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Dinner Party for 20?? - DFen911 - 11-07-2007

Ok I personal chef service isn't exactly going the way I thought it would.

While my target is up to 8, I seem to be generating the larger parties. I have a party for 20 coming up on Dec. 3rd. My brain cannot rap itself around cooking for 20 people. They want it all plated. I am getting the feeling they won't be excited when I mention stuff like Lasagna.

I am assuming a 4 burner stove and one oven. I won't know till Thursday but want to walk in with ideas.

I did that party for 16, pan sear chicken breasts and that was tapping me out. It takes 4 minutes to brown the skin side of the chicken breast and I have one nice pan which allows me to brown 2 at once. So that really limits me as it will take 40 minutes to brown anything off.

They are paying $35 per person, which I think is a little light. I'm mainly doing it for the possible future clients, but beginning to think that I should turn this down.

Ok done ranting. Lay it on me.

Re: Dinner Party for 20?? - Old Bay - 11-07-2007

We served 26 the cucumber chicken I posted earlier, but that is really a spring dish--we also served 24 a creole pork loin, stuffed with bell peppers, onion, celery, and spices and can be done ahead and sliced. Should be reasonable from a cost standpoint and fit the season. Sides are really easy and do a bananas foster for dessert. It was a Prudhomme recipe.

Re: Dinner Party for 20?? - DFen911 - 11-07-2007

What's the recipe for the Creole Pork?

I'm open to all suggestions.

Re: Dinner Party for 20?? - Old Bay - 11-07-2007

Roasted Pork
This for 6, but is easily quadrupled--
Seasoning mix
2 t black pepper
1 1/2 t salt
1 t white pepper
1 t ground red pepper
1 t sweet paprika
1 t dried thyme leaves
1/2 t dry mustard

3 T unsalted butter
1 T pork lard or vegi oil
1/2 C finely chopped onions
" " " " celery
" " " " green bell peppers
1 T minced garlic
1 (4 lb ) boneless pork loin

Combine the seasoning mix. Place all ingredients except the roast in a large skillet. Saute about 4 min over high heat , stirring occ.--cool.

Meanwhile, place the roast in a baking pan, fat side up. Make several deep slits in the meat to form pockets, do not cut thru!!. Stuff pockets with some of the vegi mix, then thoroughly rub vegi mix over the entire roast by hand. If any mix is left , spread it evenly on the top and down the sides. Tie the pork to keep its shape. Bake uncovered at 275 for 3 hours, then at 425 until dark brown on top and meat is white in center, 10-15 min more.

We served this in Atlantic City at a wedding reception out of a condo with a 3 burner stove and oven, and for a sit down party at our home (for 24) 2 years ago. Really easy--the smell--OMG.

We served tasso stuffed mushrooms, turtle soup (great, but forget it-most expensive thing we did), baked tomatoes, green beans, rolls, shrimp remolaude, and a spicy cheese ball to begin. The bananas foster can be preped ahead and done in batches.

PS- We also served a baked rice and an oyster dressing. Really any carbohydrate will do.

Re: Dinner Party for 20?? - HomeCulinarian - 11-07-2007

The pork sounds good!

20 is catering not personal chefing and I don't think you should be expected to cook in their home.

I have a good friend who runs a local catering company and from what I know, you'd be mistaken to take a loss on a party to get future business. They will tell their friends what they paid and the friends will expect the same. Instead, his company held business development parties where they invited certain people to entertain them with the guise of trying out some new ideas -- a real soft sell and it seemed to work.

Just say for $35/person, this ... whatever this is... is what I can do. And remember, your time is worth something, too!

Re: Dinner Party for 20?? - cjs - 11-07-2007

Denise, first of all, deep breath! You've done it and you know now what to do and what not to do. Don't think individual portions of meat - do something that utilizes large pc. of meat, fish, etc. or bite-size.

Turkey Tetrazzini
Beef Bourguignonne
Peppered Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
Pork Loin with Apple-Raisin Stuffing
Cornish Game Hens - each serving 1/2 hen
Chix breasts stuffed with Prosciutto & Pesto (done the day ahead)
Herb-and Garlic-Crusted Beef Tenerloin with Red & Yellow Pepper Relish

There are so many ideas out there for you. And you're going to wow them again!

P.S. while I was looking at issue #58 for the soup recipe someone lost, I ran across this - how about a pork loin with Blackberry-Zinfandel sauce - sounds good!

Re: Dinner Party for 20?? - Mare749 - 11-07-2007

Denise, I'm not trained like the rest of you, but I have cooked for 20 people a number of times. I would refuse to do "plated" for that many people. That's just too hard to do in someone's home kitchen. But, if anyone can do it well, I'm sure you can. I thought the others gave you some really great advice. Good luck!

Re: Dinner Party for 20?? - DFen911 - 11-07-2007

Do you think presenting something "family style" would work?

Re: Dinner Party for 20?? - cjs - 11-07-2007

No! You're a professional, Denise, you can do this. Want me to p.m. you some of the dinner party menus I've done?

Re: Dinner Party for 20?? - DFen911 - 11-07-2007

Yes please