Appetizer Serving Ideas
I'm having a baby shower in a few weeks and where I live doesn't offer much in terms of elegant catering. So my mother-in-law and I decided to do much of the food ourselves (for approx 40 people). We've opted for appetizers that are served cold or warm/room temp + desserts and beverages. The hall we've rented doesn't have a kitchen available to us, so we won't be able to keep refilling platters as they empty; all of the food will have to be out at once. Does anyone have suggestions on how to accomplish this? We do have several chafing dishes for the warm selections and I figured we could stack the apps up with parchment paper separating the layers. Is there anything out there that would allow us to securely stack trays/platters without damaging the food that sits on them?
I would commandeer a table or two in a corner as a staging area with coolers and a toaster/countertop/microwave oven or two(if possible) -- these can usually be rented fairly economically, as can more chafing dishes -- then you can refill and stage at your leisure, without having warm things go cold and greasy, all the ice melting to sludge, and mostly having all your hard work go mediocre on you.
Also check party shops -- they very frequently have party packs -- foil chafing dishes and frames -- for very inexpensive.
Ask friends if they hot plates/grills...like they use to make sliders and breakfast. Even with 40 people, I do not like the idea of using chafing dishes and layering with parchment paper. The items will steam and get messy...plus the fact the paper will not look very good in between the food strewn about.
I've been to more than a few elegant catered affairs where the Hot Plate was used with a fry pan for dumplings, meatball, sausage, shrimp, peking duck crepes and the like....during Reception Hour
I like the idea of renting a small convection oven...even two if there are a lot of hot items to be served.....If catered, request the food be put in half sheet pans.