Too Early to Discuss Chanukah Parties?
I'm having what is turning out to be a large Chanukah gathering at my home. We're approaching 35-40 people I think. I'm planning a late afternoon gathering and I intend to serve potato latkes and homemade appleasauce (of course, since we are Ashkenazim) and a buffet dinner. I usually do brisket etc., in other words the usual. I was thinking that I would have a dairy buffet instead. That way we can have sour cream with the latkes too! Any suggestions for good dairy buffet items? Keep in mind that I don't have sitdown space for everyone so it has to be something that people don't need to cut necessarily.
How about a whole poached salmon decorated with cucumbers, a platter of grilled vegetables, a ceasar salad, a lovely mixed green salad (throw in some chopped fennel, dried cranberries and toss with a dijon vinagrette). You could also make an edamame salad- (shelled steamed edamame, chopped yellow, red and orange peppers, chopped green onion, mandarin orange segments, toasted black and white sesame seeds, cashews all tossed in a japanese sesame dressing), and of course latkes. If you have little kids I would have some bagels, lox and cream cheese for them.
The beauty of this menu is that it is balanced, you get the protein from the salmon and edamame, it can all be prepared in advance and can present beautifully on a buffet table.
If you want to make the latkes ahead- here is a trick: Fry them up, drain on paper towle and freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. When frozen put in freezer ziplock bags. When you warm them up, heat them in a very hot oven in a single layer. I promise you they will stay crispy. I f you do this, you will be able to enjoy your party. I would also strongly urge you to make a chunky homemade applesauce as opposed to the jarred kind. I am a big talker because I have never made it but I am sure there are some excellent recipes floating around chowhound.