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When I am not chasing down my toddlers or doing the myriad of other duties on my job description, I like to cater parties for friends and family.
Most recently I began catering the luncheons for my mother and her friend's tour business. Groups tour some of the old homes in Montgomery and visit the museum. Then they eat lunch at my mother's home and complete their visit with a bit of shopping at the local antique stores.
I won't fib and tell you it is a breeze to cater a luncheon for 40 people but once you get the hang of it and do it a few times, it gets easier. The most important thing to remember when you are catering for a large group is to be organized. Know what you are making, what ingredients you need and what time frame you need to have it all completed at the same time.
Now that being said, let me give you a couple of recipes that are excellent for large crowds and can be scaled up if need be.
Chicken Tortilla Casserole
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped celery
3 cup cooked chicken or turkey, chopped
10-12 (6") corn tortillas, torn in bite size pieces
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chili peppers, drained
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup salsa
In medium pan combine onion, broth and celery. Boil and reduce heat
then simmer until celery is tender. In large bowl stir together onion mixture, meat, tortillas, peppers, soup and pepper. Reserve 1/2 cup of both cheeses; set aside. Stir remaining cheese into mixture. Transfer to a lightly greased 13"x9" baking pan. Top with salsa and reserved cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30
minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Recipe is easily increased.
Sweet Onion Potato Salad
7 (3 pounds) medium red potatoes
1 large sweet onion (Walla Walla, Vidalia, or Maui onion)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 large Golden Delicious apple, unpeeled, cored, and diced
12 pimiento stuffed green olives, sliced
1/3 cup chopped sweet pickles
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon steak sauce or soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil potatoes with skins on just until barely done or tender when pierced with a fork; drain and cool slightly. As soon as you can handle them, peel and cut into
chunks; place into a large bowl. Cut onion into quarters and slice thin; add to potatoes along with celery, apple, green olives, and sweet pickles. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, and steak sauce or soy sauce. Spoon over potato mixture; mix gently. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight before serving. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
5 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 pkg. yeast
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 C. butter or shortening
2 C. buttermilk
1/4 C. butter, melted
Mix dry ingredients, then cut in butter. Dissolve yeast in 2 tablespoons warm water. To yeast, add the buttermilk. Mix in all ingredients, except butter, well. Sprinkle board with flour, knead a few times to make soft but not sticky dough; roll to 1/4 inch, then cut with biscuit cutter. Dip in melted butter and fold over. Place close together. Let rise (optional). Bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes. Makes about 40 biscuits. You do not need to let these rise before baking unless you have the time.
Apple Blossom Bundt Cake
1 1/2 Cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
3 Cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Cups apples, unpeeled and chopped
1/2 Cups walnuts or pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Use solid vegetable shortening to generously grease a Bundt baking pan. Cream oil and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Sift dry ingredients and spices together. Add to sugar mixture. Add vanilla extract, apples and nuts to batter and fold all together. Bake in prepared Bundt pan for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool 20 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm or cool with fresh whipped cream.