make ahead sides that can be served room temp or chilled

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Joined Jul 9, 2016
I am tasked with doing a party for 400 guests.

My two proteins are Teres Major & Salmon.

Mixed Salad & Dinner Rolls will be provided.

Would like to provide a couple of interesting side dishes but, due to the timing of the event, must make them the day before.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
 
2,563
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Joined Apr 25, 2014
What's your theme, like what spices are you using on the salmon and steak?  Try to pair it with that. Think things you can make it big batches, hold well, and can be served cold

ex.

BBQ you can go with potato salad, coleslaws, corn etc.

Meditteranean - maybe a farro salad, orzo salad, cucumber salad, feta etc.  

Asian - noodle salad, sesame, scallion, ginger

.
 
4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
What's fresh at the farmer's market?
I like the idea re cukes with fresh sweet onion slivers and yogurt and dill....
It can be prepped the day before and tossed together last min so is basically a make ahead as everything else will need to be remixed before service as well.

Fresh corn and tri color peppers can be hot or cold.

mimi
 
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11
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Joined Jul 9, 2016
The theme is_ On the deck of a beautiful Beach Club overlooking the ocean on the Jersey Shore.

I trim the Teres, rub it with EVOO, dust it with Montreal Seasoning, grill mark it and finish it in the convection.

The Salmon gets trimmed, portioned, butter, splash of lemon juice, dill and into the convection oven.

Big Garden Salad, dinner rolls.

I need the sides to shine and because of timing issues the sides to be done  ahead of time.

Please flesh out those ideas you put out there.

Thank you!
 
2,196
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
Is asparagus still in season in NJ?  Chilled asparagus with slivers of prosciutto and red pepper. 

You could make a cold rice dish. I think Moroccan cuisine has one with cooked rice seasoned with dried apricots and some other stuff I don't remember. 

A warm (room temp) German potato salad. Cooked, sliced potatoes, chilled the day before, dressed the day of with warm vinaigrette.

Make scalloped potatoes the day before, serve room temp.  I've done this. It works well.

Mediterranean style Pasta salad with kalamata olives and...

Mexican/Southwest style corn and black beans with red peppers, a bit of grated cheese, garlic and seasoning.

Spinach salad with warm dressing. 

I'll repeat flipflopgirl's question. What's fresh at the farmers' market? Or the Asian market. Cut it up and season it. 

Something with citrus included would be refreshing. 

A side for the salmon and a side for the steak and one for general purposes. 

I see sesame noodles have already been mentioned. 

 Beans of any kind can be pre cooked and served in a variety of interesting ways. 

I'll think up more later.
 
1,483
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Joined Jan 31, 2012
So you need classy dazzling sides for 400 people that can sit out at room temp; time
of event not specified. There are many great sides that are easy to do bulk...
honey carrots, french cut green beans, asparagus spears, rice towers, etc, but,
not-served-cold, and not-kept-in-heated-chaffers, makes it tougher IMO.
You also didn't specify your intended method of service, plated, self serve buffet,
or staff-served buffet-station--(I'm surprised no one has asked)--an important point
on 400 people.
 
1,832
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Joined Aug 15, 2003
Corn, lime and tomato salad--could add feta, pickled red onions, cilantro, avocado
Dilled potato salad (either vinaigrette or creamy) would go good with salmon
roasted and marinated beets--citrus, goat cheese (classic and delicious)
panzanella salad
cucumber, feta, dill and onion salad with buttermilk dressing
grilled, chilled and marinated vegetables
smoked/roasted eggplant caviar
cold noodle salad, peanut dressing (saba, udon, Viet/Thai/Asian style)
shaved crudo zucchini and yellow squash salad (shaved shallot, lemon, garlic, oregano, evoo, slivered almonds if wanted)
watermelon, tomato and feta salad
penne pasta chilled with diced pepperoni, olives, onions and balsamic vinaigrette
marinated chickpeas with yogurt, lemon, tahini
 
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4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Yes indeedy Monkeyman....400 people is quite the large number to serve when it is a once a year thing.
Buffet I would assume and more than one station as well.
At least 2 protein action stations with the carving done ala minute (mebbe even 3 if open seating???).
Still assuming buffet... I would be sure to have several stations for sides as well as desserts with plenty of hip room if ya know what I mean......
Bread in baskets on the tables with servers making the rounds as often as it takes.

Just IME tho.... all depends on how chi-chi it will be... one seating is a far cry from family style.

mimi
 
4
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Joined Jul 20, 2017
Hi fellow members!
I'm the guy who started this thread but,I forgot my password & the site refused to let me recover it so, I had to re-register.
Anyway, the gig is for 400 ppl.
Menu:
Garden Salad
Dinner Rolls
Petite Tenderloin (Teres Major)
Baked Salmon
Quinoa Tabouli
Roasted Vegetables
Roasted Potatoes
Dessert & Coffee

3 stations
Buffet style but with servers dishing it out.

The Quinoa side will be made ahead.
Everything else will be cooked, stored briefly in Hot Boxes & served in Chaffers.

My biggest concern now is portion amounts.
Should I cook enough of everything so everyone gets the recommended serving (half cup Quinoa/ 4 oz. Meat/ 4 oz. fish/ 4 oz. Veggies/ 4 oz. spuds????
This seems like over-kill because it amounts to almost a pound of food per person & that doesn't even take into consideration the Salad, rolls & Dessert!!!!
HELP PLEASE!!!!!
 
4
0
Joined Jul 24, 2017
Hi fellow members!
I'm the guy who started this thread but,I forgot my password & the site refused to let me recover it so, I had to re-register.
Anyway, the gig is for 400 ppl.
Menu:
Garden Salad
Dinner Rolls
Petite Tenderloin (Teres Major)
Baked Salmon
Quinoa Tabouli
Roasted Vegetables
Roasted Potatoes
Dessert & Coffee

3 stations
Buffet style but with servers dishing it out.

The Quinoa side will be made ahead.
Everything else will be cooked, stored briefly in Hot Boxes & served in Chaffers.

My biggest concern now is portion amounts.
Should I cook enough of everything so everyone gets the recommended serving (half cup Quinoa/ 4 oz. Meat/ 4 oz. fish/ 4 oz. Veggies/ 4 oz. spuds????
This seems like over-kill because it amounts to almost a pound of food per person & that doesn't even take into consideration the Salad, rolls & Dessert!!!!
HELP PLEASE!!!!!
 
4
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Joined Jul 24, 2017
Quinoa, potatoes and roasted veg seems like overkill for summer, just M.O. Was going to suggest gazpacho before you resigned in.
I don't think you need a half cup of quinoa or roasted veg, potatoes generally go over well. However if it's buffet style better to have excess than run out. Your reputation is on the line.
 
3,252
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Joined May 5, 2010
I don't understand why you are serving on a buffet. Are you concerned about running out of food?
Buffets generally are created so there is some leftovers as you can not know what people will choose.
As it was said, your reputation is on the line.
IMO buffets should be self serve. When it's not, I know the caterer doesn't have a clue.
 
4
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Joined Jul 20, 2017
I do have a clue, this is the 4th time I'm doing this!!!
I'm not a chef I'm a cook. This is actually a snack bar in a beach club, run by me and manned by clueless teenagers that I am forced to hire from the membership. We close the snack bar at 2 in the afternoon and my RTS is 7 that evening.
I HAVE 5 HOURS TO PULL THIS OFF!
Hopefuly, you can all understand the case of nerves this causes me.
I'm always left with way too much food & wanted advice on how to cut down on the waste.
I guess I used the wrong terminology when I said "Buffet" we will be dispensing the food as they pass through the stations to insure everyone is initially fed.
The guests are split 50/50 male & female. No children will be attending.
Sorry if I come off a little frazzled but frankly, I am.
 
4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
You will do fine.
Yes, a lb/pp is a LOT of food.
This is your CC's big summer blowout with an order to spare no expense (orders from the boss and chichi board members) if I remember from past years postings, right?
Put someone at the starting end of buffet to dish out a nice serving of protein (totally backwards from catering rules)and you can get away with 2-3 oz per side.
I also agree with Chef...let them serve themselves (sides) but leave those huge institutional spoons in the kitchen and put out smaller ones.
Some will take more some less but it will all equal out in at the end of the day.

mimi

Now for the real question....what's for dessert?

m.
 
4
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Joined Jul 20, 2017
thanks for your feedback :))
As for dessert:
A $1k Italian cookie extravaganza from a local Italian pastry shop & 3 GIANT sheet cakes from another local baker.
Way too much but what the boss wants, the boss gets.
 
4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
My niece married into a big Italian family and they brought the cookies from their bakery in Philly.
I fell in love with them and have been trying to find the real deal in Houston.
Most SAY they are traditional recipes but I still haven't hit on one that makes me happy.
Maybe it was the wine lol.

mimi
 
4
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Joined Jul 24, 2017
You'll be fine. Prep all your roast veg the day before but careful potatoes could turn black, I don't like storing them overnight in water. I boil potatoes just to point then salt and roast them which takes far less time, they don't dry out as much but get a nice crispy outside and a soft creamy inside-presentation and taste is great. Roasted potatoes can often look dried up after they cool, and taste the same. I throw a ton of butter onto the sheet pan a few min before taking them out for glisten, finish w/parsley. You can prep your dressings, sauces a few days ahead and herbs , onions and garnishes mostly a day ahead, the small touches really make it. Have you thought of sauces for the meat and fish?
One thing I've really learned is have a staff meeting and delegate, but Watch because kids can really mess things up in no time.
 
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