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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in a quandry....and I know you all could help me see the light! I am to cater a surprise 50th birthday for the wife of a client...on the 15th of Feb ( not much notice)..40-50 people......he wants to incorporate Valentine's and his wife's birthday......and the cuisine is to be hefty appetizers.....Lots of meat eaters in this area of the world! Any ideas you can toss me would be greatly appreciated as I am meeting him on Wednesday to hammer things out!
Again,thank you for this great site!


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jacquie: can you give us more detail as to how formal this event will be? what kind of budget are you looking at? what kind of setting, etc... There are lots of exceptionally talented people on this board brimming with ideas so a bit of direction might help. Thank you and good luck!

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I apologise! Here are the "bare knuckle" details.......

upwards of 50 ppl
$20 to 35 a person
nothing that needs to be carved.....

looking for a theme that blends in well with upstate New York(suburb of Syracuse)......which means to the average eater:DIPS DIPS and MORE DIPS( I am going to change that attitude this time!)
Any tidbits of sanity are welcomed!

I want to present (pass) apps and heartier foods as they will be mingling and the guys will be the big eaters(big surpirse here)...but he wants to keep the overall feeling intimate.....I am only responsible for the cooking, their home..and they have a chef-quality an aside he has hired me to decorate as well.....whilst he and his wife are out having a "quasi-dinner".......

Thank you for any and all input (again)!


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I gotta run, but rare tenderloin sandwiches keep coming up...maybe it'd be openfaced on 1/2 ciabatta with horseradish cream. (I havn't eaten in 5 days...excetp chicken noodle soup)

if I get time tonight this sounds interesting......I'll post
check out Martha Stewart's Appetizer tomb, it generates tons of ideas and has great visuals.

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341 Posts
how about mini biscuits with sliced filet . You can make your own or even use the pillsbury bake off kind (must do same day) When pressed I use them and cut each circle into 1/2 moon and sprinkle the top with shredded cheddar which changes and improves them
(it goes along way and meat eaters love it) You can use either 1/2 or whole round. If they are big eaters then do a bigger version but still small.

with any of the following dressings
traditional: horseradish cream, pesto, honey mustard
new wave: wasabi cream, red pepper tapenade, hoisin

a variety of wraps cut as pinwheel sandwiches
Peking chicken with hoisin and scallions
hummous, chopped olives, fresh spinach and roasted peppers
smoked turkey, honey mustard and (patted dry) sliced tomato

You could make a roulade or think sausage size with fresh salmon and shrimp and scallop mousseline, scatter some j ulienned blanched carrots in the center for color and wrap the whole thing well in plastic wrap and poach. Then slice thinly with very sharp knife and serve on heart shaped croutons. Very pretty, feminine and very valentine. Also not really expensive considering how far it will go as an appetizer

how about a clam casino stuffed mushroom.

chicken and potato croquettes - homemade and delicious but still familar.

What about jerk chicken or pork satay

Little mini empanadas filled with ham and cheese and chicken like a cordon blu - Use a basic cream cheese pastry dough. Can make ahead, freeze unbaked and bake same day or on site.

Also can you get hor d'ouerves from a company called Dufour Pastry Kitchen. They have great products (one of the members here used to work for them and help develop some of them) They are local in NYC but sell through distributors throughout the country. You could call them to see who distributes near you.

Their number is 212 929 2800. The prices are really good for the quality. SOme of the items I like the best are the mushroom truffle risottos, the southwestern tartlets, the blu bytes and martini olives - customers are very receptive to those especially the martini olives!

Oh and to those detractors who say you must make everything your self - well I say find good products and make them work for you, interdispersed with things you create too. The first time I came on this site I got highly flamed for suggesting using "frozen" hors d'ouerves. Oh well - I don't have a staff of 25.

In the past, I have also taken their larger empanadas and cut them into 1/4 for a more filling appetizer. Haven't tried that lately, but always liked the spinach and 4 cheese one.

This site has lots of interesting sample recipes for hors d'ouerves

like a phyllo feta kiss among others

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Hi Tigerwoman,
Try these:

Render down some loose sage sausage with onions, bell pepper and mix in velveeta cheese. Top this mixture onto little bread squares (You know, the ones you can buy) and bake until crispy.
Garnish with chive...Great appetizer!

Do the same with an inexpensive lamb cut (roast it up to fall off the bone consistency) mix/chop up with your choice of cheese and spices and since it's a Valentine's theme, top the final product (after baking) with a rasberry or strawberry....I've done me....Good eats

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All of your suggestions are superb!!!!!!
Lucky for me,the husband has given me carte blanche for the menu......sooooooooo......I am definitely going to incorporate many of your delectable suggestions!
Obviously I am dealing with true foodies here!:chef:
Now all I have to do is .........COOK!!!!!!!

Thank you all again!

And keep those ideas rolling in...I have learned more here in the last month than in any other place!!!

Ciao for now!!!!!!!
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