Something Cathy and I have in common? We love a good party, surrounding ourselves with loved ones, good food, and drink. Have you ever thrown a party that included guests who can’t have this, or that? Isn’t that a pain? LOL, I’m one of “those” people. When we have a get-together there are quite a few do’s and don’ts. Basically, Party Foods for Special Diets.
Our family and friends are foodies. We all love good food, but many of us have dietary restrictions; mainly gluten-free and vegetarian. Making party food for special diets does take a bit more planning, but it can be done. Rarely do our guests realize that these items are “special“.
I can’t have gluten. This makes eating away from home difficult. Gluten is hidden in so many items. Our daughter is a vegetarian, so she too has a hard time at a party or buffet. <We’re a fun bunch, eh? lol>Do you have party guests who have special dietary needs? Check out these gluten-free and vegetarian options from @Theviewfrominhe #glutenfree #vegetarian Click To Tweet
When entertaining, we try to make the menu appealing but filled with items all guests can partake in. In a few weeks, we’re hosting a party for The Big Game. So I’ve spent time creating a spread that looks great, tastes delish and will fit everyone’s dietary needs.
<Yes, you can now call me Superwoman. My party ensemble includes a cape. And possibly a lampshade. LOL>
Party Foods for Special Diets- Menu
Our menu features noshy food that you can load on a plate and eat with your fingers for the most part. It includes gluten-free and vegetarian items, something for everyone.
Like I said…Feel free to call me Superwoman.
Game Day Menu. #Glutenfree and #vegetarian items included. Steak sandwiches with Carmelized Red Onion and Bacon Spread. Portabella Sandwiches with Pesto Mayo. @viewfrominhe Click To Tweet
Today I’m sharing recipes for our Steak Sandwich and also Portabella Sandwiches. Click on the links above for the other items.
These sandwiches have several layers-but each one is relatively quick to make. (Options for gluten-free and vegetarian sandwiches included.)
They’re so delish, you won’t be able to stop at just one.
Day Before the Party Prep
Many of the items for the sandwiches can be made the day before the event. Huge bonus!
The bottom bun has a Caramelized Red Onion & Bacon Spread, then a layer of steak topped with gourmet greens and a drizzled balsamic reduction. These flavors meld together to make the perfect bite. Doesn’t it sound delish?
Things to do the day before:
- Marinate the steak for up to 24 hours. I use flat, hangar or flank steak. Find my marinade recipe and how I prepare my steak for maximum flavor here.
- Balsamic Reduction
- Pesto Mayo
- Roast the Portabella Mushrooms
The day of the party all you need to do is cook the steak and toast the bread. Then warm the Caramelized Onion & Bacon Spread and the roasted portabella mushrooms.
Preparing the Steak
- Ingredients for beef marinade
This beef marinade is our “go to“. It adds so much flavor, and moisture, to the beef. It’s also gluten-free.
- Mix the marinade and add the steak. Preparing this the day before gives the marinade time (up to 24 hours, no longer) to work its magic.
- A few hours before the party set the steak out and bring it to room temperature.
- Put it in a cast iron or other oven safe pan, top with 1/2 of the marinade and bake at 350 until medium rare, approximately 20 minutes.
- Let rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes and slice against the grain.
Condiments for the Sandwiches
Each of these condiments play a role in the overall flavor of the sandwich. Yes, the steak is good all by itself, but these flavors meld together for an unbeatable combination.
*For the vegetarian sandwiches skip the Bacon Spread, substitute a Pesto Mayo.
- In a saucepan add 1 TBSP brown sugar to 1 cup balsamic vinegar in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, dissolve sugar, reduce to medium-low heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. The liquid will thicken to the consistency of a syrup.
- Remove from heat.
Pesto Mayo-(for the Vegetarian Sandwich)
Mix 1/2 cup mayo with 4 TBSP prepared pesto.
Caramelized Red Onion & Bacon Spread
This spread is creamy, smoky and so delish! It lends so much depth to the sandwich.
- 5 oz. Gruyere cheese-shredded
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 5 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 pound bacon-cooked crisp and crumbled
- 1.5 large red onions-diced
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Add olive oil to saute pan on medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot add diced red onion stir to coat.
- Spread onions over bottom of the pan and allow to simmer. Turn down to medium and stir every couple minutes.
- After 10 minutes add sugar and stir to coat onions. Sugar is the secret ingredient to the caramelization.
- Let cook for 30 more minutes. If the onions get dry add a bit of water. Stir often. You want the onions to brown, but not burn. Remove from heat to cool.
- Mix softened cream cheese, Gruyere, mayo together. You can use your food processor or mix by hand.
- Add cooled caramelized onions and bacon. Mix well.
- Place in oven safe baking dish, bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Preparing the Portabella Mushroom
As you’re baking the Red Onion & Bacon Spread toss the Portabellas in the oven too.
- Pop the stems off the mushrooms.
- Drizzle olive oil into a baking dish.
- Place mushrooms in the dish and top with a bit more olive oil and seasoning.I use Weber’s Grilling Seasoning-Chicago Steak Variety. Portabella Mushrooms taste like steak, so why not season it like one? Weber’s Grilling Seasoning is made with real ingredients and it’s gluten-free. Win Win! (many seasonings are not gluten-free, check the label.)
- Pop the mushrooms into a 400-degree oven for 25 minutes.
Day of the Event-Party Food for Special Diets
There’s always so much to do on party day, I love that most of the steps for these sandwiches can be completed the day before.
Tasks left-cutting and toasting the bread, roasting the beef and assembling these beauties.
I used 2 different types of bread. A loaf of French Bread is perfect for those who can eat gluten.
Toasting the Bread
- Cut the French bread into 2-inch lengths.
- Place on baking sheet and toast at 375 degrees, for 5 minutes, while the beef is resting.
We also purchased some gluten-free ciabatta. You can find these, or gluten-free French Bread, at a local bakery or frozen section of your grocer.
The bread only takes a few minutes to toast. Place regular and gluten-free breads on separate baking sheets. To keep them free of gluten, don’t touch the regular bread and then touch the gluten-free bread. Don’t cut them with the same knife and place them on separate pans and platters. Use 2 sets of utensils when serving or preparing.
We prepare all the gluten free items first, then those with gluten. It’s not difficult to avoid contamination, your guests will appreciate your diligence.
Party Food for Special Diets-Putting it All Together
It’s time to put together the sandwiches and enjoy the party. Slather some Caramelized Onion & Bacon Spread on the toasted bread or bun (or Pesto Mayo for Vegetarian), add a few slivers of beef (or a portabella mushroom) and top with gourmet greens. Lastly, drizzle with the Balsamic Reduction.
At this point, you can add a top bun or serve open-faced. That’s it. You’re done!
Don’t forget to sample one, someone has to be the taste tester, right? Just make sure to leave some for your guests.
Would you believe that these sandwiches are “special“? It’s not that hard to create party foods for special diets, a few extra steps and a bit of imagination are all you need. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the party. If you’re in my neck of the woods, stop by. I bet you won’t be able to taste the difference.
And if you’re really lucky, you might just catch me wearing the lampshade!
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