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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 04-24-2009, 10:39 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrikeEagle View Post
Okay, since you said you wanted a pasta salad as an option, I'll post up the recipe I mentioned earlier. Again, this is a client favorite that I get requests to serve all season long.

It scales very well. (I've done this dish for a party of 150 with no trouble scaling the recipe.) The other advantage of this dish is that is does NOT create service concerns as would a mayo or dressing based salad. This makes it a perfect 'cold' side dish even for outdoor events in the heat of summer.

Tortellini Pesto Salad

Serving Size : 24

Preparation Time: 0:15 Start to Finish Time: 0:45

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 pounds Cheese Tortellini -- Fresh Pasta
16 ounces Pesto sauce -- Fresh or Packaged
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes -- drained and chopped
1 cup pine nuts -- toasted
1/2 pound prosciutto -- cooked and chopped
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook tortellini per the package directions, drain and allow to cool.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to combine.

Chill for 20 minutes or overnight.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTES : If using dry tortellini, reduce the amount by a third (1/3) to half (1/2).

The prosciutto is an option for this dish. It is an modification I made from the original recipe. I like to add it for the salty flavor that it brings to the salad. However, it can add significantly to the cost. Costco or Sam's often have diced prosciutto available at a VERY good price. I have found this product is PERFECT for this recipe.

My local Sam's carries oil packed sun dried tomatoes in 32 oz jars at a great price.

Vac-Pac pine nuts and freeze for extended shelf life.
Ohmigosh, that looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing!!!
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Unread 04-24-2009, 10:40 AM   #32
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My husband gets mad at me because I don't really have a recipe for my pasta or potato salad, etc. I just add the ingredients and go by taste and how it looks. Oooops! But, I can give you an idea of how I make the pasta salad.

These are the ingredients:
-Curly pasta
-Bernstein’s Italian Dressing
-Shredded Parmesan cheese
-Chopped fresh Italian Parsley
-Shredded Carrots (I buy pre-shredded from the produce section, or from our wholesale produce guy)
-Chopped Bell Peppers (you can use green, red, yellow for more color)
-Marinated Artichoke Hearts
-Kalamata Olives, pitted
-Sun-dried tomatoes, julienne (sometimes I substitute the sun-dried tomatoes with fresh grape tomatoes)
-Sliced Squash (crookneck and/or zucchini)
-Sliced mushrooms
-Chopped red onion
-Garlic Salt
-Pepper


I cook the pasta then put it in a container and add some of the italian dressing to it and mix it in. Just add enough dressing to coat the pasta. Then refrigerate to let it cool. Chop up all the vegetables etc. into small bite sized pieces. When the pasta is cool mix in all of the vegetables and add more italian salad dressing. Mix in the shredded parmesan cheese, add garlic salt and pepper to taste.
I always use Bernstein’s Italian Dressing because it has a really good flavor that I like and it works great in this pasta salad.
I forgot to mention I always cook the pasta 'al dente' so it is less likely to get soggy.
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Unread 04-24-2009, 10:53 AM   #33
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Smashed Potatoes:
10# Baked Red Potatoes
Add Whole Milk until you have nice lumpy mashed potaoes, sorta tight.
Add 1 TBSP Minced Garlic, 2 1/2# Sour Cream, handful of chives, pint of condensed cream of chicken soup, couple big handfuls of diced bacon, 1 1/2# shredded colby jack. Use 1# cheese in it, 1/2# on top. Bake til brown and delicious.
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Unread 04-24-2009, 01:11 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsha View Post
Any time! Yes, some of our sides are easy to make on-site only because of our bbq trailer. Heck, we have even made the garlic mashed potatoes on-site. We use the the turkey fryer to boil the potatoes, drain them, put them back in the big pot and use a long paint stirring attachment on the cordless drill to mash the taters.
If you like garlic mashed potatoes, try adding lobster base as well.... I think the word that then comes to mind is "buddabing"
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Unread 04-24-2009, 02:18 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony76248 View Post
If you like garlic mashed potatoes, try adding lobster base as well.... I think the word that then comes to mind is "buddabing"
A word of caution on using 'hidden' shell fish ingredients. Those with iodine allergies can have a reaction, sometimes severe, to foods with shell fish components. Granted this is a somewhat minor risk, but an anaphylactic episode happening at an event you cater can never be viewed as a good thing. Iodine allergies are the second most common acute food allergy behind only sensitivity to peanuts.

I avoid the use of peanut oil in foods we prepare for parties for the same reason. For me, it's not worth risking it. Even beyond the legal entanglements that could result, the bad "press" would do nothing good for my company image.
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Unread 04-24-2009, 02:36 PM   #36
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Wow, both of those potato dishes sound excellent. Lobster base... wow!

I don't use milk or cream in my mashed potatoes. Butter and sour cream, plus some roasted garlic, garlic salt and pepper. Maybe some parsley for a bit of color.

Now I am hungry!
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Unread 04-24-2009, 06:28 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdog View Post
I make a cold broccoli salad. From what I see, looks like you need a cold cole slaw to add to the mix. For me, the beans, slaw and taters is the holy trinity of sides.
Cold broccoli salad is a hit with me too BD.
What's your recipe?
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Unread 04-26-2009, 10:12 AM   #38
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I have to hang out in the catering forum more often - these are great recipes. I don't cater but these will be hitting my table soon. Thanks for sharing folks.

I will share one that is a hit at my house - and is easy. You can zest it up to fit the bill.....


Summer Pasta Salad


16 oz elbow macs
16 oz frozen corn (thawed)
16 oz frozen peas (thawed)
28 oz. diced tomatoes (drained)
6 scallions (chopped)
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Dressing
¼ cup olive oil
6 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3 cloves minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

This started out as a dip – just omit the peas and macs.
It was delicious with the frozen veggies but better with fresh in the summer.
Also have done it with roasted garlic and like the results.
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Unread 04-26-2009, 10:45 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMAJ View Post
I have to hang out in the catering forum more often - these are great recipes. I don't cater but these will be hitting my table soon. Thanks for sharing folks.

I will share one that is a hit at my house - and is easy. You can zest it up to fit the bill.....


Summer Pasta Salad


16 oz elbow macs
16 oz frozen corn (thawed)
16 oz frozen peas (thawed)
28 oz. diced tomatoes (drained)
6 scallions (chopped)
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Dressing
¼ cup olive oil
6 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3 cloves minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

This started out as a dip – just omit the peas and macs.
It was delicious with the frozen veggies but better with fresh in the summer.
Also have done it with roasted garlic and like the results.
That sounds like a yummy salad, too. Thanks for sharing!
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Unread 04-26-2009, 10:49 PM   #40
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Tomato Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 large, firm tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 small onion, red or yellow
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, depending on taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preparation:

Finely chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Toss with remaining ingredients and gently mix well.

Serve chilled. Serves 4.
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Unread 04-27-2009, 08:09 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMAJ View Post
I have to hang out in the catering forum more often - these are great recipes. I don't cater but these will be hitting my table soon. Thanks for sharing folks.

I will share one that is a hit at my house - and is easy. You can zest it up to fit the bill.....


Summer Pasta Salad


16 oz elbow macs
16 oz frozen corn (thawed)
16 oz frozen peas (thawed)
28 oz. diced tomatoes (drained)
6 scallions (chopped)
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Dressing
¼ cup olive oil
6 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3 cloves minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

This started out as a dip – just omit the peas and macs.
It was delicious with the frozen veggies but better with fresh in the summer.
Also have done it with roasted garlic and like the results.
would this be a dish where you don't have to worry about refrigeration like you do with mayo based salads?
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Unread 04-30-2009, 09:12 PM   #42
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Unread 04-30-2009, 09:59 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by watertowerbbq View Post
would this be a dish where you don't have to worry about refrigeration like you do with mayo based salads?
Was going to let Marsha answer, but I'll jump in since she seems to be away.

The only ingredient that would give cause to worry at all would be the cheese. Since it's cheddar, thus fairly aged depending on the specific type you use, I would not be too worried about letting this sit out for an hour or two. (ambient temp would be the watch note on this. I might adjust sit out time for very hot days.) Everything else would be safe to have out for two plus hours without much worry.

As you point out, mayo based salads are a nightmare for catering. IMHO this salad would have nowhere near the challenges of say a traditional mayo based potato salad. Which is a dish I simply avoid at all costs during the summer.
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Unread 05-04-2009, 02:26 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrikeEagle View Post
Was going to let Marsha answer, but I'll jump in since she seems to be away.

The only ingredient that would give cause to worry at all would be the cheese. Since it's cheddar, thus fairly aged depending on the specific type you use, I would not be too worried about letting this sit out for an hour or two. (ambient temp would be the watch note on this. I might adjust sit out time for very hot days.) Everything else would be safe to have out for two plus hours without much worry.

As you point out, mayo based salads are a nightmare for catering. IMHO this salad would have nowhere near the challenges of say a traditional mayo based potato salad. Which is a dish I simply avoid at all costs during the summer.
Yep, I would only really worry about the cheese in this dish.

For salads/sides that I want to keep cold on a buffet line I normally use a big plastic bowl half filled with ice, then I place a smaller metal bowl inside the big one and put the salad,etc. in there. The metal will transfer the cold from the ice to the food more efficiently than if you put a smaller plastic bowl inside the big one.
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Unread 05-04-2009, 08:47 PM   #45
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Marsha / Strike Eagle,
Thanks for the insight.
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