Party for 200 in 48 hours?? No problem!

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been running the "No Day Off Anytime Soon" marathon at work. After returning from my convention, I made some personnel changes in the kitchen and I've been making my presence known by spending quite a bit of time in there myself. A little fine-tuning of the remaining staff and we'll be running smoothly once again.

A client waltzed into my office this past Thursday interested in a cocktail party for 200 people. "We'd love to help!" I told her, "what date are you interested in having your party on?" She very calmly answered "Tuesday." I politely picked myself up off the floor and regained my composure. If she could be so calm as to try and pull off a party for 200 within 2 business days, so could I. I am, after all, in the business of catering, aren't I? Since I just returned from an intense 3 day bombardment of fresh and new catering concepts, I really wanted to try and sell some of my new ideas but I knew better. I had to make arrangements for an extra food delivery, find staff, clean serving trays, and Lord only knows what else! "Stick to what you know," I told myself and I sold her on twelve of our most popular appetizers. Her menu was as follows....

Stationary hors d’oeuvres displayed on silver trays and garnished with fresh flowers

Smoked salmon spread served with Bella Cucina crackers
Endive leaves stuffed with crab salad
Bleu cheese and walnut dip served with fresh vegetable crudite
Hot spinach and artichoke dip served with pita chips

Cream cheese and bacon stuffed mushroom caps
Domestic and imported cheese board
Fresh asparagus spears encased in proscuitto
Baguette slices topped with roasted eggplant, red pepper and mozzarella

Marinated pork tenderloin medallions served on freshly baked dollar rolls
Mini croissants filled with shrimp salad
Shaved roast beef with horseradish cream sauce served on Parmesan crisps
Parmesan crusted chicken tenders served with honey dijon dipping sauce

The food was ordered, the staff was in place, and we successfully delivered the food on time. No problems...I am in the business, after all! We picked up our trays today and received alot of compliments. I'll leave you with a couple of recipes of my personal favorites from this menu....

* Exported from MasterCook *

Crab Salad on Endive

Recipe By : "Party Appetizers"
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Appetizers Seafood

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 heads Belgian endive
6 ounces best quality crabmeat
1 tender inner celery stalk -- finely diced
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
radicchio leaves or chives

Trim the base off the endives and separate the heads into leaves; rinse the leaves and pat dry. In a small bowl, mix the crabmeat, celery, mayo, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt. Spoon the crab mixture onto the bottom 3rd of each endive leaf (about a heaping teaspoon for each). Nestle the leaves inside the larger radicchio leaves, or criss-cross two 1" pieces of chive over the crab.

With the time crunch, we weren't able to find decent looking radiccho, but I think it looks great nonetheless. I love to add fresh dill to this recipe in place of the chives.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Party Pork Tenderloins

Recipe By : "Celebrate!"
Serving Size : 24 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Appetizers Pork

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
5 each pork tenderloin -- about 1 lb each
1 cup sherry vinegar
2/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
8 cloves garlic -- finely minced
2 tablespoons tiny capers, drained plus 2 tbsp. brine
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dried oregano
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Wipe the pork tenderloins with damp paper towels and place them in two large bowls or plastic containers. Combine all the marinade ingredients with 1 cup water in a bowl and pour it over the tenderloins. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Transfer the tenderloins to a colander, wipe them clean of any marinade pieces, and let them drain for 15 minutes. Then pat them dry with paper towels. Strain the marinade, reserving 2 cups of the liquid. Preheat oven to 400. Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in each of two large nonstick skillets over medium high heat. Sear the tenderloins well all over, in batches, if necessary, turning the meat as it browns. It will take about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer the pork to two 15x10 inch shallow roasting pans (2 in one pan, 3 in the other) and add 1 cup of the reserved marinade to each pan. Roast the tenderloins until slightly pink in the center, 10 minutes. If you prefer to lose the pinkness,
cook 2 minutes more). Place the tenderloins on a cutting board and let them rest for 10-20 minutes. They will continue to cook as they rest. Cut the tenderloins into 1/2" slices and arrange them on a large round platter, overlapping the slices slightly.

I think these tenderloins are more eye appealing when sliced and fanned out on a serving tray as the recipe indicates with the dollar rolls served in a basket and little ramekins of romanesco sauce or various flavors of mustard & mayo, but our client wanted the sandwiches pre-assembled. I prep a smaller version of this recipe for an entree alot of times too. It is delish! Don't let the short roasting time and the pinkness of the finished product scare you. Since it is marinated with vinegar, the meat has a reaction with the acid and actually "cooks" while marinating. Please remember also to only marinate in glass or plastic when using an acid based marinade. Enjoy!!


Helene said...

What a great spread! You are truly an inspiration to any caterers out there!
I would love to be able to give you a hand...just for the fun of it.
Keep up the good work!

Kristen said...

I can't believe you were able to pull that off in that little amount of time. Amazing! Glad you were able to use some of your new ideas.

Lis said...

Way to go! Looks like it was a complete success =)

I love the recipes you shared and will most definitely try them! Although I've only seen the belgian endive in our local stores once.. I figure it'll come back again eventually, right? And then I shall pounce and make this! Yum!

As for the pork tenderloin.. I'll be trying that very soon =)

Everything looks fabulous! So glad you are back to being busy again.. busy is good! :D

sandi @ the whistlestop cafe said...

Great job! You are amazing!
Party for 200~ and lived to blog about it.
Thanks for sharing your recipes!


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