Bridal Shower Luncheon
I'm in charge of coordinating a multi-generational Bridal Shower for a group of people with tastes ranging from Ruby Tuesday and the now defunct Bennigan's (bride's and her family) to chow (bride's friends). I must include several foods that do not include any form of citrus due to an grandmother's allergy. I must have foods that were described as "kosher style" - no pork, shellfish, or meat mixed with milk. There will be at least one vegetarian. All food will have to be made off site and then brought to the home of the shower. My questions - is this possible?
As a Personal Chef I would prefer to make everything fresh, hot on-site; however an event like that *can* be cooked off site and transported; but you really want to have thermometers handy and make sure things stay above 140F or below 40F, out of The Danger Zone. Cook things just shy of properly done. Refrigerate. Then reheat just before transporting in insulated bags (like pizza delivery bags) or ice-filled chests. When you get them there make sure you have electric or canned fuel chaffing dishes to keep warm things warm, and ice pans to keep cold things cold.
That's how catering companies do things - cook them this week when they have time; refrigerate; reheat just before transporting to your party.
TA, sounds entirely possible to me. Would love to help with recipe suggestions. Please share how many people you are serving? Off the top of my head, a fish/dairy brunch sounds the most plausible that will satisfy the kosher/vegetarian/no citrus crowd and not require too much in the way of cooking. I am thinking of a beautiful smoked fish platter with smoked salmon, whitefish, chubs, etc., bagels & cream cheese, egg, tuna or salmon salad, dairy noodle kugel, platter of veggies (onion, tomato, etc), fruit salad (pineapple, melon, strawberry, banana), assortment of coffee cakes & cookies. The kugel is the only thing you would need to worry about putting in an oven. Please indicate what part of the country you are in so we can figure out what's local to your area.
re: Diane in Bexley
You can do mini kugels or mini quiches.. they can be heated up as needed and look really pretty on a tiered stand.
I also think a coffee bar is pretty at this type of event. Set out an urn or two of coffee, an urn of hot water, fancy tea bags, chocolate covered spoons, biscotti, and fancy honey.
At my luncheon my husband's aunt made caramel apples out of lady apples. They were displayed in cellophane bags on a tray near the entrance, so everyone could take one as they left.
re: Diane in Bexley
I'm on the West Coast of Florida and the event will be held at the end of February. The bride's extended family hails from by-Gawd-West-Virginny (her Mom's phrase and used in the same discussion as edible roadkill and squirrels) and both her and her fiance's families only know from chains, so I am geniunely stumped! I am waiting for a guest list, but I do know that it will be in a home and I've heard estimates of 15-25. I'm wondering whether a delicious fish platter would be touched by the bride and her family, but I wouldn't mind the leftovers coming back with me! The bagel platter, fruit and veg and sweets all sound like they will work. I have a delicious coffee cake recipe from my grandmother. I would have to explain a delicious kugel to the bulk of the guests, but a frittata or quiche would work.
I honestly have no idea how to brew coffee (I can't drink it) but I know that the bride's mother does and wants to do a lot of the prep herself anyway, so there's that. I always end up looking up how to make coffee or have someone else prepare it at other events. Tea and tisanes I can do, the bride and I have a history of going out to a local tea shop while we were in college.
A breakfast strata might just be the ticket. For all those people, you will probably need 2 9X13 pans. This makes one, so just double the ingredients:
1 loaf "good cinnamon-raisin bread, about 18 slices (I like Panera)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
couple T sugar, to taste
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 T cinnamon
1/2 cup preserves (I like low sugar apricot, use whatever you like)
8 oz cream cheese (I use light)
Grease pan very well. Layers bread, cream cheese and preseves into pany, should have 3 layers. Whip eggs, milk, syrup, sugar, pour over bread. Cover with plastic, sit overnight in fridge. Bake at 350 for 45-60 min.
re: Diane in Bexley
The Jewish side is two people, both friends, one of which being me. I try to keep that out of the equation when asking for help, but I will not cook pork or shellfish. I love the bride, but it only goes so far. She was my maid of honor and her fiance was my husband's dormmate. Thankfully, she understands.
I just posted this recipe on another thread. It's a chicken salad that I've made for several baby showers and is always a hit:
Chopped or shredded boiled chicken breast
Dried cherries (quartered b/c they're big), cranberries, and blueberries
It serves up really pretty in mini pitas and tastes delicious.
This does sound enticing to both the palate and the eyes.
I've poached chicken before in various liquids spiked with garlic. But I don't think garlic would be the taste of choice here to "marry" (no pun intended) with the the dried fruits. Since chicken by itself is very bland, what herb/seasoning do you think could be added to the liquid to punch up the chicken a bit? Thyme? Rosemary? Lemongrass? Any thoughts?
I forgot to mention I sometimes add poppy seeds too.
I've tried it with garlic and you're right, it didn't go with the fruit at all. I tried white pepper too, and it was worse than the garlic.
I would make it once and see if you think it needs herbs, but I've never thought to add any. It's pretty good by itself. If I were to add any to the cooking liquid, my personal preference would probably be thyme over rosemary for this one. :)
Normally I would add curry powder, but that might not work with your crowd. How about tarragon? I love the taste of tarragon with chicken, use it when you roast or poach it as well. Rosemary wouldn't work, unless you pulverized it in spice grinder, might get stuck in someone's throat.
I have made this chicken salad from pioneer woman and it is great
Patsy’s Chicken Salad
Combine the following:
1 roasted chicken, deboned and cut or pulled into small bite-size chunks
1 – 1 ½ cups dried cranberries
½ - 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
Combine with chicken mixture, place in storage container and refrigerate (I add a little fresh chopped parsley for color too).
You can also do tuna salad (apples and dill is a nice combination for a brunch).
Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches - Chicken breast slices, tomatoes, and microgreens drizzled with teriyaki sauce on Ciabatta, cut into 2" x 2" pieces
Tomato and basil Orzo Salad - Orzo tossed with tomatoes, basil, parmesan, garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar - season lightly with salt and pepper
Real Fruit Punch - My mom used to make this and it was always well received. Cut your favorite fruits up into bite size pieces and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Then toss in a cup or two of a nice sparkling red wine (lambrusco)...My korean mother's version of sangria?
What about afternoon tea?
Sandwiches: smoked salmon, cucumber, curried chicken salad, roast beef with horseradish.
Swwets made or purchased
Scones with jam
Update: Just spoke to MotB who has decided to have make your own sandwich platters, fruit and veggie platters - all made by a local supermarket. I made mention of the wonderful ideas you all have made and she said "why bother - this is cheap and easy and will please everyone." So sad, but this is what the bride wants as well. Oh well, now I have ideas for new recipes to try at home. When I mentioned mimosas, the bride laughed and rolled her eyes at me saying that people will need to drive home afterwards. At least the MotB thought that was a good idea and is going to use it.
I am sending the invitations with recipe cards for everyone to send in ideas. Maybe this will help her find recipes to her tastes and possibly realize how much more the world has to offer.