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Last Minute Menu Planning: Southern Soul Food Hors D’Oeuvres

I'm hurriedly devising a menu for my "Fuck the Hamptons Guilty Pleasures Labor Day Soiree." I know it will be a cocktail/hors d'oeuvres set up since we're expecting around 10 people–too many to cook a full dinner for on a … Read More

By / August 31, 2007

I'm hurriedly devising a menu for my "Fuck the Hamptons Guilty Pleasures Labor Day Soiree." I know it will be a cocktail/hors d'oeuvres set up since we're expecting around 10 people–too many to cook a full dinner for on a small budget. I also want the food to reflect the Guilty Pleasures/Justin Timerlake theme.

The Guilty Pleasures part is easy. However I've got waistline-conscience guests so I'll need less guilt-inducing noshing options. So I started thinking about what JT might eat. I couldn't imagine him eating anything. Then I remembered he has a restaurant called Southern Hospitality. It's southern soul food and BBQ. Being from Texas, this kind of food should be a cinch for me. The menu has things like cornbread, corn fritters, pulled pork (SO not kosher or my thing), fried chicken, ribs, etc.

Soul food isn't really hors d'oeuvres food. So I'm going to have to be creative. I'm thinking:

1. Baked sweet potato chips with fresh corn salsa (corn is SO deliciously in season right now)

2. Grilled cheese bites OR mini mac 'n cheese bites (guilty pleasure and easy; plus I'm hording jalepeno cheese bread in my freezer)

3. Crudite (you should always have a healthy option) with dips, including homemade hummus (because everyone loves it and it's easy to make) and possibly a spinach dip

4. Oven roasted BBQ chicken wings and/or legs (not terribly unhealthy finger food)

5. Pecan caramel popcorn drizzled with chocolate (dessert and good for noshing during concert)

6. Cocktails: BYOB (A great way to keep costs down is to ask guests to bring a wine, beer or spirit to share. You always wind up with way more than needed. So wonderfully Jewish.)

My plan to keep my budget down is to make very small one- to two-bite hors d'oeuvres and try to cook so that I don't have leftovers (I know–what kind of Jewish woman does that?). I also expect these ingredients won't cost much.

Next I'll plan my shopping/cooking schedule…

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