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Please help me with my buffet...

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by mimmie, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone - I need help please. Some of you may recall I'm not an experienced cook, (for that read "rarely cooks, turns out ok when she does, but has no imagination or retention of cookery facts, needs instructions and recipes to succeed") but somehow, despite that, I find myself responsible for preparing a cold buffet lunch for 80-100 people (parents anniversary party!)
    I thought I'd keep it relatively simple, mainly to do what my parents have requested, and because many of the guests have, like my parents, simple tastes in food. So far, what they have requested is platters of mixed meat - beef, ham, turkey, etc, cheeses, poached and smoked salmon, quiches, along with various salads and breads. Mum and Dad would be happy with just coleslaw and potato salad but I'd like to add a few more salads (and other stuff) to liven it up a bit - not everyone will be a "plain eater" and I don't want it to be boring for those who can cope with a bit of garlic or pepper! I wondered about having a tomato-ey pasta salad, a rice salad and maybe something mediterranean roasted vegetable-y with couscous or... whatever you may suggest? . I'd like to make them myself, rather than buy them, if possible, so I'd be really grateful for your tried and tested recipes - I'm useless at looking through a recipe book - I get snow-blindness, can't imagine what it would taste like cooked, get overwhelmed and give up!
    It's not just salad recipes I need - if you can suggest any other dishes to enliven / add to the above, I'd be very grateful and am open to all ideas. My 98 year old granny will be attending, and thinks I'm a city girl with no "house-skills" so I'd love to surprise her and prove I can feed, if not the five thousand, at least 100...!
    Thank you so much, domestic gods and goddesses...
     
  2. Hi everyone - I need help please. Some of you may recall I'm not an experienced cook, (for that read "rarely cooks, turns out ok when she does, but has no imagination or retention of cookery facts, needs instructions and recipes to succeed") but somehow, despite that, I find myself responsible for preparing a cold buffet lunch for 80-100 people (parents anniversary party!)
    I thought I'd keep it relatively simple, mainly to do what my parents have requested, and because many of the guests have, like my parents, simple tastes in food. So far, what they have requested is platters of mixed meat - beef, ham, turkey, etc, cheeses, poached and smoked salmon, quiches, along with various salads and breads. Mum and Dad would be happy with just coleslaw and potato salad but I'd like to add a few more salads (and other stuff) to liven it up a bit - not everyone will be a "plain eater" and I don't want it to be boring for those who can cope with a bit of garlic or pepper! I wondered about having a tomato-ey pasta salad, a rice salad and maybe something mediterranean roasted vegetable-y with couscous or... whatever you may suggest? . I'd like to make them myself, rather than buy them, if possible, so I'd be really grateful for your tried and tested recipes - I'm useless at looking through a recipe book - I get snow-blindness, can't imagine what it would taste like cooked, get overwhelmed and give up!
    It's not just salad recipes I need - if you can suggest any other dishes to enliven / add to the above, I'd be very grateful and am open to all ideas. My 98 year old granny will be attending, and thinks I'm a city girl with no "house-skills" so I'd love to surprise her and prove I can feed, if not the five thousand, at least 100...!
    Thank you so much, domestic gods and goddesses...
     
  3. Right. You have more than enough with what you have suggested: cold ham, turkey and beef is brilliant. I'd forget the quiche unless you plan to buy them. Cold poached salmon is easy to do and very tasty. You could add a little smoked salmon to that with some prawns by way of decoration.
    salads: potato, green, coleslaw and a separate tomato salad will be fine. If you want to make a pasta salad use something like orzo( rice shaped pasta) and add olives, roast peppers, courgettes to a tomato based sauce.
    Don't forget horseradish,lemon mayo, mustards,bread, butter
    a big cheese platter with bread and/or biscuits
    puddings: keep it simple. Big bowls of berries and cream, trifle (buy the custard) or fruit tarts (buy the pastry).
    For that number it is going to be a logistical headache so the secret is to keep it simple.
    If you need specific recipes - just ask.
    What fun!
     
  4. Cumin chicken

    get some small pieces of chicken, the goujons from the supermarket cut in three are about the right size. Put a piece of chicken on a cocktail stick.

    In a bowl mix ground cumin and olive oil - there needs to be enough to cover the chicken ideally with the cocktail sticksnot covered, and enough cumin to turn the oil the colour of cumin.
    Marinade overnight then cook on a grill or in a frying pan - about 2 mins per side. serve hot or cold on the cocktail stick.
    veg kebabs - can be raw or cooked - easier to do with cooked veg - put slices of onion, peppers, whatever is about on squewers.




     
  5. appologies for the spelling, not had coffee yet and was too late to edit
     
  6. my cous cous dish is really easy and always seems to go down well,

    Soak cous cous in boiling water with a stock cube

    Sautee peppers, onions, garlic, celery & chillis (if you like it spicy) in olive oil and mix into the cous cous.

    Add lemon juice, and loads of chopped herbs, season well and serve - the further in advance you make this the better it tastes.

    One of the best desserts I did was when I just made scones and served them with cream & jam. Honestly everyone raved about them - so simple!
     
  7. We always do a Taboulet
    500gr Cous cous grains
    10 large tomatoes
    1 large cucumber
    6 shallots
    1 lemon
    olive oil
    fresh mint
    salt pepper
    Put cous cous in large salad bowl
    finely chop shallots and mix in
    Chop tomatoes and cucumber into roughly 1cm cubes and ad to mixture - stir
    juice lemon and add
    chop a handful of mint finely anmd add
    add salt and pepper
    add good glug of olive oil.

    Stir and cover and leave in Fridge
    Take out and stir juct before serving and add more olive oil or lemon if needed (to taste)
    No cooking needed and normally really popular

     
  8. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    You can make a lovely tasty rice salad using pesto. Buy the fresh stuff in a tub from the fridges in the supermarket rather than the jar.
    Quiches using ready made pastry cases are a good idea. Morrisons have an impressive selection of these.
    Pavlovas are an easy dessert to make and the meringue will keep for several days so you can make them in advance. You could vary the toppings - strawberries, tropical fruit, stewed forest fruit. Chocolate meringue (add cocoa powder and chopped plain chocolate) goes beautifully with raspberries or tinned cherry pie filling.
    Good luck!
     
  9. OMG - thank you all so much! My request for help got off to a slow start and I began to think you all thought I was a total idiot needing help with a mere buffet, but as usual, you came good. I feel a bit braver now and I will try out your suggestions in advance so that I'm confident on the day. My family will be delighted with all my trial cooking sessions! Maybe my superhuman, hard-to-please Granny will finally concede I'm not a city-girl airhead but a domestic goddess in disguise! (well, that would be pushing it, but I'll try to bluff it for a day!)
    Thank you all x

     
  10. Eva_Smith

    Eva_Smith Established commenter

    I'd be tempted to do something hot as well. How about some cajun chicken wings/drumsticks? What about some samosas and onion bahjis? You can buy these from Iceland and the like; they are great for a buffet and it's nice to have something warm I think.
    Don't forget to provide plenty for any vegetarians.
     
  11. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    Caramelised onion tartlets always go down well. Simple to do the basics and you can dress them up as you wish. The basics are caramelised onions and pastry which is a doddle. You'll need a lot more onions than you think you will because they reduce as they cook.
    Sweat them in butter until they soften then cover the pan and cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove the cover and cook on a moderate heat until they take on a dark colour without burning. Stir occasionally to stop them burning but don't overdo it or they won't develop the flavour you need. Season well.
    Leave them to cool then place spoonfuls inside the pastry cases you've been prepaing in the meantime. They're not bad on their own once they've been baked, but they can be lifted to higher levels by adding whatever you like. Anchovies and capers is good. A dollop of cream and some cheese is also nice. Add a spoonful of spicy tomato sauce to others.
    It beats a quiche any day.
    And before you ask how long they take to bake, I can't tell you definitively. You pop them in the oven at around 200C, open a can of beer, go to light a fag then wonder what the dog is getting excitable over. Feed her, fill her water bowl. Attempt to assist your wife with whatever matter she's currently struggling with, possibly it might be how to empty the hoover, locate her favourite TV station on the telly or attach the clip on her bracelet, decide you've had enough, pour the beer and light the fag and smoke it. They'll most likely be perfect by now.
     

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