Fresh Ideas for a Couples Shower aka Cocktail Party Needed Please!
I'm hosting a shower (really a cocktail party) at 7pm on a Saturday night for <65 people. I had planned to prepare the food myself, but unexpected business travel the week prior will significantly impact that plan. My favorite caterer is booked so I'll have to do everything (flowers, food, spot cleaning) the day of the party.
I'm looking for a fresh idea on how to handle the food. It must be gluten free or adaptable (I can get good baguettes, rolls, etc.). I want cohesive menu that will satisfy the men too. Although I don't want football food. The food must be easy to eat and not messy when standing.
Due to the time hors d'oeurves take, I'm happy to go with a light meal.
I'm very much looking forward to your inspired suggestions! Thanks!
Voted the Best Reply!
Is there another guest you can ask to either bring a dish or come over and help you cook?
Anyway, here are a bunch of ideas – just ideas – not that you should serve all of them! Some require the oven.
Beef Filet Skewers
Pub Gougeres with Anchovy and Cayenne
Crispy Spice-Brined Pecans
Creamy Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms
Spinach, Feta and Artichoke Dip
Shrimp Spring Rolls with Hoisin Dipping Sauce
Have a great party!
Gravlax on very thinly sliced black bread or buckwheat blinis with a little crème fraîche, cucumber or minced pickled beet, and chopped dill.
Savory palmiers with store-bought puff pastry and a filling of blue cheese, toasted walnuts, and finely chopped dried figs.
Belgian endive leaves filled with good things like crab or lobster salad, a fruit-nut-cheese mixture; or you could make a dip of some kind and have the endive leaves for dipping.
A really nice crudité platter is always good. The sad thing about crudités is that people usually buy them in plastic containers from the supermarket and you get dried out carrots, stringy celery, and flavorless cherry tomatoes. If you get really awesome produce, you can make a gorgeous crudité platter. French breakfast radishes, romanesco florets, asparagus tips, fennel slivers, celery hearts with leaves, tiny carrots (if you can find them; and I'm not talking about "baby" carrots), blanched haricots verts, etc. Serve with aïoli.
Stuffed and baked mushrooms. I love the combination of leeks and mushrooms, and I've used creamed leeks in this application before. Top with a good melting cheese of your choice and bake or broil until browned.
Last week I made the following the night before:
Smoked salmon roll ups - take two packages of plain goat cheese, soften to room temp and mix in a tablespoon or two of liquid honey. Take a small amount (1/2 T) and shape into an oval about 1" long. Roll a piece of smoked salmon over it to cover the cheese (but not the edges).
With a mandolins make some long slices of English cucumber (toss the first slice that is all skin away). Slice thin enough to see through it. Wrap around the salmon cheese log and secure with a nice looking toothpick. If you make long slices of cucumber you can cut to a length of 4 or 5 inches. The trick is to slice only until you get to the seeds, then turn and use the other "meat" side ... You will find the cucumber slices nicely in thirds.
Wrap in plastic overnight in the fridge.
Bring out an hour before serving so the are cool, not cold.
What kinds of foods do the couple like? Also, how many people are going to be there? And is this a laid back or more formal affair?
I can't seat everyone so food needs to be easy to eat and not messy when standing.