July 22nd 2010 07:39 am
With the summer months rolling around, people might find themselves stuck with the task of planning a family reunion, or other event. Of all the details necessary to make an up-coming event successful, planning a dinner menu always proves to be the hardest “hurdle” to tackle.
Even more stressful, is when persons have hosted so many parties, they have exhausted every possible menu combination known to man. Or, at least, so they think!
Party planners who find themselves in this pickle should fear not. They may think they have tried every possible recipe and menu combination, but as many as they might have tried, there are always new menu ideas being created everyday, ready for them to try.
Take for example, a tri-cultured menu which might include dishes native to other countries. Chinese and Indian cuisine are surprisingly delicious and would give guests to the bash a chance to try something new! It may also be safe to conclude that none of the prospective guests have ever tried Ackee and Salt fish- a dish native to the island of Jamaica?
A tri-cultured menu is an innovative idea, and can be pulled off with the right balance of savory, sour, sweet and spicy dishes. Speaking of spicy: many ethnic dishes are traditionally prepared with hot and spicy pepper. If a tri-cultured menu is chosen, then the party planner should also prepare a detailed beverage menu. Milk shakes and other frozen drinks would compliment this type of food very well!
Having determined what is to be served at the event, the planner may then consider: “do I order a mix of meats and “sides” from each restaurant, or do I try cooking these dishes myself?” Whatever the decision is in this regard, it will be a most critical decision, as the décor or layout of the venue, has not yet been planned. Not to mention preparation of fruit punch, frozen cocktails and other mixed drinks.
So now that we have worked out the perfect summer buffet for this gathering, let us review the menu line-up to be served. Here is a hypothetical list that you can “tweek” to perfection!
- Indian dishes (source, amishaindiancuisine.com) – appetizers: Vegetable Lentil Soup, served with Garlic Nan (unleavened baked bread stuffed with garlic). Main course: Shrimp Curry, Lamb Karahi (lamb cooked in wok with herbs and spices), Bengan Aloo (eggplant sautéed in a garlic blend).
- Chinese dishes (source, chinatowninn.net) – as part of the main course: Egg Foo Yung- Beef, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Pepper Steak.
- Jamaican dishes (source, Jamaicans.com/cooking/)- as part of the appetizers: Salt Fish Fritters. As part of the main course: Ackee and Salt fish served with Fried Dumplings, and Boiled Yam, Boiled Dumplings and Boiled Green Bananas.
- Side dishes- plain white rice; potato salad; creamed sweet potatoes; pumpkin pie; ripe avocado (sliced); lightly steamed beet root (sliced); pumpkin rice (Jamaican-style); fried rice (Chinese-style).
- Desserts- strawberry cheese cake (serve cold); cake with icing (try Betty Crocker cake mix); ice-cream (offer 2 flavors).