A charcuterie spread. Potluck-style gatherings. A fondue affair. The holiday hosting season is upon us, and good conversation over delicious food is what it’s all about. Before hosting a soiree of your own, get to know the good, the bad, and the ugly of food buffets. Follow these four rules for a safe buffet at your holiday or New Year’s party that everyone will enjoy.
It’s a Time Crunch…Sort Of
Make it a safe bet this holiday season and limit the time your food is left out for people to munch on. For foods that typically require refrigeration or are served warm, you don’t want to keep them out at room temperature for too long. Make use of kitchen gadgets like a warming plate, mini crock pot, or even a large bowl of ice to insert a cold salad or other fresh produce.
Be Careful With Meat
The charcuterie board, aka the fancy meat, cheese, cracker, and fruit tray, really makes an impact and a great statement at parties. For salami or other meat cuts, don’t let them sit out longer for more than two hours — this actually goes for most foods that are out. And if you're serving a main dish of cooked meat, always make sure to cook the meat to perfection, or at least to the minimum cooking temperature.
Vinegar-Based Foods Are Your Friend
Acidic foods, like salads containing a vinegar dressing or base, are particularly good for buffet-style gatherings. So instead of opting for that creamy potato salad, serve it up with a splash of vinegar.
Make It a Progressive Dinner
Make your soiree a progressive dinner, simply serving up items in a series of events. You can still make it a buffet, but items would be swapped out every hour or so. This not only keeps the excitement of the party up.
Celebrate big this holiday season with hosting a holiday party. You’re now armed with all the tips you need to know for a safe buffet, so let’s get to cooking! For more food and fun, check out Olympus Waterford’s blog.