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Dinner for 40


tammylc
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Thanks Tammy and everyone else who has been chiming in on this thread over the years (Tammy- its fun watching your pregnancy in this thread transition to a little one running around the kitchen!).

I'm in the planning stages to feed ~150 in a campground situation this summer.

The Greek menu has been the best looking one for meals without alot of refrigereation emphasis. I love falafels, tho making up enough for this many people has me doubting my own obsessive complusiveness.

I'm getting hung up on specializing for special diets... some very out-spoken low-carb people in my midst, plus the mythical vegan and gluten free person. Oh yeah, and we have meat eaters! Will probably do a veg menu - the refigeration thing and safe food handling issue.

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Thanks Tammy and everyone else who has been chiming in on this thread over the years (Tammy- its fun watching your pregnancy in this thread transition to a little one running around the kitchen!).

I'm in the planning stages to feed ~150 in a campground situation this summer. 

The Greek menu has been the best looking one for meals without alot of refrigereation emphasis.  I love falafels, tho making up enough for this many people has me doubting my own obsessive complusiveness.

I'm getting hung up on specializing for special diets... some very out-spoken low-carb people in my midst,  plus the mythical vegan and gluten free person. Oh yeah, and we have meat eaters!  Will probably do a veg menu - the refigeration thing and safe food handling issue.

Yeah, that'd be a LOT of falafel!

A really good option that I've cooked would be the chick pea and carrot stew. It won't help your low-carbers, but it's totally vegan. Onions, carrots, chickpeas - nothing really needs to be refrigerated. Tasty too.

How many days do you have to feed your ~150?

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Dinner for 40

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Yeah, that'd be a LOT of falafel!

A really good option that I've cooked would be the chick pea and carrot stew.  It won't help your low-carbers, but it's totally vegan.  Onions, carrots, chickpeas - nothing really needs to be refrigerated.  Tasty too.

How many days do you have to feed your ~150?

Just one night- thank goodness. Don't know the budget yet.

I have a pre-pre-planning meeting tonight. Hope to nail down questions about what ammenities I have available.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thursday's menu: Eggs Masala, Chana Dal, Cucumber-Mint Raita, Rice, Peas.

I only had 40 people sign up (28 adults, 12 kids), a pretty small meal for me. Don't know if the menu scared them off, or if everyone was just otherwise occupied. In any case, they sure missed out, because it was a very tasty meal, if I do say so myself. And having only 40 people meant we had a lot fewer hardboiled eggs to peel.

In fact, the eggs were the source of the only problem with the meal - I didn't adequately separate the plain eggs I was holding back for the kids from the rest of the eggs, so when my assistant cooks were halving the eggs and putting them on plates to be topped with sauce, they cut those up too. And I didn't notice until they were all topped with curry sauce! Doh! We told the parents to just scrape off the mild sauce, but I'm sure that wasn't acceptable for at least some of the kids. Oh well, just meant there were more curried eggs for the rest of us.

I started the chana dal early, as legumes take a long time to cook. This wasn't really chana dal, but just plain yellow split peas. They're boiled with some turmeric and sliced ginger. When they're tender (about 2 hours of cooking for a big pot like that), you add salt and a bit of garam masala. Then, you fry up cumin seeds and chopped garlic in a lot of ghee, dump it in to the pot and stir it all together. As usual, mine was too watery, so I let it cook for a while after the lentils were tender to evaporate off more water, and in the end the consistency was exactly right.

The Eggs Masala recipe comes from Madhur Jaffrie's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking, and it is indeed quick and easy. Hardboil some eggs and top them with a spicy tomato curry. Sounds odd, but I think it's a divine combination. We planned for 1 1/2 eggs per adult, plus 1 per child, so that was 5 dozen eggs. I brought them to a boil in two big pots of salted water, then left them off the heat for 25 minutes to finish them up. Using the standing method helps make sure you don't overboil the eggs and end up with that green ring, and the salted water is supposed to make them easier to peel. They were pretty easy, so that made me happy. If we'd had to peel 60 hard-to-peel eggs, it would have been much more of a pain.

The recipe I was working from makes enough sauce for 4 eggs. I was making 48 eggs worth, so I had to multiply the recipe by 12! We made up two batches of the sauce - one mild (1/2 tsp cayenne for the whole batch) and one spicy (3 tsp cayenne). While we were portioning out the serving platters, there was much worry among my assistant cooks that we didn't have enough of the mild eggs. But in fact, the spicy were the first to go! We marked the plates with dots to indicate which was which - red dots for hot, green for mild. To make the sauce, you brown cumin seeds, onions and ginger, then add a spice paste (made from turmeric, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice, water) and cook for just a few seconds, then add some finely chopped canned tomatoes and let the whole thing cook for 10 or 15 minutes to come together. Easy as pie. At the end, you stir in a whole lot of chopped cilantro (1 bunch per batch of sauce). Normally you'd put halved eggs into the sauce to warm for a few minutes, but that was too difficult to manage in quanitity, so we just topped the eggs with the sauce.

The raita was just yogurt mixed with chopped fresh mint, diced cucumber, and salt. And then there was a big pot of basmati rice and some plain green peas.

For dessert I made homemade chocolate chip cookies, plus some ice cream that was left in the freezer from a previous meal. Not really in keeping with the "theme" of the meal, but that's what I felt like making, and I knew the menu was simple enough that I'd have the time.

While we were cooking, we drank a bottle of Tocai Fruilano, a nicely acidic Italian white with pear and mineral flavors. With dinner, we had a really tasty German Reisling that was a great counterpoint to the spicy food.

Shopping/Ingredient List:

<b>Eggs Masala</b> (Recipe times 12)

4 dozen eggs

3 lemons (actually only needed 4 tbsp, so one lemon would have been plenty)

1 1/2 lbs onions (there were some in the pantry, so I used those instead of buying)

1 jar grated ginger (I'm not a fan of pre-chopped garlic, but the ginger puree rocks my world)

7 cans diced tomatoes (pulsed briefly in the food processor to chop more finely)

2 bunches cilantro

Turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, cumin seeds, salt, pepper (all except cumin seeds were already in the pantry and didn't need to be purchased)

<b>Split Peas</b> (Recipe times ~5)

8 cups yellow split peas

24 cups water

2 inch piece of ginger, sliced into thin rounds

7.5 oz jar of ghee (yes, I used the whole thing!)

2 heads garlic, chopped

Cumin seeds, turmeric, garam masala, salt

<b>Raita</b> (Recipe times 4)

2 lg containers whole milk yogurt

2 lg containers low fat yogurt

4 cucumbers

1 pkg mint

salt

Other stuff:

7.5 lbs rice (which turned out to be exactly the 18 cups that can fit into our rice cooker!)

3 lbs peas

1 doz eggs (supposed to be plain for the kids - oops!)

1 lb butter, 1 pkg chocolate chips, 2 lb pkg brown sugar (for the cookies, rest of the ingredients from the pantry)

I didn't note the organic/non-organic split on the above, but this meal was a really easy one to do nearly entirely organically. Even organic free range eggs are still really cheap protein!

Cost: $106.44 or $4.04/adult (includes the 12% pantry fee)

Next up, Jambalaya again. And then after that, a new idea - a Rotisserie Chicken dinner. Since I can buy fully cooked really tasty rotisserie chickens from the grocery store for less money than I can buy chickens and cook them myself (not to mention that we don't really have the oven space to do enough), that's what I'm going to do. I'll do up a vegetarian main and the sides myself, and just send someone out to the store for chickens shortly before dinner. Should end up easy and cheap!

Edited by tammylc (log)

Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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then you'll have all those chicken carcass to make soup!

I was thinking that myself. I should be able to make up a couple big pots of stock. I could reduce it way down, freeze it, and use it for my next common meal.

Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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  • 2 weeks later...

Don't know if I've written about this here before, but we have a nightly ritual at common meal. One of the children clangs on a glass and shouts out an (often unintelligible) "Thanks to the cooks!" and everyone claps. A minute later, another child will clang on a glass and shout "Thanks to the cleaners!" and everyone claps.

Tonight was a little different. I made chocolate cake for dessert. It's a super easy chocolate cake recipe, but it looks *really* impressive, thanks to a chocolate ganache poured over the top that gives it that shiny smooth finish. As soon as I put it out, a line queued up. And once most people had served themselves, somebody clanged on a glass and shouted "Thanks for dessert!" First time I've ever heard or had *that* happen. Nice!

Dinner was tasty. I made the same jambalaya I've made a bunch of times before, and it's always a hit. Tonight's was especially good, because the store I shopped at had some really nice andouille sausage. I really like this meal because not only is it tasty, it's fast, easy and cheap to boot! I just wish there was some way to make the vegetarian version taste anywhere near as good as the meat eater version (well, adding chicken and sausage fat would work, but then it wouldn't be vegetarian anymore...) But I guess the veggies don't know what they're missing.

Oh, and note to self - given that this is a cheap meal, I should probably make extra - we never have leftovers, and people are usually scrounging around for seconds. When calculating how much to make, I should think of the base recipe as serving 4-5, not 6.

I'm too tired tonight, but at some point I need to write up the recipe/ technique. I've made a number of adaptations from the Cook's Illustrated version that I started with, so it would be good to document those so I don't forget the steps.

Since there are 5 Thursdays in March, I get to (have to?) cook next Thursday too. I'm doing the rotisserie chicken dinner I talked about above - buying cooked rotisserie chickens, and making the side dishes and vegetarian main course. Should be tasty. And easy.

Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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<b>Rotisserie Chicken Dinner</b>

Well, it was tasty, but not as easy as I thought it might be. I ended up working my tail off. In part because I made an overambitious dessert. Tuesday night's cook had made a dessert that used 5 dozen egg yolks, so I figured I'd do something to use up the whites. I made a fabulous Brown Butter Almond Cake. It's really good, but too much work for common meal, especially when there are 64 people signed up, requiring me to make 4 cakes.

So by the time the actual cooking started at 4, I'd already put in a couple hours work making cakes, plus shopping time this morning. It was fun, but my feet are killing me now!

Notes for the future: 25 lbs of mashed potatoes was too much. Lots of leftovers. But, on the other hand, the meal still came in under $4, so maybe bounty is okay - all the leftovers went home with people, so it's not like things were wasted.

ITotal of 64 people: 27 meat eaters, 15 vegetarians, 1 teen meat, 5 big kids, and 16 little kids. Total cost: $178.60 (plus another $7.58 for staple items that come out of the pantry fund and aren't charged directly to my meal). So $4.42 per adult, including the pantry fee.

The menu:

8 <b>Rotisserie Chickens</b> - fully cooked, purchased from Meijer. I called a couple hours in advance so they'd have 8 ready for us. Even though the store is very close, we underestimated the time it would take for Nancy to get up there, get the chickens, pay and get back. She left at 5:25 and didn't get back until nearly 6. Which did not give us enough time to calmly carve 8 chickens, and we were still doing it at 6:30.

For the vegetarians: <b>Stuffed Portabellas</b>

16 portabella mushroom caps

2 logs goat cheese

1 jar roasted red pepper

2 onions

I sprinkled the mushrooms with olive oil, salt and pepper, and baked them for 10 minutes, then set aside. I caramelized the onions and once they were cool I added the goat cheese and chopped up roasted peppers, and distributed that mixture across the mushroom caps. Then I just had to throw them in the oven for another 10-15 minutes to heat them back up and finish them off.

<b>Mashed Potatoes</b>

25 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes (20 lbs probably would have been fine)

2 sticks of butter

1/2 gallon of whole milk (non-homogenized organic pasture fed milk from a local farmer, to be precise. It's great stuff)

Fortunately we found the industrial size potato masher I had picked up at the restaurant supply store a while back - I looked forever, and eventually found it in the back of a cupboard I'd already looked in several times. But it made short work of all those potatoes.

<b>Ginger Glazed Carrots</b>

10 lbs carrots

2 sticks butter

4 bottles Reed's Extra Ginger Brew

1 bunch parsley

chili powder and salt from the pantry

This is a great recipe from Alton Brown, where you use ginger ale to make the glaze for the carrots. It's super easy. Doing the recipe for a crowd does require managing the liquid correctly. You need to do it in batches, so the liquid can reduce down to a glaze before the carrots overcook. While the original recipe calls for 8 oz gingerale to 1 lb of carrots, if you are trying to do a multiple batch in one pan, you can't multiply the gingerale straight out, or you get the same overcooking problem. For bulk cooking, 2.5 lbs of carrots to 12 oz gingerale, 4 tbsp butter, 1 tsp chili powder and a generous sprinkling of salt worked out very well. I cooked two pans at once so it didn't take so long to do all four batches.

<b>Roasted Brussels Sprouts</b>

7 lbs brussels sprouts

olive oil, salt, pepper from the pantry

I'd planned to buy 8 lbs, and changed my mind to 7 at the last minute. Could have stuck with 8 - they went fast.

<b>Green Salad</b>

4 5-oz pkgs mixed greens

Not a lot of salad, because they didn't have the 1 lb pkgs I usually buy, and there was plenty of other food.

<b>Brown Butter Almond Cake</b>

5 sticks butter

2 lbs almonds (only used a little over a lb, but I had to buy them in 1 lb pkgs)

1 c almond slices

36 egg whites (frozen and thawed, leftover from Tuesday's dessert)

sour cream (leftover from some previous meal)

spiced rum (from my house)

cake flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla

Excellent recipe, if a little too multi-stepped for common meal. Brown the butter, set aside. Grind the almonds and sugar together until fine, mix with flour, baking powder and salt. Add rum, vanilla and sour cream to the butter. Beat egg whites and sugar to soft peaks. Fold it all into each other, pour into buttered, parchment lined springform pan. Sprinkle with almond slices, bake.

Because of the nature of the recipe and our equipment, I needed to make 4 separate batches, so this was extremely time consuming, and not something I'll make for common meal again. It sure was good, though. I'd made it at home about a week ago, so I knew that I needed to increase the salt (from a pinch to about 1/2 - 3/4 tsp). Much more balanced with the extra salt. And at home I'd substituted AP flour because I didn't have any cake flour - the texture is definitely better with cake flour.

If I hadn't made the overambitious dessert and had picked up the chickens a little earlier, it would have been much easier, so I'll have to keep it in mind for the future. People didn't seem to mind my little chicken cheat at all...

Edited by tammylc (log)

Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I'll be doing the carrots this weekend - I don't know how I missed them on AB's show. My MIL is staying with us - she can't eat seeds, nuts, etc, so that would be a great veg to make for her. thanks!!!

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I'll be doing the carrots this weekend - I don't know how I missed them on AB's show. My MIL is staying with us - she can't eat seeds, nuts, etc, so that would be a great veg to make for her. thanks!!!

Here's the link to the atual recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/re...6_29954,00.html

Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Sounds great.  I'm going to make those portabellos for dinner tonight.  Thanks.

There was half a mushroom left after dinner last night, so I brought it home and had it tonight. Wow, it was tasty. Definitely going into the rotation. Hope you enjoyed it!

Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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  • 2 weeks later...

Now, for something completely different...

I host a wine club for my cohousing community. April marked the one year anniversary of our monthly gatherings, so we decided to celebrate with a big dinner. I had originally expected that I'd spearhead the general planning, then pass off entire courses to other people to be in charge of, but then my control freak tendencies kicked in, and I ended up being much more "in charge" than I'd originally thought I would. Which had me a little stressed in the days leading up to it. Fortunately I had a ton of help yesterday. T did most of the shopping on Friday. I did some advance prep on Friday night, as did K, our "pastry chef." Then at 3 pm yesterday a whole horde of people descended on the common house to get everything ready for our 6 pm dinner. The menu was such that about 85% of the components could be prepared in advance and just reheated for service, which made things go pretty smoothly and with only minimal delays between courses.

We had 16 diners. 2 were vegetarians. I thought it was important, given the celebratory nature of the event, for the vegetarians to get to have a similar pairing experience as the rest of us. Which meant modifying some courses, and making one entirely different, since all of the components had meat products in them. The other wrinkle was when one of our members had to start a no-gluten diet on the Tuesday before the dinner. We made modifications where we could - he brought some precooked gluten-free pasta to use for the pasta course, I used tamari instead of soy sauce in the ribs, we pulled out some of the lemon sabayon for him before putting it into the tart crust, and he ate the gelato straight up. But who knew that blue cheese contains gluten! That was a bummer.

I was really pleased with all the wine pairings. This crowd has been fairly skeptical of old world wines, but I felt like the dinner setting really gave them a chance to shine.

The final menu, with wines, and some pictures:

<b>Rosemary Parmesan Coins</b>

<i>NV Collabrigo Prosecco Spumante Brut</i>

Really great hors d'ouevres. Easy and very tasty. Sort of like a savory cookie. We had these and the sparkling wine out for people to have as they were arriving and before they sat down.

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v300/photos/2/246486/3420727/Parmesancrackers-vi.jpg">

<b>Mixed Greens with Zingerman’s Creamery Goat Cheese, Roasted Red and Gold Beets, and Toasted Walnuts</b>

<i>2004 Jardin Sauvignon Blanc, Stellensboch, South Africa</i>

The goat cheese was more aged than I remembered. E, who works at Zingerman's did the actual buying, so I wasn't there to assess. I might have used something else. But it was a very good salad. The planned sherry vinaigrette fell victim to my not actually having the bottle of sherry vinager that I was sure I had, so we used a balsalmic vinaigrette instead, which was fine.

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v294/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080336_edited-vi.jpg">

<b>Farfalle with Smoked Salmon and Creamy Vodka Sauce</b>

<i>2004 Domaine Cordier Père& Fils “Terroir de Charnay” Macon</i>

The only "eh" course, I thought. Although it probably would have been better when it was warm, but I was doing some things to get started on the next course. Boring plate - I had planned on making a chive oil to drizzle on the plate to jazz things up a bit, but didn't have time.

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v298/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080337_edited-vi.jpg">

<b>Blood Orange - Rosemary Sorbet</b>

Very good. The blood oranges were totally anemic though. The duck course that followed was the course that required the most last minute preparation, so I added the sorbet to fill in the long gap.

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v277/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080341-vi.jpg">

<b>Seared Duck Breast with Dried Cherry Sauce, Lentils and Swiss Chard</b>

or

<b>Lentils, Butternut Squash and Shiitake Mushrooms with Dried Cherry Sauce</b>

<i>2004 Domain Robert Chevillon Bourgogne Passetoutgrain</i>

I'd written down a great to-do list, but the one thing I'd forgotten to write down was "score skin on duck breasts" so I forgot. Luckily, I'd put them into cold pans, so I realized it right away and was able to pull them out. Then none of the knives I had handy were sharp enough to cut the skin... ugh. This was definitely the most hectic course. Sear the duck, rest the duck, carve the duck, saute the chard, heat up the sauce, get everything plated. The vegetarian offering was totally different too, so that was a whole other set of things to do at the same time (although I delegated that to someone else).

Duck

<img src="http://images9.fotki.com/v182/photos/2/246486/3420727/Duck2_edited-vi.jpg">

Veggie

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v293/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080344_edited-vi.jpg">

<b>Five Spice Braised Short Ribs (or Portabellas), Parsnip-Turnip Puree, Snow Peas</b>

<i>2000 J.L. Chave “Offerus” Saint-Joseph</i>

I put a dry rub on the ribs Friday night, then seared and braised them Saturday morning, then strained and reduced the braising liquid into an intense sauce Saturday afternoon. The portion size was waaay to big on this one - based on my test recipe I was expecting the short ribs to cook down more, and these ones didn't. Everything got eaten, but people were definitely feeling full, so I sent them all out for a walk while we prepped the cheese course.

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v296/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080345_edited-vi.jpg">

<b>Tasting of blue cheeses</b>

<i>NV Alvear Carlos VII Amontillado</i>

The cheeses were Cashel Blue from Ireland, Stilton from England, Roquefort from France, and Gorgonzola from Italy. We served a variety of sides along with - some pears, some port glazed walnuts, a hearty nut and seed bread, and a little dollop of port reduction. The port glazed walnuts are amazing! And they played especially well with the excellent wine.

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v277/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080347_edited-vi.jpg">

<b>Lemon Sabayon Tart with Pine Nut Crust and Honeyed Mascarpone Cream</b>

<i>2002 Peller Estates Riesling Icewine</i>

A yummy and easy recipe from the French Laundry Cookbook. And a *great* wine pairing.

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v295/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080351_edited-vi.jpg">

<b>Gianduja Gelato Filled Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce</b>

<i>Warres Otima 10 year Tawny Porto</i>

Wow, this was the ever evolving course. We'd originally planned dark chocolate filled profiteroles, caramel sauce and Banyuls as the wine. But I couldn't get any Banyuls. So at the last minute I changed the gelato to Gianduja, as I thought I'd serve a Vin Santo instead. But then I couldn't get that! So we ended up with a tawny port. The caramel sauce didn't turn out - I think the recipe was messed up. So Katie brought over a jar of Sanders bittersweet chocolate sauce and we used that instead. And in the end, I think it turned out for the best - it was a really nice match for the wine.

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v296/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080353_edited-vi.jpg">

Lessons learned - I was overambitious and took too much on myself instead of delegating. With a few exceptions (pasta, salad dressing, cheese, most of dessert) I basically planned and executed the whole meal. If I were to do it again (next year?) I'd need to pick a couple of things to concentrate on and give away the rest, even if it compromised my "vision."

Too much food. Primarily the short rib course - one bone each would have been plenty, instead of the two we had.

Money. When we were planning the dinner, I told people it would be $20. But as things evolved, the price kept rising, and it ended up at about$25/person. Not a huge deal, but it stressed me out because I know that some of our people are really price-sensitive. I know being worried about $5 will sound silly to some of you, but I just know other people's realities, and since I was the one planning the menu, I felt responsible for going over the budget I'd set myself. Even at $25 it was an incredible bargain for an 8 course dinner with 7 wines.

And because there's no such thing as too many photos, here's a few more:

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v295/photos/2/246486/3420727/Platingsalad-vi.jpg">

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v300/photos/2/246486/3420727/ManySalads_edited-vi.jpg">

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v288/photos/2/246486/3420727/PlatingDuck-vi.jpg">

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v289/photos/2/246486/3420727/Table-vi.jpg">

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v297/photos/2/246486/3420727/PlatingBeef_edited-vi.jpg">

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v295/photos/2/246486/3420727/Cleanup-vi.jpg">

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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As always, I enjoyed reading your descriptions of the process -- your thinking, the shopping frustrations, the cost, all of it -- and the photos make it even better. Thanks.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Wow, Tammy that's an amazing dinner! Very impressive!

The vegetarian course with the mushrooms and lentils looks so good. How did you get it like that? was it molded and turned out?

and one more question.. how did you make the port-glazed walnuts?

Edited by Chufi (log)
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Wow, Tammy that's an amazing dinner! Very impressive!

The vegetarian course with the mushrooms and lentils looks so good. How did you get it like that? was it molded and turned out?

and one more question.. how did you make the port-glazed walnuts?

Thanks!

Yes, the veggie course was molded and turned out. I'd planned to use a ring mold but I didn't get around to getting the PVC pipe. Then I tried to use tuna cans, but the empty ones we had available had weird molded bottoms so we couldn't cut both ends. So we ended up just using some glass bowls, layering the ingredients, then turning it out on the plate. Which made this course waaay larger than it needed to be, because of the size of what we had available.

Here's the link to the Port Glazed Walnuts. They were excellent.

Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Didn't I see the recipe for the Rosemary-Parm Coins in a recent issue of some magazine? It sound familiar, and great for nibbles.

This whole meal sounds incredible. Very impressive

Don't feel bad - my control freak tendencies would have kicked in, too.

Thanks so much for sharing.

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Didn't I see the recipe for the Rosemary-Parm Coins in a recent issue of some magazine? It sound familiar, and great for nibbles.

This whole meal sounds incredible. Very impressive

Don't feel bad - my control freak tendencies would have kicked in, too.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Yep - the Rosemary-Parm Coins are from the "Weekend Cooking" special of Fine Cooking magazine. The braised short ribs were based on a recipe from another recent Fine Cooking issue as well.

They are definitely great for nibbles. And pretty easy to make.

Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Cooking for 80

I haven't made Beef Bourguignon since the '60s, so when I signed up to do a dinner at my club I thought it would be fairly simple but interesting. Around 80 people, mostly hungry males so I estimate 40 pounds of boneless beef. This JC recipe looks good but Google produces hundreds of variations. Anyone have other recommendations?

I think I will be able to scale things okay except for the herb bouquet. I need to go from a bouquet to ounces of herbs. Any suggestions? Julia's recipe serves six to eight regular people.

For the pearl onions, I'm planning to use canned just because of the sheer volume. Any strong objections? I'll probably use fresh mushrooms. Julia recommends zinfandel or Chianti. I'm probably go with four liter boxes. I don't expect anyone here to admit they drink wine from a box, but If you heard of a reliable brand from a trusted friend, I would appreciate advice.

I have two commercial ovens and a full commercial kitchen to work with, so I don't expect any problems with that aspect.

The dinner will be in June, so I have plenty of time to plan. Any "gotchas" to look out for?

Jim

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Cooking for 80

I haven't made Beef Bourguignon since the '60s, so when I signed up to do a dinner at my club I thought it would be fairly simple but interesting. Around 80 people, mostly hungry males so I estimate 40 pounds of boneless beef. This JC recipe looks good but Google produces hundreds of variations. Anyone have other recommendations?

I've made Beef Bourguignon a couple times and talked about it in this thread. Go to "print this topic" and search for Beef Burgundy to find the posts, if you're interested. You don't have my price or time constraints, so the reasons it doesn't work well for me won't apply to you, and I think it sounds like a great idea.

The recipe I've used is from Cook's Illustrated, and it turns out quite nicely.

I think I will be able to scale things okay except for the herb bouquet. I need to go from a bouquet to ounces of herbs. Any suggestions? Julia's recipe serves six to eight regular people.

In my experience, I've tended towards making several pots of whatever it is I'm making, rather than trying to do one ultra large one. This means that things like bouquet garni can actually just be doubled or tripled or whatever per pot. It also reduces cooking time, as bigger pots of food take much longer to cook.

So if Julia's recipe serves 6-8 and you need to cook enough for 80 then you need 10-12 batches. I'd do three or four pots. Doing them individually like that makes it much easier for the home cook who just does occasional bulk cooking - you don't have to make as many modifications that way.

For the pearl onions, I'm planning to use canned just because of the sheer volume. Any strong objections? I'll probably use fresh mushrooms. Julia recommends zinfandel or Chianti. I'm probably go with four liter boxes. I don't expect anyone here to admit they drink wine from a box, but If you heard of a reliable brand from a trusted friend, I would appreciate advice.

I think frozen pearl onions would be preferable to canned. Re. box wine - I know that people like the Black Box Chardonnay - I don't know if Black Box makes a red. Do you have a Trader Joe's near you? You'd probably get better quality wine buying some $3.99 or $4.99 bottles from TJ's without a huge increase in cost. The quality of beef burgundy is largely at the whim of the wine you make it with - better wine makes it better, so buy the best that will work in your budget. (I have a friend who made BB from the leftovers of a mid to high end Burgundy tasting, and he said it was incredible.)

The dinner will be in June, so I have plenty of time to plan. Any "gotchas" to look out for?

Just the usual advice I give everyone - everything takes longer, so be sure to alot yourself plenty of time. Especially for something like BB which needs long slow cooking. I just looked at that recipe, and it's saying to check after 40 minutes?! That's crazy! Expect more like 2 1/2 - 3 hours to get truly tender wonderful beef. Maybe longer because you're doing triple or quad batches.

Tammy's Tastings

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Dinner for 40

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