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ELLEN'S KITCHEN
family wedding reception for 50 @ 7:30pm
Melody
02/25/11
I've been asked to prepare the food for a dear friend's wedding reception. The venue has a prep area but no oven or stove. There will not be a full meal served, only appetizers. Here is what I thought. Shrimp (cook as needed in large electric skillet) and Grits (plan on keeping warm in slow cooker and serving in chafing dish), Sliced Pork Tenderloin (cook ahead) on crostini, Fruit, Vegetables, Cheese and Punch. There will also be a traditional wedding and grooms cake. For that time of day, do you think that is enough to choose from? If yes, what quanities would you suggest? Any other suggestions are welcomed.
ellen
02/25/11
This is not really an appetizer menu- and for 50 people you will be cooking at least 13 pounds of shrimp. I wouod go with a shrimp dish that is ready to eat; shrimp salad or remoulade, maybe shrimp cocktail (maybe a Mexican style in the sauce with veggies chopped in?) The tenderloin also tends to dry out when cooked ahead; chicken or beef holds better. If grits are a favorite, you could do cheese grits. Or what about a jambalaya?
Write back about the menu so I can help with amounts. Also, if the ceremony starts before 7, most people will not eat dinner before they come, and you need more food, so let me know about that.
Melody
02/25/11
self-serve Shrimp (2-3) and grits in a martini glass has become a very popular party dish here in Alabama. I agree with that the time of the reception people would usually be served a meal, but this is the bride's desire and budget.

with the serving size of the grits, does that give a better idea for how much should be prepared?

Melody
02/25/11
Also, you site is the most the most useful site on the web. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
ellen
02/27/11
OK, it is clearer.

Understanding the bride's ideas, I have to say that if it is self serve at dinner time and the amounts are wrong, she will run out of food before everyone eats, which is about as bad as it gets...

Also, serving a reception, you have three basic times to deal with: the hour or so right after the service, while the couple gets their pictures done and the food, etc is set up, where you need a nibble table, usually 3 items with punch in a simple wedding; the "meal/main" service; and the party snack and cake service if dancing etc occurs after.

So here is how I would suggest to re-work the plan for 50:

Nibble table: 1/2 deluxe fruit tray for 100, prepared on several trays (serve trays one at a time); 6 pounds cheeses and spreads; 3-4 pounds crackers; 1 gallon hot dip (artichoke? spinach? seafood? queso?) crock pot

Shrimp (cook as needed in large electric skillet) and Grits (plan on keeping warm in slow cooker and serving in chafing dish),
Have someone serve the shrimp, and have it is last position on the food table. Allow about 3 ounces ready to eat shrimp and 1/2 cup grits per 100.

A brilliant addition here would be a mixed salad of marinated whole button mushrooms and cherry tomatoes- alternate topping and a fine addition to the general menu

Sliced Pork Tenderloin (cook ahead) on crostini, possibly sub boneless chicken thighs or consider pulled pork;

add carb filler, such as an Italian pasta salad, tiny roasted new potatoes...

Add veggie item such as the Parmesan spinach squares on this site

Vegetables; roasted or grilled instead of just crudites

Melody
02/27/11
Thank you so much. Growing up on the coast, I know people will load up on shrimp whether they pair it with the grits or not. So placing as the last dish is a fantastic idea.
 
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