It’s an unfortunate fact: you don’t have the time to cater your own wedding. DIY wedding catering requires a massive amount of kitchen space, large-scale cooking supplies, and attention that most brides and grooms can’t spare directly before their nuptials.
However, DIY appetizers are a manageable goal for those who keep their guest lists small. Serving homemade snacks is a great way to add a personal touch to your wedding reception, and it’s a quick way to save some money, too. Just be sure to keep recipes simple, because things tend to get complicated when you’re serving large numbers of people. One basic recipe that gets an enthusiastic reception every time is seasoned veggie chips.
Choosing Your Veggies
Potato chips are anything but formal, and yet they’re a hit with almost everybody. It’s time to dress up this popular snack so it can attend your wedding reception with pride. Start by ditching the humble potato and finding some vegetables that are a little more exotic. From golden sweet potatoes to yellow peppers and garnet beets, you can choose vegetables in an array of colors to please the eye. Don’t forget to mix and match veggies’ shapes, too: long beans, carrots, and leafy veggies like kale all arrange very well on a platter together.
Preparing Your Veggies
The process of making the chips is simple no matter what vegetables you use. Removing the skin is up to you, depending on whether you like a cleaner or more rustic look. Slice your veggies thinly (about an eighth of an inch is good for root vegetables; simply rip leafy veggies into small pieces) and toss them in a large bowl with the oil and seasonings of your choice.
The oil you use will determine your chips’ flavor. Canola oil is a popular choice because it doesn’t impart much flavor on its own, leaving the seasonings entirely up to you. Olive oil pairs nicely with sea salt, rosemary, garlic, lemon, and pepper. You may also wish to use oils with stronger flavors, like sesame oil, paired with a sweet soy sauce or spicy wine vinegar. Make a few batches in the weeks before your wedding so you can have fun sampling different tastes.
Baking Your Veggies
Once you’ve saturated your veggies in their seasoning, arrange the sliced vegetables on cooking sheets or aluminum foil in an oven that’s been preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Since baking time varies with the thickness of the vegetable, give each type of vegetable its own cooking sheet.
Root vegetables should take 15 to 25 minutes in the oven, whereas kale needs only about 10 minutes. Experiment with snacking on your chips at various stages in the baking process until you find the taste and texture you like the best.
Presenting Your Veggies
For a gourmet touch, serve your freshly baked veggie chips on a platter with an array of homemade dipping sauces. It’s easy to create tastes everyone will love. Try combining plain yogurt with honey and cumin for a sweet curry dip.
Plain old ketchup can be spiced with a few shakes of hot pepper flakes, while mayonnaise gets an instant makeover with a dash of garlic powder and some chopped fresh chives. Try sour cream and fresh dill for a simple, creamy sauce that’s sure to keep everyone dipping.
Don’t forget your appetizers’ visual appeal. When choosing platters, pick the colors and shapes that best complement your newly-baked chips. A rainbow array of colorful veggie chips, for example, would get swallowed by a busy plaid pattern, but would stand out against a simple white tray.
Similarly, veggie chips of all one size and hue might look too plain on a solid-colored dish, but could gain a little festivity from a bowl with a ruffled edge or colorful pattern. If you don’t have enough platters on your own shelves, borrow from friends or call a few local party rental companies.
The finishing touch is the perfect garnish. A few sprigs of mint, parsley, or dill lend a classic look to a plate. You can also garnish with lemon or orange wedges, carved radishes, or even edible flowers. Rose petals are a popular garnish for weddings; just be sure you’ve obtained your flowers from a pesticide-free source before putting them on the plate.
Enjoy Your Veggies!
Baked veggie chips are not only more exotic and gourmet than potato chips; they’re also a lot healthier. When you serve crispy veggie chips to your guests, you’re also gifting them with a dose of nutritious vitamins in a single, delicious serving. Now that’s a party favor everyone can use!
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.