Holiday Parties with Sandwiches
The number of guests versus the amount of money that you have to spend will, to some extent, dictate what types of sandwiches that you will serve. You want enough food to have your guests feel satisfied with the meal. Many grocery stores make trays of pre-made cold sandwiches using a variety of meats and cheeses. It's easy to do this at home, plus you can save a substantial amount of money by doing it yourself. If you do not like pre-made sandwiches, platters of breads, meats, cheeses and condiments can be set out for guests to assemble their own sandwich creations. Bowls of salads for sandwich fillings can also be on the table. This could include a lovely tofu salad for those friends who have a vegan lifestyle.
Take into account your guests' food preferences. In some areas of the country, meat is a mighty sandwich filling. In other areas, varied, thin-sliced veggies and cheeses are delightful to have when creating the perfect sandwich. If you have friends with a vegetarian lifestyle, inquire about their dietary needs before planning your fillings. Find a unifying taste theme for your food. Will it be Italian? Southern? Mexican?
What is your serving space like? Do you have electrical outlets and room for multiple slow cookers? Use slow cookers to provide variety for your guests. These small sources of heat are excellent for making hot sandwich fillings. An Italian theme could have meatballs in marinara sauce. A Southern them might use a crockpot for pulled chicken or pork. You could also have meatballs in barbecue sauce. Spicy meats or beans work well in a slow cooker for a Mexican themed party. You can also use a slow cooker to keep burgers warm. Soups, along with fruit and veggie trays may be made ahead of time to pair with the sandwiches. Serve cookies or cupcakes for dessert.
A sandwich buffet is an easy way to entertain when you are serving food. Most of the prep work can be done ahead of time. Then, before your guests appear, just set the food out in an attractive manner. Keep food safety in mind as you build your buffet. Cold foods, especially meats, need to stay cold. Use ice or frozen cold packs for this. Hot foods need to stay in the safety zone. The food danger zone is between 40 degrees F. and 140 degrees F. Slow cookers, chafing dishes, or warming trays can be used to keep food above 140 degrees F. Keeping food at the proper temperature is important. Food should not be out of refrigeration or the proper heated temperature for more than two hours. That time limit drops to one hour, if the air temperature is 90 degrees F. If your ability to keep food chilled or heated is limited, set defined times for the buffet. With a little planning, creativity, and wonderful company, your holiday get-together can be a roaring success.
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