The bosses serve lunch..

88
10
Joined May 29, 2002
Our HR guys occasionally come up with ideas aimed to fostering spirit in the company. Their latest is to have a buffet lunch on 31st July in our canteen served by 6 top management guys. I am not so sure about the merit or otherwise of the idea, but have been requested to design the menu and oversee the food preparation (I must have done something particularly nasty as a child to deserve this!).
The canteen has a reasonably well-equipped kitchen, and probably around 10m of counter space. They expect around 150 to have lunch over an hour (i.e. not all at the same time). Normal canteen lunches are salads, bread, a wet meat and two veggies. Heating is done by table top heating trays - no bains marie. The kitchen staff (chef + 4) is reasonably competent.
In order to maintain my reputation as the in-house foodie, I need to come up with a "WOW!" buffet. As I mostly cook at home, buffets fall outside my experience, and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. (Budget is, within reason, not an issue - as in no foie gras or lobster).
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
What's in season? Here it is mid 90's and humidity is a bear this week....Salad Nicoise is on pretty much every menu I do....Gazpacho is starting to appear...berry and peach crisps....

What fun things are growing or available? Local cheeses, fruits etc....?

I hate to be so ignorant but isn't it winter/cold in your part of the world?
 
88
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Joined May 29, 2002
Yep - winter here, but not really really cold - daytime temp is around 18C. Summer fruit is hard to come by as are wild shrooms. We do not have uniquely S.A. cheeses, but pretty much most of the European-style cheeses are either manufactured locally or imported. It is venison season, so springbok and kudu are available, as are game birds (partridge, pheasant, quail). Fresh fish - sole, tuna, Cape salmon, Norwegian salmon, trout, cob, stumpnose, sardines as well as mussels, prawns, crayfish, langoustines and oysters.
 
4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hi Gsquared,

Here's a couple of ideas to play with. Like shroom said i'm not so familar with your local or availible food stuffs.

maybe some salads to start
Wild greens with pears,belgium endive,blue cheese and carmilized peppered pecans laced with herb vinaigrette

Ahi tuna salad with snap peas,red peppers,corn and sesame vinaigrette

game sausages with a lentil salad on leaf lettuce with pancetta and sun dried cranberry vinaigrette

Poached breast of chicken on baby spinach and watercress with red and green apples,scallions,grapes,toasted macadamia nuts and a poppy seed dressing

Baked salmon over wilted spinach with artichoke bottoms and lemon cream

Roasted cod with lemon-mango sauce,asparagus,patty pan squash and peppered coconut rice

crispy snapper tacos with avacodo and tropical fruit salsa

linguini with cockles,cultivated mussels with tomato,garlic and parsley in a white wine clam broth
 
88
10
Joined May 29, 2002
Thanks, CC - I especially like the idea of the linguine. Will let you know how it goes. I wonder if the lack of response to my post can be ascribed to disregard for amateurs on this forum.......
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
G2.....I don't think it has anything to do with ametuers. When I read South Africa it threw me....I don't have a clue as to what produce you have. You've listed seafood and meats but it helps to know what we're working with. Give us a palate or tell us what your thinking or ask what buffets are being done in the same scenerio that you're working with and the answers will flow.
I've not seen this site disregard ametuers in the almost 2 year's I've participated....
 
1,046
11
Joined Apr 19, 2001
"Give us a palate or tell us what your thinking or ask what buffets are being done in the same scenerio that you're working with and the answers will flow.
I've not seen this site disregard ametuers in the almost 2 year's I've participated...."

Ditto what Shroomgirl said - we just need more info! Also, what's your budget?


__________________
 
467
10
Joined Jan 11, 2002
Actually we amateurs can't say we are disregarded here!:)
I agree with the others who told you that's hard to create a menu when you're not familiar with a country and its weather, food and eating habits...I mean, although I have read something about kudu I could find it difficult to suggest anyone how to serve it;)
Being not a pro, I don't pretend to solve all your problems, but since you mentioned a wide availability of fresh fish, a couple of "WOW!" suggestions, typical of my country, has come to my mind. They're both very suitable for a buffet.

1)CAPPON MAGRO: it's a sumptuous fish, seafood and vegetable salad, arranged in a very decorative way and served cold with a green sauce. It's one of the glories of the Ligurian cooking!

2)MUSCOLI RIPIENI (Stuffed mussels) they're stuffed with a filling made of bread, meat and/or mortadella, eggs, cheese and spices and then stewed in a tomato sauce. Can be easily prepared in advance and reheated.

Since writing the whole recipes requires some time, let me know if you're interested and I'll post them for you!

Pongi
 
33
10
Joined Dec 28, 2000
Ciao Pongi,
I sent you a few e-mails but never heard back from you. I would love to have the recipes for these dishes. I am a culinary arts student and want to specialize in Regional Italian cuisines. My family is from Rome and I have lived in Tuscany. You can e-mail me at [email protected].



Grazie Mille!!!

Alla prossima,
Bufano

:beer: :beer: :beer:
 
4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Dear Pongi,

I also,as Bufono would love to see those two recipes,I don't care if you are a Chef or Not!! your recipes are always fabulous+I love that you almost always attach some history to your recipes. So if it is not to much trouble I would greatly appreciate your recipes,when you stuff the mussles and then stew them,how does the stuffing stay in tack?or do you blanch them and stuff them then re-close the shell?
Thanks
cc
 
1,006
10
Joined Feb 6, 2002
Im also looking forward to the recipes also. And since I had to look it up I'll post what Mortadella is for those other clueless readers :)

Mortadella

This smoked sausage originated in Bologna, Italy, and is the original from which the slang name "baloney" came. It's made with ground beef and pork, cubes of pork fat and seasonings. The Italian version, which is not imported because it requires additional cooking steps before the U.S. government will approve it, is air-dried and has a smooth, delicate flavor. Canned, cooked versions are imported from Italy but they do not taste like the original. The American mortadella is basically bologna with cubes of pork fat and added garlic flavor. The Germans produce an excellent mortadella that contains pistachio nuts. See also sausage.


--Copyright (c) 1995 by Barron's Educational Series, from The New Food Lover's Companion, Second Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst
 
88
10
Joined May 29, 2002
Ok guys - sorry. I guess I was beset with a bout of weltschmertz......

I have buckled down are am in the process of finalizing the menu. My late father always maintained that, to get the creative juices flowing, you need to sit down with a glass of wine and chop an onion. Something along the lines of Ernest Hemingway maintaining that a writer writes - the story goes that when he got stuck, he would sit down and write his name over and over until ideas started coming.....

I will report back later.
 
467
10
Joined Jan 11, 2002
As usual, thanks everybody for your kind words!:)
Shawtycat, also thanks for your clarification...I didn't care about explaining what Mortadella is because I thought that our "Mortadella" and your "Bologna" were just the same thing, but now realize that it isn't! BTW...also Italian Mortadella generally contains pistachio nuts, not only the German one. In any case, I think that also Bologna can be good for the Muscoli recipe.

So, since finally I have today time enough to post the two recipes, you'll find them in the Recipe forum:)

Pongi
 

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