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Pre Wedding Bbq For 20


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#1 Jake

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 07:03 AM

While having a glass of wine with a friend last evening I found myself agreeing to prepare a backyard bbq the day before a wedding for about 20 guests. 5 of these will be children. 7 of these will have just flown over from England. The balance are Italian or Canadian. We have the non adventurous older generation represented as well as people we have no idea of tastes, allergies etc.

A couple guidelines:

No beef
No pasta salad (okay, i get this one!)

And I'll have approx. 4 or 5 hours to shop, prep and get ready to cook. The BBQ is a large Vermont Castings grill, so no problem there. Average kitchen, but I'll prep at my place and transport if possible. No prep can take place the night before as I'm throwing a multi course dinner party for a friends birthday.

I'm toying with a marinated pork tenderloin idea for a main. One of the apps will definitely be antipasti platters.

Help! Please.
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#2 Madge

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 09:01 AM

Well other than a very large bottle of your favourite libation....I make this pear pizza as an app. which is good for a crowd, easy and quick to make and always gets rave reviews. Store bought pizza crust, carmelized onions, sun dried tomatoes, blue cheese and thinly sliced pears. Throw in the oven or bbq until cheese is melted, cut innto slices and there you go.

#3 Corgi Man

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 09:22 AM

I've been to a couple of BBQ's where there was a fairly sophisticated, elegant menu for the adults and some simple familiar kid-fare such as frankfurters & buns & condiments, potato salad, a very basic dessert and of course fruit juice, milk and sodas. (Just how young are these kids?)

I love grilled vegetables! They can look awesome, too. Zucchini, Eggplant, Sweet Marinated Onions, Yellow, Green, Red and Orange Bell Peppers, Fennel etc. I do hope you have someone assisting you at the grill.

3 or 4 bean salads sound pretty plain, but they can look and taste fabulous with well rinsed contrasting colors and textures of beans (i.e. Garbanzo and Red Kidhey and Great Northern White and Black-eyed Peas), with a slightly sweet vinaigrette dressing, minced onions, very finely minced garlic, chopped bacon and chopped parsley. This can be assembled a couple of days ahead and refrigerated and the flavors combine beautifully. Just omit the parsley and bacon until an hour or two before serving, so the bacon can maintain some of its crispness and the parsley some of its fresh green-ness. Can't believe I'm going on and on about the virtues of bean salad but it is a traditional BBQ and picnic side. :) Hey! Make it easy on yourself!

Edited by Corgi Man, 06 June 2007 - 09:29 AM.

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#4 Marlene

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 09:35 AM

No beef huh? Well I won't be much help then! :P Grilled pizzas for the kids. Wanna borrow my smoker and do smoked ribs? :D

Is this sit down or eat as you mill around? That's going to make a difference in the type of food you serve. When is it? June? July? Sept? (You can also borrow my dining tent in case it rains or to shelter the food :)

I'm fairly partial to potato salad myself, and I'm about to get a recipe from the chef here for a really good garlic, shallot and bacon dressing that was outstanding.

If you've got a rotisserie, there are endless possibilities or kebabs maybe. Definately grilled veggies.
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#5 Jake

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 10:07 AM

Potato salad is an excellent choice. Who the heck doesn't like potato salad? And a bean salad is on the list. I love them. Garbanzo and black bean is a personal favourite combo.

Grilled pizzas are a great app idea, although i won't be able to use store bought crust.

There will be grilled veg on the antipasti platter, i don't want to reprise that for the main course.

The bbq is in June, I do not need a separate menu for the kids, 3 are between the ages of 10 and 13, the other two are young enough they may not eat much, or will make do with the basics.

It is not a sit down dinner. I should have grill help (but will have to supervise) and if the weather is inclement it can move inside easily.

I was leaning toward a pork tenderloin as it is quick and easy. Marinate the night before, grill and slice. Sauce of some sort. Done. No time to smoke ribs Marlene!!

There is a rotisserie. Hmmm.
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#6 Dianne

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 10:34 AM

Pork tenderloin is a good choice as it is a mild flavour that can be doctored with interesting relishes and chutneys. And a nice selection of bread and rolls. Do you have time for crudites? Kids of all ages love little veggies, grape tomatoes and dip.

Dianne

#7 Guest_dave solomon_*

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 11:09 AM

Caribbean food is perfect for a low stress bbq for a group that size. You can do most of the prep a few days in advance since the food doesn't really need to marinate. Grilled chicken with either jerk or chimmichurri sauce (I'd do both since the jerk sauce would be spicy). Rice and beans, blackened salmon, some corn bread, and some grilled veg, some blackened veg. Maduros for dessert are crazy easy and everyone loves them.

#8 Jake

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 06:43 AM

Dave, what a great idea. I haven't made jerk in awhile. And i could just as easily do jerk pork (easier on the grill and one of the hosts detests chicken). I will run that by the hosts and see what their thoughts are. Maduros have always been a side dish in my mind, but they could easily be a dessert as well. Thanks for the thoughts.
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#9 Guest_Gordon_*

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 08:20 AM

Dave, what a great idea. I haven't made jerk in awhile. And i could just as easily do jerk pork (easier on the grill and one of the hosts detests chicken). I will run that by the hosts and see what their thoughts are. Maduros have always been a side dish in my mind, but they could easily be a dessert as well. Thanks for the thoughts.


Just a few thoughts

Pork Tenderloin is nice but I would choose chicken thighs over them. Less marinading time and a little more forgiving on the grill in large quantities

BBQ Chicken Thighs
Mini Burgers with smoked bacon and blue cheese

Corn on the Cob
Asian style Slaw
Cold Chopped Salad of green beans, carrots, celery, cucumber, sugar snap peas, peppers, tomato with a green goddess or buttermilk ranch dressing

Potato Salad
Etc

You can do mini pizzas on the grill - I use a warm, semi-proofed dough (wheat or white) pull a handful to about 6-7" and grill for 60 secs on one side and remove. Do all the single side then set up your toppings. A possible pizza theme would be pea meal and pineapple with a BBQ sauce base. Turn the grill to medium and top and cover for about 2-3 minutes

I did (for the food snobs) griddle corn cakes with tasso ham, carmelized shallots, spinach, and foie gras butter as little apps

Drinks? Watermelon Mojitos

Did this for 25 peeps recently without incident. It was about an hour of prep for 2 peeps - I can give you a breakdown if needed.

#10 Jake

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 09:22 AM

Gordon - see above. No chicken, no burgers. Grrrr. My thoughts about pork were specifically because I had time to marinate ahead, and I find them one of the easiest to grill. Corn on the cob is a great idea, although somewhat difficult to manage for guests milling around, but I might throw it in there anyway. The griddle corn cakes sound fabulous, and I have a great source for tasso. Do you have a particular recipe, or do you just wing it as I often do?

I like the cold chopped salad idea a LOT.
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#11 Guest_Gordon_*

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 09:54 AM

Gordon - see above. No chicken, no burgers. Grrrr. My thoughts about pork were specifically because I had time to marinate ahead, and I find them one of the easiest to grill. Corn on the cob is a great idea, although somewhat difficult to manage for guests milling around, but I might throw it in there anyway. The griddle corn cakes sound fabulous, and I have a great source for tasso. Do you have a particular recipe, or do you just wing it as I often do?

I like the cold chopped salad idea a LOT.


D'oh! I never read close enough :(

Pork sounds like you're only hope (unless you want to add italian sausage with grilled veggies)

The corn cakes came on the fly, inspired but having a desire to utilize some quality, leftover ingredients. Basically took one of those corn muffin mixes, doubled the eggs, separated them and whipped the whites to lighten the batter. Couple of shots of smoked paprika in the batter. Warmed the tasso on the upper tray of he grill and did a quick sauté on the spinach. Corn cakes about 2-3" base of spinach, a julienne of tasso and I took the Foie gras butter and chilled it as much as I could. Plopped a small quenelle on top before service - lots of flavors and textures. Basically a re-hash of my standard Medallion of Tuna on Brioche with balsamic onions, spinach, seared foie gras, and chorizo oil with chorizo bits.

Maybe ground pork burgers with provolone and greens (like ramps or arugula)?

Edited to add

I've also done Mini Fish sandwiches with mornay and tartar sauce. (I'm going through a slider phase) It's all about the finger food for large gatherings

Edited by Gordon, 07 June 2007 - 09:59 AM.


#12 Jake

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 10:02 AM

Oooh, I like the pork burgers idea. Doubt ramps will be available in 2 weeks, but arugula or other greens certainly.

I love the corn cakes idea. Will definitely make that soon, even just for ourselves!

There is a possibility that I will have to make up everything ahead and just leave it for them.....i'm hoping not, but if so then burgers are a great solution with salads.
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#13 Guest_Gordon_*

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 10:08 AM

Oooh, I like the pork burgers idea. Doubt ramps will be available in 2 weeks, but arugula or other greens certainly.

I love the corn cakes idea. Will definitely make that soon, even just for ourselves!

There is a possibility that I will have to make up everything ahead and just leave it for them.....i'm hoping not, but if so then burgers are a great solution with salads.


If any more useful ideas come to mind, I'll post them.

Sante'

#14 Guest_Gordon_*

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 10:13 AM

Quick note regarding the fish sandwiches

Took a few sides or haddock, sprinkled with Old Bay, a little white wine, and wrapped them in foil and tossed them on the grill for 10 mins on med. Tooked the fish and flaked it into a bowl. A mound of fish, covering of mornay, and a dollop or tartar...very simple.

#15 Marlene

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 10:11 AM

If you have a rotisserie, do a nice bershire pork roast. No need for marinading. Cut the corn into three pieces and they will be easy for people to handle standing up and milling around. The corn cakes sound like a great idea!
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