We had a housewarming party this past weekend for 30 people, and although I wanted to feed everybody adequately, I didn't want to be stuck in the kitchen or behind the grill the entire night, so I devised a menu that seemed sophisticated but required very little cooking time during the party. I wanted to share what I came up with:
- Smoked Paprika Hummus and Homemade Pita Chips
- Black Bean Mango Salsa with Chips and Guacamole
- Crab Cakes with Garlic Remoulade
- Spicy Red Curry-Lime Chicken Wings
- Rotisserie Chicken Salad Canapés
- Farfalle Pesto Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Pine Nuts
- Spiced Apple Rum Cider
All of these items were prepped the day before, or right before the party. I didn't make the crabcakes, but went the Costco route on these. I know, I know...doesn't sound good, but honestly, people LOVE these, and I did make the remoulade. Almost every recipe is sourced/adapted from Alton Brown, America's Test Kitchen, or Tyler's Ultimate.
Everything was a big hit, but people really seemed to love, of all things, the pita chips. These did come out so much better than anything you could buy, and so cheap! .79 cents for a packet of pitas, split, cut into 6ths oiled/salted, and toasted for 10 minutes on each side.
I had little to do during the party except plate dishes from the warm oven. As expected, the wings and crabcakes weren't as good sitting in the warming oven for an hour as opposed to first cooked, but that's how the mop flops.
We have a roof deck, so s'mores cooked over a fire pit was a big hit, and a no fuss dessert.