Wedding Welcome Open House in Texas - what to serve?

My daughter is getting married in October in Marfa, Texas (West Texas - artsy community). 100% of guests coming from out of town. We are having a welcome at our house Thursday night (not the rehearsal dinner). People will be coming in about a 3-hour window so i need something that will keep warm for hours. I was originally thinking chili/cornbread/salads but that may be a bit too cliche. Very foodie group. Any interesting ideas? Probably about 30-40 people. Thanks!

  • Posted by: lisabu
  • March 30, 2015


Fat T. April 1, 2015
How about chicken legs? I've done these before, in a marinade the day before, grilled up and left in a foil pan on the warm grill. The women scoffed at the idea (apparently not very lady like) but the boys devoured them all.
Stephanie G. March 31, 2015
I'm fourth generation West Texan and I can't imagine this type of celebration without barbecue.
lisabu March 30, 2015
@sexylambchop that recipe looks amazing. And I see that food52 had a Your Best chili contest...I had searched for that but originally did not find it. Thanks so much for opening up this thread to me!
lisabu March 30, 2015
@aargersi what wonderful ideas about pickling! That would be just the thing. @summerofeggplant these are fabulous ideas and recipes. @suzanne waters hardin the additions you mention, including exotic hot sauces, will be just the ticket. I am so thankful for all of your help!
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 30, 2015
I vote for A Bowl of Red because its SO good (and no beans):
Suzanna W. March 30, 2015
I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating your daughter and future in law! Best Wishes on your event .
Lisa March 30, 2015
These are wonderful ideas! I think I will do the chili with interesting toppings... Anybody want to recommend a favorite chili recipe? Love this community!
Summer O. March 30, 2015
Since it is Texas you will have to provide a traditional meat no beans chili you might try the Homesick Texan I have a vegan one if you need to provide that for some of the guests I also use this Food52 cornbread recipe with a lot of success
Healthline March 30, 2015
Since you're serving a crowd, you'll probably want to have two or three different kinds of chili. You can't go wrong with Hearty Beef and Beer Chili ( Weeknight Turkey Chili ( or Chicken Chili in a Jiffy ( are quick, but delicious options for those who prefer poultry over red meat. And for the vegetarians, Paleo Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili ( is a unique and crowd-pleasing option. The combination of sweet potatoes and cauliflower will likely tempt some meat eaters too! Round out the buffet with some Spicy Corn Cakes ( for a different take on traditional cornbread.
Summer O. March 30, 2015
Having lived in Texas I know that the culture and cuisine is something to be proud of and I'm sure all the guests will look forward to an authentic Texas meal. I wouldn't spend too much time getting caught up in if the food is perfectly hot given the time line, I also find most people show up at the beginning even given a large window. For my husband's birthday one year I did a smorgasbord of Texas foods: fish and steak tacos with all the fixings, beans and rice, curtido, various chips and dips, veggie and meat enchiladas, various tamales, ceviche. Then there is something for everyone and don't feel you have to do it all yourself, buy some of it or if anyone asks if they can help - take them up on it. But that said, who wouldn't be happy with authentic chili and cornbread?
aargersi March 30, 2015
It's great that you have time to plan! Perhaps you can start stockpiling Texas ingredients now - the farmers market just got in artichokes (here in Austin) perhaps pickle some? Pickled greens as well - the markets are full of them. Can some peaches for pie or cobbler, or make peach chutney in June. Can some salsa using local tomatoes, jalapenos, onions (Texas 1015!) and cilantro. Then if you want to go way Texas, get your hands on some mustang grapes this summer for jelly (it's the best!) or pick mesquite beans for flour - you can add it to cornbread.
Think about Poteet strawberries, Lulling watermelons, Hatch chilis (OK that's New Mexico, but they are right next door), Valley citrus, pecans from all over ... you can have a great All Texas spread!
Suzanna W. March 30, 2015
I love your idea, Chili is appropriate for the fall and for self serve buffet. If you are looking to take it to a different level you could provide them with unique toppings and stir-in ingredients that make it foodie heaven. Home pickled peppers and onions, tomatoes, Texas smoked sausage, various smoked cheeses, shredded tortillas, local hot sauces/ salsa ect.... Between that and salad and cornbread you have a delicious meal. I am a Texas girl myself :) Good Luck!!
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 30, 2015
I think Suzanna's suggestions are spot-on. I'm not from Texas and would love a taste of Texas. This is assuming nothing like your idea is being served at the rehearsal or wedding dinner.
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