Calling All Caterers
I need to come up with 4 to 5 “finger foods” for a party my friend is putting on which will be served on platters by roving waiters (collage kids). She is asking me to prepare 100 of each type. I have use of her kitchen, oven, stove and fridge but I will only want to use them to heat or keep things warm or cool as the case may be during the party. I also have 2 chaffing dishes at my disposal. I can use picks and skewers I’m told but the point is no knifes, forks or spoons. The party is in the middle of this month, can anyone out there give me some suggestions, and they will be greatly appreciated - Thanks
Lollipop lamb chops are always a hit, and you can sear the rack ahead of time, finish in the oven and slice. Same thing with chicken skewers. For veggie options, you could do little toasts/bread rounds, use a pastry bag to pipe a goat cheese on to them, and then do a drop of pesto on top. Mini burgers (turkey, beef, lamb) can easily be done ahead of time and assembled on-site. Grilled shrimp or shrimp cocktail can be made ahead. I'm trying to think of items that aren't labor-intensive...... Soup shooters are easy, but you'll need 100 shot glasses. I would pick up Martha Stewart's hors d'oeuvres cookbook and thumb through for some more ideas.
Sounds like some good ideas already.
Any type of tart or quiche, fritatta, that can be served room temp and sliced into thin wedges is a godsend. My favorite is a leek & gruyere tart on puff pastry. Can be made ahead and frozen.
Also, mini muffin pans are good to have. I braised some beef chuck, pork ribs and then used pie dough to make mini beef & pork pot pies with the leftovers. Just par bake some pie dough on the bottom of the mini pans, then fill with your chunk of meat and gravy and freeze. Can be baked at 400 for 20 minutes at frozen. Can also be topped with more pie dough and popped back in freezer. I also used leftover roast chicken, sweet corn and the gravy I made to go with the roast chicken dinner. They heat up very well. I already have 4 dozen in my freezer.
You can do the same thing with corn bread, into mini cups, then filled with chili, then frozen. Heat up the same way.
Puff pastry to use as a dough works really well too, and can be filled with lots of options. I also use puff pastry & pizza dough to make strombolis, which are like wrapped meat & cheese sandwiches that get baked whole and are sliced and served, room temp is fine.
If you can find frozen blini anywhere, use those to make caviar or smoked fish canapes. A sliver of lox and creme fraiche garnished with a chive splint are nice. And there are also frozen phyllo cups in my grocer's freezer that can be filled & baked with fillings.
Just think mini and one bite, and anything you can assemble en masse. Good Luck!!
From my experience with catering, franks in a blanket and mini Oriental things go the best all round. Not my preference, but there it is. Then you can make a couple of upscale apps too. The big fad right now is sliders, made with burgers, grilled chicken, mini hot dogs, lobster salad and so on. No utensils necessary for these. You can even buy slider stuff and buns ready to heat up, put together and serve. They hold well in a warming tray. Most caterers don't do more than one or two over the top choices, no need to work yourself to the bone. A year or so ago brushetta on crostini was the rage, with maybe a little goat cheese or whatnot. And shrimp cocktail might work if in your budget, those will fly right off the platters.
The most memorable hors d'oeuvre I have had in the last couple of years was at a home catered party for a friend's 50th birthday......the item was made by his wife, an excellent cook who had to pass a test before they were to be married...:-)
The appetizer was a mini Arancini Rice Ball.....served two ways.....one with chopped meat and another with proscioutto....both with peas, mozzarella and parmagiano cheeses.
You can serve something like scallop ceviche in mini asian soup spoons. I found these online-were very inexpensive and disposable. Plus they make a great presentation. Also you might like cherry tomato caprese. You just turn each tomato upside down (they are more stable this way), cut off what is now the top, discard some of the seeds then fill each with a dash of balsamic, a sprinkle of salt, a cube of mozzarella and a leaf of basil.
I host a lot of parties. Here are some of my top passed appetizers that people love. Like one poster said you don't want to kill your self with work.
1. I do a Greacian Meatball lollipop.( Make your meat balls and then braise in white wine butter fresh herbs and lot of lemon juice an zest with a ton of fresh garlic.
These can be made ahead. Then put them on 6 in skewes or paper lollipop sticks if you can find them.
2. You have to do some type of shrimp. I do bruchetta with brie a nice 21/25 shrimp tail on with pesto o top. Pop in oven until shrimp and brie are done then top with pesto .The crowd goes wild
3. You have to do something vegetarian. I usually do stuffed mushroom, or endive with goat cheese and carmelized pecan
4. Chicken also needs to be in the mix. I find that people really love the satay with peanut sauce.Be careful with chicken it can dry out fast.
5.Depending on where you ltve do something Regional. I live in Texas so I often do something spicy or Mexican. A lot of times I do tortilla soup shooters with a fried corn tortilla swizzle. Another one I do is a Rapsberry Chipotle smoked pork tostada. Use round corn chips then put my pork on top with cheese pop in oven then top with a sweet slaw when they come out.
Hope this helps have fun and keep it simple.