Roasting Salmon and Holding in a Cambro

16
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Joined Sep 13, 2016
Hi all,
As a five year caterer, I have never served salmon on the buffet line. Now, I believe it is time to add a couple of entree choices to my menu. Your assistance is appreciated in helping me with 1 - Tips for Quantity preparation, (baked) holding and transporting in Cambros. Your experience is far greater than mine, thank you in advance for what you can offer this unseasoned salmon caterer. ;)
 
2,989
528
Joined May 5, 2010
Fish on a buffet is a disaster, especially if it's a fish that drys out quickly, like salmon, or halibut.
If you want to put fish on the buffet, try to choose one that will hold up better in a chaffing dish, like tilapia, or orange roughy, or trout.
Putting food out on a buffet is easy, but keeping the food looking and tasting good is another thing that many people get wrong.
Unless you have the capabilities to monitor the buffet and keep a close eye on the condition of the product on the line, I'd be hesitant to put a fragile product such as salmon on a buffet.
That being said, if the guests move through the buffet in a quick manner than the fish would work. Time is the enemy with buffets and well made food.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
The factually simplistic truth is that some foods are just not feasible or advisable in the catering world. Salmon is generally one of those items for exactly the reasons chefross described. It dries out and its presentation suffers with every passing moment that its held.

However, to add to those reasons, fish in general can be an odor offending dish that may not whet the appetites of your guests. Sure, fish such as salmon has great curb appeal on paper. But, when the time comes for the event and your client gets a whiff of fish, that's where the wheels can come off. Have you ever walked into a catered event where fish is served? That smell is going to be the first impression many guests have of your catering service.

Furthermore, there's the likelihood that your guests may not want to risk smelling like fish after sitting down to plate of salmon or other fish. Of course, there are some exceptions such as sushi and other light, non-odor offending seafood based apps.

Good luck. :)
 

kuan

Moderator
Staff member
6,916
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Joined Jun 11, 2001
A filet won't work, neither will a steak. But you can do roulades, stuffed with ricotta, or a mousseline, and held together with a nice piece of bacon and toothpicks. Bear in mind this takes fabrication but it will utilize all your salmon and also add value.
 
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Joined Jan 31, 2012
The big chain all you can eat buffet houses serve fish,
in hotel pans on the steam table. Including commonly,
Salmon. If youll notice the next time youre at one, the fish
is sitting in water or a light marinade, which keeps it moist.
It can stay presentable and servable this way for at least a couple hours.
 
2,989
528
Joined May 5, 2010
The big chain all you can eat buffet houses serve fish,
in hotel pans on the steam table. Including commonly,
Salmon. If youll notice the next time youre at one, the fish
is sitting in water or a light marinade, which keeps it moist.
It can stay presentable and servable this way for at least a couple hours.

Yes....and it's like eating sawdust too...
 

kuan

Moderator
Staff member
6,916
444
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Yeah, it's not great. Or freaking submerged in whirl. (which might actually be better)
 
16
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Joined Sep 13, 2016
Really, I won't be serving 500-1000 guests, we are talking 300 tops! Now there isn't any suggestions for an excellent salmon to serve for this small of a group? I will not be serving it for 3-4 hours. One hour tops. Does that help with any new suggestions?
 
4,516
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
One hour tops
If you are determined to do salmon...spritz hotel pans with water, saute salmon (about 75% of desired finish), place in spritzed hotel pans immediately, cover with lettuce leaves immediately, cellaphane and foil pans immediately, and place in prewarmed cambro immediately, remove lettuce before serving and sauce salmon, serve immediately after saucing.

Do a run through or two until you are satisfied with the results, before doing it for guests.
 
16
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Joined Sep 13, 2016
Thank you Cheflayne,
I do appreciate your suggestion and like any new item that will be served, experimenting is a must. I really won't offer anything on the serving line if it doesn't meet my expectations for looking and tasting good. Thank you for sharing your expertise.
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
Katerqueen, There are many items we would all love to put on our catering menu. I never had any seafood on my menu that couldn't be cooked onsite. You could offer any and all seafood on your menu with the stipulation that it can only be accomplished with an onsite kitchen with ovens. When my client wants a menu item that's difficult to insure quality. I tell them I could do it but it will cost more. The reason why is, I may have to hire more people to cook the food item onsite. I may need to rent equipment to cook and hold the item properly.

It's up to us as caterer's to explain what's needed to insure 100% success of the function. I'll never cater an item that I'm not 100% sure that I can successfully accomplish with 100% quality...........ChefBillyB
 
16
14
Joined Sep 13, 2016
Katerqueen, There are many items we would all love to put on our catering menu. I never had any seafood on my menu that couldn't be cooked onsite. You could offer any and all seafood on your menu with the stipulation that it can only be accomplished with an onsite kitchen with ovens. When my client wants a menu item that's difficult to insure quality. I tell them I could do it but it will cost more. The reason why is, I may have to hire more people to cook the food item onsite. I may need to rent equipment to cook and hold the item properly.

It's up to us as caterer's to explain what's needed to insure 100% success of the function. I'll never cater an item that I'm not 100% sure that I can successfully accomplish with 100% quality...........ChefBillyB
Yes, I do agree with you. I will continue to try experimenting with the salmon to come up with one that will meet my satisfaction as well as the customer's.
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Salmon fillets bake in under 15 mins, depending on portion size. For a party of over 75 ppl., it would make good sense to rent a full or half size oven, or a bbq for on site.

Cambros are sweat boxes. They work perfectly for things like mashed potatoes, liquids, sauced pasta, and sauced entrees. Salmon in a sauce would hold well in a cambro, but it would have to be in some kind of a sauce.
 

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