Cuisine at home Forums
Successful dinner - Printable Version

+- Cuisine at home Forums (
+-- Thread: Successful dinner (/showthread.php?tid=58580)

Successful dinner - labradors - 06-13-2008

Well, some friends, here, are relatively newly arrived missionaries from the Pittsburgh area, and a medical group from their church visited a local clinic, so my friends (who know how I like to cook) asked if I would be interested in making a little extra support money by cooking a dinner for the group (total attendance, including myself, 24 people).

Initially, they had thought my individual pizzas would be good, but it just would have been too difficult to coordinate keeping that many of the pizzas hot, with the venue's small kitchen, to be served at the same time.

Thus, I offered some ideas for some chicken dishes, especially since chicken is good, plentiful, and inexpensive here. They liked the suggestions, and chose Chicken Paprikas, allowing me to come up with the rest of the menu, (of course, making sure it stayed within the budget they had set for the event).

Of course, if one serves Chicken Paprikas, one must serve it with Galuska (essentially the same thing as SpƤtzle) for all that wonderful gravy, so that was a given, instead of using store-bought noodles.

Since those steps were already leading in an obvious direction, I decided to make the rest of the meal Hungarian, as well, so I made broccoli with buttered bread crumbs for the side, and Kremes (essentially a Hungarian version of a Napoleon) for dessert.

My biggest difficulty was in using Musicmaker's Ten-Minute Puff Pastry recipe for the first time, in that it didn't stay as puffy as I would have hoped. Even so, it was still VERY good, and the finished dessert was delicious. In fact, even after the Kremes had been out of the fridge for a while, and the filling had become looser, one of the guests mentioned how much she loved it, and that, "whatever that filling is, I could just put a whole bunch of that into a big glass and just drink it, it's so good." LOL!

The Chicken Paprikas, Galuska, and Broccoli were also very well received, and some of the people from the group still commented about it when I saw them today.

Definitely, this choice of menu proved MUCH easier to handle and serve in a timely manner, and contributed to the success of this event.

Although I have worked in a restaurant and for a caterer, and have made SOME of my own things for sale, this was the first time for me to make cater a complete meal for a group of this size, and only the second time, overall (the first was for 12 friends back in Florida, almost ten years ago). It was certainly a lot of work, but it was very satisfying, and I enjoyed it. I'm not sure that I could do this VERY frequently without any helpers, but once a month would be nice, if I could get big-enough groups of clients for that.

Re: Successful dinner - esgunn - 06-14-2008

Labs, Congrats on a job well done!!!! What a satisfying time! What no pictures? I am sure you were too busy to worry about taking pictures. I would love the recipe for your broccoli with buttered bread crumbs...

Re: Successful dinner - labradors - 06-14-2008

Thanks, Erin. Sorry, but you are right: I was so busy preparing that I completely forgot about pictures.

The website where I found this has the recipe for cauliflower and broccoli on the same page, and the broccoli recipe referenced the cauliflower recipe, so I have edited it so that it can stand alone. If you would like to see the original page, just go to the link above. Otherwise, here is the recipe for the broccoli:


Hungarian Style Broccoli
Serves 4 to 6

The best crumbs are the kind you make your self from good white bread. The crumbs should be large, not ground to a sand like texture.

Trim off thick stems of a whole head of broccoli. You can keep the broccoli in one head or break it into flowerets.
Cook in salted water till tender.
Drain and place on a serving dish.
In a saute pan melt 1/4 lb. butter and medium brown 1 cup of bread crumbs, season with 1/8 tsp. salt. Stir and toss crumbs. Do not let it burn or it will be bitter.
Spoon butter and crumb mixture over the top of broccoli and serve. Mmmmmm!

Not much to it, really, but it IS Hungarian. In fact, the Hungarian cookbook I have has the cauliflower version of the dish, and the only difference is that this one uses more butter. It was delicious

Re: Successful dinner - esgunn - 06-14-2008

Thanks Labs! I think my kids will really like it - and I might try the cauliflour - we are trying to grow it for the first time. I might actually get the kids to eat it! I love it.

The Hungarian Hamburgers sound real good too - kind of a fried meatloaf. Oh my. I can feel the pounds packing on...

Re: Successful dinner - labradors - 06-14-2008


Thanks Labs! I think my kids will really like it - and I might try the cauliflour - we are trying to grow it for the first time. I might actually get the kids to eat it! I love it.

I like it, too, but only consider the cauliflower, here, to be mediocre. On the other hand, the broccolis, here, is fantastic. I could have it every night!


The Hungarian Hamburgers sound real good too - kind of a fried meatloaf. Oh my. I can feel the pounds packing on...

Are you talking about the hamburger recipe from that same site? I hadn't looked at that until you mentioned it, and it is exactly (well, I can't say for the measurements) what my Mom sometimes does for hamburgers, but we are not Hungarian, and I'm not sure where she got the idea. Either way, it IS delicious, especially with beef gravy, instead of ketchup (although ketchup is fine, too).

If you feel like trying something else from there, try the Cucumber Salad. I don't like cucumbers, but my Mom loves them, and that salad was a favourite of hers at the "Hungarian Village" restaurant that used to be in Daytona Beach. Their version did not have the garlic or sour cream in that website's recipe, so if you'd prefer to try it the way the elderly Hungarian couple who owned and operated the restaurant made it, either leave out those two ingredients, or I could type in the recipe (from The Hungarian Cookbook by Susan Derecskey), which my Mom says is like what the restaurant had.

Re: Successful dinner - cjs - 06-14-2008

And a catering monster is born!! Sounds like you had fun in addition to a great menu to work with.

I had really planned on trying Linda's puff pastry recipe last winter, but... will have to get to that one day.

Re: Successful dinner - Gourmet_Mom - 06-14-2008

Congrats on a job WELL DONE, Labs! Some day I'll get my turn!

Re: Successful dinner - DFen911 - 06-14-2008

Labs very nicely done! You did what every professional does by keeping open minded, knowing the limitations and directing the client to a menu that works and tastes fantasic without making you totally insane.

Everything sounds wonderful *applauds*

Re: Successful dinner - pjcooks - 06-14-2008

Job well done, Labs! Catering on your own is a beast, isn't it? After the party for 100. I decided to limit it to 50, then decided to not do it at all because of insurance reasons.

It's a lot of planning, a lot of hard work, but as you say, very satisfying.

But next time, I'd get a helper


Re: Successful dinner - Harborwitch - 06-14-2008

Labs your menu sounds fantastic. The broccoli is something that is to die for - I do have a cauliflower, but I'm saving that for a curried cauliflower with almonds.

Good job!