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tammylc

Dinner for 40

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The pork loin sounds delish.  I need to have a look see at that issue because pork loin is on sale this week (1.77cad)lb and I have a gas grill.  I hope there is a gas grill version.

There is a gas grill version, and it is indeed delish.


Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Your meals all sound delicious!

What else is on the "dirty dozen" list besides strawberries and potatoes?

Thanks - I do my best!

You can get your own "dirty dozen" wallet card (and more information) here: http://www.foodnews.org/reportcard.php

The dirty dozen are:

apples

bell peppers

celery

cherries

imported grapes

nectarines

peaches

pears

potatoes

red raspberries

spinach

strawberries

The twelve least contaminated are:

asparagus

avocados

bananas

broccoli

cauliflower

corn (sweet)

kiwi

mango

onions

papaya

pineapples

peas (sweet)

Thanks for the list and the link. In light of having more waste with organic potatoes, how do the other 11 of the dirty dozen compare, organic vs nonorganic?

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Your meals all sound delicious!

What else is on the "dirty dozen" list besides strawberries and potatoes?

Thanks - I do my best!

You can get your own "dirty dozen" wallet card (and more information) here: http://www.foodnews.org/reportcard.php

The dirty dozen are:

apples

bell peppers

celery

cherries

imported grapes

nectarines

peaches

pears

potatoes

red raspberries

spinach

strawberries

Thanks for the list and the link. In light of having more waste with organic potatoes, how do the other 11 of the dirty dozen compare, organic vs nonorganic?

I have a devil of a time finding organic celery or non-imported grapes, so I can't really compare there. Haven't noticed a difference with apples and pears. The organic stonefruits are only available fresh for a very limited season (where I am, anyway) so I usually end up using frozen. Strawberries also have fairly limited availability, but I haven't noticed any quality difference with those. I don't think I've ever seen organic raspberries in the supermarket (we do get no spray ones at the farmer's market) - not something I use much. Don't have experience with cherries either. And I haven't seen any difference re. spinach (buying the bins of pre-washed baby organic spinach) or bell peppers.

So yeah, really it's only potatoes that I've noticed it with.


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Thanks to SnowAngel I just re-read this thread. Tammy, you are inspiring! Seems like you cook very interesting food, I'm sure your eaters appreciate you! I'm doing some big cooking next week and besides my usual ideas am looking to supplement - I need things that are good for breakfast and lunch, can be at room temperature is always an added benefit and do not have a majority of expensive ingredients.

I'll add comments on how it goes after my event, or during if my helpers are enough helpful!

I usually do a lot of interesting salads, like rice or cous cous salad, cucumber salads, a couple of cold soups etc. It is a multiple day event, so I want variety as I have the same eaters.

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Hey Tammy, how about helping out someone with a breakfast for 24 people. Any ideas? I don't usually cook for that many people, so I'm kind of stumped. I will be on vacation with my wifes family next week and have 1 breakfast meal to cook which more than likely will be 2 main dishes and a side.

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First off, SushiCat and jscarbor - I am so sorry to have neglected to answer your questions. I suck. :-( I will post my recipe for the Morrocan Chick Pea and Carrot Stew - won't help you this year, SushiCat, but it sounds like it might come in handy in the future.

It feels like I've been cooking or shopping for food for the last four days straight, and it's sort of true. Wednesday I went shopping for my Thursday common meal, and Friday I went shopping for a special fundraising brunch we held today, and today I cooked for the special fundraising brunch.

Thursday night - Cook's Illustrated "Ultimate Veggie Burger."

It was a good recipe, but a bit too complex for the constraints of common meal, I think. Especially when I was down one assistant cook and ended up co-cooking (just two people, but with a longer time committment). Although, to be fair, we also had a bunch of people pitch in, and it still required working in fits and spurts all day long. Not sure of the exact numbers, but it was somewhere around 25 veggies, 15 meat eaters, and 10 kids of various ages.

Here's the process: cook lentils, drain them, spread out on paper toweled cookie sheets to soak up as much water as possible. Soak bulgur in boiling water. Drain, press through a mesh strainer to get out as much water as possible. (Are you seeing a trend here? The idea is that the key to a good veggie burger is controlling the moisture content.) Okay, next step, dice up onions, leeks and celery and saute them with minced garlic until carmelized and dry. Slice mushrooms, saute until golden brown. Now, get out your food processor. Pulse raw cashews until very finely chopped. Mix them in to the rest of the ingredients, along with some mayonaise. Then (nope, not done yet) pulse the mixture in batches in the food processor until it's cohesive. Stir in some panko breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Then, form it into patties. Finally, grill (or cook on the stovetop).

See what I mean? LOTS of steps.

Quantities for 36 veggie burgers:

2 1/4 c bulgur

2 1/4 c lentils

6 onions

3 ribs of celery

3 leeks

6 cloves garlic

3 lbs mushrooms (white and crimini)

3 c (about 1 lb) cashews

1 cup mayo

6 cups panko breadcrumbs

Other foods - 5 lbs of local "happy" ground beef for meat eaters who didn't want to try the veggie burgers, 7 packages of hamburger buns, 2 heads of romaine lettuce, lots of tomatoes (for topping burgers and for salad), three big tubs of organic greens.

Oh, and 20 lbs of the Cook's Illustrated potato salad described earlier in this thread. This was at least 5 lbs too much potato salad. Dessert was easy, as it was one of the kid's birthday, so we just had cake and ice cream.

Total cost of groceries was $181.81.

Today's brunch was really fun, but I'll write about it in a separate post.


Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Brunch for 60

We want to buy a BIG food processor for the common house kitchen. Depending if we want to go commercial or not, we're looking at $700-$1000. We don't have the money in our community budget to purchase it outright, so we held a fundraising brunch to raise money towards it.

We figured we could do a pretty decadent brunch for about $6 per person, so we set the price at $12. We encouraged community members to invite their friends and relatives, so we weren't just fundraising from ourselves. We had about 56 adults and maybe 8 or so assorted children.

I usually purchase as much as possible of my common meal food organic. But since we needed to keep costs as low as possible for this one, I just went to Meijer and bought cheap stuff. Then spent more on cheese and fresh fruit from the market and other good stuff for the decadent part.

The menu:

Assorted bread and pastries (bagels, banana bread, cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, raisin bread, chocolate sourdough bread, Paesano)

Fried potatoes with green pepper and onions (10 lbs of potatoes, 2 onions, 2 peppers)

Bacon (4 lbs)

Vegetarian sausage (4 pkgs)

Fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, peaches, plums)

Crepes with several filling options (Nutella and banana, cinnamon apples, mushrooms and goat cheese, lemon and powdered sugar)

Cheese (4 lbs of excellent cheese from Zingerman's Deli - Camembert, Piave, Garoxta (sp?), and an amazing blue whose name I can't recall)

Omelettes cooked to order (10 dozen eggs, and more on that later)

Orange juice (2 3/4 gallons of not-from-concentrate, in a variety of pulp preferences)

Grapefruit juice (1/2 gallon)

Apple juice (1 gallon, needed much less)

Cranberry juice (1/2 gallon)

Sparkling wine for mimosas (3 bottles of Cava)

Coffee (decaf and regular)

Espresso, cappucino, and lattes (more on that later)

The omelettes and the espresso drinks definitely pushed this over the edge from just a meal to a full fledged event. My husband brought over his good espresso maker and acted as barista - he ended up making a lot more espresso drinks than he thought he would - probably around 30.

I was the omelette cook, and spent 90 minutes standing over a hot stove, managing three pans of eggs. I was basically trying to duplicate the hotel brunch omelette experience. As people came to the front of the line I'd butter up a pan, then add whatever fillings they wanted - tomatoes (6), green peppers (2), mushrooms (1 lb), onions (1), scallions (1 bunch), asparagus (1.5 lbs), or ham (8 oz). I'd saute that until the veggies were ready, then add a ladleful of eggs. Stir the eggs into the center and redistribute the liquid underneath, add the cheese - cheddar (3 cups shredded) or goat (8 oz) - when it was mostly done, then trifold it onto a plate. I got lots of comments on how impressive it was, but really, my omelette making technique pretty much sucks. I had a hard time getting my temperatures right, so I had lots of overbrowned eggs. One of my pans was not as non-stick as I would have liked, so I had some sticking, although I only ended up scrambling one guy's eggs when it became clear an omelette as *not* happening in that pan. I've always been impressed by those guys at omelette bars at restaurant buffets, and I'm even more so now. And apparently people were commenting on how tasty and moist the omelettes were - I'm not afraid to leave the eggs a touch runny in the center, and let the leftover heat cook it on the way to the table.

All of this meant that people definitely felt like they got their money's worth at $12. We probably could have charged $15 and had people not unhappy, but I don't think we would have sold as many tickets that way.

We made our budget goals, and raised about $350. Plus one of our community members invited a bunch of people from her church and gave them a tour of both our community and the cohousing community being built right next store. Three of them are interested in learning more and potentially buying a unit. If that happens, we'll hit up the development company for a finder's fee and that should pay for the rest of our food processor (at least)!

I did almost all the shopping (I don't work on Thursdays or Fridays, so I had the availability). Also, the other cooks on the planning team tend to overbuy, so it was my job to keep us on budget. And I think I did a great job, if I do say so myself. We had too much bread and too much cheese, and not quite enough potatoes or bacon or raspberries. There's also a bunch of juice left, and a gallon of milk (nobody wanted skim in their coffee drinks). But for the most part, I think I really managed to nail the quantities.

In terms of labor, Person 1 did all of the baking on Friday night, and Person 2 made 50 crepes. Person 2, Person 3 and I started cooking at around 8:30 this morning for our 11:00 brunch. Person 4 went to the farmer's market for fruit, then helped out, and Person 1 came a little later to pitch in. Person 5 set tables and put flowers out. Person 6 collected tickets and cash from people who still owed. Then there were three people who cleaned up from it all.

It was fun, fun, fun. But, that said - I didn't cook dinner last night, I'm not cooking dinner tonight, and I'm eating common meal for the rest of the week. And that's just fine by me - I'm happy to have a break from the kitchen!


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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One cheap, quick and easy side dish/vegetarian main dish that is unusual enough to memorable is peas and pasta with saffron. Although saffron is expensive, it should still be a fairly inexpensive option, and we've found that when we bring it to the table everyone loves it! We make it with fresh raw sliced garlic, olive oil and parmesan reggiano mixed in..... you could skip the parmesan reggiano for vegans. The original recipe contained butter, but we avoid THAT, little fatties that we are!


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One cheap, quick and easy side dish/vegetarian main dish that is unusual enough to memorable is peas and pasta with saffron. Although saffron is expensive, it should still be a fairly inexpensive option, and we've found that when we bring it to the table everyone loves it! We make it with fresh raw sliced garlic, olive oil and parmesan reggiano mixed in..... you could skip the parmesan reggiano for vegans. The original recipe contained butter, but we avoid THAT, little fatties that we are!

Sounds tasty. Thankfully, we don't have any vegans, so no need to worry about that. What's the method? When do you add the saffron?


Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Upcoming meals...

I only had to cook once in July, so I have to cook three times in August. On August 7th I'll be mixing and matching some dishes from other meals. I'll be making the grill-roasted pork loin, but with Indian spices instead of the chile-mustard rub. Vegetarians will have grilled or baked tofu. To go with it, we'll have the Curried Rice and Broccoli Salad with Mango Chutney Vinaigrette, and some yogurt raita. This is another co-cooking night (only one assistant), so we need something that will be pretty easy, and I think this fits the bill.

Out for dinner at our favorite Korean deli last night, and my husband suggested I do bibimbap for common meal sometime. Upon consideration, it seems an ideal dish for common meal, so I've put it on the menu for August 11th. Cook a big pot of rice, make up a bunch of toppings, serve it buffet style with kim chee and hot sauce on the side. The only trick is the runny fried egg, which I consider essential to bibimbap. I'm pondering a couple of strategies. 1) have cooks frying up a couple pans of eggs just as people are going through the buffet, then go around to tables and give one to everyone. 2) Do poached eggs instead - the runny yolk is the important part, and poached eggs are a little easier to hold, especially since they don't have to stay especially warm because of the hot rice.

Any thoughts on the fried egg problem? Also, anyone have any favorite bibimbap topping recipes to share?


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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OK, this is VERY easy, because I have no idea how to do things properly.... I was searching for something that would have a shrimp taste without having shellfish in it, and saffron and garlic gives you that quality, for some reason! I boil the water for the pasta with about 12-15 stamens of saffron in it, at least. I make 2 pounds of spaghetti, al dente. Drain it, put it into an immense bowl. Toss it with 2 pounds of completely thawed frozen peas, 8 to 15 sliced cloves of garlic (really, it depends on YOU), some more saffron stamens, a good lashing of olive oil and salt to taste. Toss it really well, I give this job to my kiddle... it really needs a good long tossing...... at least a full minute. Than, we grate a good large hunk of parmesan reggiano for it, and we take it to table with the cheese alongside and fresh cracked black pepper for those who like that. It really tastes delicious, and it's cheap chic, in my humble opinion. If you've eaten shrimp, you'll 'taste' the shrimpyness of this dish. Aren't I a terrible narrator? Sorry, but it really is delicious.


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"Indian-Inspired Grill"

Grill Roasted Smoked Pork Loin with Garam Masala

White Rabbit (stuffed and grilled tofu)

Cucumber and Tomato Raita

Curried Rice and Broccoli Salad with Mango Chutney Vinaigrette

Mango Sorbet

Really good meal tonight. Everything came together beautifully. Slightly smaller crowd than I'm used to - lots of people on vacation, I think, rather than a commentary on my menu. With a few late signups, I ended up with 18 meat eaters, 16 vegetarians, and 9 assorted children.

I've made the rice salad before, so I knew how that would be. And raita is pretty basic. The pork was just a variation on a theme from a grilled pork loin I did a month or so ago, but instead of the chili-mustard rub, we made up a garam masala spice rub and used that. Also, this time I had time to go over to Hiller's and get the good pork loin from there. Unlike the pork loin from Meijer, this isn't injected with 15% salt solution, so I got to follow the full Cook's Illustrated technique which involved brining it for 3-4 hours. That made it extra moist and juicy.

The tofu, though, now that was a great discovery! I knew I was going to do some sort of marinated grilled tofu, but didn't really give it much thought until this morning. So I pulled out the BBQ Bible, and discovered that it just happened to have this really good sounding recipe for an Indian tofu dish! Awesome. First you press the tofu, then cut each pound into quarters. Cut a slit in each piece of tofu and stuff it with a paste made from cilantro, mint, scallions, oil and lemon juice. For the marinade, you puree garlic, ginger, jalepenos, oil and water, then mix that mixture with yogurt, cream, a bunch of spices, and cilantro. Marinade the stuffed tofu for 4 hours, then grill it for 4 minutes per side. There was only enough for the vegetarians who'd signed up, but I did manage to sneak a taste and it was excellent. I'll definitely have to make it again.

I don't think I'm going to co-cook in future work seasons. I end up totally wiped out at the end of the day. Theoretically with co-cooking I should be working the same amount as I usually do, and my co-cook would cover the rest. In reality it just doesn't work out that way, and I end up feeling like I've been cooking all day. I'm sure my co-cook is wiped out too. Having three people in the last two hours just makes things not feel so rushed, even for a meal like today's where so much of it could/needed to be done in advance.

Quantities, for future reference:

7 1/2 lbs of pork loin (A small whole loin. It was pretty long and skinny, so I cut it in half and grilled it in two pieces.)

8 lbs of firm tofu

2 bunches cilantro

4 lemons

3 jalepenos

big chunk of ginger

2 onions

lots of garlic

2 cucumbers

3 tomatoes

4 big bunches broccoli (about 6 lbs)

6 red bell peppers

1 bunch scallions

lots of mint from the garden

4 large containers of plain whole milk yogurt

8 oz heavy cream

11 c of basmati rice

3 jars of mango chutney

Shredded coconut

Cashews

Many, many spices from the pantry

Mac and Cheese for the kids

I did about 3 recipes of the raita, 5-6 recipes of the rice, 4 recipes of the tofu and 2 recipes of the spice rub for the pork. I spent $131 on groceries, which included a 10 lb bag of basmati rice. I scrounged in the kitchen before going so I knew that I had almost all the spices that I needed, so I didn't have to spend money on those. Plus there were some leftover and pantry items around, like onions and scallions and garlic. And I'd bought a package of coconut last time I made the salad, and there was still plenty of that left, so I saved a little bit that way. Still, I'm pretty pleased with the bottom line math - $4.13 or so per adult, and that was with 1/2 lb of tofu 1/3-1/2 lb of pork per person.


Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Out for dinner at our favorite Korean deli last night, and my husband suggested I do bibimbap for common meal sometime.  Upon consideration, it seems an ideal dish for common meal, so I've put it on the menu for August 11th.  Cook a big pot of rice, make up a bunch of toppings, serve it buffet style with kim chee and hot sauce on the side.  The only trick is the runny fried egg, which I consider essential to bibimbap.  I'm pondering a couple of strategies.  1) have cooks frying up a couple pans of eggs just as people are going through the buffet, then go around to tables and give one to everyone.  2) Do poached eggs instead - the runny yolk is the important part, and poached eggs are a little easier to hold, especially since they don't have to stay especially warm because of the hot rice. 

Any thoughts on the fried egg problem?  Also, anyone have any favorite bibimbap topping recipes to share?

Hm. Soft poached would be more successful than fried. Though I have done easy over eggs with molten yolks wrapped in cling film. Just add them at room temperature and let the heat of rice take care of warming.

This is is if one is not actually serving bibimbap but bap with stuff in a bowl instead of a screaming hot stone or iron bowl.

I prefer and usually serve the egg raw using dolsot (stone bowl). The rice and stone are so hot that the egg cooks while the bowl is being brought out and placed.

The whole point of bibimbap is the crusty rice that forms inside the dolsot.

But bap with stuff in an ordinary noodle bowl is also nice.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Hm. Soft poached would be more successful than fried. Though I have done easy over eggs with molten yolks wrapped in cling film. Just add them at room temperature and let the heat of rice take care of warming.

This is is if one is not actually serving bibimbap but bap with stuff in a bowl instead of a screaming hot stone or iron bowl.

I prefer and usually serve the egg raw using dolsot (stone bowl). The rice and stone are so hot that the egg cooks while the bowl is being brought out and placed.

The whole point of bibimbap is the crusty rice that forms inside the dolsot.

But bap with stuff in an ordinary noodle bowl is also nice.

Thanks for the tips on the eggs. I was also coming to the conclusion that poached was probably the way to go.

I don't even have one dolsot, let alone the 40 or so I would need to serve it that way for common meal, so I guess I'll actually be serving bap with stuff in an ordinary bowl. I don't think I've ever had bibimbap in dolsot - I'll definitely have to try it if I get a chance.

Any favorite toppings you (or anybody else) want to share?


Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Oh, you'll love bibimbap in a dolsot. The bowls are about $30 to $40 each though.

I like to have a range of kimchis, some deep-fried nori, some steamed vegetables such as Shanghai bok choy, toasted sesame seeds or gomasio depending upon the salt level of other ingredients, gochujang, and either a few kinds of tofu or a few kinds of fish or meats.

And of course, the chicken or duck egg.

Or several quail eggs.

Bap with stuff is great, it's just that you don't get that aroma, flavour, and texture of rice cooking against the stone while you eat your way down to it.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I wonder if you could mimic the effect of dolsot by using one of the persian techniques for getting crust on the bottom of the rice pot. Then you could serve the bap with little shards of crust stuck in.

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I know I'm supposed to be the quantity cooking "expert" in this thread, but I could use some advice. I have 51 adults and 13 children signed up for my bibimbap dinner tomorrow. How much food should I cook?

I'm planning 1/4 lb of tofu or beef per person. 1 cup of cooked rice per person, plus some extra. From there, I have no idea.

I'm planning four toppings - cucumbers (salted, rinsed, and dressed with some rice wine vinegar), spinach (wilted and dressed with soy sauce and sesame seeds), carrots (shredded/julienned, blanched, and tossed with a little sesame oil), bean sprouts (blanched and tossed with a little sesame oil). Any thoughts on how much of each I should make?

How many people would a good size cucumber serve? 4? 6? I know I'll need a LOT of raw spinach to get to any reasonable quantity of cooked stuff. I'll be buying 1 lb bags of organic pre-washed baby spinach - how many do you think I should get?

Help!


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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For the spinach, I would figure 1 bag for every 4 people. I know when I make it as a side dish for dinner, 1 bag is barely enough for the two of us, but you'll have other vegetables, so people will take a smaller amount of the spinach.

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Question and suggestion:

I like to have [...] some deep-fried nori....

Jinmyo, can you give a quick description? Just to use as a garnish?

I wonder if you could mimic the effect of dolsot by using one of the persian techniques for getting crust on the bottom of the rice pot. Then you could serve the bap with little shards of crust stuck in.

I did this by heating a non-stick sauté pan to medium hot, adding some peanut oil, and pressing a portion of cooked rice into the pan to crisp up the bottom. Worked like a charm for two dishes. 40, that's another story....


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Bibimbap for 50!

(I'd made a mistake in my original posting - I actually had 41 adults and 13 children, so not quite as many as I thought. Of the adults, there were 27 meat eaters and 14 vegetarians.)

The meal went really well. People were certainly impressed and I got lots of compliments.

I did most of my shopping at the Korean grocery in town, and that was quite the experience as hardly anything was in English. But I managed to find all of the things that I needed. I stopped at a couple other stores to pick up other items.

What I ended up using:

10 lbs of rice

~7 lbs of beef (pre-sliced for bulgogi)

4 lbs of tofu

24 Kirby cucumbers (at least, that's my guess - they were labled "pickles" in the Korean market)

10 lbs of carrots

6 1/2 lbs of spinach (would have bought more, but the store only had a few of the large 1-lb packages)

5? lbs of bean sprouts (might have been more - it was six bags - a bunch anyway)

1 pickled daikon radish

6 dozen eggs

2 medium sized containers of kim chee (3 lbs each?)

A medium size container of hot sauce (500 ml, maybe?)

Total cost was $164.45.

I had just about the right amount of everything. There were a lot of carrots left - 5 lbs probably would have been fine, but the single bag just looked so small. More tofu would have been welcome. There was enough of everything to get people through the first pass through the line (I served it buffet style and let people top their own bowls), and then things slowly disappeared as people came up for seconds.

This was pretty good to do as a common meal. We were defintely busy throughout, but didn't kill ourselves - it helped that I had two really talented and hardworking assistants. I started around 3, peeling and slicing the cucumbers, then salting them and letting them stand for 15 minutes before rinsing and draining them and tossing them with some rice wine vinegar.

Jason sliced the beef and Mary diced the tofu and I mixed up 6 batches of torakris's recipe for the bulgogi marinade, which I used for both. The marinade was great. For my tastes, it would be better with a little acidity, so next time I'll add some sake or vinegar or something. But still - yum!

Next up bean sprouts - cleaned, blanched, tossed with sesame oil and soy. Then, carrots, shredded in the food processor, blanched, and tossed with sesame oil and a little freshly grated ginger. We had so much spinach we had to cook it in two batches, and the second batch burnt. We salvaged what we could, but it sure made the kitchen smell awful for a little while. And there was a slightly smoky taste to the spinach - but I figured people would just think I meant it that way - it didn't taste *bad* just smoky. After thoroughly draining the cooked spinach I tossed it with sesame oil, soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds. Then I just julienned the daikon radish (which Mary thought was the most disgusting smelling food she'd ever been party to).

Meanwhile, Mary was poaching eggs and setting them aside on half sheet pans, and simultaneously sauteeing the tofu. I got all the beef cooked and it was 6:15 on the dot. Only problem - we only had around 4 dozen eggs cooked! Now that the stove was empty, we set up a bunch more pans and quickly poached the last 2 dozen eggs.

Thanks to everyone for their help and suggestions. Next up - a rerun of the sesame noodles from back in May, with stir fried green beans instead of soup to go with.


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Next up - a rerun of the sesame noodles from back in May, with stir fried green beans instead of soup to go with.

Tammy...am dashing off to a meeting so have not read the entire 5 pages...but can you point me to the sesame noodle recipe..have a party next week for 40 people and doing an Asian theme. Thank yo!!

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Next up - a rerun of the sesame noodles from back in May, with stir fried green beans instead of soup to go with.

Tammy...am dashing off to a meeting so have not read the entire 5 pages...but can you point me to the sesame noodle recipe..have a party next week for 40 people and doing an Asian theme.  Thank yo!!

My post about it is here:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...ndpost&p=926566

The actual recipe is from Cook's Illustrated/ America's Test Kitchen. You could try going to the America's Test Kitchen website and see if it's still current enough to be free. If you can't find it, let me know and I'll send it to you.


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Hey all - long time no see! I've been cooking, just not posting - my 17 month old son is keeping me busy, busy, busy!

My meals just keep getting larger and larger. I tend to cook on Thursdays, when our neighboring community joins us for dinner, and the crowd from there has grown. My last meal was Tortilla Soup again, and after I kept saying yes to late signups, I ended up with 72 people signed up!

And this Thursday I'm having to do another 72 person meal! Unlike the Tortilla Soup, which is pretty quick and easy to prepare, this one is bit more ambitious. When I was planning my menus for the fall, I noticed that I was cooking in the same week as Canadian Thanksgiving. And being that I'm a Canadian, I thought it would be fun to prepare a traditional turkey dinner to celebrate. The signups got totally out of control, though, thus the 72 people! (I should note that about 30 of those are children of varying ages, so it's not quite as dire as it seems.)

Since American turkeys aren't raised to full size for October, I'm making do with the largest I can get, two 18-20 lb turkeys. Or at least, I hope they'll be at least 18 lbs each - I'll find out tomorrow when I pick them up from the butcher. And yes, I know the suggestion is for a lb of turkey per person - but that assumes that you want to have leftovers, so I think we'll have enough.

In addition to the turkey I'm making mashed potatoes - I actually checked into this thread so I could go back and figure out from other entries how many pounds I'll need. Those 30 kids won't eat a lot of turkey, but they WILL eat a lot of mashed potatoes. My other side dishes are baked squash, stuffing, and peas. And gravy, of course - including a mushroom gravy for the small number of vegetarians who are signed up. Dessert will just be a bunch of cheap supermarket pies.

It's going to be a hectic couple of days. I've gotten a couple of offers of help for Wednesday night. Can I peel and chop potatoes the night before? Another mashed potato question - how small is too small to cut pieces for mashers? One of my assistant cooks is suggesting we use the thick slicing disk on our food processor to make short work of what will probably be 30 lbs of potatoes - is that going to affect my quality?


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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      ****************
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