Author Topic: Re: What to serve? TACO's #20 Success! #33  (Read 3287 times)

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jpcher

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Re: What to serve? TACO's #20 Success! #33
« on: November 02, 2012, 09:08:54 PM »
The day after Thanksgiving is a continuing feast for the in-law family plus DDs friends.

I'm hosting this year and I'm really stuck for menu ideas. Looking at 20ish+ guests.

My original thought was to postpone our annual bring-your-own-steak horseradish party, but my horseradish crop wasn't so big this year and I've been giving it out to friends, etc. so I really don't think that bring-your-own-steak is hostess-worthy since I won't be gifting anything to the guests. :-\

Italian food (pasta, etc.) is pretty much out. SIL is an uber Italian chef (studied in Italy) so I'm a bit overwhelmed . . . not trying to out do her or match her or, well, even coming up to par kinda scares me.


Last time I hosted I did a chili for the main dish with lots-o-sides.


I'm looking for a "comfort" main dish . . . would a meatloaf work? with mashed potatoes/veggies/salad? Anybody have an out-of-this-world meatloaf recipe?


Maybe a taco-bar? with nachos and quesadillas as appetizers?


I have a great recipe for a sea-food Jambalaya (Emeril's) What would you serve with Jambalaya? (apps/sides?)


There will be one person allergic to shellfish and possibly a vegetarian or two. I do not have a problem with separating the main dish during cooking in order to cater to their needs (I've done this before.)


Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas? Recipes? HELP?  ;D




P.S. DD#2 thinks I should just order another turducken and stop stressing. ::)
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 07:47:32 PM by jpcher »

Acadianna

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 09:39:22 PM »
What about a jambalaya?  Very easy to fix and can be made in large amounts without a lot of extra work.  Plus, since jambalaya can be made with whatever meat, sausage, and/or seafood combination you want, you can tailor it to the needs and preferences of your guests -- or even make it different ways in different batches.  Add a salad, and you're good to go!

Although I've never made it in a slow cooker, it should be very suitable for that method of cooking, which frees up more of your holiday time.

cicero

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2012, 07:34:41 AM »
isn't the day after thanksgiving usually Leftovers Day?  >:D (to me, that's the whole point of t-giving...).

meatloaf with mashed potatoes sounds great! or you can do one of those slow cooker shredded beef dishes, and serve yummy breads/rolls, spreads, and salads.


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Hmmmmm

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2012, 08:40:28 AM »
Being in Texas, Mexican food is always our day after meal if we are having a family get together.

While enchiladas is our standard I wouldnt do it for that large of a crowd. But you could do a enchilada casserole or do King Ranch casseroles.  Good sides ate a big batch of baracho beans and a salad of tomatoe, cucumber, avocado, and tomatoes with a cilantro lime dressing.  A crock pot of chili con quest and tortillia chips for a starter. 

Zilla

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2012, 09:26:31 AM »
I like the idea of a taco bar and you can add baked potatoes as well.  The possibilities are endless for the bar and can cover a wide variety of needs at the same time.
 
Fresh salsa, guacamole, black beans, corn, green chili white cheese dip, along with different grated cheeses, peppers etc.  You can have a fun array of hot sauces for people to try. 

Sharnita

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 10:35:43 AM »
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.

Lynnv

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 11:18:11 AM »
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.
Lynn

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2012, 05:01:10 PM »
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.
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sweetonsno

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2012, 10:20:05 PM »
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.)

jpcher

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2012, 01:57:29 PM »
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: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/cajun-jambalaya-recipe2/index.html

Couple of questions:

1. I can do this in my roaster, right? (http://www.amazon.com/Oster-CKSTRS23-22-Quart-Roaster-Stainless/dp/B00400QBJA) 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 :(
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 01:59:05 PM by jpcher »

NyaChan

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2012, 02:16:42 PM »
I would do cornbread or dinner rolls, not both (personally would prefer cornbread, yummms).  Maybe put some cheese or chopped jalepenos in the bread.  I think jambalaya is one of those dishes that doesn't really need sides, but you could also grill some vegetables with cajun seasoning mix.  That always turns out good.  Add some dessert and you are good to go :)

Venus193

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2012, 02:39:39 PM »
I don't know about vegetable or chicken broth; I always put shrimp stock in my jambalaya.  As to what to serve with it I recommend cucumber salad to slightly offset the spice.  Mine is made with dill, scallion, parsley, lemon adobo, EVOO, and white wine vinegar.

Have a nice fruit salad for the dessert.

How about Cheddar Bay Biscuits?  I recommend this recipe, but increase the spice level by 50%:

http://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/ultimate-cheddar-bay-biscuits/

My best vegetarian (but not vegan) recipe is for Onion Tart.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 02:49:39 PM by Venus193 »

bonyk

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2012, 02:43:17 PM »
Do you have enough mugs for soup?  Or you could tell your guests to BYOM (bring your own mug).

SamiHami

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2012, 06:32:20 PM »
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: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/cajun-jambalaya-recipe2/index.html

Couple of questions:

1. I can do this in my roaster, right? (http://www.amazon.com/Oster-CKSTRS23-22-Quart-Roaster-Stainless/dp/B00400QBJA) 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 :(

As for serving dishes, go to the dollar store. A friend of mine does that regularly; she'll go and get individual bowls/plates etc...not the plastic ones, but inexpensive but colorful glass ones. She does that so that a) it looks better than plastic, b) it's cheap and c) she can send leftovers home with people and tell them to not bother returning the dish.

A really simple, different and delicious app is seedless grapes, covered with soft goat cheese then rolled in pistachio pieces.

Personally, I think the soup bar idea is the best. It's a little different, with a few different selections you should be able to accomodate any special dietary restrictions, it's easily self-serve, and with some good breads and a simple green salad you've got a filling, delicious meal. Added bonus: if you have leftovers, soup freezes beautifully!

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

Lynnv

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Re: What to serve?
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2012, 07:49:53 PM »
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?

Goodwill/ARC/whatever your local thrift store is.   Someone down thread mentioned the dollar store, which would also work as a source.   Or ask some friends/relatives about borrowing a few.   
Lynn

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