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Need to cater for 50 pax...

(11 Posts)
rocket5 Tue 21-Dec-10 17:32:42

In a flush of hospitality, we've invited around 50 people to DD's christening and then lunch back at ours. I'm now panicking about what to feed them - mainly adults but with some smaller children (who eat adult stuff so that's fine).

We have a small/average size oven, and a small/average size fridge.

I'm planning on asking parents/godparents etc to bring pudding-y stuff, but have no idea what to do for main. Needs to be something that people can eat whilst walking around/perched on sofas etc...

Also needs to be something which doesn't take hours to make since we'll only have 30mins - 1hr between coming back from church and wanting to start eating.

Any ideas? So far I've come up with hot potatoes and cold meats, cheeses etc. Thought of doing individual pies but that sounds like a lot of effort for so many people...



TheFarSide Tue 21-Dec-10 17:34:26

What is a pax?

rocket5 Tue 21-Dec-10 17:59:28

Sorry - hospitality speak for people/covers (i.e. number of meals needed).


ivykaty44 Tue 21-Dec-10 18:04:28

I would buy a ham uncooked now - as they have some large hams without bone for sale in sainsbury, asda, etc - possible get two ham and it will cost around £20 for both - cook two nights before and keep in water or cola for 48 hours - as this will keep them suculent

Then potato salad _ make the night before with mayo and new pots

cheese selection - set out on plate

french stick - buy on morning - three sticks and cut

and samosa - if you have an Indian place that makes them locally as they are usualy good and inexpensive. Also go like hot cakes

make banoffi pie as easy to assemble, trifle as same as before

FortiesCromarty Tue 21-Dec-10 18:05:34

oven baked sausages? large pizzas you can cut into small slices?

megonthemoon Tue 21-Dec-10 18:10:28

Pizzas, garlic bread, salami/sundried tomato/olive platter

Roast a piece of beef and a ham beforehand and serve with potatoes (roasted or baked new potatoes are lovely)

alfabetty Tue 21-Dec-10 18:12:29

You have to remember that it is lunch, not a full-on 3 course, stuff themselves dinner.

So lots and lots of french stick, butter, some cheese, ham, coleslaw, big bowls of salad/tomatoes, cold pasta & pesto. All easy to assemble in advance and things like the cheese and pasta can easily be stored out of the fridge, likewise the salad for a few hours after it's washed and prepared. Cocktail sausages for the children.

Ask a neighbour or friend if they mind being on tea duty when you arrive home and borrow a couple of kettles and tea pots, borrow mugs/cups and ask people to help themselves from the tea pots in an area away from the food.

But you can never have too many french sticks....

The alternative mass-catering option is to buy loads of good quality sausages, bung them in the oven in big trays when you get home and half an hour later you can serve them up in the french stick. Frying onions on the hob optional....

defineme Tue 21-Dec-10 18:13:50

If you're having potatoes I'd do meat and a veg chilli with bowls of grated cheese/sour cream. But I think chilli/pots might be a bit hard on knees/standing up.

I think I'd go more trad cold stuff with lots of crusty rolls, cheese plate, cold meats,salads, condiments and then pop some quiche/pizzas in when I got home.

Or you could do a big slow pork roast (I think Nigella and Jamie both have recipes) with bread and salads.

rudolpherina Tue 21-Dec-10 21:33:33

When cooking for big numbers like this I have found its much easier to do it this way
Hob 4 rings- 2 pots with choice of any in these;curry, chilli, chicken in white wine, beef stronanoff type thing
Pot of rice on another ring

In the oven get as deep a baking tray as yoy can and put in a load of (par boiled)baby potatoes, onions, peppers,etc cover with lots if olive oil and herbs.

Also do a tray of cocktail sausages for plain eaters and kids

Then you can do a few salads and selection of nice breads

This way you can prepare everything a day in advance or even cook curry and freeze a good week ahead. When you start cooking party foods that all take different times you can be sure something will get burned/underdone while your trying to see to guests!

HollyBollyBooBoo Tue 21-Dec-10 21:46:51

I did a big party a couple of weeks ago for DHs team, our menu was...

Cheese platter (great stilton, brie and strong cheddar)
Meat platter - chorizo, parma, salami, ham, pork and a nice pate in the middle
Seafood platter - prawns and salmon with a seafood sauce dip
Bread & crackers
Twice baked jacket pot halves with cheddar, sour cream & chives and plain
Ceaser salad
Foccacia pizza cut up into smallish squares
Veg samosas with mango chutney dip
Potato salad (this didn't go down too well - too many potato options??)
Nibbles of nuts, crisps, pretzels out so they could eat whilst waiting for everyone to arrive and buffet to all be put out.

Mini macaroons, cranberry and pecan pie, cheesecake, bowl of mixed berries, jug of cream.

Loadsa booze, bottle of port by the cheese platter, tea and coffee later with mints.

All pretty much could be set up quite quickly, put out small plates so they could just pick at food and keep coming back for more. As many seats out as we could around the house, loadsa candles, Christmas music, it was fab!!

rocket5 Mon 27-Dec-10 12:31:33

Lovely - thank you all! Really useful (and am hungry now...!).


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