A good friend of mine is having her wedding reception at her home. I told her I would provide the food!! There will be roughly 50 people. I need recipes from all you good cooks out there. I already have on my list to give her to yay or nay the following:
Sausage and Peppers
Chicken breasts in a creamy wine sauce
White lighning chile (made with chicken)
Gallo Pinto (this is a Latin rice and bean
dish, it's pronounced guy-o pinto)
These are some ideas I have, not going to make EVERYTHING!
If you have any ideas I would LOVE to hear them, all of them!!
Any deserts other than the wedding cake?
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
My idea is to call a caterer. :-)
I'm sure you are feeling very honored and I would be also. That number of guests would be very doable for me.
Just keep the menu colorful with various textures, some things sauced, some not, etc.
I also think about how much refrigerator space I have at home and at the venue along with oven space, etc. Makes for fitting together a complex jigsaw puzzle before finding the right menu.
Good suggestions on your list.
Will it be buffet or plated & served?
Another friend is going to provide the dessert end of the dinner thankfully, I'm not a good dessert person
Getting partially into the menu, that notion crossed my mind too!!
That is going to be a BIG challenge, I know I can make the food, it's how to store it until the big day, I'll have access to my refrigerator, and most likely 2 others, but 50 people is a lot. I'm wondering, do I have to make every dinner choice to feed 50, or should I just provide enough food over all to feed 50? It's going to be very casual, buffet style, outside. Other than the spiral ham, it seems everything is temperature affected... I will have chafing dishes with a heating element to keep things warm but I have to start out with them warmed... I'll need to figure that part out, I only have one oven and a microwave that's also convection.
This is exactly why I need to hear each and every thought to give me ideas and also realize the challenges ahead! Thanks for the suggestions so far!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Spanish Revival,
SR -- you don't need everything to feed 50. The rule of thumb is 2/3 when it is a buffet. Some will take some of everything and some will not take everything and portions are usually "half" portions rather than full ones so if EVERYONE took some of EVERYTHING the 2/3 would still be a good amount.
I catered our DD's wedding (for 350) and we rented the kitchen in the Scottish Rite across from where the reception was -- it had ovens and refrigerators!
We had the following menu:
brisket, a creamy chicken breast dish, "loaded" make ahead mashed potatoes, green rice, oil and vinegar coleslaw, a broccoli/tomato salad with vinaigrette, layered salad. Dessert was wedding cake.
I prefer vegetable salads to hot vegetables because you don't have to worry about keeping them hot. I also am not a fan of casseroles (except for potatoes or rice) because once you start serving from them they're not as pretty. (but rice and potatoes seem to look okay).
As MOB is was a big day for me, too, and so it was a menu that could be prepared the day before and then cooked or heated the day of (which I hired kitchen staff to do) It went off without a hitch, had compliments galore and it was a really good meal.
I did the 2/3 measurements and still had leftovers.
Oh, and I did cut the chicken breasts in half -- if you wanted chicken and not beef, then you could just take two! (so I made half breasts for 2/3 of the guests)
Wonderful suggestions Linderhof, thank you so much. I think I'll take your advise regarding the casseroles, much easier to make the different cold salads and now that I look back, they're a little bit heavy for a summer afternoon. I will also take your advise regarding the 2/3 amounts. This helps me out tremendously as well.
I really appreciate the thoughts of everyone contributing to my post, thank-you all so much.
SR, I agree also with Martha's suggestions about cold salads versus casseroles. I would keep it light and savory, in keeping with the season.
Here's my two cents: I think a cold buffet with a beautifully garnished spiral ham as the centerpiece with various salads and side dishes that do not have to be heated, along with a few hot appetizers kept warm on a chafing dish would be just the ticket.
Round it out with gazpacho soup in small glass cups, various bakery breads and homemade cheese crisps and biscuits for the ham, along with chutney and mustards. I would also add a large platter of sliced salmon lox or gravlax, with herbed cream cheese and flatbreads.
Drinks: white or red sangria.
Whatever you decide for the menu, you have my utmost admiration for tackling such an ambitious project. (To me, anyway, it's ambitious.) Best of luck! You must love your friend very much to offer to do her wedding buffet.
I think you are working along a good path with your ideas here. Two meat choices would please most everyone; a hot starch (potatoes or rice), one simple hot vegetable; 2 - 3 cold salads - I'd suggest fresh fruit type, a mayo or creamy thing like the broccoli salad and one in a vinaigrette such as coleslaw or a bean concoction; bread, buns, etc depending on how you expect to serve the meat.
A large relish tray makes a good salad substitute and gives a choice to those with special diets (vegetarian or vegan; sugar, dairy, gluten, fructose intolerant.)
Taking into account how the events of the day are structured - ceremony time vs. reception time - do you need hors d'oeuvres or snacks to fill that void?
Personally I like the centerpiece ham idea, it doesn't have to be piping hot to be enjoyed.
Sometimes I can draw menu ideas if there is a color or theme the hosts are using.
Determining where buffet table will be placed for reception guests will help answer lots of questions about use of chafing dishes, electric crock pots, roasters, warming trays, etc. Presetting dining tables helps so guests don't have to pick up flatware, napkins, beverages in the buffet line if you have that luxury. It also helps determine what foods to serve if guests will have to eat from their laps, standing up, or at makeshift spots where they rest a plate.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Lurah,
One favorite buffet I prepared for my FIL's birthday (same numbers you are expecting) seemed so effortless for me - chicken breasts in a light sauce, ham balls, buffet potatoes, corn & broccoli casserole, homemade crescent dinner rolls, fresh fruit boat, gelatin salad, and a family favorite coleslaw. Course dessert was decorated cake from a home bakery and ice cream.
Lots could be done in advance, frozen or refrigerated, etc.
I did have two ovens at the venue which was a BIG help.
Ham IS good and twice I've done ham . . . because there were a lot of people I had TWO hams -- I sliced one and put the other in the center of the platter and the slices around -- it was really really pretty and then I served the second ham when it was needed.
I think you're right, make the Ham the center of attention on the table and place other foods, around that. I'm getting a lot of great ideas!
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Lurah:
One favorite buffet I prepared for my FIL's birthday (same numbers you are expecting) seemed so effortless for me - chicken breasts in a light sauce, ham balls, buffet potatoes, corn & broccoli casserole, homemade crescent dinner rolls, fresh fruit boat, gelatin salad, and a family favorite coleslaw.
I would love to have the recipe for the chicken breast in a light cream sauce! I'm going to be doing all the preparation at my home and bring it to her home where the celebration will be taking place. I only have one oven but I have lots of neighbors who said I could borrow theirs and even fridge space so that helps out enormously. Thanks for all your ideas!
Martha, would you mind giving me your creamy chicken breast recipe too, I don't have a recipe for one, I figured I would just invent one, but this probably isn't the place for experimentation!! Everything else is tried and true except my chicken recipe!
ga.karen, I'm not doing the dessert aspect, I believe someone else is doing cupcakes though, did you have ideas?
I know what you're saying Charcoalsmom, it would be SO much easier, but this is my element, I love doing it!
Spanish Revival - I hate to admit it was probably a cream soup based sauce, with sour cream. That side of the family eats because they have to.
My family enjoys the art of eating and preparation process so those recipes are more towards gourmet.
Julia Child's Chicken in Cream comes to mind:
This is tried and true -- been making it for ages and it was one of the entrees at DD's wedding and I made it for 2/3 of 350 guests!!!
It's called by many names but we've renamed it Sarah's chicken because it is her favorite. And you're supposed to prepare it the day before and refrigerate which is nice!
Call it anything you want -- but here is Sarah's chicken!
2 packages chipped beef (the dried kind which is in jars in the "spam" section)
16 boneless skinless breasts
1 pound bacon
1 can mushroom soup, undiluted
16 ounces sour cream
Like 9 x 13 dish with the chipped beef. Put chicken breasts on top of the beef, packing together closely. Place strip of bacon on each breast. Mix together mushroom soup and sour cream; spread over top of chicken breasts; refrigerate overnight.
Bake uncovered at 275 for 3 to 3 1/4 hours.
NOTE: I don't use that much bacon -- a third of a piece usually. Gives the flavor and you save fat and calories (and cost!)
We love it and it is daughter Sarah's favorite, the sauce is lovely especially over white and wild rice.
And it is definitely a 70s/80s dish! But we consider it timeless!
MarthaThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Linderhof,
Oh Lurah, don't feel like that, that is exactly what I thought I was going to do, a cream of celery, mushroom or chicken and add a good quality sherry. Hey, I'm not beyond taking help where I can get it. Thanks for confirming my idea!
This sounds delicious! I would definitely do the same with the bacon. I'm bad though, when I buy bacon I buy the very, very thick slices, and it is probably 12 slices to a pound and a half (why is it the fat is my favorite part of the bacon ) A third of that is good enough. Thank-you for the recipe!
Spanish Revival - Linderhof's recipe is probably what I made, because I've been preparing it since way back. However, I put mine together by placing a slice of dried beef on top of the chicken breast and then wrapping a thin slice of bacon around the breast to hold the beef on top. Place in baking dish and do the soup, sour cream, sherry sauce over all.
You could also sprinkle some sliced mushrooms on top of the meat before adding sauce.
Slow bake for 2 hours. Around here it had an innocuous name, so I call mine Continental Chicken. Sounds a bit classy, don't you think?
This serves nicely with rice pilaf and a green vegetable and your entree is lovely.
I prepared this recently for guests and they just praised my cooking abilities! So many folks avoid the kitchen because they doubt they could prepare a nice dish - it doesn't have to be a difficult recipe to taste great and present well.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Lurah,
I just have to express how thankful I am to all that have posted and truly are helping me out. Everyone has helped me to narrow down the menu, not only to what I want, but to what I can actually do with what I have to work with. I'm so grateful to you all for taking the time to post ideas, recipes and suggestions, it gives me more confidence in myself to know I can do this. Martha, I have no idea how you could provide for 350 people, it boggles my mind, however, knowing that, I know that 50 people is small bananas compared to what you did, so thank-you for that. Aychi, thank-you for sharing your wisdom, I appreciate your ideas and will definitely implement them, ga.karen, thank-you for your involvement, I'm happy to say desserts will not be supplied by me! And Charcoalsmom, thank-you for your injection of humor! I still need the suggestions and ideas of everyone, so thank-you in advance to all that have given me wonderful ideas and those that are still to come, thank-you all so much! <3!
And if you need any more ideas or encouragement, we're here to help!!!! You'll do fine. It's really all a matter of planning and prepping.
One thing that I find helpful is to make salads, chop veggies, etc. and to refrigerate them in freezer bags rather than containers. You can stuff much more in your fridge that way.
Spanish Revival, you mentioned something about sherry in your recipe. I don't see any mention of that in the recipe. How much sherry would you add to the sauce?This message has been edited. Last edited by: CA Lori,
Thanks Annon, that is a great idea!
CA Lori, I've never made it, I was going to play it by ear. But I think I'm going to go with Linderhof's recipe for Sara's Chicken, it sounds good although I don't think I've ever had chipped beef. I'm assuming I would find it in the canned tuna section?
That's where it is in our grocery stores -- chipped beef, Spam, etc.
Will it be buffet or plated & served?[/QUOTE]
Lurah, it's going to be buffet style.
I have to thank each and every one of you gals that took the time to send recipes, ideas, formulas... I received so many great ideas, I'm humbled to have been the recipient of outpouring of ideas and advise you all were so generous to share with me.
The wedding was beautiful, the food was a huge success, thank-you to all that posted recipes, ideas, and helpful hints. <3!
This message board rocks, and so does each and every member that contributes not only to me but to all of us that need advise, or guidance in some way, Thank-You.
So glad it went well
You're right, our collective knowledge, and willngness to share, is amazing!
It's so true Annon, this board affords so much information, I don't go onto many boards, seems this one really provides great information from friends that really do care for eachother, I'm proud to be part of this friendship, friends helping friends, that's what it's all about.
Glad it went well. Yes, there is a lot of good information on this board --
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