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Old 08-23-2006, 12:20 AM   #1
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Make ahead food

It would be nice not to be stressing on the day of funtions and entertaining...especially since i generally cater my own birthdays (probably will move away from that in the future...) nevertheless, does anyone know any good party food, sweet or savoury that can be made a couple of days ahead, or even frozen?



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Old 08-28-2006, 06:53 PM   #2
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Lasagna and other baked pasta can be made way in advance and are always a hit. Almost any cake or trifle can be done days in advance. Roasted meats can be done in advance and served cold or room temp. Any roasted meat or ham can be served with some nice rolls for little mini sandwiches. Just add mustard and/or horseradish, mayo, pickels.

Starch-based salads can also be made in advance. Pasta, potato, or rice salads can be made a day or two in advance.

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Old 08-31-2006, 10:57 AM   #3
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A lot of slow cooked meats taste better the next day. I just served carnitas at a Mexican food party and made it a couple of days ahead to great success.
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:27 AM   #4
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Bridgett - here's a salad that will keep a week...IF you can stay out of it! It's delicious and it just keeps getting better and better.

BBQ Macaroni Salad

16 ozs macaroni -- cooked -- salad
1/2 c red onion -- minced
8 ozs marinara sauce
1 1/2 c celery -- chopped
1 c sweet pickle relish
4 ozs black olives -- chopped or sliced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 c mayonnaise -- or miracle whip
salt and pepper

Mix together the marinara sauce, celery, relish, olives & chili powder.
Add the cooked macaroni, onion and mayonnaise; combine gently.
Cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnite.
Season with salt and pepper

"This is one of those salads that just gets better and better as the days go by. I have kept it up to a week in the refrigerator."
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:35 AM   #5
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Hi I just threw a party for about 55 people in my house and here are some things I made (ahead of time) to make my life easier. You can freeze these and they are perfect when they come out. Keep in mind my audience was primarily Indians so the food had to be spicy, well flavored but you can use these dishes in a creative manner to suit your audience.

Egg rolls - I made them over a 100 of them ahead of time. I even fried them and then flash froze them (2 weeks ahead of time). A couple of hours prior to the party, I lined them (single) on a baking tray and they were nice and crisp in no time.

Teriyaki shrimps - I brought pre-cooked shrimps (tail on) a week ahead of time and froze them. I then thawed them a few days before the party in the refrigerator. I made a teriyaki marinade a few days ahead of time - Just soy sauce, freshly minced garlic, lots of sugar, freshly grated ginger and some chili sauce and cornstarch. I cooked this until thick and syrupy and placed that in a bowl. The day of the party in the morning I rinsed the shrimp in cold water, dried them a bit and then placed each on a toothpick and then brushed it liberally with the marinade. They went back into the refrigerator until a couple of hours before the party. I placed them in a preheated oven (300 degrees) for not more than 20 minutes so the marinade stuck to it. I removed it in a microwavable tray and warmed it right brefore serving.

Kababs (meatballs) Indian style - I made these 2 weeks ahead and they stayed fine and tasted great. Use ground beef and season it liberally with cumin powder, corrainder powder, minced green chilis, salt, couple of beaten eggs and some freshly chopped mint and corrainder (cilantro) and freshly grated ginger (for 3 pounds of meat you add 1/2 tbsp of ginger). Mix it all together and marinate for several hours (2-3 would be great). Skewer them like a sausage and bake in the oven (at 350) until done. Remove from skewers when slightly cooled cut into small chunks and freeze it all in a foil disposable tray. This thing can go directly from your freezer to the oven and heat up. It's absolutely delish with a dipping sauce of your choice.

Chicken Patties - Another easy easy appetizer that can be made days or weeks ahead of time. All you need is potatoes that are boiled, cooled, dried and then riced. To these potatoes you add some cooked and shredded chicken, a cup of cheddar cheese grated, freshly chopped cilantro, finely diced red and green bell pepper, some corn and peas (if they are frozen I like to rinse mine in hot water and then allow them to get completely dry before adding). Season with salt and black pepper and mix it all together with your hand. Make small patties and dredge them in cornmeal and then dip them in a beaten egg and deep fry. Allow them to cool then flash freeze it in a tray until hard and then plop into ziplocs and let them stay in the oven until the day of the party. Line on trays and warm and serve. No one will know you made them ahead of time.

My dinner recipes for main entrees may not suit your audience - I made a garbanzo beans curry (two days ahead of time) which we all of us love along with a chicken curry (a day ahead of time), raita and biryani (a rice pilaf with lamb and seasoned with saffron).

For me this all is possible because I have a standalone freezer and a standalone refrigerator that are huge. If I did not have access to these it would be difficult to mantain food hygiene and people would get sick. I am extremely anal about how I handle food and having these large appliances is truly a blessing.
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:36 AM   #6
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Sweet trifle, cakes, cookies, I made a really nice struesel today that will be good for the next 2, brownies all keep really well...
Behind Every Good Woman... Is herself
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Old 09-01-2006, 05:44 PM   #7
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Stuff some stoned dates with blue cheese, wrap in bacon strips. Freeze. No problem - straight from the freezer to the oven.
Try some empanadas - little pastry discs stuffed with a little minced meat, or curried vegetables, or a spicy tuna mix, then folded in half and sealed with a fork. Freeze. Oven straight off. I serve these with chutney.
Peperonata/aubergine antipasto etc., will keep for 3 or 4 days in the fridge with no trouble at all.
Tapenade and all its mutant forms (!) Classic tapenade is olives, capers, garlic and olive oil, all chopped up and spiced with black pepper. If you care to stick it in a bottle or jar, and leave it in the fridge, it'll last for ages.
(The mutant forms are the "new" tapenades, you know - artichoke and sundried tomato tapenade ( NOT! a tapenade); Mediterranean parsley and red pepper tapenade.... )
A dear friend's special idea... take a piece of sandwich bread and press it into a muffin tin mould or tartlet mould. Fill the "bread) mould with creamed artichoke, or creamed leek and bacon. Freeze. Remove from tins and put into plastic bags in the freezer.
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:03 PM   #8
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Urmaniac's tiramisu! So easy to do and I've made this a day before the event. I made too big a batch and I still had some a week after and it still tasted great! I serve it with chocolate syrup mixed with a little Bailey's.

'Never eat more than you can lift.' - Miss Piggy
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