Author Topic: Cooking for over 100 people  (Read 3911 times)

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Cattaby

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Cooking for over 100 people
« on: January 27, 2008, 07:38:04 PM »
Hi all,

twice a year I am asked to help my friends out as camp cook for their 'band camp' (yes, it actually is a band camp, where all my friends who are in concert bands, stage bands, orchestras, etc get together and rehearse for their big semester concerts).

I've been cooking for them for the past 5 camps, and am am always looking for ways to increase time efficiency in the kitchen, as well as the general taste of food, etc ;)

At the moment, the typical camp menu is:

Saturday morning: Self serve breakfast (cereal, toast, etc)

Saturday morning tea: Honey joys, brownies

Saturday lunch: Rolls with salad and lunch meat. Heated canned soup.

Saturday afternoon tea: Homemade pizza

Saturday dinner: Spag bol/vegie pasta sauce, garlic bread. Peach crumble for dessert

Sunday breakfast: Bacon and eggs

Sunday lunch: BBQ (home made burgers, vegie burgers, salads)


I'm looking for recipes that are good when cooked in bulk and are space/time friendly. (E.g. I'm thinking of phasing the Honey Joys out of this semester's menu for something else because of the fiddly little paper muffin cups, while the brownies are easy cos you just whack them in a tray... space efficient too because they fill the WHOLE tray rather than leave little gaps...) Things that are cheap to make would be a bonus too!

Any suggestions would be much appreciated - especially for Sunday breakfast, as I think the vegetarians get a little shafted (they only get egg, although sometimes i fry up tomatoes for the ones i recognise :P). Suggestions for variations in Saturday dinner would also be good, as it's been pasta ever since I've been there.



A few things to take into consideration:

- Space is limited - it's your typical camp cooksite (so biggish fridge, bigger than your average household stove/oven space), but bench space gets a bit crowded at times. Things that can be cooked in bulk rather than individually would be a life saver.

- As I cook for over 100 people, food can't be TOO fancy, as there are a lot of picky eaters.

- Anything that saves time is a bonus - there's nothing worse than standing around in a hot kitchen having to stir something every 2 minutes. Especially when you're doing that and the orchestra is playing the same bit. Over and over again. And again. And again...


Apologies for the long post - and any help would be much appreciated :)

SkylerY

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Re: Cooking for over 100 people
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2008, 08:39:49 PM »
This may not be what you are looking for, but from where I come from (Southeast Georgia), Low Country Boil is a popular easy meal to fix for large groups.  I thought of this when I saw your subject because I just made this the other day (on a much lower scale), but had discovered this link to a recipe for a Low Country Boil for 100 people.  Even though it has shrimp and sausages in it, you'll notice on that website that it says there is an option to cook everything separately and have separate dishes.  This way everyone can eat what they want without any cross contaminations.  I was at a function last summer where it was done in this separated fashion and it worked out great.

Here is the link if you are interested:

http://www.kingofpeace.org/lowcountryboil.htm

~ Cristen

ETA - I just checked the website again, and noticed that the amount listed for each ingredient is for 30-40 people.  They triple it (in varying degrees of spiciness) to get to the 100 people.  So it really should be 15 lbs of shrimp, 9 lbs of corn, etc. etc.  Hope that makes sense!
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 08:43:34 PM by SkylerY »

AdakAK

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Re: Cooking for over 100 people
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2008, 09:08:50 PM »
Taste of Home does a meal for a crowd in each magazine.  You might look and see if your library has any back issues you could browse through.  The one I had handy has stew for 120, and carrot cake for 24-30, so you should find some tried-and-tested ones to feed a crowd. 

Cattaby

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Re: Cooking for over 100 people
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2008, 02:15:01 AM »
I'll suggest the country boil to the committee - it looks pretty simple to do :)

Do you know if Taste of Home circulates in Australia? I've never seen it myself, but it may be one of those magazines that does cross over.

Thanks for the suggestions - and please, keep them coming. Does anyone know a good vegetarian breakfast casserole recipe for example? :)

SkylerY

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Re: Cooking for over 100 people
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2008, 08:57:04 AM »
Hmmm, are eggs to be excluded?  Can't think of a breakfast casserole that doesn't require eggs . . .  Even the Baked Oatmeal for a Crowd in The Cookbook Project folder requires eggs. 

AdakAK

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Re: Cooking for over 100 people
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2008, 09:09:43 AM »
There is an option on the website to subscribe internationally in Australia.  If you go to their website http://www.tasteofhome.com/ and use advanced search there is a potluck/crowd option and you can narrow it by main dish/dessert and by ingredient or type (veggie/low sodium and even cook time). 

Ehelldame

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Re: Cooking for over 100 people
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2008, 09:23:42 AM »
First, buy the book "Food For Fifty".  It's actually a food service textbook but well worth it.

Second, on the Ehell wedblog there is a post about large scale food prep at http://etiquettehell.com/wedblog/?p=44    The Growlies web site linked from there has a lot of resources.

Venus193

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Re: Cooking for over 100 people
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2008, 09:29:21 AM »
My boeuf bourguignon recipe does very well for large groups; you just need large things to marinate in and large stockpots to cook in.  It's in the Cookbook Project folder, as is my meat pie recipe.

Modified to explain:  My chicken recipe is there, posted by someone else from the old forum.  It's the one with walnuts and cognac.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 12:49:31 PM by Venus193 »

Ehelldame

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Re: Cooking for over 100 people
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2008, 09:48:57 AM »
I served Blueberry French Toast to 75 men a few years ago....

BLUEBERRY FRENCH TOAST

12 slices day-old white bread, crusts removed (this works best with loaf bread like Italian/French breads)

2 packages (8ounces each) cream cheese (I actually use an equal quantity of whole milk ricotta and add it to the egg/milk mixture)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

Sauce: (can be made ahead and then reheated)
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup water
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tbsp. butter or margarine

Cut bread into 1-inch cubes; place half in a greased 13-inch X 9-inch X 2-inch baking dish. Cut cream cheese into 1-inch cubes; place over bread. Top with blueberries and remaining bread.  In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs.  Add milk and syrup; mix well.  Pour over bread mixture.  Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.  Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover; bake 25-30 minutes more or until golden brown and the center is set.  In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; add water. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in blueberries; reduce heat.  Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until berries have burst. Stir in butter until melted.  Serve over French Toast.  Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

I make the it night before, including the blueberry sauce, refrigerate it overnight and then bake in the morning and reheating sauce.  You have to be careful to make sure the center cooks thoroughly. 

 

I'm serving a sit-down dinner for 100 in March using a tiny kitchen so what I have planned is this:

* Sliced spiral ham with raisin sauce
* Baked potato bar (potatoes wrapped in foil and can be baked ahead of time.  Placed hot in a cooler or styrofoam container, they will hold their heat for a loooong time leaving the oven free to warm up the ham)  Bar items include sour cream, butter, peas, shredded cheese, broccoli and cheese, chives, etc.
* Large green salad
* Rolls
*German chocolate pie (made the day before)


My daughter cooks for friends who attend a large annual conference and she has a chicken and wild rice dish that fits a lot of your requirements.  I'll have to ask her for that recipe.
 


Cattaby

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Re: Cooking for over 100 people
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2008, 06:10:49 AM »
Fantastic - thanks for all the links. I'll definitely be scouring these and hopefully we have some awesome new treats for the happy campers :)

Cattaby

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Re: Cooking for over 100 people
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2008, 06:14:03 AM »
Hmmm, are eggs to be excluded?  Can't think of a breakfast casserole that doesn't require eggs . . .  Even the Baked Oatmeal for a Crowd in The Cookbook Project folder requires eggs. 

I'm pretty sure eggs are allowed - can't remember the last time they were excluded, and I include them in the brownies as well :)