Planning an anniversary...
Next month is my parents' 20th anniversary and instead of going out, me and a couple of friends and gonna plan it and basically cater for 30 people. I'm just looking for some suggestions for recipes to feed this many people with a simple kitchen.. I have had cooking experience, I just haven't cooked for more than ten people at once. Anyone got any ideas?
Thousands of ideas (I'm a Personal Chef and do things like this all the time).
Can't help with recipes yet. You need to help us by narrowing the fields: What's your budget? What are his and her favorite foods? Foods they absolutely hate, or just plain don't like? Anyone have food allergies or medical food problems?
Cooking for 30 is no big deal unless you're trying to plate individual dinners. Serve buffet style and everything will work better for you.
One way to go is a Roast Plus Sides. Beef, Pork, Chickens, Turkeys. You may need 2 or even 3 roasts, but with just a little prep you pop them in the oven and let them go. While they're cooking for 2-4 hours you make the other dishes.
Rice for lots of people is much easier if you have a good sized rice cooker, rather than just a pot on the stove top.
Boiled potatoes are easy and fast; figure 2-3 per adult. Pasta for crowds is easy too. You get about a dozen servings from the average 1 lb box; so 3 boxes should do you. You can pre-cook it, then just a quick dunk in hot water before serving refreshes it.
Steaming or boiling vegetables for 30 is a pain. I prefer to roast them; even if you have to wait until the roast meats are done.
If you decide to do this as a barbecue, I sriously suggest renting a LARGE gas grill from a party supply or other rental place. It will give you good heat control and handle lots of items at one time.
The budget is well, limitless, but I don't want it to cost a fortune. They love asian foods, specifically spicy ones but when I tend to make something greasy they really don't like that.. It does seem like buffet style is better, but I just don't like the notion of leaving food out. If I do do plate dinners, even with 2 or 3 helpers.. will it still be pain?
Even with 2 or threehelpers - unles trained waitresses, plating 30 plates and getting them out nearly simultaneously is amajor pain.
You can leave food out using chaffing dishes - you can get cheap disposable Chaffing sets from Sam's/Costco - a wire frame and tin pans that use sterno. I use those all the time and they work well. You can also use an electric griddle as a warmer, plus the oven of course. Don't set out all the food at once and it won't all go cold on you.
Asian Menu - think a LARGE batch of Ham or Shrimp Fried Rice, surrounded by make ahead dim sum like Ha Gow, Potstickers, Eggrolls, Vietnamese Salad Rolls, Wasabi Deviled Eggs, Shrimp Toasts, Coconut Shrimp Lollipops, Pepper Boats, Stuffed Mushrooms; and a pot of Hot & Sour Soup. Make the fried rice and hot & soup soup as people are arriving, and just heat up trays of the other things as needed.
"Asian" food in general uses almost no grease or oil unless deep frying. I would use less than a 1/4 cup to make Fried Rice for 30 people... When deep frying keep the oil above 325F (use a thermometer to check every time you add stuff) and you won't get grease soaked food.