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Appetizer menu review for 50

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi Cheftalkers, Its been a while since I've been at this site, but now I have a computer again. I'm starting to cater, and have my biggest party yet. It is an open house that expects 50 people between 5:30 and 7:30. They requested savory and affordable finger food. This is one of the menus I have proposed:

Pear, fig, caramelized onion and goat's cheese on cucumber slice
Roasted pepper and white bean dip with pita and crudite
Ham with holiday chicken stuffing
Roasted potato and mushroom with tomato olive tapenade (see photo)

roast potato - ChefTalk Photo Gallery

Everything can be prepared a day in advance, besides roasting the potatoes and mushrooms. cooking will be done off site and assembling will be done on site.

1. Can you suggest a wheat free substitute for the cucumber slice?
2. How can I make crudite exciting?
3. I will roast a chicken with lots of stuffing, shred the meat, and mix the stuffing, jus and chicken together. This will be rolled up in thin ham slices. Does this sound feasible?

thanks in advance!
post #2 of 10
Instead of the cuke you might try slices of either kohl rabi or jicama. They bring a nice crispness that makes for a great cracker replacement.

Another possibility: I often make small appetizer cups by pressing round won ton wraps into mini-muffin tins and baking until slightly browned and crisp. I'm told you can do the same sort of thing with tortillas. If so, the corn tortilla cups would be a good alternative.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
oooh yea, i love fresh tortilla chips, jicama and kohlrabi. Nice ideas, im going to test the flavors.

side note, just tried chayote squash this summer and fell in love with it!
post #4 of 10
1. Can you suggest a wheat free substitute for the cucumber slice?
2. How can I make crudite exciting?
3. I will roast a chicken with lots of stuffing, shred the meat, and mix the stuffing, jus and chicken together. This will be rolled up in thin ham slices. Does this sound feasible?

Recomendations"" Cut all veges for crudite into flower shapes and arrange in a basket. Put it on an electric turntable so it turns around in front of guest.

Ham rolled with chicken and stuffing in side? sounds like a school lunch entree. I can't visualize this as an appi.

No cuke, mini rice cake instead
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #5 of 10
With 4 appetizers and GF guest.....I'd go totally without glutin. Which means reworking the chicken/stuffing/ham thingy.

Apple and pear slices can replace bread or cukes......I use either with pate often

Risotto is GF, thus risotto cakes are GF

your potato ap looks great

Try changing up what you put your crudite in.....different leveled containers, clear glass short vases, glass blocks with the tops cut off, rolled ribbons (carrots, cucumbers), Have some fun on the platter.....babies.....tiny peppers, baby eggplant as garnish, small artichokes, squash with blossoms.....Explore Asian or Farmer's Markets for interesting herbal garnish.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I like the sliced pear idea: top a slice with fig, onion and cheese mixture, maybe a ribbon of pickled red onion or candied almond on top. Takes the pear out of the mixture, which would maintain flavor better during storage.
It is not a gluten free event. The desserts are being donated by a bakery I used to work at, and they will be full of wheat, sugar and butter. To have a balanced selection, I'm trying to avoid using wheat for the savory food. I am also building a reputation of providing vegan/wheat free cuisine.
Personally, I really do enjoy wheat! On holidays in Paris, i would have a demi baguette with butter and jam followed by a chocolate croissant for breakfast and feel energized until lunch.
For the ham, i would compare it to a maki sushi roll. It could be cut in half and plated standing up with some chinese mustard greens poking out the top (ham and mustard lol).
Or cut the ham slice into quarters and rolled up like a cone. I am guessing very thinly shaved ham would be best so it sticks together, and there wouldn't be thick layers to chew through.
I think it will be an approachable crowd pleaser. We've all seen the rolled up ham slices on platters, so why not cram some holiday cheer in it! Besides, my budget isn't big, so I'm chooosing some affordable protiens.
How would a risotto cake be served? What shape and temperature? With or without breading?
post #7 of 10
Wheat-free cucumber substitute... parmesan or pecorino (if you want to go sheep) tuiles in the shape of a cone or a small cup. I've recently learned that a microwave is a very good tool for making cheese tuiles.

Are you set on crudite? If not fried corn tortilla chips (cut into fancy shapes or strips) are a great non-wheat alternative. If you want to stick with vegetables how about making large root vegetable crisps by shaving it along the length with a mandolin then frying?
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
here is my pear tester:

Pear - ChefTalk Photo Gallery

Parmesan tuiles would be lovely, but too expensive for this event. I do think some fried carrots, sweet potatoes and beets would be a nice touch. They could add some height to the display.
post #9 of 10
Parmesan Tuiles - Frico in Italy - cost pennies and take the most rookie labor to make.

The pear canape is huge. Try a thick slice of red potato, fried or roasted in the convection oven until crisp. Or forget the whole gluten thing since it wasn't a mandate. Why go looking for trouble?
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
David Jones, you are totally right about the size. I will cut 10 wedges instead of 8 and reduce the filling. Is there a better way to slice a pear? I dont want to have any core (or holes where the core used to be) from slices. Any other way lacks a good yield.

Are small parmesan tuiles cheaper than a $0.03 piece of pear? Reggianno is $4.39/100g up here.
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