Crowd pleasing dishes for ladies' night
- chefjeannine Jan 9, 2013 09:27 AM
About 20 or so ladies from work are getting together for a girls night. I need a dish I can prepare ahead of time since I'll be going straight from work. It has to be easy to eat (finger foods and the like) and not served warm. Any ideas?
I've made a cold peanut noodle salad served in baked wonton cups to make it easy to eat. I put the salad in the cups right before serving, as I thik they would get soggy if they sat a long time. The salad is great made the day before, as long as you can keep it cold while at work. I made the wonton cups the day of, but I think they'd be okay, too, if made a day earlier.
Before replying to your request I looked up the climate in which you live. It is cold enough there to keep a salad in your car if you drive to work.
I suggest a salad made with Romaine lettuce, small stuffed olives, feta cheese, diced sweet onion, diced bell pepper, chopped walnuts, dressed with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Maybe canned Mandarin orange segments can also be added. If you have any other ingredient that you like add that as well.
You can supply sturdy paper bowls and plastic forks for the salad if that isn't too gauche for the ladies in attendance.
For finger food, celery segments filled with a tangy cream cheese.
Buon appetito (OK, you want it in French...Bon appetite')
I haven't made this in a long time because it's so rich, but cut into small squares or triangles, it's a delicious finger food. I've always cut the recipe in half and used an 8X8 pan. I wouldn't serve it stone cold out of the fridge, so perhaps you could leave in your car for the morning, then bring it in on your lunch break to come to room temp. Leave in the pan, assemble at the gathering.
This recipe looks like the one I have at home. I know it came from an old Bon Appetite.
- Crustless quiche bites/egg muffins
- Shrimp cocktail
- Deviled eggs
- Bean, dairy- or vegetable-based dip with chips or crudités
- Polenta napoleons/sandwiches
- Prosciutto-wrapped dates stuffed with cheese (goat or blue)
- Cherry tomatoes or baby bell peppers stuffed with herbed goat cheese or ricotta
- Spiced chickpeas, popcorn or nuts served in muffin/cupcake liners
- Smoked salmon pinwheels
- Cheese plate
And if no one is covering dessert...truffles or cheesecake pops.
Fresh spring rolls (rice paper) veg or shrimp
Tea sandwiches (thin slices of cuke & red pepper hummus)
Shrimp lollipops with a spicy dressing
And you can definitely make them with anything. I used marinated sun dried tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes. I just thought it would give them an extra bit of flavor. Plus, fresh basil might be an option right now. Oh, and I used shorter skewers so I had one of each item, instead of 2. I thought it was easier for people to manage that way.
I also made a balsamic glaze, something like this with just balsamic and brown sugar, and I couldn't believe how good the flavor was. A little bit drizzled over the plate went a long way. You could make this ahead and drizzle on before serving.
It depends on taste preference, but I love curried chicken salad in mini-pitas or phyllo cups.
Greek yogurt as a base, add shredded chicken, chopped green onions, major gray's chutney (or any other chutney you like), yellow curry powder. I also like to toss in some roasted garlic and finely chopped peanuts, but those can be omitted.
Empanadas are always a hit and don't suffer at all from being served at room temp.
I served Asian dumplings on candy apple sticks (which have one pointy end making it easy to spear them without doing damage) at a recent party. These were also fine at room temp.
Mini corn muffins w jalapenos or chilis.
These Chli-Cheese Shortbread from Martha are always popular: http://www.marthastewart.com/351247/s...