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Caribbean cocktail party - hors d'oeuvre ideas?

Thanks, Claire. Those look good. I'm doing a sweet potato empanada so probably don't want to do another pastry-based thing.

The pineapple fritters look great. I'm cooking for 50 -- can they be done that day and reheated successfully?

Caribbean cocktail party - hors d'oeuvre ideas?

Caribbean cocktail party - hors d'oeuvre ideas?

Thanks. KFC -- I'm intrigued by the idea of making tostone "cups" (in small muffin tins?). Can I make them in advance? Any idea if they will keep for a day or two in a Ziploc bag at room temp and/or refrigerated? Will they reheat?

Vegetarian main dish elegant enough for a wedding?

There are some amazing suggestions here and I can't thank you all enough. I'm still concerned about the room temp part so I guess I'm just going to have to experiment a bit. I appreciate the thoughts, too, re: vegan, egg/dairy, etc.

Road trip snacks?

Fig Newtons, don't ask me why.

Vegetarian main dish elegant enough for a wedding?

Dinner @ 6:30ish.

Vacation cooking!?!?!?!?

This chicken stew freezes very well and has summery flavors. You can add fresh basil when reheating if you have it, but it'll be fine without. For this purpose, I'd suggest skipping the corn wafers and just buy some corn muffins that day from a local bakery or market. Or, add some white beans or edamame to the stew for a little extra heft and you won't need any sides to go with it. Have a great trip!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-and-Corn-Stew-with-Corn-Wafers-12315

Suggestions for Fresh Pasta Sheets

This is a favorite of mine and a small piece goes a long way. I use the fresh pasta sheets, rather than the no-bake called for in the recipe. It cooks in ~30-35 minutes. I had something similar at a farmhouse restaurant in Italy, sitting outside on a moonlit night. Can't guarantee this will transport you there, but it works for me!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/White-Lasagne-with-Parmigiano-Besciamella-em-Lasagne-in-Bianco-Em-242032

Good Date Restaurant in Savannah, GA?

The outdoor patio at Local 11 Ten on Bull Street is an excellent spot. I enjoyed it last year right about this time.

Israeli Couscous?

I just made some last night. I sauteed shallots in olive oil first, then added curry powder. Toast the couscous next, then added chicken or veggie stock. Tasted great with some grilled ham steaks.

Suggestions for cooking for many at the beach

We have a beach place and end up with a lot of guests. Young and old seem to like pork tenderloins, marinated in Ziploc bags in soy/oil/ginger/garlic/white wine, then grilled. Serve w/ noodles in a peanut sauce with shredded carrots or cukes (that'll take care of the vegetarian) and bread & salad. Another simple one is chicken breasts marinated in a mixture of honey, mustard, fresh basil and a little oil. Bring flour tortillas and turn the leftovers into quesadillas for lunch the next day. If you're assigning some tasks to others, I'd suggest you have someone else bring the salad makings or the breakfast items to save you some time, $$, and work.

Pomegranate Molasses

Search "pomegranate molasses" in the recipe section and you'll see a number of good ideas from cookies to BBQ sauce.

This is delicious, too, with or without the pita:
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Turkish-Lamb-Pitas-with-Tomato-Sauce-107650

Bacon Appetizer?

Bacon-wrapped balsamic cipolline onions. Top them with a little crumbled gorgonzola the second you remove them from the oven.

Favorite SE recipe?

Two favorites: I'm with tabuca-style enchilada crowd as well. Have made it at least 5 times, including last night with shredded turkey from a rotisserie breast. It's my 16-year-old's latest favorite (doesn't know he's eating spinach either) and I often kick it up a notch, too, with a little jalapeno. My other favorite is curried red lentils with coconut: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/11/dinner-tonight-curried-red-lentils-with-cocon.html
Yum!

Serious Chocolate: Easy Chocolate Pie Crust

Sounds great. Could you tell us fellow chocoholics about the pie in the photo? Are those chocolate-covered dried cherries? Is there a filling in the photo or just (never use "just" with chocolate, I know!) drizzled chocolate?

Copper platter for salad?

Ok. Thanks all. I'll come up with Plan B. (Can't use it as a charger -- it's large and rectangular; I need something pretty big.)

Cooking for a family who recently lost a member.

This is one I've made frequently - a chicken and corn stew. It's a nice change from lasagna, but still freezes well if that's appropriate. I'd suggest skipping the "corn wafers" and sending some corn bread or muffins to go with the stew.
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-and-Corn-Stew-with-Corn-Wafers-12315

Wanted: elegant buffet food ideas

OK. I think the buffet will be: grilled salmon (maple/mustard glaze), warm lentils with thyme, whole baked pumpkins filled with vegetable/red wine stew (substituting barley for the seitan: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pumpkin-Stuffed-with-Vegetable-Stew-240601), a smoked duck salad (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Smoked-Duck-and-Walnuts-with-Winter-Greens-105974), assorted breads/rolls.

Still working on apps: I know I'll do my favorite home-made ricotta on bruschetta with oven dried tomatoes and will let one of my colleagues bring a tray of cocktail shrimp. Maybe the bacon-wrapped jalapenos on this site and/or golden beet/goat cheese stacks w/ pistachio oil. One other super creative hors d'oeuvre (I'll have help with the passing) might be in order too.

For dessert: either a ginseng/ginger apple crisp with whipped cream or I'll buy something with lots of chocolate in it. Maybe both!

Thank you all so much for the comments. I'm definitely going to try the vitello tonnato for another gathering later this fall with a crowd that I know will eat veal (I just don't know this crowd well enough) and loved lots and lots of the suggestions here. This is a great community -- thanks for your help.

Wanted: elegant buffet food ideas

Thanks to all, especially CJ. I will let you know how this works out. It was nice to have an afternoon today to think about it but probably need to make some decisions soon to get it all together!

Wanted: elegant buffet food ideas

Roulades could work. I do have a recipe along the lines of what you suggested that I've done a few times. I was just starting to think about maybe duck breasts that I could sear and slice in advance, then rewarm with some kind of red wine sauce and maybe serve with roasted fall veggies and/or lentils and/or au gratin potatoes or on sauteed swiss chard. Still thinking.....

Wanted: elegant buffet food ideas

CJ - Yes. I'm looking for seasonal/fall menu on the more elegant side. It's a business-thing, but celebratory. I don't want to do anything too traditional because that's just no fun for me. I don't envision a table of finger food; more a cohesive dinner: main-course/veggie/salad/starch type menu, but in a buffet format since I can't do sit down for 25-30. No pork. No shellfish.

What Are We Eating Today-10/14

Pumpkin turkey chili (thanks Kristen!) is on the stove as we speak. Can't wait.

Beef short rib help

All these comments are helpful. I just happened to be at a meeting near a Whole Foods and stuck my head in there. The beef short ribs were much, much meatier (and on sale!) than what I was working with over the weekend, as well as the ones I'd tried unsuccessfully last spring. I did sear, etc., and will do that again this time. I'm confident with all your tips, it'll work out this time.Thanks again.

Beef short rib help

Thanks. It may well have been the cut. Maybe, too, the Gourmet Today recipe called for 2" pieces of rib (mine were a bit bigger) and just 2.5 hours of cooking time. Perhaps it needed longer to hit the "melt" stage. Maybe I'll try again later this week as the temp plummets in Boston.

Make-ahead appetizers?

Tortilla spirals. Mix together goat cheese, cream cheese, chopped basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives & pine nuts. Spread a tablespoon or two over a tortilla, top with another tortilla and another layer of filling. Roll, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate (or make ahead even sooner and freeze). Before baking, cut into spirals and brush the top of each spiral with a little of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes.

This is something a little different that's always well received.
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Dill-Cured-Pork-Crostini-with-Sweet-Mustard-Sauce-108220 They can be assembled in the kitchen for bite-size hors d'oeuvres or arranged on a platter for guests to put together themselves.

Caribbean cocktail party - hors d'oeuvre ideas?

I'm helping a friend with the food for a 50 person cocktail party next weekend and the theme is Caribbean. I'm looking for a total of 8-10 apps that we can make; 2-3 "standing" items, and the rest a mix of passed hot and room temp hors d'oeuvres. Some of this will need to be made in advance.

Here's my thinking so far - not strictly Caribbean foods, but spicy and light:

a platter of red bean tortilla chips with pineapple/kiwi/avocado salsa
roasted red pepper dip (cumin/lime/coconut milk) w/ jicama strips and assorted veggies
edamame puree on wasabi rice crackers
curried swordfish bites
macadamia-crusted goat cheese balls with jelly pepper/lime dipping sauce
sweet potato empanadas
spicy chicken pizzettes

I also bought a package of Goya frozen plaintain slices to play around with.

Any thoughts? Also, a good rum drink recipe that's maybe a little more out-of-the-box than a simple rum punch.

Many thanks!

Vegetarian main dish elegant enough for a wedding?

I'm helping a friend with a DIY backyard wedding, late summer in the hills of western Massachusetts. Everything will be farm fresh - local corn & white bean salad, tomato wedges, potatoes of some sort, greens, etc. - and elegantly presented. All dishes will be served at room temperature (family style or on a buffet table, tbd). For protein, beef tenderloin is bubbling to the top of the list. Still discussing whether or not chicken needs to be an option as well.

Here's the question: anyone have a vegetarian main dish recipe that can be made in advance and served at room temp? Ideally, it would be a stand-alone option with an entree feel to it, not something in a salad bowl (as much as I love salads!). I'm thinking it shouldn't be too starchy (with potatoes and corn/beans also offered).

I'm not positive of the quantity involved, but for a wedding of ~200, I'm thinking we'll need to do 75 or so of the vegetarian offering (since some non-veg folks might like it too).

While simplicity is the goal, I should add that this is a family that eats and entertains well and loves a wide variety of foods and flavors. Creative (in fact, all!) suggestions welcome. I know someone in the SE community has the perfect solution!

Copper platter for salad?

I don't remember anything from high school science class. If I put a vinaigrette-dressed salad on a copper platter am I going to wreck either the food or the platter? Would a piece of parchment paper as a liner protect the salad if it sat on the platter for an hour or so?

Wanted: elegant buffet food ideas

I need to feed 25-30 people for dinner next week; a crowd of close business associates + spouses for a celebratory meal. It'll have to be a buffet, but I'd like it to feel a bit more elegant than typical fare and to use seasonal foods. What have you done that's worked well and 'wow'-ed the guests? I'm mostly looking for an idea for an entree or two, but throw anything my way. We've probably all done beef tenderloins and/or salmon for events like this. Other ideas? I love vegetarian offerings myself, but probably won't do that as a centerpiece. Limitations: I know several guests will not eat pork; no shellfish (I have a severe allergy); folks will be seated for dinner but not at a table, so not too much cutting, etc. Soup seems hard to manage unless it's its own course, so I'd be inclined to shy away from that. I'll probably want a mix of room temp and hot foods so I can do some dishes ahead.

Beef short rib help

I really, really want to like cooking beef short ribs. I love the scents in the kitchen and the idea of the transformation of those large, beefy looking things into a succulent dinner. I've enjoyed them at restaurants and other people's homes. The problem? Each time I've tried to cook them myself, I seem to end up with an overly fatty, have-to-work-really-hard-to -find-a-morsel-of-meat experience. Just tried again Sunday (using recipe for Braised Short Ribs with Dijon Mustard from Gourmet Today as posted on SE a few weeks back -- loved the sauce!) with ribs from a local farm. Still, almost nothing but fat. Am I supposed to trim them somehow before cooking? After cooking? Any ideas what I might be doing wrong or good sources of info? Thanks!

Ideas for Do-Ahead Chicken for 200?

I'm organizing a lunch for about 200. Volunteers will make/prep dishes in advance and we'll be able to do some minimal reheating just beforehand. I need to do at least one chicken dish and think boneless breasts or tenders will be easier to eat than bone-in chicken. Also, there is a Tuscan theme to the event.

Looking for something a little different — no chicken parm, etc. So: anyone ever tried Chicken Marbella with boneless breasts (we could leave out the prunes and brown sugar to keep it closer to an Italian meal?) Also thought about having folks prep chicken wrapped in foil with capers, olives, garlic, and lemon slices, but would the foil and lemon react negatively to one another if assembled the night before? Other thoughts/suggestions greatly appreciated.

Wanted: elegant buffet food ideas

I need to feed 25-30 people for dinner next week; a crowd of close business associates + spouses for a celebratory meal. It'll have to be a buffet, but I'd like it to feel a bit more elegant than typical... More