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Old 07-05-2009, 01:14 PM   #1
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Catering a party. need major help!!!

Hey guys! I'm catering a party on the 19th for 30 people. It's going to be lunch and im drawing a blank on what to make and especially the portions. Please help me!!

I know im going to be doing a panzanella salad and a sandwich platter, but I have no idea what to do for the platter or how much of everything to get. Please please hellpp!

Thank you,
TJ

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Old 07-05-2009, 02:03 PM   #2
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Without getting into specifics right away, my first feelings are:

1) Why does it "have" to be a "Panzanella Salad"? Because frankly, serving what constitutes a "bread" salad along with a sandwich platter (more bread) is kind of odd, & not something I would do. I'd at least think about other choices.

2) Regardless of the recipe suggestions you get, always keep in mind that these days, with a large group, you're best off serving a few basic items that folks who do & do not eat meat can choose from & be happy & satisfied. Try to look at your selections from the viewpoint of both camps & take it from there.

3) What's the group made up of? All women? Mixed? Children?
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:11 PM   #3
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well I suppose I dont have to do a panzanella salad... I'll replace that with something else? I dunno im kinda lost here :(

It's going to be a mix of middle age / elderly people and a few kids.

Do you have any good ideas for recipes for lunch that would keep everyone happy?
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:17 PM   #4
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Are people going to walk through a line and make their own sandwich and plate? If so, you could do a simple yet good chicken salad, lots of different veggies to choose from in case someone wanted a veggie sandwich, and maybe a turkey and roast beef option. A summer salad with strawberries, blueberries, goat cheese, red onion, mint, and a white wine vinaigrette would be good. Either a potato salad or a macaroni salad to serve on the side and some fresh fruit.

Once you get your menu down then start concentrating on amounts.

I agree, panzanella AND sandwiches is a bit too bready.
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:22 PM   #5
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It's going to be buffet style and they wanted it to be lighter fare. I think ill switch the panzanella out with a light potato salad and maybe a pasta salad too...
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:42 PM   #6
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I would not do both a mac salad and potato those would be carb heavy add a fruit salad or platter instead. older folks love fruit in hot weather.If you want sandwiches I would get rolls, meats and cheeses and the fixings such as sliced tomato,sweet onion,lettuce and let them put together their own. people are different with what they like on sandwiches some hate mustard or mayo this way they wont pick through to see what is inside of a premade sandwich and it will save you a lot of time..Kitchenelfs idea is wonderful look it over and I think you just might go with her ideas.Decide then let us help with recipe ideas...Sandwiches ready to go are great if you know who you are fixing them for..Chicken salad, ham salad, tuna,, we even do a roast beef with green onions,mayo,,The choice is yours' good luck
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:46 PM   #7
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One of my favorites to make for a crowd is salad nicoise - so easy to make ahead and adjust quantities. It looks smashing and people can pick and choose what they want to eat. Here is a link to a recipe and pics if you don't already have one:

Nicoise Salad Recipe | Simply Recipes

Cobb salad is also a good idea, along the same lines.....
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:51 PM   #8
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Before going any further - do you have a specific budget for this? Also, is this going to be indoors or outdoors? Because outdoors in particular (indoors too, but not as regimented with a/c) will require you to think of a way to keep any mayo-based & other items safely chilled throughout your food service.
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:51 PM   #9
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One thing that I have done on several luncheons I have catered and it is a big hit is to take french breads, slice in half length-wise like you would for garlic bread. I butter each half and then add different fillings and broil (or grill) and then cut in serving slices and serve.

Some of the fillings I use are:
beef with horseradish mustard and grated cheddar
Ham with Dijon and Swiss cheese
Tuna with mozzarella
turkey with mustard, mayo and Swiss
tomatoes and cheddar as a vegetarian choice

You can make them fairly healthy by using fresh and lite products. Also, they can be made ahead, wrapped and refrigerated until you need them and only take a few minutes under the broiler.

I agree about the salads - how about a pasta, a green and a caprese?

As for quantities, allow roughly 1.5 (regular) sandwiches per person and a cup of salad plus 10% extra.
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MexicoKaren View Post
One of my favorites to make for a crowd is salad nicoise - so easy to make ahead and adjust quantities. It looks smashing and people can pick and choose what they want to eat. Here is a link to a recipe and pics if you don't already have one:

Nicoise Salad Recipe | Simply Recipes

Cobb salad is also a good idea, along the same lines.....
Those are two of my favourite as well, Karen.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:29 PM   #11
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You fellow responders are way cool. I'm liking some of the ideas for just a single summer lunch type menu for myself :-)

But my spin is on BC's contribution. You should always treat these type situations in life as a project. First of all, what is your budget (how much per head), what is the breakdown of the guests. Have you queried how many vegetarians vs. meat eaters, how many kids? I loved the nicoise salad suggestion. Just keep meats (should be two choices like beef and chicken) and veggies separate, and maybe not dressed (have a vinaigrette and a ranch type dressing available). Anyway, you probably want .5lb of meat per guest, have several salad types available, breads, possible vegetable trays, and then maybe two choices for desert. With any given budget/per head, that should give you an idea based on the number of guests what you can spend. Base your recipes and quantities on that. What about refreshments? Some kid based, some adult based. I typically would take the number 30 as a base number. Some people will eat more than a serving, some will eat less. If I'm short on budget, I would budget on 35, but if the funds were there, I'd plan for 40. Leftovers can go home with the ones that stay the longest :-)

A couple of places to give you ideas.

Party Menu Planning Made Easy
Menu Planning
Search Results: bonappetit.com

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