Dinner ideas for 60+ people
Posted 28 November 2006 - 07:51 PM
We love cooking and entertaining, but I can't say that I've ever prepared dinner for 60 to 70 people at a time. So I task all of you with this: Help a young couple pick some recipes and strategies for success!
Josh and Tracy
Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:08 PM
Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:18 PM
As far as planning, start off at the proteins, calculate how much each person will eat, then backtrack from there to scale your recipes accordingly. On average, I assume 4-8 oz. of meat per person depending on what I will cook. For 44 hungry people, I will easily go through 15-25 pounds of meat, but it is always a good idea to make a bit extra.
Also consider any allergies, vegatarians/vegans you may have to cook for. For example, I cook for someone who is a celiac, is allergic to eggs, dairy, nuts, etc., so I try and cook a protein that they can eat, then a seperate side if I need to.
If it is only you cooking, you will find that 95% of your time is devoted to prep, so plan accordingly, and use shortcuts (such as pre-peeled garlic cloves or stewed tomatoes) to help along the way.
As far as what to cook consider something meaty, a vegetable, and something starchy. A good pasta kills two birds with one stone, and a really expertly prepared sauce makes many people very happy....I find that it is actually easier to prepare a nice rich, long simmered sauce than something less time consuming because it gives you time to prepare other components.
Posted 29 November 2006 - 07:50 AM
As far as menus, here are a couple that were very popular:
- meatloaf with mashed potatoes, veggies, etc.
- homemade macaroni & cheese (we almost always had this, because the kids love it)
- Roasted chicken with potatoes
- Quesadillas with sides like refried beans
The parents really like good fresh fruits and vegetables - that's something they don't get a lot of. Salads are very popular.
Remember that these are average American (and sometimes international) families - they like to eat the same stuff at the hospital as they do at home. It's a good time for recipes out of your Betty Crocker cookbook.
If you're cooking at the House, remember that the ovens and stoves may not be what you're used to. One of the first times we cooked there, we had a near disaster because we didn't realize you had to hit "start" after setting the oven temp. We also got used to having oven temps that were off. Bring your own knives and gadgets (like peelers) if you need them.
Good for you for doing this! It's a very rewarding experience. It's sad to see the same families month after month, but also heartwarming when you hear they went home with a kid who is much better.
Posted 29 November 2006 - 09:47 AM
Themed nights are very popular with the RMH crowd, by the way. Mexican night, Italian night, etc. Or something with a movie or cartoon tie-in.
I know all of this because my son was treated for cancer in NYC, and I am close to several families who spent months at the RMH. I stayed there myself, but not for such a long period.