Joined Apr 19, 2001
Okay, for all you caterers out there - what's your 'sleaziest' shortcut - the kind of thing that looks like a 'signature', but maybe comes from a jar?! One woman I worked for had a myriad of 'aioli' - pesto, sundried tomato, cranberry, lemon/garlic - they were all - you guessed it - mayo with assorted jarred flavorings! But everyone raved about them, and thought we'd made them from scratch! One of my sleazy favs is to buy deli rare roast beef, slice it and roll it onto toothpicks, and serve with a horseradish/sour cream dipping sauce!
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Sleazy!!!???? I prefer to think of it as creative use of time.
one of my raved on wonton dips is apricot jam, mustard and soy sauce......I can make the most glorious pot stickers from scratch and people will go on about the wonton dip....I'm going with the flow on this one.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
Shroomgirl - of course, I meant creative use of time!!!! Love your dip - I use one that's orange marmalade and horseradish, as a dip for coconut shrimp! Gets raves too!:D


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
here are a few, but don't tell or I'd be in deep trouble:

pre-made spanikopitas-just not worth the time and cost to make 1000s of these

we have never deep-fried a turkey though our sales people always sell it (do you have any idea how much oil it would take to fry 600# of turkey)

eggrolls for larger parties-see spanikopitas

we make all the flavorings for our aiolis, but 90% of the time just use store bought mayo (I am ashamed to say)

our holiday "champagne punch" is really just a mix of leftover wine coolers from summer picnics, but the guests just rave about them

Joined Dec 12, 2000
I don't have my own business yet, but one thing I do when cater the odd event, is that I buy all or most of my salads pre made, because I usually work solo.
Joined Sep 21, 2001
Around here one of my big sellers in the summertime is my BBQed Prime Rib.. I usually have it in the oven for @ an hour and a half and then finish it the last hour and a half on the grill. But they are consistant that way, especially when I feed a lot of people.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
I've used plenty of shortcuts depending on where I worked before. These days I don't use any.

I bet some of you have used ALL of these and more, I just can't name them all :)

Isomalt, premade chocolate containers, one "base" for all canapes, premade puff pastry, demi, soup of yesterday's leftovers, cream soup base, liquid smoke, caramel color, liquid eggs, florentine mix, premade royal icing flowers, sourdough mix, all kinds of cake mix, this mix, that mix :) anything from Karp's, frozen fries, frozen hashbrowns, precut steaks, vegi-glace, instant mousse mix, (now that's pretty common I tellya so admit it) fried mushrooms, fried everything, popcorn shrimp, breaded veal etc.

OK, maybe some of these you can consider shortcuts, some not. Nobody has the time to do all of it, certainly not when you have a thousand hungry farmers beating at your door! Now gimme those bag eggs!

Joined Jan 3, 2002
Ok, I admit, I make refrigerator cheesecake from the Jello no-bake mix. It costs way too much from scratch and few people here are willing to pay for that. I don't get too many orders for it so I don't do that too often. I do individual items so I get one order for that every couple months. I know, I'm bowing my head right now!:blush:
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