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Jul 10, 2009 12:01 PM

Grilling for 30, need your ideas

We go to a cottage every year. We split into groups and cook for the others one night. I was thinking of grilling salmon this year as it is tasty, reasonably priced and fast cooking. However, not everyone likes fish so I need some complimentary or other ideas.

We could grill some tasty sausages for example. Pork tenderloins (teriyaki) maybe? Last year we did flank steak but the host presliced it before cooking and it wasn't an ideal situation...for one thing, it took forever. It also got a bit dry.

We don't want to be making 60 burgers before hand. I don't like those pre-made hockey pucks you get at warehouse stores either.

Thought I might make a fresh corn salad with green beans, grape tomatoes and basil this year. Possibly reprise a tortellini-feta salad too.

For a happy hour pontoon sunset cruise might make greek salad on a stick (calamatas, feta, tomatoes, onion or cuke, with oregano) or maybe it's too fussy?

So, if you had 30 hungry souls to cook for what would you make?

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  1. Well every year when I was married, we went to a lake and had a weeks vaca. We also took turns cooking. There were 28 of us. There were 3 groups so every three days we cooked. It worked out great and usually had lunch the next day.

    These were mine favorite menus:

    Creamy warm corn dip with tortilla chips and usually some fresh veggies and dip for the kids, or you can make a wonderful spicy onion dip too.

    Main: Ribs, baby back I did in a rub and then cooked in beer in the oven and then grilled with a sauce the last 20 minutes. I also used to throw on some chicken sausage for the kids and for the adults who didn't like pork

    Veggies, I used to do a big tin of my rosemary roasted potatoes right on the grill, very traditional but everyone loved them. After roasted I tossed with some fresh parm, and a fresh herb dressing which really made them good. Kids loved them.

    Also make a Feta, roasted fennel and grape tomatoes, olives and fresh basil. Toss in some arugula and it makes a great side salad.

    For another veggie, always the grilled corn, usually my blue cheese butter or the chili lime butter

    Version II:

    Tenderloins as you said:
    I use my soy, garlic, dijon, cilantro, brown sugar marinade (I can give you exact amounts), marinade in a large baggie all day and grill. Great NO amazing flavor. I love to serve this with fettuccini alfredo, another so easy and quick side but great for a crowd, I did a side of spinach sauteed on the side with a little bacon, onion and balsamic vinaigrette and then I did a great cucumber salad with sour cream and dill, how classic and then some fresh tomato slices as well.

    I know not very unique, but simple classic dishes that one are easy to cook for a crowd, cost effective, not too complicated and most people love everything. Easy cooking for you.

    ALSO, Salmon is an excellent idea. Usually I ask and shrimp becomes the other dish if not salmon lovers, or I would make some simple chicken sausages or Italian sausages. Mix with some onions and peppers on the grill and it makes a easy dish for no seafood lovers.

    Well that is my two sense.

    1. One of my favorite appetizers grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon and grilled or pan grilled or baked. Simple easy and delish with a light dip. Also olives soaked in vodka is a great easy appetizer, same with grape tomatoes. Both good.

      Mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese and chives is also great for individual portions and lots of fun and easy, all made ahead. Pretty traditional. I love to take mushrooms I have lightly grilled and marinated and then skewered with different olives and mushrooms and a fresh piece of mozzarella.

      I make a chilled cream cheese, onion and spinach ball. I know cheese ball but you can flatten if you want, but roasted red peppers, scallions make an amazing simple dip with pita chips or crackers. Especially for hot climate on a boat. Easy and just fun. Not a spinach dip but similar. More of a cheese

      1. what about making a couple trays of lasagna and heating it up on the grill or a make your own grilled pizza bar.

        1. I did fillets for about 30 on the 4th, turned out great.

          Also I attended a function a few ago with about 40-50 folks. They did chicken kabobs with a nice sauce, they bbqd them ahead of time and served chilled, turned out great.

          I do paella for large groups, have pans good for 40-50 folks, very impressive and actually easy to do.

          1. I like your sausages idea. You could also flunk down some chicken thighs and legs. Dark meat being more forgiving.

            Sharp sticks on a pontoon boat with people rocking around? I might rethink that. People on pontoon boats sucking down cocktails are fine with tortilla chips and guac. The guac can be hosed off when you get back in. You could also do stuff easy to hold like deviled eggs, BLT tomatoes, marinated shrimp or shrimp cocktail. If you have a barbie attached to your pontoon beast, then the options are limitless.