T and I had our realtor and her husband over, who are friends and parents of very good friends, as a thank you for all their help in finding our house, getting moved in, finalizing paperwork, arranging various inspections, deliveries, etc., and generally making the move across the ocean much smoother. While we have corresponded with them quite a lot, I had never met D (the wife) and we hadn't spent much time with either. So the menu was a shot in the dark and with T's help I think it was one of the best thought-out meals. Made much harder because it is hotter than the 5th level of Dante's Hell, meaning I can't make my usual heavy-rich-creamy-butter-over-the-top meals, and I don't know them so I didn't want to go too avant garde (sp?). Plus it is hard to cook for less than 6 people because I always end up with too much food. So the menu below was what we settled on, with a little bit of everything, but I think it fit the bill:
Appetizers (served with Prosecco)
Belgian Endive leaves filled with Obatzda (a German cheese mixed with beer and spices)
Arctichoke Hearts wrapped in Bacon
Seared Scallops over French Green Lentils finished with a marscapone cream and cider reduction
Spinach Stuffed Sole (substituted Haddock) topped with a Shrimp Cream Sauce
Butternut Squash Gnocci with Balsamic Brown Butter
Balckberry and Goat Cheese over micro greens served in a Black Pepper Asiago cheese bowl
Key Lime Cheese Cake
I had made the scallops before without the lentils, and I think they were better without the lentils, it was too much earth for the light scallops. I only set the fire alarm off once or twice while cooking the bacon...... One more justification that people who don't like meat can't cook it very well. But I'm determined to try. The meal was lovely, and it actually all came out at the right times, although I could have made some of the parts easier. But T thought it was the best dinner I've ever served, so I'll take that as a win!
And, of course, in very sweet southern tradition I got a thank you card from them a few days later. I had to resist the urge to send a thank you for the thank you for the thank you.......I figured they might not see the humor. So I'll chuckle to myself and eat some more cheesecake!