Sea food dishes that can survive reheating or served cold?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by Tday01, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Tday01

    Tday01

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    We've been asked to cater a small 6-8 person family event where the food is dropped off at the beginning of the event, and then kept warm or reheated to serve. They have requested sea food.
    Our gigs to date have been larger private events and pop-ups where we cook and plate on-site and have a server. This sort of catering is a first for us.
    Most sea-food doesn't do well with over long cooking times or reheating. Exceptions that I can think of are smoked fish, salt fish, and squid. I am struggling with this because I don't want to end up serving fancy airline food.
    I was considering hot smoked salmon (maybe served cold), some sort of salt-cod bean casserole. Any other ideas welcome!
     
  2. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    How long from drop off to serve? I would be hesitant to have someone reheat because of safety and quality issues. The caterer's name and rep are the one on the line, not the client's.

    Bouillabaisse, cioppinno, paella, and gumbo come to mind as dishes that can be held at temp.
     
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  3. someday

    someday

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    I agree I think some sort of seafood stew is your best bet. At least you could control not overcooking the seafood on your end, and just hope they don't boil it to death on re-heat.

    Clam/smoked fish chowder would work too, though I don't know if a soup is something that would work as a main. But something more substantial like a cioppinno with some nice crusty bread might work.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    You'd probably scare them off but Chinese Jellyfish salad is fun if they're adventurous. The jellyfish itself is essentially flavorless and acts as a crunchy slippery noodle for the dish. Served cold.
     
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  5. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    These are not good bedfellows, my friend. Try talking some sense into your customers and explain the health risks and the quality issues involved with that request. Its the caterer's name and reputation that's at stake here. Remember, no one remembers that really awesome catered event. They always remember the one where the food sucked or worse, made them sick.

    Good luck :)
     
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  6. Amber Gambrall

    Amber Gambrall

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    Ceviche?
     
  7. Tday01

    Tday01

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    The time from drop-off to serve is likely 60 - 90 minutes which should be OK from a safety perspective. We are trying to push them towards a meat based main. If that fails, we're leaning towards the fish stew sort of thing or possibly a salt cod "cassoulet". They actually asked for a paella; we nixed that on the grounds that it was too easy to burn, get soggy soccorat, or otherwise overcook.
     
  8. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    So, warm food, in this case seafood, sitting for 60-90 minutes as it tumbles through the temperature danger zone is ok from a safety perspective? Which safety perspective would that be???

    Good luck. :)
     
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  9. Tday01

    Tday01

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    Alternate is deliver chilled, and have them reheat.
     
  10. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    There comes a time in every caterer's life when they should tell the customer it can't be done. Most people don't understand what's involved with cooking and holding seafood and still serve a quality product. If it can't be done, it can't be done. They need to have a menu that fits the requirements of the situation. I never cater a meal I can't guarantee quality......Catering 101: You never let the client dictate how you're going to do things.......ChefBillyB
     
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  11. fatcook

    fatcook

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    Well iced shrimp cocktail for starters. Not a favorite of mine, but could work here - lobster mac and cheese served with crusty bread and bruschetta for contrast.
     
  12. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    While there certainly is a quality issue here, there really isn't a food safety issue. If they deliver it in insulated cambros there is no reason they can't get it to the event at over 140°F. Then with only 60-90 minutes until service you are nowhere close to the time that food is considered unsafe (6 or 4 hours depending on which cool down method you use to get food below 40°F). And if you can get it to the event at well over 140°F then you even have more time. Again, I am not discussing quality issues, but strictly from a food safety standpoint.

    Another option would be Brandade, on of my favorite dishes. Not really an entree but a wonderful app or hors. I don't think holding this for that length of time would cause major quality issues-of course still not optimal but better than many other choices.
     
  13. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    Bacteria does not begin to form only in the last minutes of the 3-4 hour time frame involved with food safety parameters. Bacteria begins to form as soon as the temperature is conducive to its formation. In this case, bacteria will have been doing their thing for 60-90 minutes.

    Will it make someone sick? Maybe. Maybe not. Does this scenario create an increased risk for someone getting sick? Yes. Does that mean someone will definitely get sick? No. But, the greater the exposure, the greater the risk. Why take that chance when such risk can be easily avoided??

    As long as they reheat the food to a sufficient temperature level before serving, they will be just fine. :)
     
  14. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Crab quiche?

    mjb.
     
  15. Transglutaminase

    Transglutaminase

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    I've seen a lot of cold, pre-cooked salmon fillets..not my cup of tea..but..
    Again, like you've mentioned..cured fish like,.. perhaps pickled herring.
    One of my fattening faves is taramasalata (with fried Greek thick pita bread, avec lemon juice sprinkle)..but then that's getting into the Greek appy thing..but have yet to see anyone turn that down! ;-)
    {edit}
    If it's possible to bring a butane or induction burner, perhaps made-to-order hot prawns/shrimp are always nice.
    Cajun, Thai, lime-cilantro, or WHY...
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
  16. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    A whole poached salmon served cold might be very nice, I've seen this many times in NYC buffets. It presents beautifully and can be surrounded by spreads and sides.

    A salt cod stew holds very well too and can possibly be made ahead and delivered chilled, to be warmed up on site.
     
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  17. jimyra

    jimyra

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    I have served poached salmon steak cold that turned out nicely.
     
  18. rick alan

    rick alan

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