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crowd pleasers!

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 23:18
by christine
I love cooking for parties! I usually go overboard and plan a billion things to make and then I only make a portion of what I planned. :)

We're having some people over on the Saturday of Popfest New England weekend - familiars are welcome and I'm sure I'll meet anorak folks to invite. Last year we had a BBQ and poor William spent the afternoon over the grill. I'm looking for something I can make ahead and just serve buffet style.

So my quandary is: what to make for a crowd pleaser? There has to be a vegetarian choice and usually I go vegan because I'm allergic to dairy, but I'm willing to be flexible on this.

options:
lasagne; with tofu pesto fillling, lots of veggies and fresh cheese (this could be made ahead and frozen, but my sister says it takes days to defrost)
pasta - I have stockpiled pasta in case I get too overwhelmed - a simple baked pasta with veggies perhaps?
gumbo - this is one of my favorites, but it's not vegetarian and really labor intensive
chili - the no-brainer, although I'm not too familiar with using fake meat, which I loathe, but I could dump everything in the slow-cooker that morning and be done by the afternoon
ratatouille - another favorite, but possibly too labor intensive because I'm a purist and would cut and saute veggies for hours and make cornbread to go with it

Any other ideas for crowd pleasers?

Re: crowd pleasers!

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 23:45
by Sootyzilla
Everyone likes pizza, but you may quickly outstrip the capacity of a domestic oven if more than a few people are coming (this may be more of a problem than the popularity or otherwise of vegan mozzarella-substitute, if such a thing exists)

Make a big bowl of houmous and serve it with pita bread.

A salad with couscous or bulgur wheat or rice, tomatoes and bell peppers, or tabbouleh dripping with olive oil and lush with mint and parsley.

Potato salad. It's not a party if there's no potato salad.

Big pot of rice and big pot of dhal, yoghurt and chutney on the side.

Chilli is a good idea and can be pretty good with fake meat or none.

Re: crowd pleasers!

Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 09:05
by nanski
Sootyzilla wrote:
Chilli is a good idea and can be pretty good with fake meat or none.
yeah, i'd say that aubergines or portabello mushrooms are a better substitute for meat in chilli anyway. fake meat is stupid.

Re: crowd pleasers!

Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 16:51
by christine
I'm glad you say that. I think fake meat is stupid, too.

Pasta has been on sale and I've stocked up, so I'm going to make a shitload of pasta. I made a tomato sauce last weekend and I'm going to make a meat version, too, with spicy chicken sausage and ground turkey.

Should be fun!!!