Thursday, September 17, 2009

Comfort Food Redux

I was craving some chicken noodle soup today and thought, "How can I translate my favorite comfort foods to a reception worthy treat?" I know there has been buzz about this trend for at least the last year or so, yet caterers, at least ones that aren't hip with the program, are still pushing the same old stuffed mushroom caps, mini quiches, coconut shrimp, and the dreaded egg roll hors d'oeuvres. Therefore, for those like me, who enjoy their comfort foods, here's how I would make them wedding ready.

First, the yummy and always comforting Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Have your caterer create a demitasse portion of a fabulous tomato soup recipe that can be sipped and savored by your guests. Pair it with a bite size grilled cheese sandwich using a heavenly cheese mixture, such as Gruyere and Brie. Your guests will feel the love with this pairing!

Next, the fast food classic...Cheeseburger and French Fries.

First the cheeseburger, have your caterer make mini sirloin cheeseburger served on a bite size homemade mini buns. Dress it with the ketchup and mustard. If you want something bolder or maybe even a little twist to the classic, serve it with grilled onions, a fried dilled pickle chip, and a tasty dollop of jalapeno jelly, it'll be a wonderful and tasty surprise.

The French Fries...nothing much that you can do with the classic fry. However, for a more elegant twist, serve it in a shot glass filled with ketchup on the bottom of the glass. Another way to present them is to do it the French way, make little mini cones out of old newspapers, and serve it that way. You can spice the fries up with your favorite seasonings or just with plain old salt. The only has to be served crispy and hot. There's nothing worst than cold and soggy French fries.

Next, the family's favorite picnic meal, Fried Chicken and Potato Salad.

There's nothing like a good fried chicken, but to serve it during your wedding reception would probably be a little to "comfortable." Instead, try chicken lollipops covered in Panko flakes and fried to a golden perfection. Your guests will dig the fact that you are serving them one of their guilty pleasures.

The classic potato salad...again there's not much you can do but serve it a more refined manner, such as a shot glass or mini martini glass filled with this classic fare. For a modern take serve a deconstructed potato salad on a skewer, alternating potatoes, eggs, and celery...served with a Dijon and mayonnaise dipping sauce.

The always comforting Mac N Cheese.

I love this stuff but serving it at a wedding reception may get some strange looks. Rather have your chef make Mac N Cheese in mini ramekin's and use wonderful brie, Gruyere or even a harder cheese such as Manchego rather than the classic American or Velveeta. It'll be a comforting and decadent treat for your guests.

The oh so delicious Cinnamon Rolls.

There's nothing better for breakfast, well anytime of the day, than these gooey extremely iced food of the gods. Have your caterer or pastry chef make mini cinnamon roll lollipops that your guests can devour in one yummy bite. These would be the perfect ender to your reception hour or a surprise addition to your dessert bar at the end of the night.

Nothing makes me smile like Mom's Apple Pie.

Having pie slices at your reception would be too ordinary. Though we love this classic fare, there's really nothing beautiful about it, especially when it's been sliced. Regardless, it's the taste that we crave in this comfort food, so why not make it drinkable for your reception. Have your bartender create a classic apple pie a la mode shooter or an apple pie martini. The drink is sure to bring a smile to your guests and it's a great twist to a classic comfort food.

I hope I have inspired you to think of your own favorite comfort foods and finding ways to make them hors d'oeuvres ready. Have fun creating a twist to the classics.


Photos from various sites on the Internet.

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