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?
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?
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.
Fig Newtons, don't ask me why.
Dinner @ 6:30ish.
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!
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!
The outdoor patio at Local 11 Ten on Bull Street is an excellent spot. I enjoyed it last year right about this time.
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.
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.
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:
Bacon-wrapped balsamic cipolline onions. Top them with a little crumbled gorgonzola the second you remove them from the oven.
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
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?
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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.....
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.
Pumpkin turkey chili (thanks Kristen!) is on the stove as we speak. Can't wait.
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.
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.
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.