I'll be serving a rich seafood dish: oysters, shrimp, leeks, fennel, cream. I think a green salad to follow is a good idea. What would you do for a first course?
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Why not some sort of consommé or broth soup with two or three veggie raviolis
hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.
This cream of celery soup is delicious. It's pretty light & has a good deal of flavor. I love it as a first course. http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000001955948
I love the flavor ideas you're both working with, but my dish will be stewish, so I'd like a starter with texture. It may be that I should just go with crispy snappy things to eat with drinks and not worry about a first course.
How about an non-green salad? http://www.food52.com/recipes... or http://www.epicurious.com...
amysarah is a trusted home cook.
Since you already have a creamy soupy/seafood main, plus the green salad, I'd contrast with different flavors and textures as a first course. A favorite winter starter of mine is slices of fresh juicy pear with thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma draped over them, drizzled with a little aged balsamic (sometimes I shave some parmesan over the top too.) Super easy - no cooking, just assembling - light and really good.
Nora, how about sharing the recipe for your seafood dish? It sounds wonderful!
Start with this tasty and healthy Ayurvedic Soup http://www.flickr.com/photos...
I would serve nuts, olives and maybe cheese straws OR crudite with with a dipping sauce (amanda's olive oil-anchovy combo, which is somewhere on food52). Keep it crunchy and light.
I second amysarah's and allie's suggestions. Since your dish sounds so rich (and DIVINE), I think something sharp, with texture and tang, would be really nice. And I like your idea, Nora, to frame it as "snacks with the drinks" instead of a first course. That's probably what I would do.
YUM...to be a guest at your dinner how wonderful! I like everyone's ideas in this tread: crunchy, salty starters. Would you be open to starting as mentioned above with snacks and munchies. I was thinking one of the things you could offer in that case would be 2 different crostini. Some type of cheese & prosciutto combination, and then one vegetarian option. A similar option could be mini grilled cheese sandwiches, like served at tea-time just made elegant served with the other ideas above.
I also love sitting around the table w/ a cheese fondue course: dipping bread, potatoes, sausage. It's heavy yes, but just a taste so its not overdone. There's just something festive about it.
You are all brilliant and I want to eat everything you've mentioned. Keep ideas coming, and I'll report back, including directions for my seafood dish. Happily, the friends who are coming are up for anything, so I'll be tweaking and making notes as I go. Cheers!
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
This may be a reach but a Lousiana pork boudin sausage would work well with your main course ingredients. One of my own guilty pleasures. This is acadian (cajun) road house/cafe food. Watch for signs outside offering "hot boudin". It's most typically served with saltine crackers. You open up the casing and squeeze it out onto the casing. There are on-lines sources for "cajun" boudin but the second day shipping will possibly four times the price of sausage itself, which fortunately is pretty damn cheap. One source even sells alligator boudin.
I hope some of you revisit this question. I've posted my recipe, and the menu which incorporated some of your ideas. Thanks to everyone!