Food to bring to a party?
So, two of my friends are moving. They're having a going away party, where there will be "drinks, snacks and meats" but are asking people to being food as well. Being who they are, when I asked if there was anything in particular they wanted me to bring, they had nothing. When I asked if there was something I SHOULDN'T bring, they had nothing.
Obviously, being a chowhound, a store bought generic thing would never do. Not yet sure how many people will be attending this party, but probably around 2 dozen. Some possible thoughts have included:
-Homemade chips (pita, veggie, etc.) and dip
I'm looking for some additional suggestions. Possible dessert or drink type things are welcome, as well as savories. I've got a small kitchen and a large dog, so anything that has to sit on the counter to cool is out. Things that can be made ahead are a plus, as are things that scale up easily..
A well made Niçoise salad will always steal the show. Attached is a picture of one I made a few months ago for a party. It only lasted about 15 minutes with mere scraps remaining. A few suggestions:
- A well-made Shrimp cocktail (especially Mexican style)
- Asian-style lettuce wraps
- Mini tostadas
- Italian/Grek meatballs with toothpicks
- Arugula and Fava Bean Crostini
- Marinated Mushrooms
- A sliced up Spanish Tortilla frittata
- Russian salad
- Shrimp stuffed avocado
Party pinwheels. Mix cream cheese and ranch salad dressing mix. Mix with finely diced red and/or yellow/orange peppers, green onion and celery. Spread on tortillas and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and re-fridgerate at least 2 hours. Slice 1/2" thick. Hummus, Baba Ganosh and pita chips is another option. If you have a small crock for dips crab dip or artichoke and cheese is a hit as well. Melon wrapped with prociutto (sp) with toothpicks always is welcomed. Another favorite is refried beans spread on bottom of a dish topped with a layer sour cream and then salsa. Grate some spiced Harvati and sprinkle over top and add some shredded lettuce.
These people should really get it together a little more--if nothing else, an email of "what are you bringing" because otherwise, I'm envisioning a party where the food consists of ten veggie/dip trays and a bunch of cheese plates.
So I guess for that reason alone. I'd avoid #2, though pasta salad could have some competetition as well and frankly, I never met one that I really loved.
Is this an outdoor cookout-type thng or more of a cocktail party?
It's an all-afternoon informal drop-in and mingle. There will probably be some overlap in food, and about half the people will either forget food or show up with a couple liters of pop, a bag of Doritos or a 12-pack of cheap beer. As long as I avoid "baby" carrots and that supermarket dill veggie dip, there shouldn't be too much overlap.
I don't know LeoLioness, we go to a lot of potluck/covered dish/bring a snack to share get togethers and there's never an overlap problem. Even when I do potlucks with my college students, we don't have an overlap problem. It surprises me, but somehow it works out.
How about something a little different for veggies and dip? Maybe a romesco sauce with grilled veggies? I think those are fine at room temperature, so they could be done ahead of time. Green beans are wonderful here this year. You could do a quick blanch/ice bath and include those as something a bit different with a veggie/dip platter.
Whenever I'm in this situation (and it happens often with my husband's work crowd) I always go for the grilled vegies with a dip, all of which is served room temperature. In fact, sometimes I skip the dip and just serve the vegies with fresh herbs and a bit of olive oil sprinkled over them. A combination I really like is grilled asparagus and green onions. Sometimes I'll also sprinkle some grated parm cheese over them while they're still hot. I don't think I've ever had any left at the end of the party.