Replacements for stone soup?
September 22, 2012 9:16 AM   Subscribe

I need to organize six or seven meals for fourteen people. These meals are rather unique in that everyone needs to contribute something to the main dish. Think potato bar, salad bar, nacho bar, etc... Basically, I'm looking for ways to create a modern version of stone soup. Suggestions?

Some parameters:

-We are not meeting in a facility with a kitchen, so everything must be cooked/prepared before the ingredients are combined.
-The lower the cost, the better.
-The easier to transport the better.

Thanks for your help!
posted by rapidadverbssuck to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Tacos or tostadas - with beans, meats, cheeses, vegetables, salsas, sour cream, guacamole. Can be done as salad, too - just crumble the chips on top.

Curried chicken salad - cold chicken, greens, dried cranberries, almonds/walnuts, grapes, shredded carrots, celery, curry dressing.
posted by Miko at 9:24 AM on September 22, 2012

Burritos is practially the same as tacos, but can feel more meal-like.

Are you assigning people what to bring? Or is it more potluck style - you'll tell them the meal "theme" and they'll bring an ingredient of their choice?
posted by maryr at 9:37 AM on September 22, 2012

Yeah, tex-mex is the way to go, because people can make several dishes from the same ingredients. Think about soft and hard tortillas (hard including the various shapes- chips, taco shells, flat). The only thing that needs pre-cooking is meat-- beans and meat should be kept hot on site, so get some kind of catering rig and sterno, or crockpots will work for those. If you can keep the various tortillas warm, that'd be good too. (think electric blanket/heating pad)

If any of the meals are breakfast, go with a breakfast bar: fruits (berries, melons) cereals, biscuits, meats, scrambled eggs or individual fried eggs (you oven-bake them in a cupcake tin), etc. Pancakes or waffles if someone wants to attempt that.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:50 AM on September 22, 2012

Banh mi bar!
posted by Mercaptan at 9:53 AM on September 22, 2012 [4 favorites]

I've seen this concept done as a pasta bar -- a couple of different types of pasta, marinara, alfredo, meatballs, sausage chunks, grilled chicken breast, cheese to mix in. I'm not sure how well this would work in a facility without a kitchen though, since I don't know how portable naked pasta is.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 10:00 AM on September 22, 2012

Actually, breakfast for dinner is a real treat! You should do that one night! You would probably want an electric griddle, though.

And you could do actual stone soup if time isn't an issue - you'd just need a crock pot.
posted by maryr at 10:00 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Two practical ideas:
pasta can pre-cooked al dente and then reheated in an extra large Coffe urn (which gives you boiled water)
if you use canned or boxed broth and a mix of frozen vegetables brought to room temperature and canned ones plus some canned tuna you can dump it all in a pot and have it ready to eat fairly soon. (if you can boil the water in a coffee pot for the broth, the crock pot will get it up to temperature much faster.)
posted by metahawk at 5:15 PM on September 22, 2012

Sandwiches - everyone brings something like lettuce, tomato, other veggies, deli meats, mayo, pesto, cheese, different kinds of bread and rolls.
posted by Red Desk at 7:55 PM on September 22, 2012

I'll pass around a sign up sheet about a week ahead of time, and people will bring specific ingredients.
posted by rapidadverbssuck at 7:47 AM on September 23, 2012

You could do a chopped salad, people bringing chopped carrots, salad greens, "massaged" kale (recipes online), chopped red cabbage, snap peas, nuts, raisins, chunked chicken, hardboiled eggs, etc. - or romaine, croutons, etc for caesar - then a couple of salad dressings (vinaigrette, miso-ginger, ranch).

Could do spring rolls similarly - then each roll your own - if you have water to moisten the spring roll wrappers.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:51 PM on September 23, 2012

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