oops, my pre-wedding dinner party just got wayyyyy too big...chafing dish dinner suggestions!?
Hello! I just got in a little over my head and would love some suggestions!
I am getting married in May and made the mistake of including an invite to our home for dinner a few days before the wedding, thinking only about 20 people would arrive early from out of town to attend. Boy, was I wrong, the count is now up to 55 adults, 10 kids.
Fortunately, I love to cook, and will have a couple days to prep before...
I am looking for some suggestions on dishes that work well in a chafing dish. And if they can be pre-made even better!!
I promised a tropical/seafood theme as we live in Florida and most people are flying in from out of town. I want to provide some really nice dishes and also use a lot of the fish my fiance catches (we have 2 deep freezers full).
But I want to make everything ahead of time and keep the hot stuff in a chafing dish....which i'm not quite sure can be done with fish, I've never used a chafing dish before.
here were some of my thoughts for chafing dish entrees,
tuna skewers with ginger chili sauce
coconut basmati rice
chicken fingers & fries for the kids
peppered beef tenderloin (does this go in a chafing dish, room temperature or heat lamp?)
lobster macaroni & cheese
Can you do whole fish roasted in a salt crust? This is a GREAT way to keep the moisture in the fish, and can be served at room temp with a fruit salsa on the side.
Beef also at room temp.
Jerk Chicken (thighs, please - to preserve moisture) can be made kind of saucy and chafer'd. Rice can hold for a while in a chafer, but PLEASE put enough water in the bottom, and keep the lids for the sterno, and put 'em over the flames 1/2 way to mitigate the heat so your rice doesn't go to much.
Hatian Black beans (like a creamy bean sauce with chilis, cumin, garlic and sofrito base) would be great with the rice to keep moist, and as a veggy entree when eaten with the rice.
Do you really need to 'dumb down' to the kids and make chicken fingers/fry's? I would think they could LOVE jerked chicken if not too hot, and eat the rice if not too seasoned.
Roasted asperagus at room temp with good olive oil and lemon dressing at the last minute.
Love the idea of iced Tuna poke, or seviche too.
Let us know how it goes!
GingerShelly... the whole roasted fish is a great idea, and the presentation would be fantastic especially since it can be served at room temperature! I can't wait to try it! Thakns for the tips of the rice/heat, never worked with a chafing dish before. The colors of the asparagus and the tuna ceviche would look beautiful. thank you all for your kind, intelligent suggestions!
Heatherdaphne, Doing a whole roasted fish is best if you use an oily fish (here in Seattle that is usually Salmon, but I am sure you have your local fishes in FL).
I like to bake it on a large rimmed sheet tray, and putting a bed of kosher salt down, prop the fish up so it is in 'swimming position', with the fllet sides vertical, this way after covering and roasted, you can removed the salt crust and have a nice presentation. Just cover the tray after cooling an removing skin, and top salt crust with lettuce or kale or such. Then just cut away flillets on the sides portioning as people come through buffet line. The whole fish always goes at the end of the buffet, with someone serving it to guests. Fabulous!
Glad you liked the heat-tamer idea. Also, put a saucer or such UNDER the sterno, so heat doesn't damage your surfaces. Seen many a burned table in the day from inexperienced catering staff....
I think you need to focus on things that are saucy, both to keep them tasty and to keep them warm. Can you do more of a chicken stew with jerk seasonings? And then blacken your mahi, but serve it on a warn pineapple salsa? The rice would probably be okay, though would end up mushy. Same for mac and cheese, and the beef can be room temp.
and saucy stuff is messy to eat. this no longer sounds like a sit-down event?
fish simply doesn't hold well. you could make a seafood stew, like with ginger and coconut milk and keep it warm in a crockpot, or do a ceviche style-dish, which will be fine over ice for several hours.
the tuna you can do like poke or tartare.
rice is fine at room temp, or can hold just fine in a chafer.
consider drumsticks for the jerk because they are hand-held and easy to eat, or do them satay-style, on a skewer. maybe do some not spicy chicken as well instead of crappy nuggets for the kids. just plain mac and cheese and you can jettison the fries as well, since those also don't hold well.
i'd also suggest a veggie in here someplace? like roasted asparagus or green beans? those are also fine at room temp.
the beef is also fine at room temp.
thanks hotoynoodle, i agree about the kids dishes, they have more adventurous palettes than some of their parents! I hate those fake nuggets anyway! The seafood stew and ceviche are really good ideas, and can make ahead!! And thanks for the reminder about veggies, I completely forgot!