Choosing which starter to serve alongside your main course may seem like a straightforward task; however there are several different elements that you need to consider. When you are planning your menu, you may be surprised to know that you need to choose your main course first. Once this has been selected, you can begin to build the rest of the dinner around this core dish.
The main course that you choose is often considered to be the focal point of the whole meal; this means the starter will simply be there to complement the dish. There are basic guidelines and rules that are used to ensure that you do not make any mistakes whilst selecting the dishes. The core element of your main dish is considered to be the protein of the meal. Once this is chosen, you can move on to the starch and vegetables.
Which Starter to Serve: Things to Consider
The starter should be subtle with no overpowering flavors or aromas as this can ruin the taste of the main course. You need to ensure that regardless of the starter that you choose that none of the core ingredients from the main course are used. Straightforward, easy to prepare starters are often favorite choices and these can be either cold or gently warmed.
Designed to Increase Your Appetite
The size of the starter is a huge factor to consider, as far too many people serve a starter that is too large. You want your guests to be excited about the food, and want to experience more delightful flavors. The concept behind the starter is to provide your guests with a small easy-to-eat dish which increases their appetite. Choose which starter to serve and then have fun making it.
Which Starter to Serve: Considering Your Ingredients
Once your main course is chosen, you can begin to sit down and decide what starter will compliment the dish to a high standard. You should never repeat the ingredients, and ensure that the style of dishes is very different.
Therefore, if your main dish is fish, you should never serve seafood as the starter as this might be too much seafood (depending on the types you are going for).
Preparing and Serving
The moment when your guests first arrive can be hectic, and you will have many different tasks to complete ensuring that your guests are happy. Whether you’re making a classic shrimp cocktail or you have soup simmering away on the stove, you won’t want to be stuck in the kitchen missing out on the party.
This means the amount of time that you spend in the kitchen may be limited, and you need to consider this when planning your starter. You need to consider your time limitations and how much you want to spend with your guests. Picking out which starter to serve is, in some ways, the easy part!
Complicated starters will also take far longer to eat so you need to ensure that you have planned the cooking of your main course. If your guests take too long to eat your complicated starter, this could ruin the outcome of your main course.
Presentation and decoration can be straightforward with the starter, ensuring that your guests can move on easily.
And if you are making a delicious starter recipe and looking for a nice idea for a main course, then how about chili con carne with cornbread? The starters will whet your appetite so much that chili is always great after! Another option is Brussels sprouts soup which is great as an appetizer before Christmas dinner.