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CaliPoutine

Calipoutine Scrambles to go Catering

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On a somewhat related note. I have a big catering job coming up in less than 2 weeks. I'll be cooking 6 meals over 3 days for 50 people.

Does anyone have any tips/hints on making scrambled eggs for 50 people?

Is using multiple frying pans the only way?( there is NO flat top grill where I'll be cooking)

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On a somewhat related note.  I have a big catering job coming up in less than 2 weeks.  I'll be cooking 6 meals over 3 days for 50 people. 

Does anyone have any tips/hints on making scrambled eggs for 50 people? 

Is using multiple frying pans the only way?( there is NO flat top grill where I'll be cooking)

When we do them at church, we use an electric skillet. You can do about 18-24 eggs at a time, then we transfer them to the hotel pans and baste them every 5 minutes or so with melted butter to keep them moist (and one guy says to keep them from turning green in from the pans, but I don't know about that). Usually 2 or 3 people bring in their skillets, so we can make quite a lot pretty quickly.


"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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electric frypans are definitely the way to go. Line the hotel pans w/ parchment paper, and also cover w/ parchment between the food & aluminum. That way the eggs don't turn green from oxidized aluminum.

Why scrambled eggs? French toast in the oven might be just as easy (dip in egg then lay on cookie trays...) and then get you away from having to make toast :-)

I did a continental breakfast for 100 and we had: bagels, muffins & Chinese buns; honey; jam; tahini. No one complained about the lack of butter on the table. There was also fresh fruit, yogurt & granola.

some photos here http://www.richmondprc.org/photoalbum.php

look for the album Food for All.


Karen Dar Woon

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Continental breakfasts are really tough on diabetics...always good to have a bowl of hard-cooked eggs (peel your own) and/or a cheese selection for those who have to have diets which are high in protein and low in carbs/sugars.

As for scrambled eggs, you can mix them with some bechamel to keep moist, and there are lots of scrambled egg casseroles. For my brunches, I usually served creamed eggs: chopped hard cooked eggs in a cream sauce spiked with a bit of Tabasco. They're always on our holiday brunch menu. (Lots of peeling for 50 people, though.)

Note: true hotel pans are stainless steel, not aluminum, so you only need protection if using foil pans. Don't cover them with foil, either, unless you put a layer of cling film between the eggs and foil.


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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electric frypans are definitely the way to go. Line the hotel pans w/ parchment paper, and also cover w/ parchment between the food & aluminum. That way the eggs don't turn green from oxidized aluminum.

Why scrambled eggs? French toast in the oven might be just as easy (dip in egg then lay on cookie trays...) and then get you away from having to make toast :-)

I did a continental breakfast for 100 and we had: bagels, muffins & Chinese buns; honey; jam; tahini. No one complained about the lack of butter on the table. There was also fresh fruit, yogurt & granola.

some photos here http://www.richmondprc.org/photoalbum.php

look for the album Food for All.

I'm making french toast as well as scrambled eggs. I'm doing a Paula Deen recipe( overnight french toast).

Now I'm going to have to dig up some electric skillets. Thats the one piece of equipment I dont own.

Just for the curious, here is my entire menu. This catering is for a mostly women drumming camp weekend.

Friday dinner

Chicken, sausage and onion bake( from the recipes that rock thread)

Peanut noodle salad w/ tofu

Potato salad

Pasta salad

Greek Salad

Better than sex cake!!

Saturday

Breakfast

Assorted cold cereal

Oatmeal

Homemade muffins

Fruit, Yogurt and granola parfaits( honey vanilla yogurt w/ fresh fruit and homemade granola)

Lunch

Assorted sandwiches and wraps( ie: tuna, egg, turkey, ham, grilled vegetable, hummus)

Chips

Fruit salad

Assorted cookies and squares

Dinner

Pulled pork ( served over buns)

Squash rice casserole( vegetarian option)

Baked beans

Baked potatoes w/ sour cream

Coleslaw

Dessert: Not Yo Mama’s banana pudding( a layered dish of shortbread cookies, rich banana pudding and banana’s)

Sunday

Breakfast

Scrambled eggs

Peameal Bacon

Oven roasted rosemary potatoes

French toast w/ syrup

Lunch

Vegetarian Lasagna

Spinach salad w/ strawberry and brie

Garlic slathered stretch bread( pics on my personal foodblog)

Snacks

Hummus w/ pita chips (2nd night)

Veggie w/ dip OR 7 layer dip w/ tortilla chips (1st night)

Granola bars and fresh fruit

Beverages

juice (with breakfast)

Coffee and tea

Iced tea

Soy milk

2% or skim with breakfast

Also included( butter and margarine and individual creamers for coffee)

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If you're interested, I can continue the discussion of this catering job.

I plan on taking a lot of pictures : )

Because I dont really have access to wholesale food distributors, I've had to buy almost everything in the regular grocery store. I've found some amazing deals and I believe this is the only way I'll be able to make money. I've also hired someone to help me.

Before I go on and on, let me know if you're interested. I've contemplated starting another thread too.


Edited by CaliPoutine (log)

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I, for one, am totally interested in reading more about your upcoming catering gig. That's a lot of meals and a lot of food to prepare! How are you storing your perishables? And what's your work plan looking like? It seems like you will be cooking or prepping non-stop. I'm tired just thinking about it!

If you're interested, I can continue the discussion of this catering job.

I plan on taking a lot of pictures : )

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If you're interested, I can continue the discussion of this catering job.

I plan on taking a lot of pictures : )

Because I dont really have access to wholesale food distributors, I've had to buy almost everything in the regular grocery store.  I've found some amazing deals and I believe this is the only way I'll be able to make money.  I've also hired someone to help me. 

Before I go on and on, let me know if you're interested.  I've contemplated starting another thread too.

Count me in.

The "better than sex cake" grabbed my attention. :raz:

I take it your budget is slightly larger?

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I, for one, am totally interested in reading more about your upcoming catering gig.  That's a lot of meals and a lot of food to prepare!  How are you storing your perishables?  And what's your work plan looking like?  It seems like you will be cooking or prepping non-stop.  I'm tired just thinking about it!
If you're interested, I can continue the discussion of this catering job.

I plan on taking a lot of pictures : )

My second bedroom is strewn with all the non-perishables. I'm taking a trip to Port Huron next week and will drop off a load of perishables( cheese, ricotta, etc) that are in my home fridge right now. I'll buy the lunch meat, etc( a lot cheaper in MI) and drop it back off on my way home. I pick up the eggs( 14 dozen) from a farm on my way there. I ordered the milk from Shopper's drug mart( 4.00 for 4L) and will pick that up on Friday morning( June 6th). The catering site is halfway between my home and MI. Its a large confrence center thats owned by a church. I looked at the kitchen a few weeks ago. Its large, well equiped( but no A/C). Its a short walk to the Lake( Huron) so hopefully it wont be too hot. I have the option of sleeping there( cabins) but I'm driving home on Friday night. I'll sleep there on Saturday night because breakfast is early.

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If you're interested, I can continue the discussion of this catering job.

I plan on taking a lot of pictures : )

Because I dont really have access to wholesale food distributors, I've had to buy almost everything in the regular grocery store.  I've found some amazing deals and I believe this is the only way I'll be able to make money.  I've also hired someone to help me. 

Before I go on and on, let me know if you're interested.  I've contemplated starting another thread too.

Count me in.

The "better than sex cake" grabbed my attention. :raz:

I take it your budget is slightly larger?

Dont get too excited, its just a doctored up cake mix :smile:

I'm almost embarrassed to tell you what the budget it. When I heard it, I was stunned. I said " and my pay come out of that too"? But, I took it as a challenge and I actually think I'll make about 1,000.00 even after paying the helper I hired ( 10 bucks an hour)

They originally told me the budget was between 40-45 a person. Thats for 6 meals and 2 snacks. Can you believe it? The organizers think thats good because the food is "mostly vegetarian" which isnt the case with my menu. I quoted 45 a person based on rising food costs. They made a deal with me for 42 a person and they would serve the breakfast on Saturday( so I dont have to sleep there on Fri night). I still have to prepare the breakfast, but they will make the oatmeal and put out everthing I've prepared.

The ONLY way that I'm able to make money is because I've done a lot of shopping in Michigan( I dont count my gas because I'm going there anyway to do other ebay business). I've also bought a lot of things here that were on clearance so to speak. For instance, I bought 3 lbs of ricotta that was half price 2.75 each. It had 2 days left on the expiration date. I threw it in the freezer.

I also bought 3 packages of whole wheat flour tortilla's for wraps( half price at 1.50 each). Those are in the freezer too. My freezer is VERY FULL. I bought chicken leg quarters in MI for .79lb. I spent a total of 14.00 on chicken. I got 2 huge packages ( probably 24 each) of sausage for 5.00 each. They had 2 days left as well. They also had 5 dollars in coupons attatched.

The chicken alone was more than half the price. I got 3 bags of gold medal flour when I was in Ann Arbor in February. They were .97 each. I've been shopping for this for a long while now. I've spent about 400.00 so far( I've written down every single thing I've bought). I anticipate another 200-300.00. I still have to pay for the milk, the lunch meat, 2 pork shoulders, the potatoes, the yogurt and the rest of the produce.

The original numbers were to be between 60-90ppl. Then, they were thinking about cancelling( after I'd already bought a load of stuff, they advanced me 500.00). Now, they're looking at 50ppl.

The organizers were concerned about the quantity of food( from last year) and how the previous caterer recylced leftovers at each meal. My goal was to have a lot of varied and tasty food. I really think they'll be pleased.

I do need a good soba peanut noodle salad recipe. Have one?

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Randi, it sounds like you are going to be extremely busy with all that on your plate. Can you get any of the items at Costco? Where are you going to do the prepping and cooking? Are you going to serve it plated, buffet or family style? Tell us all about your plans, please! I love this thread.

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Randi, it sounds like you are going to be extremely busy with all that on your plate. Can you get any of the items at Costco? Where are you going to do the prepping and cooking? Are you going to serve it plated, buffet or family style? Tell us all about your plans, please! I love this thread.

Here is the facility. Click.

I'll be arriving early on Friday to start the prep for dinner. I do plan on marinating the chicken in my own fridge a few days prior. Between myself and my helper, we'll have plenty of time to make potato salad, pasta salad and a greek salad. The cakes should take no time either.

I'll probably make the hummus at home and I've already prepackaged all my dry ingredients in baggies for the different cookies/squares I'll be making. It will be easy, peasy( I hope). No measuring at all.

Btw, I'm making Martha Stewarts Kitchen sink cookies, white choc. macadamia( I got a bag of macadamia nuts for .99 on clearance) blondies( in mini muffin pans), Ghiradelli brownies( yeah, I'm using a mix for these) sugar cookies with a raspberry choc, kiss in the center( got the bag of kisses for .50 after Valentines day). Butter tart squares( Oh so Canadian) and peanut butter choc. cookies.

For the muffins I'm making Mimi's carrot raisin bread, Jordan Marsh's blueberry muffins and KA flour whole grain baking recipe for Morning Glory Muffins.

All dry ingredients will be prepacked and ready to mix up.

I've been organizing this for 3 months. I believe the dinner is buffet style. I'll be going to Costco next Thursday( in London). Also, I fly to Fl on June 10th and I'll be driving to Detroit on Monday, June 9th. Hopefully, I'll be able to get out of bed on Monday morning.

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The organizers were concerned about the quantity of food( from last year) and how the previous caterer recylced leftovers at each meal.  My goal was to have a lot of varied and tasty food.  I really think they'll be pleased. 

I do need a good soba peanut noodle salad recipe.  Have one?

Is this a huge concern when it comes to catering? It seems to me that you have a fine line to walk between not having enough to eat and having too much, so I'm curious how you do it.

I do need a good soba peanut noodle salad recipe.  Have one?

Soba peanut noodles...well that depends on how exotic you want to get. I understand that can be difficult if you're cooking for a crowd.

Here's one recipe. I normally don't list proportions because I usually cook by "feel".

ginger, minced -- amount depends on how spicy you want it

mirin -- 1/4 cup is approx.

pinch of sugar

mushroom soy -- roughly 3 T.

natural peanut butter -- 2 T. is about right

pinch of red pepper flakes

rice vinegar -- roughly 1 T.

sesame oil -- roughly 1 t.

chopped scallions

cooked soba noodles

toppings include the usual suspects -- baby bok choy, asparagus spears, bell peppers, mushrooms, bean sprouts, diced broiled chicken, shrimp, etc.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small pot and whisk over medium-low heat until smooth. Set aside. I dress the vegetables preliminarily, then toss with the noodles and remaining dressing, then chill in the frigo for 30 minutes before service.

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Does your Costco have the Thai peanut dressing/marinade? Check the list of ingredients to see if they are suitable. Then have fresh toppings/garnishes. Baby spinach, pre-washed, is handy, and sometimes on special at the big-box stores.


Karen Dar Woon

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Is this a huge concern when it comes to catering?  It seems to me that you have a fine line to walk between not having enough to eat and having too much, so I'm curious how you do it.

for multi-day events, it is definitely a concern. Most conference-type catering I've done... we try to mix up the menu a bit, to avoid exact repeats. The key would be to put out "almost" enough of everything, then replenish as required.

In my experience, the complaints about leftovers usually come when the food is in the same platter and configuration as it was 4 hours ago at the last meal... ick.

Multi-meal/multi-day events are great for catering, because you can monitor what is being consumed, and make some modifications to use your inventory. :-)

$42 pp is not much at all. :shock:


Karen Dar Woon

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$42 pp is not much at all. :shock:

What would be an ideal per person budget for the scenario that Cali is setting up for? (I guess that's a separate question from your ideal per person budget. :wink: )

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Here is one of my "bargains". If I didnt shop like I do, there is NO WAY I could make money on this job.

gallery_25969_665_623843.jpg

I got these at Big Lots in MI. They were originally marked 1.00. I always look at expiration dates and these were expired at the end of April. I asked the manager if she could mark them down. As she was marking them down, I told her I'd just chop them up and make chocolate chunk cookies. She said " I never thought of doing that". I told her I always buy candy after the major candy holidays( XMas, Vday, easter, halloween) and use it for baking.

Anyway, I was afraid there would be a bloom on this candy, but it doesnt look too bad. I tasted some and wow, I hate it. Its not sweet at all and I'd never eat it just for the heck of it. I think it will be good in cookies though. So, I got 1.5lbs of chocolate for .70.

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While I'm not shopping across any borders, I know EXACTLY what you mean by shopping around. There are some items you can get at the warehouse stores (and not have the quality compromised) and there are some things that you can only get at specialty stores. People ask where I shop for the jobs that I do and it's hard to give them a single or a short answer. Let's see ... 2 warehouse clubs, the supermarket, the spice store ... :blink:

Although, with the price of gas continuing to rise, it may not make much sense to do all that running around to save that last dollar when it's all used up in gas money.

Good luck Cali! I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.


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hey Cali - back to the original part of the topic, is there any way you could rent the equipment that you need - like a large electric griddle or something? I took a 2 day intensive catering workshop at the ICA in NY, run by a leading NY caterer, and he was saying that he rents tons of equipment because for a lot of things, it's cheaper to rent than to buy, and the rental companies do all of the maintenance and major cleanup... One of the guys who was taking the class with me works part time for a small NYC caterer, and he said that she rents just about EVERYTHING when she does offsite jobs... from cutting boards to sinks if needed, work tables, etc... and it winds up cheaper than owning/transporting/clean-up.... just an idea...

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hey Cali - back to the original part of the topic, is there any way you could rent the equipment that you need - like a large electric griddle or something?  I took a 2 day intensive catering workshop at the ICA in NY, run by a leading NY caterer, and he was saying that he rents tons of equipment because for a lot of things, it's cheaper to rent than to buy, and the rental companies do all of the maintenance and major cleanup...  One of the guys who was taking the class with me works part time for a small NYC caterer, and he said that she rents just about EVERYTHING when she does offsite jobs... from cutting boards to sinks if needed, work tables, etc... and it winds up cheaper than owning/transporting/clean-up....  just an idea...

Good Idea, but I'd have to check with rental companies in London. There are a few really small wedding rental places in these towns, but they just have linens, dishes, etc. I'm going to ask friends if I can borrow their electric skillets. I also need some crock pots for the pulled pork.

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hey Cali - back to the original part of the topic, is there any way you could rent the equipment that you need - like a large electric griddle or something?  I took a 2 day intensive catering workshop at the ICA in NY, run by a leading NY caterer, and he was saying that he rents tons of equipment because for a lot of things, it's cheaper to rent than to buy, and the rental companies do all of the maintenance and major cleanup...  One of the guys who was taking the class with me works part time for a small NYC caterer, and he said that she rents just about EVERYTHING when she does offsite jobs... from cutting boards to sinks if needed, work tables, etc... and it winds up cheaper than owning/transporting/clean-up....  just an idea...

Good Idea, but I'd have to check with rental companies in London. There are a few really small wedding rental places in these towns, but they just have linens, dishes, etc. I'm going to ask friends if I can borrow their electric skillets. I also need some crock pots for the pulled pork.

Just an idea but I've done gargantuan amounts of scrambled eggs in full Hotel pans on the stove top - low heat.

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hey Cali - back to the original part of the topic, is there any way you could rent the equipment that you need - like a large electric griddle or something?  I took a 2 day intensive catering workshop at the ICA in NY, run by a leading NY caterer, and he was saying that he rents tons of equipment because for a lot of things, it's cheaper to rent than to buy, and the rental companies do all of the maintenance and major cleanup...  One of the guys who was taking the class with me works part time for a small NYC caterer, and he said that she rents just about EVERYTHING when she does offsite jobs... from cutting boards to sinks if needed, work tables, etc... and it winds up cheaper than owning/transporting/clean-up....  just an idea...

Good Idea, but I'd have to check with rental companies in London. There are a few really small wedding rental places in these towns, but they just have linens, dishes, etc. I'm going to ask friends if I can borrow their electric skillets. I also need some crock pots for the pulled pork.

Just an idea but I've done gargantuan amounts of scrambled eggs in full Hotel pans on the stove top - low heat.

Does that also work in a low oven with frequent stiring? My MIL told me that a church lady made the eggs like this for an event at her church.

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You don't need a low oven or particularly frequent stirring. You can do 350 degrees and stir every 10 minutes or so. I saw a cook do this for a hotel buffet and was amazed at how well the eggs came out. I believe he did about 100 beaten eggs (with some milk, butter and salt) in a hotel pan and it took about 45 minutes. He stirred maybe 4 times.


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You don't need a low oven or particularly frequent stirring. You can do 350 degrees and stir every 10 minutes or so. I saw a cook do this for a hotel buffet and was amazed at how well the eggs came out. I believe he did about 100 beaten eggs (with some milk, butter and salt) in a hotel pan and it took about 45 minutes. He stirred maybe 4 times.

Thanks, that helps. If I dont have to schlep a lot of equipment to the event, I'll be happy!!

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