Monday, April 18, 2011

Bridal Shower Buffet

buffet is a system of serving meals in which food is placed in a public area where the diners generally serve themselves. It is a popular method for feeding a large number of people with minimal staff.  {In our case, the 'staff' wanted to enjoy the party, presents & participate in conversations.} 

Taylor, Maren Parker's daughter got married in February. We had a bridal shower for her here in San Diego on a Saturday in early February. It was open-house style, with guests coming in during a 2 hour time-block to share their good wishes. Maren put together a menu of salads, croissants and delicious desserts.
California's Best Chopped Chicken Salad


Garden Herb Ranch Sauce

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cold water
2 3/4 cups mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
7 tablespoons dairy sour cream
2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon green onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh dill, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh basil, minced

1 1/3 tablespoon good olive oil
1 1/3 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons salt
20 ounces chicken breasts, skinless
1/4 cup barbecue sauce (your favorite)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded fine
1/2 head romaine lettuce leaves, shredded fine
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 pound jicama, cut into thin strips
2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 cup black beans - rinsed and drained (canned works)
1 cup corn kernels, drained (canned works)
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 pounds tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced


Dressing: In a mixing bowl, use a fork to stir together the mustard and cold water, forming a paste. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl and, using a handheld electric mixer at low speed or a whisk, blend together just until smooth, taking care not to incorporate too much air into the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Chicken: Preheat a stove top grill or the broiler. In a mixing bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic, soy sauce and salt. Turn the chicken breasts in this marinade and leave to at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Grill or broil the chicken breasts until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Cut the chicken breasts into 3/4" cubes and, in a bowl, toss with the barbecue sauce to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Salad: In a large mixing bowl, toss together the lettuces, basil, jicama, Monterrey Jack cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, dressing, and half of the Fried Tortilla Strips. Transfer the salads to chilled serving plates. Surround each salad with diced tomatoes. Top each salad with chunks of Grilled Garlic BBQ Chicken and drizzle the chicken with the barbecue sauce. Garnish with the green onions.