You love having people over and preparing them an enjoyable meal. It’s fun to spend time with friends, but if you’re stuck cooking the whole time, you don’t get to enjoy the conversation and laughs. Compiling your favorite buffet ideas allows you to mingle and enjoy your gathering because you can get your meal ready ahead of time and assemble it in the common gathering area. Serving foods that let your Hispanic heritage shine through are probably easier for you to cook. After all, a party isn’t the best time to try out recipes you’ve never sampled. Assemble your favorite buffet ideas about a week before the party and prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Appetizers and bite-size foods are perfect for a between meal party, but don’t be afraid to lay out a whole spread if its dinnertime.
Organizing the Buffet
If you put the condiments at the beginning of the buffet line and the main course at the end, guests might be confused how the foods go together and might miss trying something they’d really enjoy. If you’re serving appetizers only, simply place each on a separate serving platter with a small placard identifying each. For a full meal, though, place the meat or main dish first, followed by your side dishes and finally the sauces and condiments that go with the meal. Keep the desserts separate so they don’t take on intense flavors of your meal and appetizers. Either use a different table or keep them in the kitchen until everyone is done eating.
You can’t go wrong with a taco bar. It’s one of the easist buffet ideas and tacos are simple to prepare ahead of time and most people know what tacos are, allowing you to incorporate your heritage without serving strange foods that your friends might be afraid to eat. Start the buffet line with crunchy and soft taco shells. Next place ground or shredded beef, chicken, or shrimp to start the tacos with. After that, set out bowls of lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, olives, salsa, sour cream, and avocado to finish off the tacos. If you want to go more traditional American, a sandwich buffet is always a crowd-pleaser and doesn’t require much effort on your part. Start the line with bread, followed by cold cuts, sliced cheese, and vegetable toppings. Serve with pasta salad, potato salad, chips, or fruit salad.
If you want to go the appetizer route, you have many options, both Hispanic and American. Combining both pleases everyone on your guest list. Miniature empanadas, chips, guacamole and salsa, a vegetable and fruit tray, taquitos, quesadilla wedges, miniature hamburgers, an olive and cheese plate, and tiny peppers stuffed with cheese are great finger foods that give your guests several choices when it’s time to fill their plates.
Don’t forget to pair your buffet ideas with beverages. Soda, iced tea, sparkling water, and lemonade work well if you don’t want alcohol at your party. If you do, offer a variety of beers, wine, and spirits. Make sure to keep plenty of ice and mixers on hand so your guests aren’t stuck with a warm drink.