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Food for 20 - what would you serve?

(19 Posts)
LucyTheValiant Sun 23-Mar-14 12:32:15

We have around 20 people coming for drinks/food. It's not a sit down dinner, but half will have travelled so will not have had chance to eat and the rest have been told to expect food so we do need to provide something fairly substantial, not just crisps and dips.

I'm planning on making up a few large bowls of salad, one Greek salad, one green salad with broccoli, peas, asparagus etc and one spicy butternut squash salad.

Then I was hoping to make two big pans of hot food (one veggie, one not) for people to help themselves to, along with potatoes/bread.

Does that sound enough or should I do more? (There will be dessert too.)

And does anyone have any ideas for either different salads, or the hot food? I can only think of curry and I'm not overly keen on that.

Any suggestions gratefully received smile

Oh, and it's all adults, no DC, so it needn't be child friendly. The only limitations are I need one vegetarian dish and one meat dish.

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 12:36:44

You've more or less put what I was going to suggest:

Big lasagne
Bowl of curry
Bowl of chilli
Jacket potatoes
Garlic bread

Easy to make vegetarian versions of all the main dishes and most of it can be prepared in advance.

Refoca Sun 23-Mar-14 13:05:34

I've found roasted baby potatoes (oil, salt and rosemary, 40mins) works fab for the potatoes as people keep going back for them. Do these to be ready 10mins ahead of buffet time to free up the oven. For 20 people, do 2 bags. If some get left you can always slice as fry the next day.

Crackers and cheese, french sticks (cut them yourself, or you'll get knife marks in the table!) and butter, crudities and dips. Cocktail sausages.

Potato salad, coleslaw.

We normally have pizzas freshly cooked (ASDA fresh tin ones take 8ish mins each, we are lucky to have space for 4 at a time, but for 20 people would do 2 batches given everything else on offer, i.e. 8 pizzas, which takes about 25 mins to get all cooked, cut and out on plates).

Don't forget some pudding-y bits...biscuits, choc fingers sound reasonable for non-party food.

Drinks area, serve yourself.

LucyTheValiant Sun 23-Mar-14 13:28:59

Oh those potatoes sound lovely, and I'm liking the pizza idea. Also liking the sound of a lasagne - I may do that as the non-veggie option and then something else for veggies as we have a lactose-intolerant friend... Thanks both!

babySophieRose Mon 24-Mar-14 08:52:37

Any casserole type dishes, curries, potato salad, rice, bread,spicy red lentils soup, some sausages

wordfactory Mon 24-Mar-14 17:14:09

When I have a lot coming to be fed, I tend to go for food that lends itself to being laid out quite happily and being picked a mezze type thing. Or a middle eastern banquet.

Shimmyshimmy Tue 25-Mar-14 00:43:38

I'd boil up some ham, roast chicken, frittata for the veggies.

Bonsoir Tue 25-Mar-14 09:37:33

A huge just cooked roast beef is my fail safe large gathering meal, served with potatoes (a gratin dauphinois in winter, a new potato and spring onion salad in summer), a rocket/pea/fennel/parmesan salad, and plenty of crudités and baguette. Obviously mustards, hummus etc on side.

Practicalpet Tue 25-Mar-14 15:01:21

You could use a slow cooker (if you have one) to keep chilli/curry warm.

Practicalpet Tue 25-Mar-14 15:03:34

What about fajhitas (put contents in the slow cooker) lay out guac,sour cream, wraps nearby?

LucyTheValiant Sat 29-Mar-14 17:05:35

Oh, so many good ideas here! Sorry for not coming back to this thread, life got in the way. These look great!

neolara Sat 29-Mar-14 17:08:45

In her book "Feast" Nigella has recipes for both a meat and a veg chilli in big quantities.

LucyTheValiant Sun 30-Mar-14 18:27:49

That would be excellent - I'm worried about under catering so recipes for big groups would be great!

Does anyone have any thoughts on dessert? I am thinking about a big old batch of chocolate brownies - not terribly exciting but a crowd pleaser and easy to do, and doesn't require me to lay my hands on 20+ ramekins (I was contemplating chocolate mousse... DP pointed out this was a foolish plan.)

tilbatilba Sun 30-Mar-14 18:33:01

Brownies are perfect ....I stack mine like a cake, decorate with halved strawberries and a dusting of icing sugar and it looks fantastic. The best recipe I have ever found is by Annabel Langbein.

LucyTheValiant Sun 30-Mar-14 18:40:48

Oh, I have googled, they look delicious! I'm morally obligated to make a batch tonight to test out, aren't I? Wouldn't want to serve food to guests that might be dodgy or something...

Can't quite picture your strawberries tilbatilba - do you mean in between the layers? That sounds really nice!

FreeButtonBee Sun 30-Mar-14 18:50:03

I make a mean lamb meatball/kofta in spiced tomato sauce.

Good butchers lamb mince, finely chopped onion, coriander, mint,parsley well chopped. Garlic. You could whizz that al up in the food processor. Then add to them lamb mince. Season well. Squish through with your hands. Then make little meatballs (a bit bigger than a cherry tomato). Place on an oiled bakingn tray and give them 15 mins in a medium oven. This allows them to set and release fat

Make up a morrocan/spiced tomato sauce with ground coriander, chilli, Harissa, that sort of thing

When guests arrive, put meatballs into the sauce and heat through on a low heat. This is amazingly forgivjng and great with Greek salad, pitta, hummus etc

You could do a veggie tagine thing as. The veg option.

I did the meatballs for my DT's first birthday. It was lovely and worked really well

Slackgardener Sun 30-Mar-14 20:41:03

I'd do Ottolenghi's lamb shawarma - with humous, falafel for the veggies tomato & onion salad, chilli sauces and lots of pitta bread. Most of the work can be done ahead of time.
Brownies are a great idea for pudding. Or you could do an orange and almond cake serve with mascarpone. Or a lemon polenta cake. Anything you can make and slice will cut down on faff. Pavlova is easy too. Apple crumble is cliched but it's always a joy for such little effort. I'd probably do a couple of different puddings...a fruity one and a chocolate or toffee based one.

stuckindamiddle Thu 03-Apr-14 09:04:07

When we had DS's summertime christening party at home with all the family round we did a whole side of salmon (baked in oven, served cold), a gammon slow cooked in cola (served cold), potato salad, green salad, bread, dips, coleslaw, cold antipasti, olives etc.

stuckindamiddle Thu 03-Apr-14 09:04:42

Oh and a cheeseboard with grapes, chutneys etc.

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