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one hors d'oeuvre for 150-200 people

Hello Hounds! I'm attending a large party of 150-200 people. I need to bring one hors d'oeuvre with me. I'm looking for something that can be served cold, is not too expensive to make and will be pretty crowd pleasing. Could be vegetarian, but doesn't have to be. Any suggestions? Many thanks!

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  1. Will yours be the only hors d'oeuvre offering, or will other people be bringing things as well? If there will be other offerings, you'll probably only need to do 2 pieces per person of your hors d'oeuvre - that's still a lot though, if you do something fussy. If it were me, I'd be looking for something I can bake in large trays and cut into pieces, rather than having to make individual pieces. What about a frittata or spanish tortilla? You can cut into small squares or other shapes (with a cookie cutter) and garnish the individual pieces with an herb leaf or a piped squiggle of sauce. You could also do a savory "bar cookie" type thing - bake some type of dough in a sheet pan, cover with fresh ricotta or goat cheese, top that with pesto or some other sauce, then cut them into small bars and put a garnish on each one.

    1 Reply
    1. re: biondanonima

      Along that idea slice baguettes on the diagonal and spread with goat cheese and drizzle with honey, or fig preserve or pesto or a slice of roasted red pepper.....

    2. Deviled eggs. Here's my recipe...

      Deviled Eggs

      7 hardboiled eggs
      2 T. yellow mustard
      2 T. mayonnaise
      paprika and capers for garnish

      Slice the eggs in half, and then remove the yolks and mash them in a bowl. Add the mustard and mayo - equal proportions are important. That is the key of a successful deviled egg. Stir up the mixture - it should be just moist enough to hold the yolk mash together - if you need more mayo/mustard, add it, but it should be equal proportions.

      Garnish with paprika and capers. Makes 14.

      1. How about some sort of pinwheel? Herbed cream cheese and veggies on lavash, cut into small slices. Maybe add some radish and green pepper for color? For the non-vegetarians maybe a smoked salmon spread with capers and dill. Pretty inexpensive and easy to make in quantity. Cover with a damp towel and plastic wrap to keep moist. Other option is open faced sandwiches, you can go crazy with those and use pretty inexpensive ingredients.

        1. Hey folks- thanks for the great suggestions! Mine won't be the only offering... probably will be a good many. I'll be checking in with others to see what else is being brought, but wanted to get my own creative juices flowing! I love the idea of baking something and cutting it into pieces with a cookie cutter, that's great! Deviled eggs are always a hit and little sandwiches could mean some nice variety as well. Thanks y'all!

          1 Reply
          1. re: luckiestduck

            if yours isn't the only offering, do you really need to make 400 pieces of something? i'd double-check that...

          2. Check with you local bakery and see if they make oversized (7"x7") dense thin sliced bread. It is usually available in various colors. Make sandwiches with 3 pieces of bread with two fillings (ie, salmon spread and whipped cream cheese). It helps for spreading and assembly if the bread is frozen. When assembled, trim off the crusts and then cut each into 9 pieces (1.5x1.5"). You can make 3-400 of these pretty quickly and they look quite festive.

            1. biondanonima had a great point about making large trays that can be cut into single portions, and i'm always a fan of a frittata for something like this.

              my other favorite in that style is firm polenta (cut into rounds, squares, diamonds, whatever) topped with any number of things - pesto, mushroom ragout or duxelles, sun-dried tomato & white bean dip, caponata, tapenade, herbed ricotta...

              1 Reply
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                This is a bruschetta that friend made for a party and I've made as well because it was tasty and simple to make. As for the number of servings, I'm not sure because I used french bread and not the ciabatta listed in the recipe. I haven't made it in a while, but I believe it makes about dozen or more bruschetta. (I remember there was some tomato mixture leftover when my friend made it and the same for me.) You can reheat the tomato mixture or serve the tomato mixture cold and just spoon on top of the bread, though you will have to assemble on site. If you want, you can also toast the french bread beforehand which I did. Smells great when you are able to heat up the tomato mixture. Fyi, if you have any leftover mixture, you can readapt for spaghetti.

                2 pints grape tomatoes
                6 garlic cloves, smashed
                1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
                2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, preferably olio novello or olio nuovo
                Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
                1 sprig fresh rosemary
                1 sprig fresh oregano
                8 slices of ciabatta, 3/4-in thick

                1. Prehat oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the grape
                tomatoes with the garlic, crushed pepper and 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt
                and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for about 20 min., until they burst and their skins
                begin to shrivel, stirring once halfway through roasting.

                2. Pour the remaining 2/3 cup of olive oil into a medium bowl. Crush the rosemary
                and oregano sprigs between your fingers and submerge them in the oil. Add the
                tomatoes and their juices, stir gently and let stand for 30 min.

                3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Arrange the ciabatta on a baking
                sheet and toast for 10 min or until crisp. Spoon the tomatoes and some of the
                infused oil over the ciabatta, sprinkle with salt and serve.

                The tomato and herb oil mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
                Bring to room temperature before serving.

              2. Another option is making babaghanoush or hummus with sliced pitas, both of which can be served cold or warmed (same goes with the pita). If you decide you don't want to make it, you can purchase some. Though I recommend making it unless you have a good source. Sorry, but I don't have a recipe to share. I just know they are always a crowd pleaser and taste great warm or cold.

                1. two of the more memorable ones I have had: one was a whole bunch of Reuben sandwiches cut into bite-sized pieces. Another was a chicken salad made of grilled chicken with a little mayo to hold together, a lot basil, some sun dried tomatoes, and pine nuts all spread on slices of French baguettes. Along the liens of the Reuben idea you could substitute smoked turkey for the corned beef and cole slaw for the sauerkraut. I often make that combination and the cole slaw recipe i have settled on is pathetically easy: finely shredded cabbage, cider vinegar, mayonnaise, srirracha to taste, and honey. These are all heartier ideas if you are the only hors d'oeuvres provider. If others are bring hors d'oeuvres I like the bruschetta/caponata approach or hummus. Both are cheap, easy, and are great as leftovers. I love the frittata idea, but if it doesn't get devoured on the spot, what do you do (that you would be willing to admit) with a lot of leftover frittata? (Actually same issue with leftover sandwiches or chicken...if there is a lot left over it is your duty to eat it all. At least with bruschetta or hummus you can take your time.)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tim irvine

                    We had a garden party concept going at our wedding and my husband's favorite sandwich is a reuben, so we had the caterer make one of the tea sandwich offerings reubens. They were the first to go. Before the smoked salmon and the cucumber ones even.

                    Personally I think tea sandwiches will give you the best bank for your buck with minimal effort and everyone likes teeny tiny little sandwiches.

                  2. i wasn't sure what your taste was in cooking so i went through some of your restnt posts. I see that you're an adventurous one, so here are a few for you! i had a catering business for 30 yrs; just retired, have hundreds of H.D. recipes. Thought you might prefer a spread/dip type thing so here are a few of our most popular. Let me know if you refine your search as to cuisine or ingredient and are still looking for ideas!

                    i forgot to suggest that when you take a spready/dip type thing to a large party, only put out 1/2 of it to begin with, and keep 1/2 of it in the frig or a cooler for back up. that way, it stays fresher, and if it doesn't get eaten, it will last much longer when you take it home.


                    BAZER GAHN (Armenian name) but we called it MEXICAN TABOOLI

                    X1 // X2

                    2 C (10oz) // 4C Fine Bulghur

                    1 T // 2 T Tamarind Paste (extremely thick dark brown paste , best in red top plastic jar from Indian stores; not lighter brown Indonesian one w/ sauce consistency.

                    6T // 3/4C Tomato Paste

                    8 oz // 2 C Tomato Sauce

                    4 tsp // 1T & 1 tsp Ground Toasted Cumin

                    ½ tsp // 1 tsp Cayenne

                    // kOSHER salt (lots) and pepper

                    ½ C // 1 C Vegetable Oil

                    1/4C // ½ C Minced Onion (by hand)

                    ½- 1 C /// 1 - 1 ½ C Toasted Pinenuts

                    1 C /// 2 C Minced Parsley

                    In a large bowl, cover bulghur in warm/hot water by 1". Soak ½-1 hr or until all water is absorbed. By the handful, squeeze out any remaining liquid. Add tomato paste to tamarind paste; mash w/ fork or rubber spatula til combined. Add toma. sauce through s and p., whisking well. Whisking in oil at the end; add this mixture to the bulghur. Adjust seasoning. Add onion, pinenuts and parsley. Bulghur, like most starches, absorbs more flavor as it sits. After a few hours or days, taste and add salt or seasoning as needed. Should have strong flavor of tomato, cumin, onion, with tartness of tamarind.

                    Serve w/ taco chips or toasted pita wedges.

                    Notes: X1 = 180 servings of 1/2T @ $.02 incl. Taco chips

                    $1.50 = 6 cups



                    5 lb Eggplant, not peeled

                    6 1/2 T Kosher Salt

                    3/4 C Olive Oil

                    15 Garlic cloves, Minced

                    5 Small Red Onions Minced

                    1 1/4 C Golden Raisins

                    2 T Fresh Minced peeled Ginger

                    1/4 c. Capers Chopped

                    5C Chopped Canned Plum Tomatoes(Pastene best)

                    2 1/2 C OJ (frozen is fine)

                    5T Madras Curry Powder (Sun brand preferred)

                    4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper

                    1/4 c. Honey

                    1/2 c. + 1/8 c. Balsamic Vinegar

                    just less than 1 c. ea Basil and cilantro minced

                    1/2 c. + 1/8 c. ea Fine Chopped Scallions and Minced Flat Parsley

                    5T Fresh Rosemary or 2 1/2 T dried rosemary

                    Salt eggplant cubes in colander, let sit and drain 1/2 hr. or more.Pat dry, sear quickly in hot oil til golden. Remove from pan and set aside.Add more oil to pan,Saute Onions in hot oil until soft; add garlic, saute a couple minutes more. Add raisins through honey ,stirring well, and reduce by 50% . Add eggplant and cook over medium to high heat until soft and chunky. Remove from heat, add remaining ingredients, adjust seasonings. Serve room temp.

                    Approximately 12 C.

                    **This is great on crostini, bruschetta , or toasted pita wedges; or as a side dish , or part of an antipasto w/ sliced meats and cheeses.


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      your Bazer Gahn sounds wonderful - i may try to make a gluten-free version with quinoa in place of bulgur.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        ghg, thinking about the texture, i think quinoa is a brilliant idea (which doe not surprise me, coming from you.) btw, i asked you a question about tofutti on another thread- which i think you might not have seen? would you email me via my member pg?

                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                          weird - i just did searches here & via Google and didn't find your tofutti post/question anywhere. is it possible it was off-topic and the Mods removed it? anyway, e-mailing you now...

                          oh, and thanks so much for the kinds words!

                    2. Wow, thanks, everyone, for all he great suggestions. Those dip recipes look amazing! I like the polenta idea as well. At this point my biggest problem will just be deciding on what to make! I'll let you guys know how it goes!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: luckiestduck

                        if you decide you might want to do an assortment of dips, i have some great recipes - just let me know if you want them.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          If you have more dip suggestions, that would be awesome! I'll probably make a few different kinds.

                          1. re: luckiestduck

                            aside from baba ghannouj & hummus, these are my tried-and-trues...

                            black bean dip (it's become something of a CH favorite):

                            roasted carrot dip (see my note on changes following the link):
                            my tweaks: use *smoked* paprika; toast cumin seeds & then grind before adding; add a splash of cider vinegar; add couple of teaspoons of za'atar

                            white bean, roasted garlic & sun-dried tomato w/balsamic vinegar:

                      2. Already loads of ideas here, but if you do frittata, you could just make them in mini-muffin molds, so they're pre-portioned and super cute.

                        Along the mini-muffin pan line, you could do salmon croquettes baked in the molds. I do mine with diced cooked onions, parsley, S & P, egg and almond meal. If you're so inclined, serve em with a Creamy Lemon Butter Dill sauce.

                        Or mini Ricotta Zucchini Cakes.

                        Or mini quesadillas.

                        or pizza bites... press dough into large pans, top as desired, cut into mini squares.

                        Or Puff Tomato Tartlets... bake rolled out sheets of puff pastry til golden. Roast some tomato slices, tossing with basil or thyme. Puree some ricotta with parmesan and herbs. Spread on puff. Top with tomatoes, and finish with a little lemon juice or balsamic, and fresh herbs.

                        Or Rosemary Roasted Beets and Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese or Feta and Chives - i slightly steam the beets - make three cuts through each and wedge rosemary sprigs in them. then roast. Slice and roast potatoes as well. Sprinkle with cheese of choice and chives and a little olive oil.

                        If you go the dip route, I'll suggest Bonnie's Buffalo Chicken Dip... just bring 4-5 trays, some bread and veggies to dip.

                        Or make a crockpot of Ratatouille, serve it room temp with bread.

                        I'd plan to feed about 50-75. Assuming there will be plenty of other options.

                        1. How about "the turducken of cheese balls"?


                          (I'm not sure if I'm serious!)

                          1. Go retro! Miniature hotdogs in barbecue sauce.