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Old 02-22-2006, 12:49 PM   #1
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Some people ...

I belong to this organization/club/religious group, call it what you wish, that is not important.
We do this event once a year and I usually make Chinese for it. No big deal, maybe 100 people or so, I have the routine down to the “t”. So this year a person in charge calls my wife, or other way around, and they start talking about the event and how she wants to do Mexican theme and food this year, and is asking my wife for ideas. Oh, great, I do not have to be involved, they are hiring somebody to cook Mexican, I told my self. Yeah, right. Last night she calls me and asks what day am I available to cook. To cook?! I don’t know how to make Mexican and not for 100 people. Where do people get the cahones to ask such thing? I really do not mind cooking, but I really never cooked Mexican food. Now add to it that it is Kosher, which means I can’t just pull a recipe from internet and go make it, it has to be adapted and change to fit for Kosher, and not even Kosher style that some places would do, I mean Real Kosher. I’m not even talking about the fact that I already committed my self to cook for somebody else for that same kind of event on the same day. That was my spaghetti question for 100 people.
I can’t say no, I can’t tell them that they are idiots should think ahead and at least have decency to ask.

Well okay, now that I’m done venting I should ask for your help to plan this party and cooking advice. How do I make Mexican/Spanish rice for that many people? We’ll have soft taco shells (I hope) so we can make station where people can just load the tacos themselves. What can I make for such station? Mexican corn, any good recipe for it? I have pretty good recipe for guacamole, but probably should make salsa too. Any advice for it? Any advice on freezing stuff, the event is in the middle of the week and I would have to cook on Sunday before.
I can search internet, but maybe somebody has some solid tried-and-true recipe.

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Old 02-22-2006, 12:54 PM   #2
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I think you should vent for a few more hours! Good luck! I wish I had some recipes for you but... Hubby doesn't like Mexican ( other than fajitas) so don't have many ideas.
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Old 02-22-2006, 01:28 PM   #3
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CharlieD, you must be a saint. I probably would have just said I had another commitment.

Just an idea, and have no idea how hard this would be to turn into a strict Kosher dish, but it seems to me, no expert am I, that most items would fit.

How about a chicken/turkey mole? Could make a couple of pans and freeze.

Serve with tortillas, a side of guacamole salad, and maybe some Mexican rice, or beans.

It seems that everything could be done before, except for the guac.

Just an idea.

It is certainly easier to do a taco station with some meat, lettuce, tomatoes, the usual stuff, salsa and hot stuff. Some beans, and the Spanish rice.

Anyway, agree totally with pdswife that I would probably be venting for a lot longer than you did.

If you want to give it another go, be our guests.
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Old 02-22-2006, 01:55 PM   #4
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I'm still venting, inside. But have to work on the menu, will have to do venting later. I like the mole idea, exept i have no idea what it is. I personally do not like Mexican, that is why i am not familiar with it.So tell me more.
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:28 PM   #5
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I love mexican food,tamales,enchillidas,taco salads,taco's,burrito's,mexican rice,refried beans,nacho's and maybe some chili?
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:43 PM   #6
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It all sounds fine, the problem is I wouldn't know the difference between taco or burito if it ihead over the head.
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:44 PM   #7
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I would agree with Kimbaby on ...
* enchiladas ... could be made casserole style (layered tortillas, meat mixture & cheese - I have a recipe, not kosher though, if you think you might be able to use it) OR could be rolled, sauced and baked. Either way, they would do well in chaf'ing pans (I know I'm not spelling that right - sorry!).
* taco salads and burritos ... if you are doing a "do it yourself" taco station, just have the salad shells and larger burrito shells ready for people to make those too. You could have a nice "diagram" of how to do them for people to see so you are not explaining it 100 times. I would think something like that might be available on line.
* mexican rice ... we do ours with spanish rice - cooked with tomato and extra onion & green pepper and then add corn. Would also do well in a chaf'ing dish.

Also, when we had our community picnic last year, there were several Hispanic booths and the most popular was something they called "Mexican Corn" ... they grilled ears of corn that were sprinkled with chili powder and then served with mayonaise and lemon wedges. I know, sounds odd (at least it did to me) but it was delicious.

Also, someone suggested fajitas ... another easy station as the ingredients don't have to be kept separate (except the fillings you may want to use like sour cream, beans or lettuce) so they could do well in a chaf'ing dish as well.

How much time and how many helpers do you have for this?
Good Luck!!
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:54 PM   #8
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Taco's will be smaller shells and generally only include meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato (and I think authentic taco's don't even have the lettuce actually). You can add extra's like onion and sour cream, depending on how big your mouth is (smile). You know the traditional shape of them (like a u) from hard shells but soft can be folded the same way, just in your hand.
A burrito on the other hand is enclosed ... where in Minnesota are you? If you are in the Cities, I would HIGHLY recommend you visit Bravo Burrito near the university as they have been the most authentic variation I have had (there used to be one in St. Cloud but I think it closed - boo hoo). You can fill them with whatever I have found (and tasted). Meat, beans, cheese and rice are the base - then add what you would like. Fold 2 sides in so they are covering about 1/2 of your tortilla. Then roll from one side to the other, enclosing your burrito. The shell is larger than a taco shell and are flour, not corn.
Does that help?
How many stations are you looking at having? Do you have servers or are you looking to do it all self serve / buffet style?

I honestly think that you will find this to be easier than you might think since it is "user friendly" like chinese food is. It's really (imVho) the same ingredients just presented in a variety of ways with each having a slightly different flare added to them...

You can doooo it!
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Old 02-22-2006, 03:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMediger
I would agree with Kimbaby on ...
* enchiladas ... could be made casserole style (layered tortillas, meat mixture & cheese - I have a recipe, not kosher though, if you think you might be able to use it) OR could be rolled, sauced and baked. Either way, they would do well in chaf'ing pans (I know I'm not spelling that right - sorry!).
* taco salads and burritos ... if you are doing a "do it yourself" taco station, just have the salad shells and larger burrito shells ready for people to make those too. You could have a nice "diagram" of how to do them for people to see so you are not explaining it 100 times. I would think something like that might be available on line.
* mexican rice ... we do ours with spanish rice - cooked with tomato and extra onion & green pepper and then add corn. Would also do well in a chaf'ing dish.

Also, when we had our community picnic last year, there were several Hispanic booths and the most popular was something they called "Mexican Corn" ... they grilled ears of corn that were sprinkled with chili powder and then served with mayonaise and lemon wedges. I know, sounds odd (at least it did to me) but it was delicious.

Also, someone suggested fajitas ... another easy station as the ingredients don't have to be kept separate (except the fillings you may want to use like sour cream, beans or lettuce) so they could do well in a chaf'ing dish as well.

How much time and how many helpers do you have for this?
Good Luck!!
i forgot the fajitas... how could I forget them,they are delicious....
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Old 02-22-2006, 03:40 PM   #10
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Thinking of bufet style, not sure how many helpers if any i will have, that is why I'm looking for things that are esy to freeze and then serve in the chafing dishes.
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:19 PM   #11
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wishing you lots of luck Charlie. I know you'll be great and every one will love your lunch!!
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:17 PM   #12
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When you say kosher, do you mean like Jewish style kosher? because if so, that is WAY more in depth than can be explained (I'm not Jewish, but when working for a catering co. I cooked at a synagog for a month for several LARGE parties and Bahmitzvas (sp?) it's crazy the "rules" you must follow. So basicalyl, what do you mean when you say "kosher"?
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:26 PM   #13
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Chef Jimmy, "crazy rules" is exactly what i ment.

So any sugestions?
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:24 PM   #14
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I don't know what the "crazy rules" are (I'm sorry!) so I don't know what is alright and what is not SO, I'll just be the idiot and ask ...

Can you have / serve: ground beef? sliced beef? chicken? what is the rule on veggies (tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, onion and corn)? what about corn or flour products like tortillas? what about rices?

I like these kind of challenges (and dream of being a caterer someday so my brain really likes this one) so have an idea but I don't want to offer something you can't use.

(edited for spelling ...)
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:47 PM   #15
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Why not just ask the woman that phoned what they want served and how to serve it and you will do the cooking? This takes the pressure off of you and places it on her, since it was her idea to begin with.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:15 PM   #16
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Well, I can say that there are many rules, first and formost, you cannot mix meat and dairy, which pretty much rules out mexican, (cheese, sour cream) I wouldn't eat mexican without those things. Secondly, you must use kosher ingredients (been blessed by the rabbi and made sure it was killed and processed in the correct manner..........but thats a different post.) You must use 2 sets of pots, pans, knives, ect.......... no two things (meat and dairy) can EVER be mixed. There are usually 2 separate kitchens. Like i said before, i'm not Jewish, but cooked at a synagog for a month (catering) I could not light the stove, but COULD adjust the heat????? nor could i even plug in a coffee pot! If you brought meat in the dairy kitchen and vice versa, you would get in BIG trouble. I can go on for a while, but hopefully you get the just of it. So are you cooking for Jews (jews is not a bad comment by the way?) I can tell you what
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:15 PM   #17
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JMediger, don't worry about rules, the main thing in this case no dairy allowed. Rest of the stuff is okay. J, please don’t be shy and tell me your ideas.

At this point I have desided (doesn’t mean that the boss will approve)

Mexican chicken soup

Tortia bar with fixings for people to chose, i.e. ground meat, chicken and beef strips, sliced bell peper, onion, beans, tomatoes, salsa etc.

Chips, guacamole and salsa on the tables

Mexican rice for the side dish(that is at this point my biggest concern, as I wonder how to cook such large quantity, actually how much do I need for 100 people?)

Some kind of beans (not sure)

Some kind of corn (not sure)

Margaritas,

churos (maybe)



Amber if only life was that simple. Not only I have to learn how to cook Mexican in the next week or so, but I also need to make up menu, tell them what and where to buy, and then deal with fact that they didn't buy or get me what I told them to.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:35 PM   #18
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mx dinner

I know what you are up aginst. The large groups add a dimension of difficulty.

I left you a spanish rice recipe but your idea of a taco station will be very easy and a big hit.

For an easy salsa use your favorite salsa add diced mango, a diced spanish onion, cilantro chopped, and diced roma tomatoes. his will add freshness and also strech the salsa so you don't break the bank.
Adjust the heat to your taste with whatever hot peppers you like, the pepper sauces have some vinegar and may alter the flavor you are trying to achieve.

All you are lacking are simple condiments to complete the taco station - or delegate these to someone else.

good luck, It will be fun.

Bob
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:58 PM   #19
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Thanks, Bob, I left you more questions.
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:15 PM   #20
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CD, that stinks. I'll tell these people how nuts they are since you can't! LOL!

If you're game, maybe we ought to say hi over coffee or something, depending where you are. I don't have anything up my sleeve, but I'm game to brainstorm, etc. T'would be fun to put a face to a name, and see if our mutual interest in cooking can help us both in our culinary endeavours!
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