Party platter ideas consist of many considerations such as the food, size, quantity as well as the selection choices. There are variety of choices for party platters and choosing the right one will require some thoughts and planning.
Creating trays full of food requires thought and planning. It’s important to organize the different foods well and make sure your guests can tell what they are. There are many ways to do this, including labeling the food or pairing similar items on the same tray. As important as choosing the types of foods to include on your party platters is choosing the correct amounts based on the number of people attending and the other food being served.
If you are holding a sophisticated and classy affair, prepare a fruit and cheese platter, complete with a wide variety of cheese and seasonal fruit. Choose a soft-ripened cheese such as brie, a semi-soft cheese such as bleu and a few hard cheese options, such as cheddar and Swiss. Place the entire brie wheel on the tray and provide knives for cutting. Slice or chunk semi-soft and semi-hard cheese before serving. For the tastiest fruit, serve varieties that are in season, such as pears and apples in the fall. You can also serve bowls of dried fruits, such as cranberries, cherries and raisins. Be sure to provide plenty of crackers and bread along with the tray. Wine makes a nice beverage accent to choose platters as well.
Serving a finger food platter allows guests to socialize and relax while they munch on a mix of party treats. Get creative when planning your finger food menu, and consider making miniature versions of classic favorites, such as quiche and crab cakes. Deviled eggs make filling appetizers, and can be fancied up with the addition of sliced black olives on top. For an Italian-themed party, serve focaccia bites and calzones, and make guests’ mouths water with wontons and fresh shrimp summer rolls during a soiree with an Asian flair. For vegetable lovers, serve stuffed mushrooms or refreshing watermelon and tomato skewers drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
To avoid having a lot of food left over, the Food Network website offers advice for determining how many items to place on a party platter (see Resources section). If a full meal is being served, prepare only four to six items per guest. If the platter items are the only food items being offered, plan for each guest to eat at least 12 items.
You should offer a variety of items to the guests. Not everyone is going to enjoy every dish you prepare. Some might be vegetarians, and others might have food allergies or specific food preferences. Prepare trays that include cheeses, fruits and vegetables, and meat options. Keep these on separate platters to organize the platters and avoid the mixing of foods for those with allergies. If you have cubed fruits and vegetables, place some toothpicks nearby and also put some forks near sliced items so that your guests will not have any difficulties enjoying the food.
Items prepared as wraps are good for party platters because they are not messy. Bake food wrapped in phyla or other dough, such as pigs in a blanket, miniature corn dogs, cheese puffs, and egg rolls. Wraps for sandwiches also make it easy for guests to carry them with one hand and socialize. When creating wraps, offer items with and without cheese. Labels will help prevent guests from trying to open the wraps to see what’s inside or taking one taste and wasting the item because they don’t like it.
The items on each of your party platters should be related in some way. For example, put all the spicy items on one tray and the mild ones on another. Label these trays so your guests know what they are getting. Create platters themed around Southwestern ingredients, Italian ingredients or Asian ingredients on separate trays to give your guests an idea of what they are.
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