3 carnivores and a veggie to dinner on Saturday.
So a base of something with either meat or quorn on top perhaps?
Starters, just do a nice veg soup if the weather is bad, or fruit salad, melon dominating that you can serve some ham with. Or mixed antipasti -salamis, olives, other tasty stuff from jars.
Mains...if you want a stew or chilli, prep the same veg and seasonings for two and add meat to a different pot. Use marigold veg stock - it is tasty stuff. Or involtini, half with meat, half with aubergine (meat eaters will probably enjoy them too and you don't need to do the egg-based fillings). Or indian - curry and a daal plus rice. Again, meat eaters will enjoy daal. Or if you want to just do meat and veg, give the vegetarian a nice juicy, tasty grilled portabello mushroom with garlic where you've given everyone else beef. The prep and cooking process is practically identical. Also, pick your own gourmet topping homemade pizza will scale to 4 if your oven is big enough.
So, the thought I had was: make this risotto, then form it into small patties (maybe a bit over an inch diameter and half to three quarters thick). Then fry the patties so the outsides are crispy. Then present on a platter with a dollup of creme fraiche or something else tart or sweet to counter the richness. Appetizers are supposed to be over the top yummy so it's okay if they are super rich -- you only eat a few bites.
I don't have any good suggestions for a main dish (I avoid just substituting quorn for meat), but for a substantial side if you like peasant food, a gratin of mixed root veggies (potatoes, turnips, beets, sunchokes, etc.) sliced thin and layered with strips of kale or collard greens with a bechamel poured on each layer. Finish with more bechamel and cheese on top. Incredibly substantial if you do it right (note: it is hard to add too much greens because they kind of disappear). Note that I put quite a bit of spice into the bechamel (bit of chile and other things) to give it some flavor other than OMG CREAMY GOODNESS."There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
This comment has been deleted by aggressive cyclist
That and a non-trivial sized food processor are all I'm lacking that would get used more than 10 times per year - our metric when binning superfluous kitchen gear when we moved.
I'd call them little balls of deliciousness, myself.
And yes, rice plus lots of cheese will sit heavily; best placed in a 5 course meal with very small portions or a small bit as a start.
We have a fair few root veggies and greens in our farm veggie box today; some sort of sauce based gratin would probably go down nicely, and I'll probably nick Merekat's big mushroom idea as a meat substitute.
And thanks for the recipes!
OT: Down to my last quarter inch of bacon salt. I just keep finding new uses for it. Like, awesome on freshly made popcorn.
Borscht would be a good idea; got plenty of beetroots.
Some excellent ideas there, a_c, I would guess you have a lot of experience in minimising effort to deliver tasty carnivore and veggie plates.
Will probably avoid the Thai curry tomorrow but those recipe suggestions will be experimented with when it's just the family - the beef, chicory and ginger sounds excellent. For the tea - English tea or Japanese Green tea? Leaves in or stewed and strained?
Cheers for the ideas.
(*) nor myco protein substitute.
--------It's political correctness gone mad!
I wasn't expecting health benefits, thinking all that stuff was bollocks hippy propoganda, but in all honesty the weight has fallen off and I feel great.
(I'm not discounting that this is just part of being generally more aware about what I eat, and the fact that most veggie food doesn't go well with mashed potatoes and gravy like meat does)
Fair enough on the hypocrite stance. I'll happily look the beast in the eye as I kill it humanely though, I don't know of many carnies who would though.
Anyone who can and does is fine with me.
How's the farts though?
How about something nice both camps can enjoy, that doesn't put too much overhead on the cooking side?
Kebabs are nice and easy to cook on the bbq, and can be prepared in advance. You can do meat ones, along with veggie ones using just onions, tomato, bell peppers and mushrooms.
This goes well with greek salad (assuming that feta is okay for your vegetarian), hummous, tabouleh, baba ganoush, pita, tzaziki. Everything is fairly easy, and for stuff that you don't want to make from scratch, Casbah makes some tolerable box mixes (find stuff like that in health food stores, not sure if you can find them in Londinium).
Almost all of it can be made in advance, freeing you from kitchen time when your guests are there. The only meat is in (some of) the kebabs, you have a complete protein with the chick pea and tahini in the hummous, tons of dips / appies, and everything is tasty.
My sister-in-law is celiac, so when there's a family potluck style dinner, my wife usually prepares (gluten free) food that everyone will be able to enjoy. However, my wife picks her dishes carefully so that you don't really notice the absence of wheat - as much as possible, she aims for everyone to be eating the same food, so that nobody is singled out as "different". It's less work as well. Even dessert, where it is hard to avoid gluten, is handled with something like a pavlova.
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If there's a vegetarian in the group, why not just serve food that doesn't have meat?
It's not exactly limiting.
--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.
Probably best park it there, eh?
But hold on! One of your friends is allergic to peanuts! What a jerk. How inconvenient!
Do you (a) select something else to server for your dinner party, or (b) cook satay chicken anyway, and also something else for the guy who has an allergy, whilst feeling bitter and resentful about the extra effort?
The point is, there is nothing about being an omnivore that dictates that you MUST have meat in EVERY meal. It is not a dietary or moral imperative, and acting as if it is - acting as if serving food to a vegetarian (or vegan, even) is a gross fucking inconvenience - is just stupid.
A better analogy would be someone on the Atkins diet coming to your house for dinner.
In any case, this diary was trying to find a way to put something together that everyone can eat and enjoy, with little extra overhead to accommodate both camps.
Refer back to my comment #27; you're arguing against no viewpoint espoused by me in this diary.
Much the same as many peoples' vegetarianism, my choice to serve meat for those who eat it is as valid as their choice not to. Seeking to minimise the overhead for this is surely no crime, even for the most militant of veggies.
But anyway, my points wasn't supposed to be "you should not serve meat", more along the lines of "why bother with two dishes, vegi food is just as yummy".--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.
You may find this strange, but I do not find veggie food as tasty, on balance. Mushroom soup tastes much better with chicken stock in it, as do a panopoly of bean casseroles and so forth.
Blend some walnuts, olive oil and parmesan in a blender with one clove of raw garlic and some black pepper. Ratios vary to taste but you need quite a lot of walnuts and parmesan. Look it up on the internet, I tend to be a bit random about it though.
The garlic gives it just the right amount of bite and tastes great, don't be tempted to put another clove in though, it pushes it over the edge.
Mix it with pasta and halved raw cherry tomatoes.
Not sure if this is a dinner party dish really, but it's great comfort food and dead easy to make. No cooking apart from the pasta.
The proper Italian way is to skin the walnuts, but this is such a pain it's untrue (does taste better though).