How important is it to keep the same flavor profiles in a meal?
Particularly when hosting guests, I try to keep complementary flavors in each piece of a meal, but this past week I deviated, although not in a big way (it's not like I served chicken parm with paneer tikka).
We had two families over along with a few stray kids, so that meant 10 kids, including 3 teenage boys, and 6 adults. One adult only eats fish, one is on the DASH diet and one is just picky (no onions, nothing too spicy). With the kids, there were no nut allergies, but a fish allergy, a dairy intollerance and a few "dark meat only" preferences.
I surved buffet style, with the kids eating in the kitchen off of paper plates and the adults in the formal dining room with china.
- whole wheat challah (I made 4 of them), half with poppyseeds.
- grilled chicken legs (12 in spicy/sweet BBQ sauce, and 12 in a plain lemon pepper)
- sweet and sour meatballs (half beef, half lamb) with carmelized onions
- grilled salmon with a wasabi ginger glaze.
- quinoa with balsamic roasted vegetables
- baked sweet potato fries
- roasted cauliflower with tumeric and paprika
- roasted butternut squash with brown sugar and honey balsamic
- green beans with pepper and lemon zest
- green salad with ginger balsamic dressing
For dessert, it was fresh fruit, sorbet and mini chocolate bundt cakes.
I realized that I was more concerned with making something for everyone than I was with sticking to complementary flavors. I used tried and true recipes, but I probably could have made some small changes that would have made the meal more cohesive.
For next time, what changes would you suggest to the menu?