I decided to have a party with a British theme this coming Sunday (Brit music, food, beers, etc), but the RSVP list has grown rather large. It's also a pool party (at my house) which can last 6-8 hours (or more). Finally, I'm in Arizona so it's going to be 110 degrees in the sun, 90+ in the shade (yes, we are nuts - but it's a dry heat... like a convection oven). Thus I'd love some advice on things to make keeping these factors in mind (plus I don't want to spend loads of money).
Egg/mayo salad sandwiches are probably not the best choice for prolonged exposure in this type of heat. Nor am I inclined to have a Sunday roast cooking away for a long time in the kitchen, adding more heat. Likewise fish and chips seem obvious, and I can put the deep fryer outside, but it seems to me they need to be eaten right away or get soggy. I need long lasting dishes that don't require me worrying about them being left out on a kitchen table. Grazing food that one can choose to nibble on at noon or 6 p.m. I have a big outdoor grill but don't want to spend the whole party in front of it. Right now I'm looking at:
- Pasties (there's a local guy who makes them)
- Loads of cooked veggies (peas, for example)
- An assortment of cheese/fruit combos (most likely harder)
But I still need a signature dish or two that could feed a lot of people for relatively cheap. I thought Bangers and Mash might be a good option (like Brats at a typical BBQ). But how does one prepare this simple dish en masse?
- I can grill a big bunch of Bangers in advance.
- I can sweat a big pile of onions in advance
- I can probably boil a large load of spuds, but am not clear on how to best do this (the day before? The day of?), or how to best make them dreamy.
- How do I make gravy without the banger juice that will be dripping on the coals?
I'm only used to cooking for a few people, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. In fact, you are invited to attend this or future gatherings. But for now, any feedback would be appreciated.