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Jun 11, 2014 10:30 AM

Party menu comments welcome

I'm hosting a party for 18 to 24 people (adults) this Friday and would like general comments or criticism on my menu (planning purposes). Don't worry about being too mean, I can take the heat!

We are in rural AZ and cooking in the house is going to be too difficult to maintain decent temperatures in the house, I'm planning to do as much as I can ahead of time (cook meat and make sauces etc..). The general theme is world cup and pizza party.

I’ll be grilling eight pizzas likely from this list: Quattro cheese, buffalo chicken, apple and blue cheese, green chutney and ricotta, margarita, and carnivore. (48 hour cold ferment 65% hydration, bread flour, 2% salt, .7% yeast, maybe a splash of oil)

We will also prep a batch of sangria as well.

What I'm asking people to bring, along with whatever they want grilled if they have preference or restrictions include:
• Salad dressing (we have the typical ranch, etc..)
• Salad toppings (tomatoes, cucumbers, etc..)
• Salad!
• Chips, veggies, or dip
• Watermelon or melon
• Desert


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  1. Fun theme!

    Sangria: I would do a pitcher of red and a pitcher of white.

    Oh, and yes to olive oil in the pizza dough. I think it adds a nice malleability to the dough and I gotta think it's good for the hands.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pedalfaster

      Love love red wine sangria so we may end up with some. White wine and available good fruit pairing seem so crisp and light we have to do it for the 100 degree heat.

      1. re: carrytheone

        Use frozen grapes as your ice cubes- keeps the drinks cold yet won't dilute them!

        1. re: Ttrockwood

          Great idea, we will do this tonight!

    2. I love your ideas but I would simplify your menu and what you ask your friends to bring. Remember it is always better to make fewer things well.
      I would make 2 or 3 different kinds of pizzas, a margherita(tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil), Quattro fromaggi, and a meat lovers. I always feel it is really important to have enough of each thing for each guest(18-24 pieces of each kind)
      I think asking everyone to bring bits and pieces will be a disaster. Ask people to bring:
      Green salad
      Orzo salad(or any pasta salad)
      Chips with guacamole and salsa
      Sausages( a few people can bring some they you are not asking people to bring their own meat)
      Chocolate brownies
      Fruit(maybe a watermelon)
      Beer/ wine
      Sparkling water
      Ask them also to bring their own serving bowls/trays/spoons so you are not running around trying to put everything together. I think most people like clear directions. If you ask someone to bring dessert and they bring ice cream you might be kicking yourself. Ice cream would be a disaster if you did not have freezer space or 24 bowls and spoons....

      1 Reply
      1. re: DowntownJosie

        Agreed. I'm trying a new route with the salads hoping its a good deal.

        As people rsvp I'll be sending updates to who is bringing what.

        I'm good with all utensils and plate ware.

        Booze is pretty easy with our group, always have enough and my liquor selection rivals small countries.

        Simple is better in my opinion as well but I'm lucky to have all the ingredients on hand for the toppings I listed so its a clean up double whammy for me.

      2. I have never seen someone come to a potluck with a green salad or veggie side...... Maybe your group is different.
        Since you're grilling anyways i would do a platter of grilled zucchini, green onions, bell pepper, eggplant, whatever. It will be a nice foil to the pizzas and even if you have leftovers they keep well and can make great lunches- just chop and add to a grain salad or sandwiches etc

        3 Replies
        1. re: Ttrockwood

          Agreed on the nice foil to the pizzas and how they make great leftovers. I will not be doing that though because it's already too much grilling and committed grilling space to add more to the lineup. As it is now, I can comfortably manage to build and grill pizzas and whatever meats people bring and socialize!

          1. re: carrytheone

            You could do grilled veggies in advance because they are great served at room temp. But with so many lucious veggie pizzas I think fresh raw crunchy salads will go just as well.
            All the interesting pizza varieties coming out at different times would make me want to sample each kind and possibly eat more, so I'd consider paring down the options for that reason.

          2. re: Ttrockwood

            wow, really? most of my friends cook, but some not as much. so....i've certainly hot potluck bbq dinners when someone feels most comfortable making a big salad. as for vegetable side dishes, some folks have specialties.....a grilled corn, tomato basil salad is one. or maybe a melange of summer squash sliced thinly and dressed. i don't do potlucks very often....but have certainly had people bring salads when i have.

          3. I'd freeze a couple of four cup tall food storage containers of whatever wine you're adding to the sangria to keep the beverage cold instead of ice cubes... pop them out to go into your pitchers/punch bowls before filling with the rest of ingredients.

            I also think that you might want to reconsider how many varieties of pizza you're serving; eight is alot..perhaps you could pare it down to 4-5. I would do one with grilled veggies, including thinly sliced grilled or blanched potato which is stellar on a pizza, as is spinach & sweet potato with a alfredo sauce or even just a garlic butter smeared on the crust before topping.

            A simple dessert might be grilled poundcake with a berry compote; there are plenty of really refreshing popsicles recipes online that would be nice to serve at the end of a pizza meal.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cherylptw

              Great idea on the big wine cubes, will do that tonight!

            2. You're in rural Arizona and you're asking someone to bring desert! That's great!

              Your plan to send updates on who's bringing what is a great plan to mind the gaps & overlaps.

              I buy day old loaves and make croutons with extra garlic. You might add that to your salad toppings list.

              1 Reply
              1. re: AreBe

                I actually have some potato buns and bread that may qualify for the crouton territory

                The updates are working out very well, some others are still trickling in their food so I'll update the thread tomorrow with that additional list. It is looking GOOD though.

                Good catch on the desert.