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Have it Your Way with Personalized Dishes

Buffet: personalized dishes

There’s nothing better than sharing a great meal with friends. Instead of spending hours alone in the kitchen, why not get your friends in on the action by giving them the chance to customize their meals. Start by choosing a suitable menu and offering a buffet of ingredients or toppings. Your guests will enjoy adding a personal touch to their meal and choosing their favourite flavours! Here are five ideas for simple, yet flavourful, personalized dinners.


1Poutine

Reinvent this beloved French Canadian classic by offering an assortment of toppings that will inspire and excite your guests.

Fries:

While russet potatoes are ideal for poutine, offer a choice of sweet potato fries or roasted baby potatoes cut into quarters. Watch as some guests struggle to choose while others mix-and-match!

Sauces:

Offering a store-bought sauce is great option for last-minute meals, but you can also try preparing an exquisite homemade green peppercorn sauce, a red wine and foie gras sauce, or a hearty meat sauce to please the carnivores in your group.

Cheese:

If traditional cheese curds aren’t available in your area, rest assured that grated old cheddar, fresh mozzarella, or even cubes of smoked gouda are all excellent options.

Toppings:

Bacon, braised beef, ground veal, Merguez sausage, duck confit, bacon corned-beef the choices are endless! You may also want to offer some vegetables, like mushrooms, green onions, sliced olives and onion rings. That’s all there is to it!

 

See the recipe for Taco Poutine

Taco Poutine

Fish Tacos with Strawberry Salsa

2Tacos

Explore Mexican flavours at dinnertime with tantalizing homemade tacos.

Wrappers:

In addition to corn and flour tortillas, try crunchy lettuce leaves for a light and fresh contrast. Choose leaves from close to the centre of the head, as they’re crisper and easier to hold.

Fillings:

Ground beef seasoned with chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes is the classic taco filling. Switch it up with a choice of Buffalo chicken or braised pork. Your more daring guests will go wild for fish teriyaki, Cajun shrimp, or black beans. Use your creativity!

Salsa:

Try variations like sweet mango or pineapple salsas. But don’t skip the classic red tomato salsa; it goes with everything.

Toppings:

Avocado, crisp lettuce, grilled peppers, fresh coriander, red cabbage, grated carrots, corn niblets, diced tomatoes, sour cream, grated Monterey Jack, cucumber slices—the list goes on and on. With all this freshness at your taco station, let the fiesta begin!

 

See the recipe for Fish Tacos with Strawberry Salsa


3Pizza

A huge favourite for both young and old, making pizza is always fun, especially when everyone can personalize their own.

Crust:

Thin, thick, or flavoured with fine herbs, there’s a crust for everyone. Pita or naan bread are also delicious options. You can even make pizza crust out of cauliflower!

Sauce:

Tomato sauce is an obvious choice, but basil pesto, olive tapenade, or simply good quality extra virgin olive oil make superb bases for your pizzas.

Toppings:

The combinations are endless. Feta, ricotta cheese, and spinach make a winning trio. So do jalapeno peppers, oregano, garlic, and mozzarella. A bold combination of figs, rosemary, and parmesan will please more adventurous palates, while bacon and caramelized onions are a gourmet favourite. As a final touch, offer some green garnishes such as arugula or a homemade persillade.

 

See the recipe for Two-Cheese Prosciutto Pizza

Two-Cheese Prosciutto Pizza

Orange Crêpes

4Crepes

From green apples to Greek chicken or ham, you can put almost anything inside crepes.

Crepes:

Take inspiration from classic Breton crepes or tempt your taste buds with buckwheat batter instead. Get a head start by cooking and refrigerating your crepes in advance. Just stack them and wrap in aluminum foil. They’ll keep in the fridge for up to three days. Before serving, let them stand at room temperature for about an hour.

Toppings:

Smoked salmon, dill, cucumber, and sour cream offer a delicious Pacific flavour combination. Your guests will also love a filling made from spinach, ricotta, and mushrooms. Other tasty choices are old-fashioned ham, bacon, roasted potatoes, asparagus, Brie, grated Emmental cheese, and diced tomatoes. Go for any combination!

Sauces:

Sauces such as hollandaise, béchamel, white wine sauce, or basil and tomato are delicious options for all types of savoury crepes.

 

See the recipe for Orange Crêpes


5Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Who says that sandwiches have to be boring? Prove otherwise with a spectacular grilled cheese station that will have your friends coming back for seconds.

Bread:

Offer a selection of rye, whole wheat, multigrain, sourdough, country-style bread, or varieties with nuts and dried cranberries. Present your selection in beautiful baskets.

Cheese:

This ingredient is the star of the show, and almost any type of quality cheese will work. Cheddar, Emmental, Gruyere, provolone, fontina, and Talleggio are obvious choices. But try combining blue cheese with a soft cheese such a Brie for a combination that packs a punch.

Toppings:

Set the table with small dishes featuring a variety of toppings, such as balsamic caramelized onions, chopped olives, flavoured mustard, sundried tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, hot peppers, basil, arugula, sliced pears, and green apples. Try a combination of Raclette cheese, smoked meat, and dill pickles for deli-style flavour. Bocconcini and prosciutto is also a winning combination, and be sure to try sliced green apple, cheddar, and chicken! Bon appétit!

 

See the recipe for Grilled Cheese with Grapes and Garlic

Grilled Cheese with Grapes and Garlic


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