au chocolat is always a good choice, and easy to do ahead. 

Hope this helps,
post #8 of 13
Wow! Me and BDL in perfect sync. That's happened what? One other time?

Something to keep in mind with menu planning: Favorite dishes do not necessarily go with each other. And there can be too much of a good thing.

I had two immediate reactions.

1. Bread, butter, radishes, salt as a dinner course? Not happening. You realized that yourself, and should follow your instincts. Assorted breads and butter should just be on the table, as BDL says.

2. Why all that salmon? Have it as a first course or as an entree, but there's no reason to do it twice. Personally, I would skip the fish course altogether, and use salmon as the first course. Perhaps individual salmon mousses? Or to bring her both the salmon and a wow start to the meal, seafood sausages with a fruity gastrique.

The lamb course does need tweaking. Too many celebrity chefs seem to think that piling garden truck on top of meat is a good thing. Most of the time it adds nothing to the dish except bulk. So drop the sprout salad. Simple roast new potatoes are all you need with the lamb. Or a potato cake. If you're very ambitious, and have the time, go with a potato pave. 

Iif you insist on a fish course, go with something else as a starter. Asparagus is a great idea, and seasonal to boot. Or maybe a butternut squash ravioli? Easy to make, and much more elegant than it deserves to be. Grilled zucchini roll-ups are another good possibility. They're tasty, visually pleasing, and compliment the salmon that's coming.

Given your Mom's proclivity for cooling flavors, you could even start with a gazpacho in cucumber shooters with a mint garnish.

As a treat for Mom, replace the fish course with a radish salad. I can post a nice recipe if you need one. Don't tell anyone, but it actually came from Rachael Ray. Shuuuush!

I don't see any need for a palate cleanser with this meal. If you go with a radish salad, you might like one between the salad and fish.  I'd go with something fruity but not sweet. Maybe cantaloupe juice shooters?

I don't do much with desserts, so will leave that recommendation to others. But I don't think sponge cake rolls are particularly elegant. Let's face it, at base they are just Twinkies.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
A. I know that the radish with bread isn't an actual course, but I'm putting it in there anyway not as a breadbasket, because I have to seperate the salmon.
B. The salmon rolls are just the skin of the salmon. Nothing else.Normally, I wouldn't do it either, but I can't just waste the rest of the fish, I have to use it. I don't think it will be to much salmon, considering one is just the skin.  I will make it crispy and fill with avocado mixture.
C. Yea, I know that the sprouts aren't a good idea with the lamb. But I couldn't get anything else in my head while making the menu. I expected lots of suggestions to be put there, and I did get lots. But, is there anything else besides potatoes? I think they're overused when served with meat, or at least I overuse them. For example, about three days ago I made beef with potato gratin. And not much before that, I had garlic mashed potatoes with steak.
D. The sponge cake roll is actually a charlotte royale made of sponge cake rolls. Does anyone know bonbini on this site? She has a blog, go check it out, and look for her charlotte royale, I'm doing the same thing, except she makes a roulade for the outside, im using sponge cake rolls.
It looks like this
post #10 of 13
Wow! That dessert is a long ways from what anyone would envision when just told "mini sponge rolls."  Go for it.

If you need something to separate the first course from the salmon entree, why not go with a salad? Or even a soup? I just can't get my head around the bread & radish thing as a course.

If not potatoes with the lamb, how about something like roasted orzo? Or some sort of grain dish---quinoa, kasha, millet, etc.? Other root veggies can work, too. What about something like glazed, roasted parsnips?

You don't, of course, have to confine the side to a starch. Sweet and sour pearl onions, for instance, goes with just about any lamb dish. So, too, do chickpeas, cowpeas, and even beans---all of which can be kicked up to be more festive. Cowpea cakes, for instance.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #11 of 13
Radish - my mum is a great fan of it too.  Maybe as an hors d'oeurve (sp?).  Lilttle rounds of bread - pumpernickel or dark rye would be my choice, sweet butter, wafer thin radish slices, flakes of sea salt.  Could even spread a little cream cheese or sour cream under the radishes.  Very rich, but if you serve only a few, it won't be too much.  And a sprig of dill if they enjoy that.

Awesome looking dessert - hope they have room for it after the other courses.  Maybe make mini versions of it?

Interesting use of the salmon skin - I dislike wastage too.

If potatoes are too old hat for you, try some wet polenta.  Season it well.

The lamb - thinking of a sauce with it?  I would.  Choose whatever you think will suit their tastes, especially if you will be serving a starch with the lamb.

I agree with a fruit sorbet after the lamb as a refresher.  Lamb leaves a mouth feel that needs to be washed away from the fat no matter how lean you cook it.  Easy to make ahead also.  Suggestions from previous posts all sound good.

Have you thought about what drinks to serve with the dinner?

P.S. Koukou - how were the radishes.....?
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
My parents own a wine and cheese shop with other products from Switzerland( where I'm from) Germany, Portugual, Spain, Italy, and probably a few other places. So to answer the question above, my dad knows what drinks go well with what courses.
KYHeirloomer, thanks alot you answered all my questions basically. I'm serving the lamb with an orzo salad( cucumber, dill, mustard etc.) Also, it's been suggested above somewhere, but you made my final addition, I'll seperate the salmon skin rolls and salmon fillet dish with a radish salad. And if you like the look of that dessert, go on Right now the last few posts have bee about her travelling in Europe, but look around a bit more and you'll find amazing desserts and dishes.
post #13 of 13
make it your own Recipe and dedicated it to your mom dad and it was great gift for them.
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