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#1 Tue 11 Jun 13 8:03pm

JaniedeL

Member
Member since Tue 11 Jun 13

Italian Feast for daughters Hen party!

Help! I have been asked to cook a three course formal Italian dinner party for 11 people for my eldest daughters hen party!! I would like to go things that can be made ahead and transported to the venue. I also have a vegetarian and someone who only eats chicken!!! However I can easily bring alternatives for them.
I have a good kitchen at the weekend house and lots of equipment. I just dont want to be slaving over a hot stove while everyone else is enjoying the Prosecco!
for instance, could I make Risotto as a starter ahead of time and just finish off at the last moment??
Any help or advice would be so much appreciated!
Thanks
Janie

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#2 Tue 11 Jun 13 10:09pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Italian Feast for daughters Hen party!

Welcome to the forum JaniedeL smile

Risotto is not something that I would reheat , apart from loosing the texture that you'd worked to create whilst you cooked it , you have to be very careful with the reheating of cooked rice .

For a starter , it would be nice to do a big anti pasti sharing platter ... Things like cold meats , olives , cheeses , semi dried tomatoes etc .  this together with some bread or focaccia , a good tasty olive oil to dip it in should not take any real time to put together and the sharing aspect will provi plenty of conversation whilst its being enjoyed. ( this would suit both vegetarians and meat eaters )

I was recently in Italy for a few days and what struck me was the food we ate was always made from the fresh of ingredients , often with not many ingredients but very tasty. Also bread is served with every meal , in fact
it was noticeable that the first thing to arrive at the table was a basket of slices if bread and this was often topped up during the meal.
One of me favourite starters was a simple plate of a beautiful cheese drizzled with honey and sprinkled with thyme which I ate with the bread.

Italy is a good place for vegetarians to visit as there is always plenty to eat on he menu so you could happily prepare the meal as mainly vegetarian ... Maybe with chicken for the ' only eats chicken ' guest unless they also would be happy to eat as a vegetarian.
This would help relieve the stress of making several different meals and probably suit all.

If you don't like the idea of a mainly vegetarian meal , then , possibly make a slow cooked meat ragu that can be reheated and stirred through a pasta just before serving.

For desert , it's nice to have a few  options , I'm sure you have already things in mind for those. They could be cold so prepared in advance.

I will try to post some of the pictures that I took of what we ate in Italy on the blogs here , they are already on Indsagram ,( which I find easier than posting photos on the blogs here ) .

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#3 Tue 11 Jun 13 10:23pm

Grandmadamada

Forum champ
Member since Fri 19 Nov 10

Re: Italian Feast for daughters Hen party!

ciao JaniedeL! for my vegetarian daughter I always make a mix of vegs as zucchini, carrots, shallots smply stirfired to which I add ricotta and this is the filling of a pie pizza style, but using phyllo pastry, it doesn't take long to do both and you can eat it cold or reheated

chicken: breast slices dusted with 00 flour and cooked in evo oil and butter until golden, then let them go with lemon juice or white wine

I would end with icecream and fresh fruits (or fruit salad - we call macedonia di frutta)

good luck and I hope you'll enjoy your prosecco with the other guests wink  big_smile

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#4 Wed 12 Jun 13 2:15pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: Italian Feast for daughters Hen party!

Yes you can make risotto ahead and cool.  Restaurants do this all the time.  You do it by sweating onions/celery and whatever goes into your base, stir in the rice and toast it along with vermouth/wine.  Ladle in a bit of stock until it's halfway cooked.  Just at the point where you are to add the flavoring ingredients (shrimp, mushrooms, asparagus or whatever you're planning to do) take off the heat and spread evenly on a flat sheet to cool quickly.  Store it and continue cooking it on sight.

If you're serving risotto then would it be a good idea to do a pasta dish?  Probably not.  So go for a secondi served family style.  Grilled veal chops with rosemary or pork chops or chicken scallopini and some roasted pototaes on the side (the potatoes can be boiled the day before and stored in the fridge.  Toss with olive oil and herbs and put in the oven before serving. A few grilled portabello caps for the vegetarians.

You'll want to finish the meal with a killer salad of course.  May I suggest baby spinach, sliced strawberries, gorgonzola, almonds, with a balsamic fig vinegraitte?

And of course dessert should be made ahead of time.  Maybe a tiramisu?  Panna cotta?

Last edited by koukouvagia (Wed 12 Jun 13 2:16pm)

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#5 Thu 13 Jun 13 2:38am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Italian Feast for daughters Hen party!

You'd want to make sure you keep cooked or par-cooked rice below 5C even in transport. It can quickly grow bacteria and make people ill. Plus the texture is never as good as fresh.
Another thing to think about, are there any pregnant guests? If so their food will need to be fresh. Keep an eye on any women who are not drinking at all with some kind of vague reason. They could be in early pregnancy and don't want to tell people yet. Just let them know what's freshly prepared. Nearly every hen night I've been on has had at least one pregnant woman including myself twice. My 'excuse' for not drinking was taking 'antibiotics'.

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#6 Thu 13 Jun 13 9:25am

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Italian Feast for daughters Hen party!

I would not advise  Janie to part make , travel, and then reheat a risotto.

It's quite a different thing from cooking it at home   .
We dont know how much in advance it will need to be made , how far it has to travel ,or in what type of transport , how it is transported , we dont know the climate where Janie lives , hot or cool ? etc etc.
rice is an ideal medium for pathogens to grow and I simply would not take he risk if I was to be feeding it to other people , or even myself !
It could be quite easy to lay a whole group of people down with food poisioning by traveling part cooked rice around.

You might think I'm being overly cautious here but in my mind you can't be too carefully if you are cooking for others.

I would not part cook and reheat a risotto at home either.

Last edited by mummza (Thu 13 Jun 13 9:40am)

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#7 Thu 13 Jun 13 9:36am

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Italian Feast for daughters Hen party!

White Rabbit we seem to be thinking along the same lines !
I wrote my post some hours ago but it would not upload onto the forum so it's just sat in the posting box overnight .
Rice is something I am always wary of which is why I always avoid things like rice salad at functions.
it causes quite a number of food poisoning cases every year.
It's simply not worth taking the risk.

I have to admit that I hadn't thought of things like pregnant ladies at the hen night .....


So Janie , just incase there are pregnant ladies at the hen do you should also avoid using unpasturised cheeses and soft cheeses when you are planning the menu .

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#8 Thu 13 Jun 13 10:00am

Grandmadamada

Forum champ
Member since Fri 19 Nov 10

Re: Italian Feast for daughters Hen party!

in the past JaedeL would have come back at least to say a word, I must imagine she is busy preparing the feast ...... but the generosity of TWR and mmmmmmzzzz is still there grazie for making this site still alive big_smile  thumbsup  clap

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#9 Thu 13 Jun 13 10:29am

Maree

Forum champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: Italian Feast for daughters Hen party!

Things have changed, Mada hmm.


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#10 Thu 13 Jun 13 2:41pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: Italian Feast for daughters Hen party!

I've never even heard of food borne illness from par cooked rice.  At restaurants all risottos are par cooked. 

How did we go from cooking a 3course italian meal to cooking for pregnant ladies?

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