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Old 11-20-2007, 03:21 PM   #1
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Question Utimate stupidity - need help recreating Mexican menu

Last year I did this Mexican party. It went well, thanks to many who helped me with the recipes here. The one thing I did not do and about to shoot my self, I did not write anything down.

I do have pretty good Idea about recipes, but not sure about quantities. So dear professionals please help me with the numbers.

Menu is very simple open taco bar for about 150 people adults and kids.

Here is quick run down:

Soft and/or hard shell tacos depends on availability
Ground meat
Shredded lettuce
Bell peppers (maybe, sliced or diced)
Tomatoes
Red onions
Guacamole
Maybe some chili peppers
Spanish rice like
Some kind of beans, if I can find refried would be the best if not Iíll make this mixture: beans, read onion, garlic and salt all put thru food processor
Tortilla chips
Salsa

Anything else? Iím open for any advice on menu and for sure need help with the numbers.
The even is kosher that is why there is no dairy products.

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Old 11-20-2007, 05:17 PM   #2
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Need to keep this one on the top, because need your help really bad.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:04 PM   #3
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Charlie, I just know that you've included them but I'm going to say it anyway----sour cream and shredded cheese are a must. Chill---everything is going to be just fine---you can't screw up this dish--really you can't.......what a wonderful thing that you're doing........
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:11 PM   #4
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Trouble is it is kosher so can't do the cheese and sour cream, not unless you use soy products which is a possibillity but I would anticipate most people would view them with mistrust.

I'm sorry Charlie that I can't help you with quantities, but I have to say that I love your thread title!
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:41 PM   #5
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Hi Charlie, I did a babyshower with a mexican menu for 60 - 65 people and I can tell you what I made. You have Kosher restrictions so no cheese and sour cream which normally would not be fine to my palate but then again your guests are already used to it so it should be fine.

Mango, Pineapple and Peach Salsa - I used everything fresh but canned versions would work fine. I chopped it all superfine you can put it in a food processor and then added red onions, cilantro, jalapeno and lime juice to it. Serve with chips of your choice

Also made an Indian Mexican version of patties with potatoes, corn, jalapeno, red pepper (finely diced), cilantro and cumin powder. Stir it all together and make little balls, roll them in yellow cornmeal and fried them until golden brown.

For the main course I made an Enchilada style casserole that was super easy to make. I used flour tortillas not the corn ones. I also prepared some chili (ground beef, beans, spices, tomatoes and cocoa powder almost like a mole sauce). I layered the tortillas in a foil pan (just tore them and spread them in the pan) poured chili over it and repeated. I also added cheddar cheese but you can omit it. Just ensure you sprinkle the top with lots of freshly chopped green onions, tomatoes and black olives

Cover and bake - One dish meal done

We also had a chicken fajita bar. So similar to your idea but we used grilled chicken (that was pre-cooked and sliced). Also sauteed some green and red bell peppers and red onions and mixed it all together with the chicken so it was easy to assemble. Served sour cream, cheese and gaucamole on the side. You can just use a fresh tomato salsa and gaucamole.

Also had spanish rice like you plan on having

Corn bread was made by a friend. It may be something you may want to think about. It's easy to make a couple of pans of it and cut them up and keep them moist. I have a recipe that I have tweaked that makes super moist corn bread. If you like send me a PT.

Dessert was a cake so did not have to go through the trouble of making anything more.

For drinks since we don't drink and anyway it was a baby shower there was a delicious punch. If you feel so inclined to make it here is how I made it.

Mango Tang Powder (from Sams Club)
Mixed with water
Add Sprite last minute

Garnish with lime slices and mint and serve

The lifesavers were the following things that I bought. Now it may not meet Kosher requirements but I am still sharing it

- Ready made guacamole from SAMS
- Ready made shredded lettuce from SAMS
- Ready made large packs of tortilla from SAMS
- Chili was made ahead of time and frozen (used black beans instead of kidney)
- Assembling Enchilada like a casserole saves a lot of time and the end result is just as good and impressive. No one cares if they did not get the pretty rolls of enchiladas it's all about the taste.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:46 PM   #6
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Charlie, mexican food is dear to my heart!

Here's my recipe for a small bowl of basic guacamole:
3 haas avocados, skins and seeds gone
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp - 4 tsp hot pepper sauce (such as Tapatio, Tabasco, Marie Sharps, etc)
pinch of salt
Mash it somewhat, but not too much - nice to have some chunks.

Since you'll be making a lot, you may want to add diced tomatoes, which would make it more economical, for the size.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:07 PM   #7
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tahnk you everybody for replies. Now help me with quantities, please.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:18 PM   #8
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I apologize ---I zipped read as usual and didn't see the kosher restrictions------anyway Charlie, I would multiply and plan accordingly. Don't open ingredients until you need them, save receipts, and then you can return them if necessary. Better to have enough on hand than not. Good luck as I know that all will turn out well. :)
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:32 PM   #9
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Tahnks expatgirl, how are you? Are you home now?

Simple multiplying isn't going to work here. When you cook for so many people there is compleely diferent calculations. I do like the closed bag idea though. I might have to consider that, thank you for the tip.

Anybody else is willing to pitch in, please don't be shy. i really - really need help here.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:34 PM   #10
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Brother I feel for you this is tuff as I said before if its self serve your screwed.My suggestion would be 3 tacos per person plus the rice and beans.If you can a least put the meat in the tacos and then let them dress them their selves.Now as for the guac you are gonna get wiped out on that.So next its about one pound meat per ten tacos.Which adds up to 450 (if you figure 3 per person)tacos divided by 10 = to 45 pounds of meat.Figure a 1/2 cup of beans and rice x 150 =75 cups divided by 16 =4.6 gallons each go ahead and make it 5 gallons each.So for onions I figure 1 TBL per person not every body will want onions so cut that in 1/2 so 75 TBL is 9.35 cups.Tomatoes figure about a Tbl spoon or more x 150=18.75 cups.Bell Peppers what are you doing sliced or chopped but know they are not the norm for tacos but are for fajitas are the raw or are they cooked?Guac your guess is as good as mine some people will just gobble it up so I would guess some where around 1/4 you can stretch it with some diced tomatoes.
This is the best I can figure but when its self serve its tough to figure.d I would rather you get a little more input as I dont want to steer you wrong,Jackie
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Soft and/or hard shell tacos depends on availability
Ground meat

Shredded lettuce
Bell peppers (maybe, sliced or diced)
Tomatoes
Red onions
Guacamole
Maybe some chili peppers
Spanish rice like
Some kind of beans, if I can find refried would be the best if not Iíll make this mixture: beans, read onion, garlic and salt all put thru food processor
Tortilla chips
Salsa


Charlie, I can see you aren't getting very far with the quantities aspect so I'll try to help here. People can perhaps offer you an alternate view of my suggestions then, but at least it gives you a starting point.

Now I would allow a tablespoon of meat per taco, and likewise of lettuce. Now as to the other toppings, it is highly unlikely in my (limited) experience that people are going to put more than three or four extra toppings on their taco at say a couple of teaspoons each.

As to the rice and beans, allow a couple of tablespoons per person.

Generally you would only cater enough of any one dish for 3/4 of the people. If this is a main meal, you will need to allow 3 or 4 tacos per man, 2 per woman, and 1 per child, plus some extras. These are guides only you understand and as Expatgirl said, have some extra bits on standby, unopened.

This isn't a perfect guide but as I said, others more experienced than I can now amend my guesses. But at least it is a starting point.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:41 PM   #12
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Oh and I work on metric measurements where a tablespoon is 20mL.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:43 PM   #13
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I base my calculations on a 2 taco serving including the beans and rice so I mutiply by 1 1/2 servings some people will take 1 taco some will take 4 or more it has always balanced out for me.The problem is the self serve for that big of a group as we all know some people will take more than they can eat.
So my idea is to give them chips and salsa before hand this little trick should slow em down a little.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:51 PM   #14
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Thank you Jackie and Bilby. Now I have at least something to work with.

Jackie how does gallons of rice translate into pounds?
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:54 PM   #15
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1/4 cup dry rice = 1 cup made rice (1 cup = 250mL)
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:56 PM   #16
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You mean to say that it quadruples during cooking? Really? Wow.

Yeah, but I still want to know how much is 5 galons of rice is?
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:57 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
You mean to say that it quadruples during cooking? Really? Wow
Whoops! No! I should have put 1/3 cup dry rice = 1 cup of wet rice

Typo!
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:59 PM   #18
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I would need to find a convertor to help you with gallons Charlie. For me, 4 cups is equal to one litre. One pint is 625mL or thereabouts.

Imperial measures just aren't where my brain is!
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:59 PM   #19
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Ah, okay. What time is it by you? You must be in the middle of the night?
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:00 PM   #20
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No the 10am news is just coming on.
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