I'll take half a dinner, please!
February 28, 2011 1:28 AM   Subscribe

Putting together a menu for a dinner themed "half."

I am drawing a blank. I would like to put together a small dinner (2-4 people) with the theme "half." The inspiration well seems dry today, and my googling around didn't turn up anything to jump-start the process.

I thought of half a chicken, or acorn squash halves stuffed with halved pecans, and so on.

I would like to, if at all possible, keep this vegetarian. What do you think?
posted by copperbleu to Food & Drink (33 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oysters on the half shell would be an obvious one if it weren't for the vegetarian thing.

Coffee or another beverage that you can serve with half-and-half?
posted by XMLicious at 1:35 AM on February 28, 2011

I started to post a response then vaguely remembered a similar question. My answer to that still sounds delicious & hilarious to me.

I searched for "half" on Tastespotting and love the look of halfway bars.
posted by knile at 1:48 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Black and white cookies (a.k.a. half-moon cookies).
posted by pmdboi at 1:52 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

You could also make deviled eggs, since each one of those is really half an egg.
posted by pmdboi at 1:54 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Grapefruit is often served halved and eaten with a spoon. So is kiwifruit. You could give a half of each to each diner as an appetizer, maybe?
posted by pmdboi at 1:57 AM on February 28, 2011

Adding to pmdboi's thought line...melons are often served in half. Taking a different line you could have a banana split as dessert....

How about split peas which are halves of chick peas?

Half burgers (one side of the bun missing)
posted by london302 at 2:14 AM on February 28, 2011

Not sure if you're working on a deadline and/or budget, but you could serve things in a divided bowl - either one thing by itself, or half of one dish/half of the other.

Half full/half empty glasses of milk? ;)
posted by Gordafarin at 2:19 AM on February 28, 2011

We love almost all veggies roasted in the oven with some olive oil, sea salt, & black pepper. Cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, and carrots would be fun halved. Along the same lines, serving dinner rolls on plates already halved would have the same visual impact.

My other idea (along Gordafarin's lines) is to make two casseroles in the same dish. Even if you don't have the right baking dishes, you can use a little wall of aluminum foil to keep things separate during baking. Homemade mac & cheese with a more veggie-heavy dish would be awesome (and delicious if they combined after baking).

Making half place mats, coasters, napkin rings could also reinforce the theme. And it sounds sort of barbaric, but if you used an x-acto to bisect flowers for a vase right before dinner, they would probably last though the meal. Daisies would be perfect for that task.
posted by Kronur at 2:37 AM on February 28, 2011

Twice-stuffed potatoes are served in halves.
posted by Houstonian at 3:26 AM on February 28, 2011

there's a lot of different appetizers that are based on filling half an avocado
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:50 AM on February 28, 2011

drinks - half and half
posted by russm at 3:55 AM on February 28, 2011

Pineapples can also be cut in half and used as a bowl for fruit salad for dessert.
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 4:24 AM on February 28, 2011

This is a LOT of work. I only made it this way once, and not with the serrano cream, but have made the yellow pepper one more often, yum. You can make the soups ahead of time, however, so maybe that helps you out. And substitute veggie stock for the chicken.

Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup and Roasted Tomato Soup with Serrano Cream
posted by teragram at 4:29 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Going off the split soups, this is a technique for pouring it. There's this crazy restaurant in NY (Shopsin's--their menu) where they do the whole divided plate thing, though it's soup on one side and rice on the other. If you were using something solid like rice, it might be easier to split the portions without mixing and you could choose flavors that were complementary and/or humorous together.
posted by artifarce at 5:38 AM on February 28, 2011

if people like beer you could make black and tans

if not, you could do arnold palmers
posted by narcotizingdysfunction at 5:39 AM on February 28, 2011

A well known phrase in soccer is that it is a "game of two halves."

Accordingly, stuff something small like a quail two different ways. Game of two halves, geddit?

Or, you could serve a meal in which everything was an iconic partnership:

- Beef and horseradish
- Fish and chips
- Peaches and cream

etc etc
posted by MuffinMan at 5:48 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Rather than subtle suggestions of "half," I'm thinking about flat-out slapstick.

Get nice-looking disposable plates and cut them in half for use as dishware.

How funny would it be to be served half a hot dog, in half a bun, cut lengthwise?

For dessert, serve each person half a flan.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:25 AM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

find very tall glasses and only fill them halfway with your beverage of choice! you can ask each guest if they think the glass is half empty or half full, lol...
posted by citystalk at 7:02 AM on February 28, 2011

You could serve "Sand & Grass" - half a burger with half a crab cake (this was my late aunt's favorite meal and a play on Surf & Turf). Add in half a baked potato and asparagus tips (half the stalk) to complete the plate

Chicken salad served on half an apple with halved grapes in a pseudo Waldorf.

And seriously - find the Eddie Murphy stand up bit in "Raw" where's he's talking about marriage and how the woman always wants haaaaaaalf! and play that at some point during your evening.
posted by jaimystery at 7:03 AM on February 28, 2011

asparagus tips (half the stalk)

Wrong. Cut the stalk lengthwise. It's funnier that way. And hey, French-cut green beans!
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:09 AM on February 28, 2011

Half sour pickles - for snacks or on your topless burgers!
posted by Decani at 8:10 AM on February 28, 2011

Akin to MuffinMan's idea, it might be neat to use the idea of traditional couplings, but presented in a new/deconstructed way. So, things like:

- Milk & Cookies: milk pudding with crumbled oreos on top
- Salt & Pepper: Salt-encrusted roast with peppercorn sauce
- PB & Jelly: Peanut-butter based satay skewers (could do tofu or tempeh for the vegetarians), with some sort of fruit jelly/sauce (like a lingonberry or apple sauce or something)
- Eggs & Bacon: Savory (or chocolate!) souffle with crumbled bacon (candied, if a dessert) on top
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 8:13 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

In the UK, beer is served in pints and half-pints. The latter can be ordered as "a half of your best." Mini-quiches could be halved for an appetizer. Half cornish game hens or chickens could be easily cooked in a number of tasty ways. Brussel sprouts are easily halved, and are really, really good roasted with some bacon or halved mushrooms. For dessert, make cupcakes, cut them in half.
posted by theora55 at 8:18 AM on February 28, 2011

Open-faced sandwiches - it's the bottom half!

Make mashed potatoes with butter and salt, and mashed/pureed sweet potatoes or winter squash that's a bit sweet, and serve them half and half in the same serving bowl.
posted by aimedwander at 8:26 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Half a loaf.
Glasses half full (or half empty, depending on your attitude)
posted by LonnieK at 9:02 AM on February 28, 2011

Mezzaluna pasta. Half-moons. You can make them and stuff them with something.
posted by emelenjr at 9:30 AM on February 28, 2011

How about split peas which are halves of chick peas?

Is this true?
posted by bluejayway at 10:32 AM on February 28, 2011

For dessert, if you made a Baked Alaska out of a round cake cut in half and stacked, and the ice cream from the bowl cut in half first, then frozen to set, spread the meringue on it and bake it, you could call it Baked Yosemite: Half Dome.
posted by tula at 12:10 PM on February 28, 2011

With dessert, everyone gets half a cup of coffee, with half-and-half!

Could you cook the food halfway? (That might require food that's as edible fully-cooked as it is partially done. Not many things fit the bill here.)

How about egg white omelettes, since you're leaving out the yolks?
posted by wenestvedt at 1:34 PM on February 28, 2011

Mini sandwiches on little rolls that were cut in half went over HUGE at a party I just threw. You could serve them as apps.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:39 PM on February 28, 2011

Jello served in clear bowls or goblets. First make one color and let it set in the goblet, then make and add the other color. Seems easier to have the two halves remain distinct if they are one on top of the other, in a clear container. Or jello on the bottom and puddin' on the top.

Same with a two layer cake, in two different colors/flavors.

Also, geometry - if you take a square sandwich, there are three basic ways you can cut it in half, horizontally, vertically, and diagonally, and they each look different. A mosaic of half-sandwiches?

Typical "half-time" snacks?

Or anything done in a checkerboard pattern - half the squares are one color, half the other.
posted by Ellemeno at 6:33 PM on February 28, 2011

Thank you all very much! I am so very impressed! These are fantastic ideas AND this thread made me like the theme a lot more, too!
posted by copperbleu at 12:41 AM on March 1, 2011

Half spinach and half corn soup in a yin-yang pattern.
posted by onegoodthing at 11:24 PM on July 4, 2011

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