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Jun 7, 2012 09:47 PM

Menu help for retirement party

I'm planning my dad's retirement party (june 29th) and need a menu for an outdoor party with anywhere between 30-70 people, most of them foodies or gourmet types. Party starts at 5pm but we have another event elsewhere before so no prepping after noon. I'll probably be doing everything by myself (experienced cook) in the days before.

So I need suggestions for mostly make akead.

Access to a full kitchen and 1 maybe 2 BBQs.

Any and all suggestions are welcome.

My ideas so far :
- crostinis (smoked mackerel, mango and crab, smoked salmon)
- Burgers (maybe something with a special meat like bison... need a recipe for this)
- Shrimp skewers

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  1. Just had bison meatballs and they were very dry. As to crostini, smoked mackerel doesn't do much for me, particularly after smoked salmon. It there a theme here?

    2 Replies
    1. re: escondido123

      No theme, just good food. Other suggestions for out of the ordinary meat?

      1. re: elilab

        We prefer bison burgers to beef. The trick is to not overcook them or they will be dry. Why not take a practice run before your event and see how you like them. We cook our 5 oz. patties on medium high barbecue for 6 min. total.

    2. I agree that one smoked fish is enough, and more people like smoked salmon. Perhaps some crostini with goat cheese and figs, or roasted veggies?

      1. Beef and Blue Cheese Crostini

        Shrimp Cocktail Platter

        Strawberry Chicken Salad

        lemon bars, brownies, carrot cake cupcakes

        1. I think these things are best when organized around at least some broad thing or things start to get a bit cacophonous.


          - Pitas with great traditional dips (melitzanosalata, taramosalata, tzatziki, hummus, great olives), spanikopita pockets, stuffed grape leaves

          - Grilled meats and veggies (as simple or as "foodie" as you want) w/ salad

          - Baklava


          - Hand held mini empanadas, grilled shrimp, good quality guac. and chips

          - Tortillas with fixings and chicken in mole (or whatever else)

          - Tres Leches Cake (or spiced chocolate cake or whatever)

          1. An elegant chicken salad- maybe served in endive leaves. Cold poached asparagus wrapped in a rosemary ham. Deviled eggs. French potato salad or a fancy pasta salad. For the grilling you could do sliders. Do you have an ice cream maker? You could make a gourmet ice cream with some heat like Aztec chocolate. Or purchase it.