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Food for a street party?

greedygirl Jul 14, 2009 09:48 AM

There's a street party in our road on Sunday, and I've been pressganged into looking after a food stall! The idea is that everyone contributes something, so I don't have to do mass catering (thank goodness - our street is maybe half a mile long which is big by UK standards!). There's also been some fundraising so the kids will be catered for with burgers and soft drinks and the like.

But I still need to make a couple of biggish dishes that aren't too expensive. I was thinking of the pulled pork which was such a triumph at our 4 July BBQ, but pork has been banned for religious/cultural reasons. I also don't want to spend the weekend cooking as there's another event happening on Saturday which I can't miss.

Anyway, I need ideas for cheapish stuff that will serve quite a few and can be prepared in advance. Probably best if it can be eaten at room temperature.

I was thinking of maybe poaching or roasting a couple of whole (farmed) salmon and making a big salad of some description but I'm totally open to suggestions. But no pork. Someone is spit-roasting a whole lamb that's been donated by a local butcher, so maybe something that will go with that.

And it goes without saying that I have to have the best food stall. ;-) Especially since our house is somewhat of a focus because of its location right opposite the "stage" on the "village green".

http://www.mayallroad.co.uk/Mayall_Ro.... There's a really cool photo on that website which I think must come from the sixties.

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  1. d
    Diane in Bexley RE: greedygirl Jul 14, 2009 10:00 AM

    GG, was pulled pork banned because it's pork or another reason? You can also make either BBQ beef (brisket) or pulled chicken (dark & white meat). The sauce would be essentially the same as for pulled pork.

    Wow, roasted salmon for all those people would be a fortune in the States, salmon goes for $8-10/lb.

    How about a make-your-own taco bar? You can prepare chicken, beef, rice, veggies, onions, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, peppers, etc. with flour & corn tortillas? You prepare the items in disposable tubs, have a work surface so that diners can assemble their own tacos.

    You could make disposable trays of ground beef or vegetable lasagna, some sort of pasta dish, people always love that. If you bring it out piping hot, it will remain warm for a while.

    Large disposable trays of arroz con pollo, chicken with rice, would also keep warm for a while and taste good at room temp. Very simple to prepare ahead of time.

    Are you only interested in main dishes or are you looking for salad/appetizer/dessert ideas as well? Reply back and let me know if you want any recipes.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Diane in Bexley
      greedygirl RE: Diane in Bexley Jul 14, 2009 10:10 AM

      The ban on pork is for religious/cultural reasons, which is understandable. Brisket is another cheap cut of meat, right? Can I cook that overnight like I did with the pork? Not really familiar with brisket, I'm afraid.

      I can get a whole salmon from my fishmonger for about £8 - it goes without saying that it's not wild! It doesn't have to feed the whole street, thankfully! It's kind of like a pot-luck I suppose.

      I was thinking of some kind of rice dish like a paella, but was worried about the food poisoning implications! I really don't want to make my neighbours sick.

      Salad/dessert ideas also welcome. Thanks Diane.

      1. re: greedygirl
        d
        Diane in Bexley RE: greedygirl Jul 14, 2009 12:09 PM

        GG, yes brisket should be pretty reasonable. For that many people, I would ask for a whole brisket - about 15-18 pounds. There are 2 pieces in a whole brisket, the flat and the point. Be aware that a brisket has varying grains running through it, you want to be certain to slice against the grain, you may have to shift positions. Below is a URL which explains in better detail what I mentioned. This will need long, slow, low cooking temperature to become soft and delicious. You can use whatever BBQ sauce you like.

        http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/bri...

        1. re: greedygirl
          JungMann RE: greedygirl Jul 14, 2009 12:12 PM

          Texas brisket would be a spectacular idea!

        2. re: Diane in Bexley
          c
          cheesecake17 RE: Diane in Bexley Jul 14, 2009 01:37 PM

          I love the idea of a taco bar. Something for everyone, plus it's so much fun to create your own little package. You can also put up some signs of "tried and true" combos.

        3. k
          katecm RE: greedygirl Jul 14, 2009 10:02 AM

          The salmon is a great idea. If you're comfortable with the BBQ pork, you could do it with chicken thighs or with beef, and it would still be wonderful. Or, change the flavor of the braising liquid a bit. Maybe harissa with the beef? I have done that with beef broth, tomatoes, onions and garlic, and it was wonderful. Or Tex-Mex flavors with the chicken?

          For the big salad, consider a slaw or a non-greens salad, so it will keep well. I've been addicted to a broccoli slaw with currants, almonds, celery and red onions lately.

          2 Replies
          1. re: katecm
            greedygirl RE: katecm Jul 14, 2009 10:12 AM

            How would I do a similar BBQ pork dish with beef, out of interest. Broccoli slaw sounds wonderful. I do have quite a lot of cabbage at the moment though so coleslaw is the obvious choice. Cheap too!

            1. re: greedygirl
              f
              fourunder RE: greedygirl Jul 14, 2009 09:45 PM

              How would I do a similar BBQ pork dish with beef, out of interest.
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              One of the more popular crazes at the moment is a sandwich known as sliders. It's usaually a small burger, but creative minds have adapted the pulled pork bbq sandwich to be used as well. What you could do is use small dinner rolls.....known as Parker Rolls around the states.....and make them with beef instead of pork. What you would do is braise some beef and shred it.....or slice it thin and braise in barbecue sauce.....The shredded beef would be mixed with bbq sauce and made into small *slider* sandwiches.

              http://busycooks.about.com/od/yeastbr...

          2. k
            KailuaGirl RE: greedygirl Jul 14, 2009 10:52 AM

            Since you'll be having a whole spit roasted lamb you could make a nice Greek style tabouleh salad with feta cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, basil, mint, etc. Tabouleh and lamb always go nicely together.

            To make the BBQ beef you could do it in the oven overnight, the same way would your BBQ pork,, or even in a couple of slow cookers.

            A friend makes a great red cabbage cole slaw with a dressing made of 1 part sugar, 2 parts red wine vinegar, and 3 parts heavy cream. You wouldn't have to worry about the mayonnaise poisoning people, although I'm not sure how well the heavy cream would hold up or for how long. I've made it for beach parties and it's always gotten raves. It's not as heavy as the mayo based slaws, and has the nice tanginess of the red wine vinegar to offset the fat in other dishes.. If your house is a focus, does that mean that the food booth will be nearby? If so you could bring the cole slaw out in batches, keeping most of it in ziplocs in the fridge until you start running low. You could also put ziplocs of slaw in a cooler and just pull them out one bag g at a time. Adding some currants would probably be great, and it would complement the color of the red cabbage. I've never thought about adding nuts to a slaw, but toasted almonds sound like they'd be great.

            1. JungMann RE: greedygirl Jul 14, 2009 11:22 AM

              I think a well-executed beef or lamb biryani might thrill quite a few tastebuds on the block without the risks of a paella.

              1. fresnohotspot RE: greedygirl Jul 14, 2009 08:54 PM

                Buffalo wings - spicy as you want it, or maybe two batches - one for the less adventurous, another for the wannabe Pakistani. These have been great hits at the last couple of potluck type gatherings I attended. Even bigger hit if you are located right next to the beer or ale provider. Easy to prepare and not too expensive. Here is a link to a bunch of recipes. Don't forget to provide a good Ranch or blue cheese dip.

                http://homecooking.about.com/library/...

                9 Replies
                1. re: fresnohotspot
                  n
                  nvcook RE: fresnohotspot Jul 14, 2009 09:26 PM

                  I recently made a salad that is barley, chicken, corn, avocado, tomato, bacon with a viniagrette. It was delish and made a lot. Let me know if you're interested and I will post the recipe.

                  1. re: nvcook
                    c oliver RE: nvcook Jul 15, 2009 05:01 AM

                    I'd be VERY interested in knowing how to make that. With corn season coming on, that sounds great. TIA, nv (heading back to Tahoe today so getting ready for some REAL cooking.)

                    1. re: c oliver
                      n
                      nvcook RE: c oliver Jul 15, 2009 12:39 PM

                      c oliver,

                      Barley, Bacon and avocado salad with chicken

                      For dressing:
                      4 tablespoons cider vinegar
                      3 tablespoons olive oil
                      s/p to taste
                      For salad:
                      6 slices bacon
                      1 cup barley
                      2 cups corn kernels
                      1/2 cup coarsely chopped red onion
                      2 medium tomatoes, diced
                      1 avocado
                      meat from either a rotisserie chicken (skin, bones removed) or 1 pkg chicken breasts poached.

                      Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

                      fry the bacon, crumble and set aside (I actually poured a very little bit of the grease over the finished salad). Cook barley in salted water til done and drain very well when finished. Cool barley in a large serving bowl and add onion, corn, tomatoes, diced avocado, bacon and shredded chicken. Add dressing, mix well and refrigerate.

                      I got this out of the Reno Gazette Journal several weeks ago. As you can tell, it's a recipe where you can make a lot of improvisations (ie, increase avocado or corn or go with entirely different ingredients _ I'd keep the barley as it makes it healthier).

                      Vicki

                      1. re: nvcook
                        c oliver RE: nvcook Jul 15, 2009 01:39 PM

                        That sounds so summery, doesn't it? Can't wait to try. Thanks for posting.

                        1. re: nvcook
                          c oliver RE: nvcook Jul 19, 2009 07:42 PM

                          This is sitting in the fridge waiting for dinner. Of course, I've already tasted it and it's wonderful!!!! Really good. I really like the advice to be flexible. BTW, there's no chicken in it. I'm just serving it as a side dish with some grilled sausages. Summertime and the living is easy :) Thanks, nvcook.
                          PS: How hot is it? It's in the mid to high 80s here at the lake which is really hot.

                          1. re: c oliver
                            n
                            nvcook RE: c oliver Jul 20, 2009 11:52 AM

                            out here in the stinking desert it's been between 99 and 104. I can't wait for fall.

                          2. re: nvcook
                            k
                            katecm RE: nvcook Jul 22, 2009 07:12 AM

                            I tried this last night, and it was great, though I did make a few changes. First, I added lemon juice and dill to the dressing. Then, to up the veggie quotient, I added diced red pepper, chiffonaded arugala, and chopped par-boiled green beans. I served it on a bed of baby romaine and arugula. It turned out beautifully, and was a nice light meal that satisfied the husband.

                            1. re: nvcook
                              c oliver RE: nvcook Jul 22, 2009 07:36 AM

                              We ate this three nights in a row as a side dish!!!!!! The corn had gotten a tad mushy but it still tasted great. I also put a tiny bit of sesame oil on it and next time may add some chopped water chestnuts. We're working really hard outside right now (we live in snow country so have a limited season) so it's been wonderful to know that we can throw something on the grill and have a meal in minutes.

                              1. re: c oliver
                                k
                                katecm RE: c oliver Jul 22, 2009 08:20 AM

                                Oh! One comment that may keep the corn from getting mushy - I keep mine raw. If it's good and fresh, it stays crispy and sweet and adds a whole other dimension of crunch. I do a lot of raw corn in salads, in fact.

                      2. f
                        fourunder RE: greedygirl Jul 14, 2009 09:35 PM

                        Please forgive my ignorance...but does corn on the cob exist on the other side of the pond? Also, are the food items free or is there a charge? (fundraiser event)

                        On of the more popular food items at street fairs in New York City is grilled corn on the cob. It usually sells for two dollars US, and it's liked by all. The corn is grilled over coals with the husks and pulled back when ordered so there is an easy way to hold onto it. The corn is naturally delicious on its own and doesn't really need butter, salt or pepper. In a way, it's a great novelty item.......and who doesn't like sweet corn? Corn is inexpensive here and can be purchased in bushels......about five ears for a buck breakdown. You can't get much cheaper than that.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: fourunder
                          greedygirl RE: fourunder Jul 14, 2009 09:59 PM

                          Yes, corn on the cob does exist here but I won't have any way of cooking it outside the house.

                          The food is all free and provided by street residents, including me, so it needs to be inexpensive.

                        2. g
                          ginandcrumpets RE: greedygirl Jul 15, 2009 12:52 AM

                          Hi GG.

                          If someone is spit-roasting a lamb, that makes me think Levantine so maybe you could go down the Claudia Roden route for accompaniments? Her lentils with pasta and caramelised onions would be cheap, quick and you can serve it at room temperature without worrying about poisoning the neighbours: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/dat...

                          For my birthday last year, I made the following two salads and they were a huge, huge hit.
                          http://www.waitrose.com/recipe/Pomegr...

                          http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/41...

                          To keep costs down, you could swap the lambs lettuce for English round lettuce in the Pomegranate and walnut salad and you don't need to double the amount of pomegranate when you double the recipe. If you were to times that recipe by 4, then I'd just double the pomegranate, and so on.

                          The roast tomato and labneh recipe suggests you make your own labneh, but from lurking on the board I think you live in South London? You should be able to buy labneh cheaply from one of the Turkish/Cypriot shops in Camberwell/Walworth. I picked up mine up on the Old Kent Road.

                          If you're going to do coleslaw, the best recipe I've used was Yotam Ottolenghi's suggestion in the Guardian. It's not much of a recipe, but more of a starting point and it's much lighter and fresher than a mayo based one. It's the only coleslaw I make that doesn't result in half a bowl of uneaten coleslaw at the end of the evening: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                          1. fresnohotspot RE: greedygirl Jul 20, 2009 09:09 AM

                            How did your street party pan out? What were the successful dishes?

                            I was watching the Open and my heart was heavy for Tom Watson, then I remembered you were in the UK having the party the same day, so how did it go?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: fresnohotspot
                              greedygirl RE: fresnohotspot Jul 20, 2009 12:55 PM

                              It was great fun, thanks, if a bit chaotic!

                              My fishmonger had a humoungous (7 lb) salmon for 15 quid so I went for that. I was going to bake it in the oven a la Elizabeth David, but it wouldn't fit so I ended up poaching it in my fish kettle. It came out well, and there was nothing but the spine left at the end of the day! I also did Rob's famous coleslaw from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, which is always a winner.

                              The stand-out dish was the whole spit-roasted lamb, which was prepared by the party's main organiser, who is originally from Tonga. Apparently it's a tradition there, and he does it all the time in his back garden here in London! He even had an ironmonger make him a special spit. It was an amazing sight.

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