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Rose's Lime (with advice from Rose's Hip Jelly)

With 20-30, first you need an anchor - something good and voluminous without requiring a lot of fussy work (Vietnamese rolls for 30 anybody?). We've cooked a beef tenderloin or gone out and bought a good honey baked ham. Never done Pork Tenderloin, but I think you could be the man to make it happen. Make it a little personal and home-spun with your own carmelized onion confit or other sauces. You're aiming for something a tad more dainty than a 6 foot hogie.

You also want some things you can drop in the oven in a couple of batches through the evening to make your later arrivals feel like the best part was orchestrated for them. You've got your stuffed mushrooms (Nonna RHJ's receipt available) and spanikopita. Ditto hot dips. I recall a Brandad Morue - a daring touch of New England that may or may not be appreciated.

Biggest advice which I never take myself -draft a trustworthy early guest to take charge of refilling biscuit basket or to pop a round in the oven and spend some time with your guests why don't you! Write (or, do you have a p-touch?) the instructions on a post it on a foil pan, provide a tray and just let go.

Needless to say charcuterie and artisinal cheeses unearthed from the cellar.

CAAF

Two words: Cheese balls.

Also, I've seen chicken tender-type confections with dipping sauces (usually a BBQ and honey mustard) used to great effect at a couple soirees that were straddling the finger food/dinner divide.


New Orleans

Cheese straws or sausage balls. Filling for the meal, and folks who are having dinner later can stop at a couple.

DoubleMan

What's wrong with "crusty macaroni and cheese"?

la_depressionada

salumi
caponata -- homemade
giardinere -- homemade
pickled eggplant - homemade
roasted peppers - homemade
artichoke hearts - fresh
italian bread
homemade breadsticks
other antipasti items ie mozzarella provolone tomatoes celery etc.

make it beautiful, then it will be italian.

(where you'd get this in the hinterlands i haven't a clue.)

Fesser

Actually, milk, meat, and vegetables come from the hinterlands. To turn them into an Italian banquet, you need time, patience, and skill. I do not have the time.

la_depressionada

everything but the salumi is easy to make. and despite your prodigious cheesemaking ability, i would always go with a pro and buffalo milk for mozz.

and as for what's available in the hinterlands -- i still get requests for bread when i go visit relatives who've left nyc.

if you have a local asian community -- you could certainly scare up a nice selection of hors d'oeuvres. i personally am in love with spring rolls, lettuce & mint. reminds me of paris.

la_depressionada

meze are always beloved. enough keftedes and you can rule the world.

alternatively, a true smorgasboard. surely you have enough time to grav a lox.

the more i think about it, the meatballs are a must (bite size) swedish, italian, greek or chinese.

max

Make something in a crust. People fucking love pastry. Easy for mingling too. Not fussy little tartlets, but a bunch of quiche or whatever cut into 'lil wedges. Key: it's good cold.

Unless you have suddenly acquired an endowed chair, do a whole loin, not tenderloin.

Cheeseball is a winner.

Crudites.

max

Oh yeah, if you can get artichokes cheap (they're in season here...) make a shitload a la greque. (= mezze, cold, &c.)

Fesser

I certainly would not presume to step to the pros in the arenas of cheese, bread, or sausage--mostly I was pointing out the peculiar inversion of what we expect from metropolis and hinterland. A tree grows in Brooklyn, but we do not expect it to produce figs.

The meatball idea has me thinking. I have been thinking about a non-tomato sauce with some of the guanciale, and this might be the time. Would welcome thoughts on beef/pork/veal ratios. And I can see the lights of the tenderloin off on the horizon.

alizinha

you should def. do Greek meatballs. so best. and maybe stay in the Greek theme and do a big spanakopita and/or tiropita to cover the pastry angle, as Max so smartly suggested. mmmm, spanakopita........

la_depressionada

beef/pork/veal = 2/1/1 and for godsakes grind it yourself. kudos to tomato-less sauce. i am not very fond of tomato sauce. are you thinking guanciale on the meatballs? seems like a waste. sauted with sage and butter on top of home-made pumpkin ravioli seems right.

and max is right about the quiche. i must be the last living person who makes quiche lorraine on a regular basis. it was one of my first "gourmet" recipes as a kid -- straight outta the ny times cookbook. i still use the same recipe. don't forget to strain the egg/cream mixture.

i'll tell you i once threw a party for a sophisticated bunch and served 50s hors d'oeuvres -- franks in blankets, cheese puffs, rumaki, bacon wrapped shrimp, mini-egg rolls -- i can't tell you how big a hit that was. HUGE.

funny thing is, there ALOT of fig trees in brookyn. ALOT. my grandparents had one. you have to wrap it up in tarp and put a metal bucket on it during the winter.

Skeen

This is post-dinner?

Well, then, don't forget dessert.

Rose's Lime

Dessert food for a party is often problematic - cookies are good but not festive or adult - cake means more forks and plates to balance on your knees and breaks with the cocktail idiom.

Assuming someone run up to Venieros for mini tarts and pastries is too much to ask.

We made chocolate pudding the other day and it was fabulous. Comfort food, yet with dark chocolate it's sophisticated - use Ibarra and add extra cinnamon and a pinch of chile. Maybe serve in plastic champagne glasses.

Speaking of sophisticated comfort food, Cod's seen the trick of upscale Hoodsie cups.

la_depressionada

you know i was thinking about this party as i was going to sleep last night and i was thinking that what would be great would be like an abstract concept of food in little balls.

so eg you could have cheese balls, meat balls, shrimp balls, potato and rice croquette balls and truffles for dessert. (i'm sure there are other balls i haven't thought of.) but ideally every food item should be exactly the same size -- just bites of different flavors. perfect for a party.

i'd make the cheese balls sophisticay -- good soft cheese coated in herbs, dried savory mixes and nut and dried cranberries. manchengo covered in quince paste how about that? or a manchengo and softer cheese mix.

the truffles, which as you know, are the easiest things to make -- could be earl grey, rose, violet, cayenne and cinnamon, lavendar and thyme (malted milk and cheesecake for the plebes).

serve everything on rectangular porcelain plates 4 x 16 (you know like from an asian restaurant supply place). it should be so f*ckn' modern. like a saaranen. max how do you spell that?

Skeen

I like the all-ball theme.
Just off the top of my head: melon balls? (not so in-season)
Salted, roasted brussels sprouts? (more in-season)
And -- always in season, even in your hinterlands -- donut holes! Or, if you want to be like sophisticated or something then λουκουμάδες (fried dough dipped in honey) would do.

By the way, Ribs 'n' Bibs is back online.

la_depressionada

o roasted brussel sprouts with coarse sea salt olive oil and rosemary would be great.

i like the donut holes too -- especially if you twist it like coat them in scharfenberger or vanilla bean glaze.

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