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oceanjasper
03-20-2007, 02:44 PM
My Mom just asked me to help her figure out what to make for 20 people she is having over for a casual lunch on Sunday. She is open to try anything that won't be too time consuming and she would prefer to prepare most of it the evening before, if possible.

Do you have any ideas that I could share with her?

Thanks in advance!

ljt2r
03-20-2007, 02:49 PM
Is it still cold enough that something like a large vat of soup/stew/chili would go over well? Or a curry for a more adventurous crowd? For 20 people that's where I would be leaning, and then fill it out with smaller dishes--because those are the sorts of meals that A make a lot and B tend to taste better the next day. Maybe some bread that could rise overnight in the fridge and come out of the oven the next day near lunchtime? If it is cold enough where you are (but not too cold) it could rise in the garage or something like that, since I know space for lots of loaf pans would be an issue for me in my fridge. Maybe a veggie tray? For 20 people I would lean toward simple, but I am not the most experienced hostess for those kinds of numbers! :eek:

PAMMELA
03-20-2007, 02:52 PM
Some ideas off the top of my head:

Pulled pork, chicken or beef sandwiches in the crockpot; let everyone make their own. Serve with a few different salads.

A taco bar where everyone can make their own tacos.

I hosted a Christmas party for 10 and did a tostado bar which went over really well.

ljt2r
03-20-2007, 03:04 PM
Some ideas off the top of my head:

Pulled pork, chicken or beef sandwiches in the crockpot; let everyone make their own. Serve with a few different salads.

A taco bar where everyone can make their own tacos.

I hosted a Christmas party for 10 and did a tostado bar which went over really well.

Ooooh, something like a taco bar is a great idea also--and more seasonally appropriate too. You could have baked potatoes out too, for people who don't like tacos (many of the toppings can be had in common).

Kristilyn1
03-20-2007, 03:07 PM
I would second the soup idea. CL has some great ones, my favorite being their Cheddar Chicken Chowder. Then maybe make some assorted finger sandwiches to go with it. Maybe something a little outside the ordinary if she doesn't want to make it too plain? Curried chicken salad? Little Monte Cristo's? That kind of thing. I would then make some biscotti and cookies and serve with decaf and regular coffee.

Kristi

SusanL
03-20-2007, 03:10 PM
I have done a baked ham and roasted sliced turkey served with rolls for sandwiches, condiments, fresh salad, and fresh fruit salad for dessert. Not too time consuming, simple.

mmbedard
03-20-2007, 03:33 PM
Here is a recipe that can be totally prepared ahead of time. The original recipe feeds 50 as part of a buffet, but I have scaled that down to 20.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Breast of Chicken Venus

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 20 (original 50) Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Entree To be Tested

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
6 pounds chicken breasts -- boneless, skinless
3/4 bunch tarragon
salt and pepper
3/4 cup vegetable oil -- for cooking
3/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 3/8 garlic cloves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 pounds cremini mushrooms -- stems removed
4 3/4 red peppers -- oven roasted and cut in lg dice
4 3/4 artichoke hearts -- blanched
2 bulbs fennel -- thinly slivered, sprinkled with lemon juice
1 5/8 bunches fresh basil -- shredded
1 1/4 cups balsamic vinegar
1 5/8 bunches broccoli -- florets only, blanched

Cut the chicken into 2 inch pieces, removing fat and tendons. Sprinkle with tarragon, salt and pepper.

Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken in batches and cook over high heat for approximately 10-12 minutes per batch, until seared and cooked through. Or, put the chicken on an oiled pan and bake in a 400º oven for approx. 20 min. Remove to a large mixing bowl.

Preheat the oven to 400º. Pour 1 cup of olive oil into a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Lay the mushrooms on top, gill side down and sprinkle with remaining oil. Roast for approx. 10-12 min. Remove from heat and allow to cool in the pan.

Toss the mushrooms and their liquid with the chicken in the bowl. One by one, add the peppers, artichokes, fennel and basil, tossing after each addition. Toss with the balsamic vinegar and taste for seasoning. Add the broccoli just before serving.

Description:
"Boneless chicken pieces tossed with fresh and roasted vegetables make a simple yet impressive entrée for a large gathering. This dish is delicious warm, cold or a room temperature."
Source:
"The Buffet Book, Carole Peck with Carolyn Hart Bryant, pg 133-134"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Serving Ideas : Serves 50 as part of buffet

NOTES : Planning Ahead: The peppers and mushrooms can be roasted and the artichokes blanched up to 4 days ahead. The chicken can be cut into pieces up to 2 days ahead. The whole dish can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Add the blanched broccoli just before serving.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Rae
03-21-2007, 09:06 AM
I did a shower a couple of summers ago and served:

shrimp cocktail
spring mix lettuce with vinaigrette
tomato pie (basically pie crust, cheese, tomatoes and some herbs - can be made ahead. I found the recipe on the Food Network site)
sourdough rolls

Everything was made ahead and very easy. Once my guests were ready to eat, all I had to do was warm the rolls and toss the salad.

oceanjasper
03-21-2007, 02:05 PM
Thank you so much for these ideas! My Mom was over last night and I read them all out to her. What I didn't realize earlier is that these people coming over for lunch are going to be planning a Mexican Fiesta for their church, so she really liked the idea of doing a taco bar for lunch.

So far, this is what we have figured out:

Taco bar:
Taco seasoned ground beef and onions kept warm in the crock pot
Shredded lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Grated cheese - cheddar and monteray jack
Sour cream
Tomato-based salsa
Hard taco shells and soft flour tortillas

Avocado salsa
Corn tortilla chips
Mexican black beans and rice
Cucumber and mango salad

Potentials for dessert:
Strawberry cheesecake trifle
Fruit skewers with fruit dip
Hummingbird cake
Warmed apple sheet cake with vanilla ice cream

If you have any other ideas for dessert or can think of anything we might have missed that would go nicely with the above items, please feel free to share! Thanks again!

sugaree
03-21-2007, 02:10 PM
As a vegetarian, I really like the taco bar idea - it would give everyone something to eat based on their preferences!

PAMMELA
03-21-2007, 03:42 PM
I think it looks great! I love Cilantro on my tacos, so i'd add that. :)

Robyn1007
03-21-2007, 04:11 PM
I agree, the taco bar sounds perfect but in addition to the cilantro I would also add lime slices. I just don't touch tacos without lime anymore. :D

I like the idea of something fruity for dessert. There were some key lime squares posted here at one point that were really good. I'm thinking it was around May of 2005?

oceanjasper
03-21-2007, 10:37 PM
I think it looks great! I love Cilantro on my tacos, so i'd add that. :)

Oh most definitely! My mom is also a cilantro fanatic! :)

I will also suggest lime wedges. Great idea! Thanks!

oceanjasper
03-21-2007, 10:39 PM
I like the idea of something fruity for dessert. There were some key lime squares posted here at one point that were really good. I'm thinking it was around May of 2005?

Key lime would be really nice with that meal. I'll see if I can find that recipe and send it to her.