Saturday, August 15, 2009

Appealing to the Crowd...

The challenge: Cook recipes from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking

The catch: 5 of 9 dinner party guests are vegetarian or vegan

After a lot of thinking and thumbing through "the book," I came to the conclusion Julia Child (and Julie Powell for that matter) would take care of her friends with special dietary needs (much to the chagrin of my red meat-hungry husband). After all, true hospitality is making everyone feel welcome and comfortable. So in that spirit, I compiled a menu with something for everyone (I even bought non-dairy ice cream for the vegans--I REALLY wanted to make creme brulee with my blow torch, so that had to stay on).

Here's what I came up with:

Canapes aux Epinards (Spinach and Cheese Canapes)

Ratatouille (Eggplant casserole--with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and zucchini)

Tomates a la Provencale (Tomates Stuffed with Bread Crumbs, Herbs, and Garlic)

Aubergines Farcies Duxelles (Eggplant Stuffed with Mushrooms)

Moules a la Mariniere (Fresh Mussels Steamed Open in Wine and Flavorings) (for those that would want a little more than veggies)

Creme Brulee

Two of the guests brought additional vegan-friendly dishes to supplement: an olive tapenade and a potato and fava bean salad. (Something else I've learned about dinner party-throwing--when someone offers to bring something, take them up on it!)

After a trip to Whole Foods to get the ingredients (only the best produce when you're cooking for vegetarians), I started cooking on Friday night--a full 24 hours before the first guests started arriving.

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