Catering for sixty

January 3, 2009

I have another cooking challenge. Last year I cooked an entree for fifty for the yacht club progressive dinner. This year for the same event, I am down to cook the main course. 

I hadn’t given it much thought. I’ve hosted christmas dinner for twenty and a new years eve barbeque for thirty two. The progressive dinner is my next challenge and its next Saturday. There is something about being under pressure that kicks me into gear. I’ve decided to make beef wellington. The yacht club has a terrific industrial kitchen and very large oven. I’ll be able to prepare the beef wellingtons beforehand and place them in the oven when the time comes. Whilst they are cooking I’ll be able to eat my entree and prepare the accompaniments. 

The problem is I’ve never cooked beef wellington before. I’ll have to finalize a recipe and try it at home. The trial run will also help with the costing. Two friends have told me their beef wellington recipes. They are slightly different. Both require eye fillet steak, puff pastry and a combination of onion and mushroom sauteed in butter. The difference is one uses chicken liver pate spread onto the puff pastry and the other uses blue cheese, crumbled into the cooled sauteed vegetables and spread onto the pastry prior to rolling it around the meat:

1. Mushrooms and Blue Cheese

Saute chopped onions, mushrooms in butter. Add red wine, favorite herbs and reduce. Cool. Crumble through blue cheese during assembly.

2.  Traditional

Saute onions, mushrooms in butter. Cool. Spread chicken liver pate on puff pastry during assembly.

Time pressure dictates that I make up my mind and do a trial run tomorrow night. I’ll need to cost and order the ingredients early in the week. But which recipe should I choose and what should I serve with it?

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4 Responses to “Catering for sixty”

  1. I’d go for the liver pate one – sounds delicious. Since it’s hot, can you get away with large salads as accompaniments? Or do you have to do hot veg? If so I’m thinking large trays of roasted veggies, which are crowd-pleasers …

  2. ejenne said

    Thanks Charlotte. The entree is a salad of asian herbed chicken, alternated with prawns. So hot for the main would be my leaning. I think roast veggies is a good idea. I’ll just have to make sure there are enough trays and space in the oven.

    Potatoes is the obvious one, but I might do a combination of potatoes, sweet potato, carrots, um, oh onions and shallots. Is beetroot nice roasted?

  3. 12ontheinside said

    Beetroot is nice roasted but might make the rest of your veggies go pink. (I had a disaster with beetroot stuffed mushrooms once. Apparently pink mushrooms aren’t appetising.) I’d go with a combo of any root veg you can get. Also, the recipe with pate seems like the right one to me.

  4. ejenne said

    lol who would have thought the mushrooms would turn pink! Thanks for the tip, 12ontheinside. (Great name! Have I already said that?).

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