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Catering for a party

15 replies

Frostycam · 01/04/2015 19:00

I have offered to help a friend cater for a buffet at a family party.

What would be on your list please? Especially things to be done in advance and frozen.

Not sure if we will have facilities to heat food.


OP posts:
nochocolateformepleaseiwantgin · 02/04/2015 00:12

for a regular buffet I tend to put out:

Sandwiches - quite basic - some meat, some cheese/egg

Crudites with hummus and other dips

Salad leaves, coleslaw, pickles, olives

Cheese and crackers


Sausage rolls/chipolatas/pizza squares/samosas? All those are served warm of course, so depends how lazy i feel.

SconessMcFloness · 02/04/2015 08:14

With lack of facilities I'd be inclined to suggest pot luck and have family members bring a dish with them.

Frostycam · 02/04/2015 09:36

Other people are pitching in I believe.

I really like the idea of samosas - potato and meat fillings. I can make those ahead and freeze them.

OP posts:
Heels99 · 02/04/2015 09:37

Samosas aren't very nice cold though.
Poaches salmon, roasted ham, coleslaw, pickles, salad, cheese board, quiche or savoury tart csn all be served cold. Chicken legs.

Heels99 · 02/04/2015 09:37

Coronation chicken

MrsNuckyThompson · 02/04/2015 09:42

I think a lovely cheese board, a charcuterie board, lovely crusty bread, crudités, maybe one additional salad is easy peasy and a crowd pleaser.

WhenTheDragonsCame · 02/04/2015 09:43

I have offered to contribute to a buffet and was thinking of doing cheese straws (plain, marmite and pesto) and mini cheese and bacon fritata. Both look really easy but not sure if they would be any good cold.

zipzap · 02/04/2015 10:05

Think about how people will be eating - will they have tables and chairs or will they be just on chairs or will they be standing? And will they have paper plates or china plates? And cutlery? And drinks that need to be held?

If people are going to be standing and holding their drinks then you're not going to want them to have things that need to be eaten with a knife and fork, or things that are messy like coronation chicken...

If you know these sort of things about how people will be eating, it will make it easier to work out what to do because you'll be able to avoid any problems on the day.

Another thing to do is look at the entertaining/buffet leaflets that places like Waitrose and M&S have - they're probably online if you're not near to them - and see what ideas they have for their buffet solutions. They know what sells and have been doing them for years so they always have some nice ideas in that you can take away and then make for yourself rather than having to buy them!

Superexcited · 02/04/2015 10:08

Quiche is always good for a cold buffet.
Chicken drumsticks
Cheese board
Fruit platter
Crusty bread
Whole smoked salmon

icclemunchy · 02/04/2015 10:13

Cheese and pineapple on a stick. I bloody love it and no one ever seems to do iron a buffet anymore :(

BiddyPop · 02/04/2015 10:21

If you don't know about options for hot, I would base it on cold salads and potentially have some kind of potato side etc that can be hot. Other potentials for hot stuff would be sausage rolls and chicken wings.

A side of salmon, already portioned up - or darnes laid nicely together to look like a side. A few prawns and crab claws scattered around the dish too. Sometimes, there is a bowl of prawn cocktail on the side as well (there are a few who love it!).

A ham, already sliced up. A platter of roasted chicken drumsticks. Perhaps a nice quiche (vegetarian would be nice - or 2 including 1 veggie) - which could be hot/cold.

Nice bowls of salad leaves - I would do a mixed bowl and another of plain lettuce (either iceberg or butterhead).

A bowl of cherry tomatoes. A bowl of olives.

Tomato, cucumber and feta salad.

Potato salad. Coleslaw. Both must haves.

Devilled eggs (?). Hard boiled eggs, halved, laid on flat side, with small dollop nice mayo on top and tiny scattering of cayenne/paprika.

A pasta or a rice salad. Perhaps something like broccoli with roasted hazelnuts. Sweetcorn with mixed beans.

Overall, for 20 people, in our family we'd do maybe 4-5 different salads but have a couple of bowls of the big favourites.

A few of those salads would already be dressed, and we tend to have things like proper salad cream (like Heinz but an aunt makes it with fresh cream and vinegar), a vinagrette, seafood sauce (if not on the prawns already), mustard (grainy and English both required for different people on their ham!) and maybe something like a blue cheese for the chicken. Just scattered about the table (some near specific things, others just scattered).

Lots of fresh crunchy French stick already cut, with soft butter beside it (depending on numbers, we may butter it in advance - we've had some pretty big gatherings in 1 house).

In our house and with neighbours, there's always a cheese board, but the bigger family gatherings would not be great lovers of cheese - but that can be nice to have out if your diners would eat it. And easy to put out once salads are cleared off, just lay out cheese, baskets of crackers and bowls of grapes.

Afters is usually large bowls of fresh fruit salad, jelly, and something like meringue roulades or raspberry mousse, or maybe chocolate mousse. With bowl of cream on the side (and ice creams for kids - multi packs of them rather than scooping out tubs when larger numbers involved, but generally a tub if "only" ourselves (the 20) as some adults like a scoop too!!

A big bowl of lemon slices and another of ice for drinks. Lots of soft drinks.

Cutlery wrapped in paper napkins in a basket.

And a large box of chocs for passing around with tea/coffee later.

I know not a lot there that can be frozen ahead, but it's what we've found works.

Superexcited · 02/04/2015 10:27

Do not do rice salad - it will be a breeding ground for bacteria and a real health risk if left out for more than 1 hour.

Frostycam · 02/04/2015 10:46

Oooh, thanks everyone. Lots of lovely ideas here. I am meeting my friend sometime this weekend to find out what the facilities are going to be. It's not too far from her house, so we could heat things up in her oven and take them to the venue, in which case the Samosas still might be a good idea. Thanks again.
(And thanks for the reminder about the rice hazard).

OP posts:
Superexcited · 02/04/2015 10:48

Don't forget to check if you need to cater for any veggies or people with food allergies / intolerances.

Cockbollocks · 02/04/2015 12:04

Google summer sausage rolls, really easy and taste amazing.

Can be frozen!

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