What to serve guests
July 8, 2004 1:16 AM   Subscribe

FoodFilter: I am hosting a small birthday party this Friday evening starting around 7pm, and my guests will expect some (dinner) food to be available. What can I serve them? (More Inside)

I am looking for some food / snacks that are easy to make (buy) and will fill people up. All in a standing up / drinking beer environment, more buffet food than dining table. There will be around 15 people and two or three of three of them are vegetarian. This is not in the US so non-brand specific advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
posted by sebas to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Onion Bhajis and Samosas make for good finger food.

Also strips of Celery, cucumber and carrot with a selection of dips. Tortillas and Salsa can be easily purchased.

Then you've got your little blocks of cheese on cocktail sticks & pigs in blankets (UK Style. Cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon and either grilled or oven cooked). For that true "Abibails Party" feeling stick the other end of the cocktail sticks into a large foil wrapped potato.

A new favorite is slices (sliced into circular discs - not lengthways) of french bread with pink Hummous (Hummous made with a very small amount of beetroot) spread on top with either half a cherry tomato or an olive plonked on the top of that for good measure.

Finally new Potatos (lightly doused in olive oil, pepper and cumin) are also very good.
posted by seanyboy at 2:02 AM on July 8, 2004

One thing I have done which is very simple and very easy, was to make a variety of wraps (make a few tasty combos including vegetarian ones) and cut them up into slices that would only take a few bites to eat (so people can have a few different kinds without stuffing themselves), and hold them together with toothpicks. It doesn't take a lot of time to prepare and most people seemed to really like them.
posted by catfood at 3:00 AM on July 8, 2004

Swooping in to cover seanyboy's back, I have to remind you that the cheese on sticks should naturally be partnered with a chunk of pineapple.
posted by biffa at 3:22 AM on July 8, 2004 [1 favorite]

The sliced up wraps is a great idea. People go nuts over them, and if you can get them, the red wraps made of tomato and the green ones made of spinach are very nice. You could do some vegetarian ones, too. When you slice them up they look like pinwheels. In addition to all of the cold cut combos you could make, a very popular one is simply cream cheese with roasted red peppers, which is also vegatarian.

Bruschetta is also good, super easy. You slice french or italian bread widthwise, and if you can, char it on a bbq or stove until it has some dark brown/black hashmarks on it. Then top it like a pizza, with chopped fresh tomato, parmesan, basil, salt, pepper, and basil. Yum.

If you can find them, frozen mini quiches/tacos/pizzas are great, too, but of course, not as nice as something you put together yourself.

Stuffed Jalapenos

2 (11-1/2 oz) jars whole jalapeno peppers, drained
1 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Cut slit along one side of each pepper. Remove seeds, rinse and dry. Fill inside of each pepper with about 2 tsp. of cream cheese.
posted by iconomy at 3:36 AM on July 8, 2004

Three Words. Stuffed Grape Leaves.
posted by pissfactory at 4:20 AM on July 8, 2004

Response by poster: Wow, thanks to all of you I now have some great ideas of what to serve my guests. Previous parties have included lots of bbq, which is fun a few times but can't be repeated forever. I had a complete brainfreeze on what to do.

The wraps will fit the bill for 'mainfood', with some other nice fingerfood next to it.

Thanks for all the good ideas, I'm off to find Jalapenos! (With this being Switzerland, it might be a bit difficult but who knows)
posted by sebas at 4:58 AM on July 8, 2004

Thirding seanyboy and biffa. It ain't a party unless you have cocktail sausages/cheese and pineapple on sticks.
posted by squealy at 5:19 AM on July 8, 2004 [1 favorite]


Do portabellas for the vegis.

Serve them on the same platter, and watch the fireworks...
posted by jpburns at 5:26 AM on July 8, 2004

An alternate method to Stuffed Jalapenos:

Get some fresh peppers from the market, slice them in half and scoop out the seeds. Use a spoon, don't use your fingers!!! You will get the oils under your fingernails and it is incredibly uncomfortable and long lasting (personal experience). You can use latex gloves or sandwich bags over your hands for more protection.

Spoon some peanut butter into the pepper halves, I like chucky peanut butter. You're done. I like to refrigerate before serving.

They sound not too appetizing, but I'm telling you they are great and people love them once they try one. Since the seeds are scooped out, the spice is mild.
posted by jonah at 8:05 AM on July 8, 2004

Quick and passable guac:

3 ripe avocados, mushed.
Chunky salsa
Sour Cream (Extremely optional)

Combine ingredients. Serve with chips.
posted by grateful at 8:06 AM on July 8, 2004

Might I recommend using lettuce/cabbage leaves to make bowls for the dips? The colour contrast can be striking, and I've always been impressed with people who do this.

Skewered meats are good. Deviled eggs rock my world. Bunches of grapes lying around in between foodstuffs. Stuffed olives (cheese, garlic, pimento.) A good brie with small crackers or baby breadsticks. Cubed mangoes. Marzipan fruits / candies.

And don't forget everyone's favourite: FONDUE!!

Shucks, I'm starting to get an itch to throw my own shin-dig now. ;)
posted by Lizc at 3:57 PM on July 8, 2004

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