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Please Help with a Menu for a Casual Dinner for 15

herby Dec 22, 2011 04:57 PM

Once again I am turning to you, my trusted Chowhounds, for help. I have a dinner to prepare for fifteen people (ten adults). We are in Bahamas on vacation and this will be a casual affair that I am not sure how to put together. Food that is available here is not we all are used to - all comes from the US but the quality and variety is unpredictable. What I have available is 10# of lobster (assume alive but could be frozen) and a large grouper. I have no idea how larger grouper gets and never cooked one. Is it worth getting? The one and only grocery store has s/b chicken breasts and some times whole chicken. There is decent beef good for a pot roast (which does not go with the climate!) or to grind; NZ frozen lamb chops, cheese is mostly cheddar and mozzarella. I thought that we will make a nice rum based cocktail (not sure what) and serve everything casual appy style. Potatoes Anna is another thing that poped into my head.

Any suggestions are gratefully received and please point me in recipes direction - I have no cookbooks with me!

Thank you muchly!

  1. herby Dec 22, 2011 06:34 PM

    Thank you all for ideas! The weather is typical Caribbean - 80+/- during the day and 70+/- during the night. This is my first time in Caribbean and I am appolled at how unsustainable their life styles are! They completely rely on food supplies coming in from Florida; no recycling, no farms/gardens, no thoughts about how the changing climate is going to affect them, no solar energy.... OK, back to the food:)

    I am going to make guacamole if I find avocados that are ripe and not rotten.

    Basic veggies are available but can't count that particular ones will be in the store and in good enough condition.

    @hotoynoodle

    I saw conch cleaned today and it will take a few hours even if I can find any. Whole Grouper is available; do you know how big it could be and how to cook it? Do I understand you correctly that I can't cook local lobster as I would PEI one (boil in sea water)? Do I have to make stew or soup with it?

    I really want something flavourfull, light and almost finger food that we could use paper plates and eliminate dish washing at the end of the party.

    Any thoughts about dessert? I had an amazing rum cake today but would love to do something gluten free for my SIN who just arrived tonight.

    1. hotoynoodle Dec 22, 2011 06:11 PM

      i wouldn't go crazy trying to get mainland food of questionable integrity.

      it's too hot and there are no cows. locals don't really eat cheese.

      get fresh local fish, like grouper or conch, and make ceviche.

      you can make satay with the s/b chicken. soy, sesame, hot sauce, orange juice marinade. it won't be maine lobster, but local, so good for soup/chowder/stew.

      if you can get the lobster at a decent price, make a coconut milk stew with lobster and cilantro.

      make a room temp rice, peas and herb salad, or make rice the day before and then make fried rice cakes.

      you'll go krazee trying to make your usual. cook what locals eat. and yeah, plenty of rum and ICE cold beer, lol.

      1. l
        LaureltQ Dec 22, 2011 06:03 PM

        lamb kebabs, can you get feta? If so, throw together a greeky pasta salad w/ bell peppers, orzo, cucumber, kalamatas, balsamic, feta and evoo (or green salad), and a rum based drink like mojitos (mint could tie into the lamb).

        1. b
          Bethcooks Dec 22, 2011 05:34 PM

          What is the weather like there? What vegetables are available? My first thought was along the lines of gacamole, gazpacho, lobster salad if the weather is very warm.

          1. j
            Jeserf Dec 22, 2011 05:30 PM

            could you do a lobster mac and cheese?
            what about a pizza/flatbread with mozzerella and lamb ?

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