Suggestions for my wedding dinner menu for 10-12 people scheduled for October or early November?

Menu will be local and seasonal (Connecticut). I'm a competent cook and will do much of the cooking myself and hire catered help for set-up/breakdown, serving, beverages, etc... I can prep ahead of time, maybe use slow-cooker and OK being in kitchen doing some simple last minute things. I have lots of produce in freezer and canned. Have access to fantastic local fish, duck, chicken, pork and beef. Trying to piece together everything from apps to dessert and can't think of a better group of people to ask! Somewhat elegant but rustic, (no baked pasta dishes, please!) What would you suggest?



bugbitten October 11, 2011
Gee, sorry again, I'm watching the Republicans debate and I'm so mixed up I missed your last post completely. I'm thinking of twelve people passing heavy dishes and the Uncle's are tipsy by now and the kids are playing games on their phones. Maybe antipasto platters, pass the soup terrine, then plate and bring the main course to the table? I'm reverting to my "Best Wishes!".
bugbitten October 11, 2011
Oops, sorry, I missed "somewhat elegant but rustic". I think I would still go with plating the dishes in the kitchen and having the helpers serve if I could. Oh, and "Congratulations!" if you're the groom!
breakbread October 11, 2011
Thank you for all the suggestions so far! In response to a couple questions, there are no food allergies and I picture a sit-down, candle-lit dinner with serving dishes on table (at least for right now). Did I mention a couple 13 year-olds and a 16 year-old are there, too?? ;-)) Two of which will move food around on their plate. Sigh. They do expect my French rolls...
Love the idea of roasted meats with fall/savory concoctions. Concerned with having gratins with cream as my experience is they are either PERFECT or the cream separates and dries out; not sure how my attention span will be or the experience of serving staff. As Bugbitten writes, maybe I should unleash my Sensible Paranoid-self. She is never far away, anyway....
bugbitten October 11, 2011
Wow! You don't say how formal the affair will be, or whether it's a buffet or sit down dinner. Will you serve each guest their own prepared plate, or pass dishes around the table? Assuming you're going all-out, stuffed Cornish hen is very elegant, especially with individual gratins of potato or fall veggies. Any sensible paranoid would use the slow cooker to make beef Bourguignon a day ahead, in case the little birds decide to burst into flame in your oven. All the advice you've gotten so far seems great, and do be sure to check for those allergies. Best wishes!
inpatskitchen October 11, 2011
Or maybe a whole poached salmon served cold which can certainly be made ahead of time and looks extremely elegant on a platter with various veggies ( green beans, redskins, asparagus etc) surrounding and a cucumber dill sauce .
hardlikearmour October 11, 2011
Appetizers: Chevre Devils and Fig and Blue Cheese Savories
Salad: Amanda's Radish and Pecan Grain Salad
First course: Lorinarlocks Butternut Squash Galette
Main course: I agree with JessicaBakes, some sort of roast that would feed 10 to 12 people.
Side: EmilyC's Crispy Cream-Braised Potatoes and Fennel
Dessert: Midge's Burnt Caramel Pudding
Burnt O. October 11, 2011
A lot of it depends on your guests? Anyone with food allergies? Can't eat pork or seafood? Vegetarians? Vegans? Once you narrow that down. You're good to go with planning. I think a rustic Tuscan pork roast or roast ducks with fall fruits like apples, figs, cranberries, and veg like squash, pumpkin, roots, would be awesome. Maybe a whole grain salad or risotto like farro with local cheeses and fruits as a side.
JessicaBakes October 11, 2011
BRAVE WOMAN! I think this current contest will help you find a delicious and beautiful roast to be the center piece. Bon Appetit also just did a feature on one-pot dishes in their latest issue, and they look delicious, so that's another fantastic resource for easy-to-prep-in-advance dishes.

For appetizers, I would recommend all cook- or prep-ahead items like charcuterie plates.
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