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I need a bit of help...I am planning a nice dinner party for the end of January. Three other couples will be there. I plan to make it formal (using china, etc.) and was thinking of serving ham but is that strange? Is ham for just Easter or the holidays or the springtime? I can't decide if I should do short ribs instead.
Thank you for any advice. Do you have any suggestions for vegetables, etc.?
Hmm...ham. I think ham would be delicious--or short ribs, if you decide to go that route. Both are great choices for a big crowd because you can make them in advance. And I think those two proteins can be easily fancified for a formal meal, depending on what you serve with them.
To give ham a non-holiday feel, I would probably avoid things like stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy. Just treat it like any other pork main dish. To give you some ideas, I looked up some pork tenderloin menus on Epicurious and I think any of these sides and desserts would work for an elegant dinner with ham. Some ideas:
-A light menu with roasted potatoes with lemon salt and smashed peas with mint butter
-An autumnal menu with butternut squash soup with ginger, mashed potatoes with parsnips and carrots, bread pudding with dried cherries and apricots and caramel sauce
-An elegant, yet rustic menu with pickled shrimp, herb, fennel, and grapefruit salad, yams with brown butter vinaigrette, roasted onions with Gruyere croutons, roasted pear tarte tatin
-A hearty winter menu with polenta bites with blue cheese, tomatoes, and pine nuts, roasted acorn squash and chestnuts, bell pepper and rice pilaf, lemon cheesecake
Or, if you decide to go the short ribs route, for my husband's birthday last year, I made short ribs braised in wine and dijon mustard and everyone loved them. They also really loved the celery root puree I served with them.
Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure it will be wonderful.
Does anyone else have thoughts on serving ham at non-holiday dinners? Is it weird or not? Or, if you have a dinner party quandary of your own, email me at lisadinnerpartyATgmailDOTcom.