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May 30, 2013 07:40 AM

Meal site madness

I am the food/kitchen manager at a non-profit meal site in Providence. We feed about 250 people each day. I must plan my menus around the donations I receive and whatever the RI Food Bank has available. It's fun and challenging.
Right now I have a couple hundred pounds of sausage patties on hand. Taking into consideration the challenges of prep with a staff of two (and a handful of volunteers), any ideas on how to build a meal with the patties?

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  1. Lay them in roasting pans and roast.
    Slice lots of onions and apples, and bake till golden in an adjacent pan.
    Chunk up potatoes and roast in a third pan.
    Sausage patties, baked potatoes, apples and onions.
    Alternate suggestion--instead of potatoes, chunks of sweet potatoes or winter squash.

    Saute in a giant skillet, breaking them up. Add tomato sauce (or canned tomatoes, whatever you have). Season liberally with oregano, and/or other Italian spices.
    Serve with pasta.

    Roast as in #1 above. Roast potatoes as in #1 above.
    Scramble a gazillion eggs. Voila--breakfast for dinner.

    Sausage patties are delicious with mashed potatoes, but mashed potatoes are labor intensive.

    1 Reply
    1. re: femmevox

      One more idea--

      Pan fry or bake and serve on buns.

      Create a toppings bar--shredded lettuce, tomatoe slices, onion slices, cheese slices, ketchup, mustard, pickles--and let each person make his/her own burger to order.

    2. As a total sidenote, The Greater Boston Food Bank has a recipe site ( that comes up with recipes based on the ingredients you have to offer. They're based on foods GBFB commonly offers, and have nutrition ratings. It doesn't look like they have anything for sausage patties, but could be useful for the future :)

      1. I love Femmevox' suggestion. I want to take a crack, though, too (and note, this post will likely get moved to another board since it's not particularly Greater-Boston-specific, save for your actual location).

        I might go the biscuits & gravy route, but bulk up the b├ęchamel with veggies. Plus, bechamel is a snap in bulk, keeps well (in case you're transporting meals), etc. And biscuits are cheap and made of staple ingredients.

        Or, sausage/peppers & onions on hoagie roll. Wrong shape, though.

        Or! mix into polenta, with lots of black pepper. Pour maple syrup over top for a "breakfast for dinner" thing, or veg mix if not.

        I lack the experience and stamina, but have the training, for your type of work and I fantasize about staging at a place like this all the time. Do you do that kind of thing?

        1 Reply
        1. re: enhF94

          "Mix into polenta" I always think it's better to keep the meat portion as separate as possible, as some people may be vegetarians, may not eat pork (Muslim, Jewish), etc.

          So I'd advise polenta, with an optional sausage sauce on the side.

        2. What else do you have? We feed only 130 at church but the carb filler-upper is crucial. Could you brown the sausage patties in roasting pans then add whatever is on hand to make a tomato-type sauce, hopefully tomatoes or puree, onions, something like that, cook this a bit, and serve x number of patties with sauce atop a pile of pasta?

          1. Do breakfast for dinner type meals fly? Biscuits and white sausage gravy, biscuit sandwich

            1 Reply
            1. re: JudiAU

              I second this. I love having breakfast for dinner once in a while. I would do the biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs one dinner and then a breakfast casserole with maybe hash browns and fruit for another.