Too many guests coming to Homemade pizza party; need an idea for other dishes
I have a problem: Too many guests are coming to my pizza party to serve with my double oven. I expect to have both ovens going full time on the afternoon of the party and I will still need extra capacity.
I was expecting to do something simple with pizza and a simple green salad.
So anything baked is out- I need stovetop, grilled, or cold dishes to supplement it.
One idea is pasta - that would be simple and easy. Others have suggested heavy dips like hummous/artichoke dip but I'm not sure about this.
Why aren't you sure about dips? They're quick and easy to throw together. I'd put some dips out with some cheese and crackers, crudites, and other nibblies for guests to snack on while everyone is still arriving and before the pizzas are ready. That way they will need less pizza.
I guess it's getting warm where you are now? (I'm in Australia, so I have no idea what it's like in CA). Make a few more salads than you were planning - pick some that can be made ahead of time, maybe a pasta salad, potato salad... you get the drift :)
You can make a huge, enormous, antipasto platter without any cooking...artichoke hearts, cherry peppers(stuffed or un), gherkins, cornichons, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, little fresh mozzarella balls, cubes of parmesan, salami, cubed provelone...arrange it all fancy- pants (google images for inspiration), and serve it with some crostini or breadsticks. You can get everything from any Italian market. It can be pricey or not-so-pricey, depending on what you use.
Alternately, I have been mad for roasted haricots verts lately...I get them at Sam's Club,but in a pinch you can use green beans,too. They need only a little trimming of the ends, and you can pat them dry, sprinkle on some olive oil and salt, and roast them in the oven for 10-15 minutes as high as you dare (I usually go about 525 degrees...) When they are dark green with the thinner beans actually getting quite brown and shriveled a little, toss a tiny bit of lemon juice,or good-quality vinegar, throw in a big handful of parmesan, and let cool to room temperature. Dump them on a platter and treat like finger food.
And a good-looking bread basket is always welcome.
re: iL Divo
I still like the idea of cut up fruit pieces, all about the same size with skewers standing up in a pretty glass, tongs could serve to grab the desired fruits and they could skewer their chosen pieces. You could have (say 3) dipping sauces in bowls for each guest to drizzle over their fruit. Fun to do, takes up time, people can converse while stabbing fruit, and could cause an impromptu giggle fest. Drizzlers=
1. OJ/ginger/honey/tiny bit soy sauce/couple drops hot pepper oil, stir
2. Hershey's dark chocolate syrup/a tiny bit dark rum/tiny bit maraschino cherry juice/pinch coarse salt, stir
3. Champagne vinegar/finely chopped basil/tiny bit raw sugar/olive oil/course salt/black pepper/tiny bit parm cheese, stir
How about dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto. No cooking required.
* 1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese, at room temperature
* 1/4 cup (2 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
* 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 16 (12 ounces) Medjool dates, pitted
* 8 thin slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise
* Special equipment: 16 toothpicks or cocktail picks
In a small bowl, mix together the cheeses and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
Gently pull the dates apart and spoon about 1/2 teaspoon cheese mixture inside. Close the dates around the cheese filling. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each date and secure with a toothpick.
Arrange the stuffed dates on a platter and serve.
Or olive tapenade with belgian endive leaves. Recipes abound on the Web. Also no cooking required.
Or devilled eggs. Not many people make them anymore, but pretty much everyone loves them.
Have you considered moving your pizzas to your grill? If you have a grill, you can even do the doughs ahead of time, par grill them a bit, then you can hold them, have guests do their toppings, then just grill them on the uncooked side. We did a party like that last year, and it worked really well. Then your ovens will be free for other dishes, like a lasagne, or for roasting some vegetables.
If not, I like the other ideas here for a pasta salad, an antipasto platter or a crock full of meatballs. You might also want to consider a show stopper dessert, if pizza & salad is about all you want to serve. I think we did an ice cream sandwich cake, or something like that.
I've served a large number of people with focaccia pizza if you want to go that route. I premake them all (dry toppings on them, wet just before baking), refrigerate. Let them come to room temp before baking. With a double oven, you can bake four half sheet pan size pizzas at once, depending on the size of your ovens.