Please critique my weekend menu!!
Hi Everyone, Thanks to all who have commented on my prior menus! We're heading out to my boyfriend's family's home in Chatham, MA, this week. Of course, I've been nominated as the chef. I think we'll dine out many nights, but I am preparing a big Sunday dinner. I'm thinking Mexican would be fun, festive, and approachable plus easy to share. So:
Guacamole with serrano chiles Chilaquiles (essentially a Mexican red-sauce casserole) Swordfish tacos with pickled cabbage and habanero crema Cactus paddles with smoky adobo sauce for dipping
For dessert, a flan of some kind -- ideas? Drinks: Hibiscus margaritas and lime soda
I will be cooking for 8 people. I'm nervous -- never met his family before. Is Mexican a good idea, or maybe something more New England?? Ahh!
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 63||03/29/2013|
No one likes flan.
It's like cold soup. No one likes cold soup. No, even not YOUR cold soup.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 1||07/27/2012|
8 people with the farts. GREAT idea!
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 2||07/27/2012|
I would not recommend a Mexican menu for people you've never met. A lot of people don't like spicy food or new 'stuff'. Stick to a New England menu.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 3||07/27/2012|
People in New England don't eat Mexican food. And no one eats Flan. Yuck.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 4||07/27/2012|
Put a spray can of febreeze on the tank behind the toilet.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 5||07/27/2012|
Well, I, for one, think it's marvy...and with all those margaritas who is going to care about farts? Just so all the men's bottoms are pinched plentifully and vigorously.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 6||07/27/2012|
I love flan. What kind of idiot doesn't like flan?
In New England, just call it custard.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 7||07/27/2012|
The uber-WASPs of Chatham are not going to be pleased with Mexican food. Think seafood and make it a French concoction if you want them to invite you back.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 8||07/27/2012|
Yankees are used to eating food that is very bland, so I agree that Mexican would not go over well. I mean, these people think Old Bay is actually seasoning (it has no flavor whatsoever).
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 9||07/27/2012|
No to Mexican. Yes to flan, but send it my way, I'll eat it.
Seriously, you'll probably be ridiculed behind your back for that menu. Go with something like conventional pot roast.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 10||07/27/2012|
I live in NE and I love Mexican food. But I'll pass on the flan.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 11||07/27/2012|
You could cook that meal for me any day, OP, but I live in Texas.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 12||07/27/2012|
My mother would never eat the Mexican food you listed. I would go with something else to be safe.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 13||07/27/2012|
Boo-hoo-hoo... my dreams of a fussy and elaborate Tex-Mex menu, forcing them to eat the cuisine of my choice and elaborate design, will all be crushed! Oh, whatever shall I do to win the in-laws over with my prissy menu planning? Everyone is impressed by prissy menu planning!
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 14||07/27/2012|
Sounds pretty gay OP. I glazed over after reading about the first course...
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 15||07/27/2012|
Your menus are creative and labor-intensive but skimp on vegetables or salads.
Use good corn, good green beans, good peaches, and anything local that looks promising.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 16||07/27/2012|
r17, that's OP's boyfriend
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 18||07/27/2012|
It's a great menu including the flan. It won't be as sophisticated but definitely have a few easy but safe items available for the less adventurous - salads incorporating fresh ingredients. Great advice from R16. A simple salad. Blueberries and peaches are fantastic now. Perhaps a mixed bean salad or bean and corn dish. Keep those items simple and lightly seasoned. Tiny corn muffins. Just thinking of my waspy, older relatives and I think they would find those things appealing and hopefully would also surprise themselves by enjoying your original menu too. Good luck.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 19||07/27/2012|
You lost me at CACTUS PADDLES! Who in the what?
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 20||07/28/2012|
R14 sounds single. Old and single.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 21||07/28/2012|
OP here -- cactus paddles are delicious!! Thanks for your comments. I am erring now on the side of something more "classic," though I do think swordfish tacos are fairly harmless for this crowd. Anyone here been to Chatham? What is it like?
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 23||07/28/2012|
I believe swordfish are being over-fished.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 24||07/28/2012|
OP, are you the same poster who put up the menu for the first week of living with your bf, the likes of which hasn't been seen since Martha Stewart got out of jail?
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 25||07/28/2012|
I think the menu sounds great -- but I agree that it's a little 'out there' for people you've never met AND for people from New England. It amazes me that people from the midwest and east coast really DON'T like and can't handle spicy food, for the most part, but that seems to be the case. I know it sounds like regional profiling, but . . . good luck. It still all sounds pretty yummy for me, but I'm from Texas! Yeah, flame away!!!
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 26||07/28/2012|
I've been to Chatham and it's lovely near the ocean. Nice to walk around in Chatham. Some really lovely homes and the Chathams Bar Inn is definitely a gorgeous place to stay as resorts go. It's a plce for families with small children and definitely a place for the over 60 set.
Having said that, OP farm to table cuisine would be a wonderful idea. Mixing traditional with new flavors.
For instance, pulled pork BBQ and corn on the cob, with a nice salad accompanying. You can add something unexpected to the salad like green apples or pears or fresh fennel.
Seafood is readily available and a staple of everyone's diet on the Cape. So don't do seafood. But do look for fresh veggies to use, and salad greens and fresh tomatoes.
I'd end things with a blueberry or peach cobbler, or fresh strawberry shortcake. No flans in the summer. No. You might also look into some wonderful gourmet ice cream recipes. That is something that would be fun & interesting.
Personally I'd do a pork roast with grilled veggies and salad, and then strawberry shortcake with homemade ice cream for dessert. But that's me.
Remember. There is something very unpretentious and determinedly normal about the Cape. So pick something you can do well, that will make people feel relaxed and comfortable. Something familiar. The most important thing people will say of you is that everything was delicious.
They are big on Mac & Cheese out there. Think of some gourmet Mac & Cheese concoction. They'll love it. I've had lobster Mac & Cheese and while it's heart attack inducing, it was delish.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 27||07/28/2012|
Making chilaquiles AND tacos is redundant, esepically since you'll have 2 red sauces (serrano, which is really spicy, and adobo, which is again really spicy. Bag the chilaquiles and nopales. Keep the fish, available as a taco or just grilled. Add: -corn, fresh but off the cob to avoid dinner messiness OR as a corn green chili casserole. -a cold, fresh salad: perhaps crunchy jicama matchsticks with a lime dressing. -a berry crumble for dessert.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 28||07/28/2012|
If they aren't foodies, your effort will be lost on them. They might even think you're working too hard to impress. Keep it simple and do something you know you do well. Nothing you couldn't do in your sleep. That way you will be free to enjoy their company and get to know them instead of fretting over the meal, which makes everyone uncomfortable.
BTW--Fish tacos = bad idea. Not everyone likes that shit.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 29||07/28/2012|
You can't get more mainstream than Mexican food. If your new in-laws can't handle that, fuck 'em.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 30||07/28/2012|
You can get A LOT more mainstream than Mexican food, R30. Especially when it involves fish tacos (blech). Ever heard of a classic American BBQ? Yeah....dogs, burgers, chicken, steaks on the grill. That's mainstream and safe, which is what OP needs to do when he knows NOTHING about their tastes and preferences.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 31||07/28/2012|
A lot of New Englanders tend to be fairly provincial in their tastes. I would not do fish tacos or Mexican. It really isn't as main stream in the N.E. as it is out west. If you must do mexican, at least have some other options for the people who don't like fish. I would suggest chicken fajitas. At least that's something they will recognize from their local Chili's menu.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 32||07/28/2012|
I don't believe in pandering to Americans' lack of adventurousness when entertaining. At best, you're going to expand their horizons. At worst, they'll be polite but they won't ask for seconds.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 33||07/28/2012|
Apparently the boyfriend is incapable of suggesting menu items.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 34||07/28/2012|
Stop urging OP to change the menu. Let him make his Mexican fiesta and have his boyfriend's family and friends turn him on. Then the BF will DTMFA and we won't have to be plagued by his over-the-top menus anymore!!
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 35||07/28/2012|
Yes, how gracious of you, R33. By all means serve only what YOU like and hope no one pukes. Good plan. That should impress the new in-laws.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 36||07/28/2012|
Can't stand foodie control freaks who insist that everyone must "expand their horizons" and eat/appreciate the things THEY like. Some people just hate fish. Some are allergic to it. Most people are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves what they like and don't like. Offer a range of options---some daring if you like. But there must be some safer items on the menu as well when you don't know what someone's preferences are.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 37||07/28/2012|
Listen to r27 and r28.
I live in new england mexican food is very common here. Most people do like it but not everyone. But in July, not so much. It tends to be heavy/spicy and better suited for cooler weather.
Will you have access to a grill? I'd suggest something very basic, some good cuts of beef, or marinated swordfish kabobs or chicken breasts.
Local produce this time of year is great so make a salad or two. Keep things simple and flavorful and don't try too hard to impress.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 38||07/28/2012|
[quote]They are big on Mac & Cheese out there. Think of some gourmet Mac & Cheese concoction. They'll love it. I've had lobster Mac & Cheese and while it's heart attack inducing, it was delish.
Have to disagree with this. Many people, esp people who know/like seafood think this is a waste of lobster. It's often a way for restaurants to disguise canned/frozen lobster, which is nowhere near as good as fresh. Fresh lobster is cheap and plentiful now; if you serve lobster, just steam it.
First order of business: find out if any diners have any dietary restrictions or allergies/strong aversions.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 39||07/28/2012|
Pitiful, pitiful, pitiful.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 40||07/28/2012|
The menu sounds stupid, as does the whole situation: No one invites guests they've never met over to cook an elaborate meal.
Obvious trolling, but a worthy effort in its parody of prissy menu planning and its sub-textual suggestions of drama in an unexpected place: the staid New England conservativeness vs queeny forays into nouvelle cuisine.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 42||07/28/2012|
Lobster, fried clams, new potatoes, corn, cole slaw, and a nice pie will impress them far more than your ersatz Paulina Rubio lounge act.
As long as you know how to cook them all properly.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 43||07/28/2012|
My Yankee mom wouldn't really like that menu much, at the very least you ought to know whether they like Mexican food first. I love flan, and hate cold soup.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 45||07/28/2012|
Probably true, R43. What kind of host doesn't provide food for a guest they're just meeting for the first time, and instead "selects" that person to be the chef? Also, I'm pretty sure asking the boyfriend what his family likes to eat might be more fruitful than asking DL for advice.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 46||07/28/2012|
Cook whatever the hell you want OP. If they are nice gracious people, they will eat some of everything and at least pretend they like it. If they are assholes about what you have prepared for them...well, at least it's out in the open now and you can respond accordingly.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 48||07/28/2012|
Great menu for folks in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Southern California. Can you get them to move, OP?
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 49||07/28/2012|
Try this twist on a carnival favorite - corn dogs!
Buy 8 free-range Turkey sausages at Whole Foods. Grill over charcoal with applewood or hickory. Dip in a serano pasole batter and flash fry. Combining sweet with savory, brush with chocolate jalapeno ganache. Serve in striped carny paper.
Once they dig in, announce to Chet and Suzy that "you are eating Tommy's weiner in my stinky poop hole!" Everyone will laugh as they enjoy the delicious corn dogs. Wear a thong peaking up your Talbot's jeans. Suck off Tommy's dad under the picnic table.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 50||07/28/2012|
I know people here hate cold soup but gazpacho is really good this time of year, especially in New England. Easy to make, and it's peak season for local tomatoes. I'd do that or simple bruschetta as an app.
Then marinated beef or chicken kabobs (grilled or broiled) on quinoa or couscous salad. Maybe another salad on the side as a veg. if you are grilling, make separate skewers of each vegetable/meat (ie do NOT combine them to look pretty). They all take different times to cook.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 52||07/28/2012|
My husband prefers my gazpacho fresh from the microwave.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 53||07/28/2012|
OP here -- my boyfriend has told his family how much I love to cook, so his mom in an effort to welcome me suggested that I cook dinner one night, as they are also having their next-door neighbors over. No one ordered me to be the chef! But I do love cooking. Thanks everyone. On the Cape now and will update about how dinner went, if I can!
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 54||07/29/2012|
[quote]will update about how dinner went, if I can!
That sounds ominous. Are you expecting some type of insurrection if they don't like the food?
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 55||07/29/2012|
Try a Round-the-World menu! It's so easy, especially if you serve it with a refreshing Heineken beer from Germany! It's the very latest thing!
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 56||07/29/2012|
[quote]OP here -- my boyfriend has told his family how much I love to cook, so his mom in an effort to welcome me suggested that I cook dinner one night, as they are also having their next-door neighbors over. No one ordered me to be the chef! But I do looooove cooking.
This one developed into the most drama with nobody wanting the food and sending for help from Papa John.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 58||12/29/2012|
Flaming asshole baked Alaska. That should be no problem for you, op.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 59||12/29/2012|
[quote]I've been nominated as the chef.
You must have been thrilled by the nomination. When will the results be announced? Who will you wear?
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 60||03/01/2013|
OP has been watching Pati's Mexican Table on public t.v.
|by Galloping gourmet||reply 63||03/29/2013|