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Re: What to serve? TACO's #20 Success! #33

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As far as comfort food - pot pie.  You might be able to use some left overs and it is really comforting.

Fondue.  Steak, chicken, shrimp, meatballs, onions, peppers.  Maybe some noodles or rice, dipping sauces.

One year, when we did our family Christmas on about New Year's day, we did a 'soup buffet.'  I made chili and ham & beans, sis made cream of chicken soup, and mom made a wild rice and (leftover) turkey soup thickened with mashed potatoes.  Sis's mother-in-law made a really tasty pasta/meatball soup.  We did the soups in several crockpots, got some good bread to go with everything and added a green salad to go with it.  Cornbread for the ham and beans and chili, a crusty loaf for the others.  We had some veggie trays and a bunch of cheese and olives for appetizers and general all-day munchies.  And some really decadent non-pie desserts.  It was an easy meal as everything was made ahead of time, and it was nice in the cooler weather.  After all the formal (well, as formal as our family gets) holiday meals, it was nice to have a rather informal meal that we could all pitch in for without it being a huge amount of work.

I'm with Zilla; I love the idea of a taco bar. You could also include shredded leftover turkey for meat. For vegetarians, black beans stewed with sazon goya & lime juice is a great filling.

My go-to comfort food is baked macaroni and cheese, but that's a bit difficult to manage for a crowd.

My go-to dish for guests is soufflé, but that isn't really practical for 20 guests. I love the ideas here.

How would your guests feel about a soup and sandwich bar? I really can't think of anything more comforting than a lovely bowl of soup. It's like a hug for your belly. You could put out leftover turkey and/or ham (whatever you eat), along with relevant condiments, a variety of breads/rolls, and some veggies and cheese. (If you have leftover turkey, definitely put out some cranberry sauce.)

Then, for the soup, have a few. You probably won't want chicken noodle, especially if you're serving turkey (people might be poultry'ed out). Maybe a vegetable soup with a tomato base, some sort of bean or legume soup, and then a smooth pureed soup (sweet potato curry or leek and potato would be good options for getting rid of leftovers. . . you can blend leftover carrots in with the sweet potatoes).

If you do go with jambalaya, it's typically a one-pot meal, isn't it? (Vegetarian here.) I'd make sure you had a couple of salad options and some bread and butter and call it good. For the vegetarians, you can make a nice risotto or you can try your hand at vegetarian jambalaya. The difficulty there is that some recipes will probably call for faux meat, which not everyone likes. It's also a bit pricey and can be tough to find. (I just found Emeril's recipe for Creole Vegetable Jambalaya, and it looks good, too.)

Thanks, everyone for your thoughts so far.

Even though I like the taco bar, I'm shying away from it because of the work involved (or my mind is running away from me and turning into a bigger deal than it needs to be.) I was thinking about ground beef/chicken/steak and possibly seafood tacos. Along with all the sides, salsas, guac, etc.

I really like the soup/sandwich idea. Since I'm off that week, I could probably prepare a soup a day -- split pea, wild rice, not sure what the third would be. But I don't have enough serving bowls and I'm not real crazy about serving soup in the plastic throw-away bowls. Any serving suggestions for this?

So, I'm leaning toward the jambalya. This is the recipe that I've used in the past:

Couple of questions:

1. I can do this in my roaster, right? ( That's not going to mess up the rice, is it?

2. I'm thinking 6x's the recipe. Will that be enough?

3. For the shell-fish allergic, since the meat/shrimp isn't added until the last minute I can simply put a couple of servings in a separate pot after the rice is cooked, then just add sausage and chicken to that batch.

4. For the vegetarian (not sure if either of the 2 I know will be in attendance, but I want to be prepared) Is there anything offensive in the recipe? I know I'll have to make a separate pot of rice because of the chicken broth, but will vegatable broth work? Or should I use a different liquid?

5. Sides? Apps? Any suggestions/recipes?

I'm thinking corn bread, dinner rolls, fresh garden salad . . . and then I'm stuck.

Any help would be appreciated.

(eta: I'm still open to other suggestions.)

P.S. Unfortunately Tgiving dinner is always at SIL's home so we never have any yummy leftovers :(


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