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Easy Elegant Menu Ideas - Need Help!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi I'm also new to this forum and I am catering a dinner for 500 but it is split between two nights. It is an appreciation dinner and they want it to be elegant. The problem is the budget is really low. This is the first time they are holding this event so it's hard to say how many will attend. I was thinking of something with chicken? Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated! And they want it plated as well.

Thanks!
post #2 of 12
Chicken breast with artichoke cream sauce with fried carrot curls or leeks. Peppercorn cream sauce?
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
The peppercorn cream sauce sounds like a good choice. Would you serve pasta or potatoes with that? I'm looking for the most inexpensive thing yet elegant that I can think of. They want the moon but have no budget!!! I know that because it is plated I should be able to get by with 6 oz. chicken breasts. If we do a pasta with it then those that might have an allergy to chicken would also still be able to eat the pasta. Just a thought!
post #4 of 12
Use airline breasts, julienne the veggies very nicely, and serve risotto or parisienne potatoes.
post #5 of 12
I'm with Kuan. The airline breast sound good and it's kinda unique these days. I also like the idea of the artichoke cream sauce. Maybe add some exotic shrooms and some fresh tarragon to it as well. Then there's Coq au Vin, Or... How about a Chicken Denison (sorta like a Wellington) Chicken breast with Duxell, and wild rice in puff pastry with a saffron cream sauce or Chicken Saltimboca is good or maybe Chicken Dijon- Chicken breast lightly dredged in flour, sauteed in rendered panchetta with a pan sauce consisting of the rendered panchetta, fresh chopped sage, Asparagus tips shallots, Chardonnay, dijon mustard and reduced heavy cream (s&p to taste) all served on a bed of wilted greens. (spinach may be simplest)
post #6 of 12
how low a budget?
Profile your customers.....
If I served green peppercorns, artichokes, wild shrooms to a huge group with no options in STL......depending on who that group is, I'd be wowing too much.

Basic, Chicken breasts in white wine cream sauce (actually boursin like)

Remember, Cheap...that means they won't wanna pay alot of labor...so the simpler the better.

We all know, when it comes to catering most people that don't understand all that's involved....insurence, rent, staff, equipment, etc....
they want great food cheap. Well that's fine, I can work with that BUT it doesn't mean they'll get filet for hamburger prices....and it doesn't mean I'll work for free.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 12
some other budget alternatives (certainly not cutting edge):
Beef Stroganoff w/roasted asparagus or other roasted veggies;
chicken kiev/cordon bleu;
kabobs;
grilled pork tenderloin.

What's for dessert?
post #8 of 12
Yeah what's for dessert?
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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post #9 of 12
Maybe a cold fruit soup made with dry white wine & some mint, Or a fruit salad, with a minted simple syrup.
Could be served in tea cups ???
post #10 of 12
oh yeah, we used to make this "mimosa fruit soup" with scoops of sorbet in it and sweetened creme fraiche, but I didn't care for the soup part. ooh.. a "champagne" mango/peach/passion fruit mousse. Sparkling wine is cheap.. just make a big batch of it, plate it and chill it way ahead of time.


Man that sounds good right now.. it's hot here in LA.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
Reply
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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post #11 of 12
how about doing the chicken breasts and maybe a couple of sauces - that adds variety and would give people a choice
What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang
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What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang
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post #12 of 12
sooooo what did you serve? how did it go over?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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