Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu: Formal dinner for 50

So, it went like this: it started as a pleasant conversation with my roommate. He asked a little favor of me. "Sure," I responded. "I'll throw together a little dinner for the ladies at church." Boy howdy, did I not realize what I was getting myself into. Cooking a 4 course dinner for 50 is a little different than making a pot of soup which would last me all week long. I made sure I had some good help, a lot of very large pans, and away we went.

There were a few trial runs, a few miserable failures (The coconut pumpkin soup sounded so good, but it was so bad; I still don't know what went wrong). There were many a batch of homemade vegetable broth made, 2 gallons of onion soup consumed in a week (I just couldn't bring myself to even look at it, much less make it again for 50 people), and more hours than a reasonable person would consider prudent spent surfing cooking blogs.

I must say, I am proud of the menu. I think the courses balance each other well: a little spice in the soup, a little citrus tang in the salad, a very herby, earthly presence in the main course, and then a not-overly sweet chocolate and berry homerun for dessert.

It was fun putting it all together, planning, experimenting, etc., but I don't know that I would go out and volunteer for these opportunities, if I were you.

Relief Society General Broadcast Dinner for 50
(pictures will definitely follow)

Course 1, Soup: Black bean soup
  • I multiplied the recipe by 3, planning on rather small servings (it's a hearty soup). I served them in 9 ounce tumblers with a long breadstick and dollop of sour cream
Course 2, Salad: Mixed greens with carrot, radish, mandarin oranges, and French vinaigrette
  • I had to remember here, this salad is just a cleanser to go from the spicy to the herby. Keep the dressing light and the serving size somewhat on the smaller end. No one wants to get full on course number 2.
Course 3: Entree: Herb braised chicken breast with a side of autumn risotto with caramelized apples
  • The two of these pair very well together with similar flavors. Make sure you put on some parsley at the end, or some other colorful thing, or else you'll get a very bland-looking plate (and the food tastes too good to be bland looking).
Course 4, Dessert: Baked Chocolate Tart
This dessert is my old-faithful standby. I love it, and it loves me. This time I made a topping out of mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries). It's a romance that keeps getting stronger with age.


sunni said...

This looks beautiful -- and like a ton of work. Way to impress all the women in D3. I wish I could have been there to enjoy the feast. Good work!

Christa said...

Man. I'm sorry I missed this.