Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 11, 2007 10:21 AM

Which should I serve at my Bocce Party?

Every year we do a big cookout with our own Bocce tournament. This year I'm torn between two entree choices. I'm also having trouble coming up with complimentary side dishes. So - please feel free to choose the entree you feel would go over best and tell me what you'd serve as sides. (We're talking 20-40 people.)

Option 1 - Grilled Salmon marinated in a basic dijon mustard/soy sauce preparation
(Very basic yet very good...and easy!)

Option 2 - Grilled pork tenderloins in a Guava Glaze
(A Bobby Flay recipe...and certainly much more interesting than the salmon...which concerns me because we're trying to appeal to a wide array of food tastes.)

Side dishes need to be make-ahead, should take advantage of what's fresh now, can serve a crowd, do not require tons of grill space if not make-ahead.

Thanks, and please discuss.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I saw the show where Bobby Flay made the pork and it looked great. On the same episode, he did an avocado and tomato salad with a cumin dressing. That would showcase in season produce and be easy to prepare.
    Other ideas:
    A rice or quinoa salad- I make one from Bon Apetit with curry powder and mango. The flavors may be too strong for your menu, but you could amend it.

    Corn and black beans- add chopped cilantro, red onion, avocado, lime juice, and red wine vinegar. Easy, make-ahead, colorful, and healthy.

    My go-to appetizer this summer is dates, stuffed with cheese (I like piave) and wrapped in bacon (or prosciutto). Aseemble before paty and broil for a couple of minutes when guests arrive. There is never one left on the plate.

    1. It's just me, but if I were having a Bocce party,, I'd be cooking Italian! I was going to suggest broccoli rabe sandwiches... VERY Italian... but I don't know about anything with a "Guava Glaze." Doesn't sound like Bocce to me.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ChefJune

        CHefJune - we've done Italian almost every other year that we've had this party. We just thought this time that we'd like to mix it up a bit.

        1. re: HungryLetsEat

          Ok. On BBC cooking, someone had a wicked salmon recipe. You wrap salmon in prosciutto, season and grill. Serve over a bed of lentils (although in summer some wilted spinach would be nice), drizzle with a mixture (cottage cheese, EVOO, salt, fresh pepper, minced parsley and lemon juice). My mom made it; it was great. Grilled veggies like asparagus would go well.
          How about grilled lam kabobs (i ask the butcher to give me a shoulder and cut it up myself, marinate itovernight ,make kabobs in the morning) marinated with EVOO, lemon, garlic, oregano. You could make pork (shoulder) ones for those less adventurous using same marinade. Serve with pitas, tzatziki, an orzo salad or with Nigella's watermelon salad that has feta. I fyou grill veg, you can do that in the am, and dress later on; they are good at room temp too.

      2. My only concern with the pork tenderloins is that they'll get tough quickly.

        If you want to do pork (and not hover over the cooking), i'd do a 10 lb pork shoulder for either bbq pork sandwiches or do-it-yourself soft tacos. Search this board for plenty of advice on cooking pork shoulder. The general idea is that you want to cook it low and slow half a day before your party.

        I'm also a big fan of orzo/rice salads etc. Try this's always been a hit with my parties...

        If you were in the NYC area, heck, I'd bring it myself just to check out the bocce tournament.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Rafie

          Rafie -
          We certainly think alike. I actually made this orzo salad last year! Everyone loved it.

          You may have a point with the pork. My husband will likely be doing the cooking and he has a tendency to overcook stuff. We may need to do a trial run this weekend so he understands how long they need to cook.