Category Archives: recipes for a crowd

Fiesta for 100: Refried Beans, Mexican Rice, and Chicken Enchiladas

Refried beans

Image via Wikipedia

Refried Beans

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 pound 6 ounces onions, chopped
6 tablespoons garlic, minced

6 tablespoons ground cumin
11 pounds dried  pinto beans, cooked or canned, drained (7 pound 8 ounces drained weight)

In a medium, heavy pot, heat oil. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft (10 minutes). Add garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook 2 minutes more.
If using canned pintos, rinse to partially remove salt. In a food processor, purée beans, adding small amount of the bean water to thin. Leave some beans whole. Put beans into pot with remaining sauce and heat, stirring often.

Spanish Rice–multiply 3x for 100 people

  • 1 3/4 cups bacon drippings, divided in half
  • 5 cups  long grain or converted rice

    Spanish Rice

    Image by StarbuckGuy via Flickr

  •  3 cups onion
  • 80 0z. canned tomatoes (about 3/4 of a #10 can)
  • 10 cups low sodium chicken broth, (hopefully made from the leftover chicken bones from enchiladas– easy!  Add bones and skin to ginourmous pot, with 3 big onions, 6 big carrots, 4 celery stalks, and a jar of
  • Tomato Bouillon Base, like Knorrs or whatever’s cheapest.

Put broth and tomatoes on to heat in a pan that can be covered.
Saute rice in about half the oil or dripping until all is lightly browned.
Saute onion,with spices in the rest of the oil until crisp tender.
When tomato-water boils, add rice and other liquid flavorings. Stir in the seasoned onion blend. Cover the pot with a tight lid or foil.

Cooking method 1: Stovetop: Simmer covered until rice is tender, about 30-40 minutes. Timing depends on amount and depth in pan.
Cooking method 2: Alternate oven method: Instead of simmering rice, pour into casserole pan, cover tightly and put in oven at 325 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Timing depends on amount and depth in pan.
Fluff rice and  before serving.

Chicken Enchiladas for 100

  •  oil for roasting pan
  • 30  pounds chicken breasts

    Mmm...enchiladas and stuff

    Image by jeffreyw via Flickr

  • 1 lb bulger, rehydrated
  • Salt and pepper
  • scant 1/2 cup cumin powder and garlic powder, mixed, or
  • 1/4 cup   Mexican Spice Blend,
  • 200 corn tortillas
  • 3 # 10 cans  enchilada sauce
  • 3   5 lb  bags  shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses (Mexican Blend
  • a # 10 can of black olives,( for garnish,  if your budget can spare it!)

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Roast chicken in 350 degree oven until 160 internal temp.  Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices before turning.  Allow to cool. Save delicious chicken roasting juices to add to your stockpot for Spanish Rice

Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded chicken to big stainless bowl and  combine with the  rehydrated  Bulgar.

Microwave tortillas in stacks of 10, on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable, or alternatively, warm in oven in foil packs of 30 or so, until soft and rollable. Coat the bottom of 1/2 sheet pan with a ladle of enchilada sauce. Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Fold over filling, place enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

250 flour tortillas, fajita size

6 pounds cream cheese
30 pounds chicken, cooked, shredded

5 cups salsa

2 1/2 gallons whole corn niblets, steamed or
1 gallon tri-color peppers, shredded fine and sauteed
OR bulgar wheat, (my preference)
5 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons black pepper
1/2 tablespoon cayenne
3 tablespoons oregano

4 pounds (16 cups) grated cheese
OPTIONAL 5 pounds black olives, sliced, drained
Sprinkle grated cheese over the top, sprinkle on the olives.

OPTIONAL garnish at serving
3 quarts sour cream
6 quarts salsa

In a medium bowl soften the cream cheese . Stir in 5  cups of the salsa. Stir in the chicken, the vegetables or bulgar, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, and 1/2 of the scallions. Add the chicken mixture to the cheese mixture and stir to combine. Brush or spray tortillas with oil, and fry on medium high quickly, until browned and puffy on one side, then flip to heat the remaining side.
Oil a  baking dish–large size roasting pan to fit food warmer.  Place about a 1/3 cup of the filling on a tortilla, roll up and transfer to the baking dish with the seam side down. Repeat process for remaining tortillas. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top. Enchiladas may be prepared up to this point 12 hours in advance. Transfer to preheated oven(350) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until hot crispy.  Sprinkle with the remaining scallions if desired,  and serve warm.

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chile for a crowd of 100

Beans Mix

Mr. Bean and his family

Image by he_boden via Flickr

  • 12 lbs your choice beans (I use pinto, or a mix of kidney black bean and pinto or whatever’s on hand in the pantry) soaked overnight with plenty of water, as they triple in size.  I use two ginourmous pots.
  • 8 large unpeeled yellow onions, studded with cloves on each end
  • 1 head of garlic,
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup  chile powder or
  • 1/3 cup cumin
  • salt to taste, as they begin to soften, about 3 Tablespoons

Directions for Beans Mix

Drain the water from the soaked beans.  Add fresh water to the ginourmous pot of beans  to cover,  about 6 gallons of water. Bring to a boil, skim off the foam that rises like huge marshmallows, for about 5 minutes or so,  and then when fairly clean of foam, add seasonings divided evenly between the pots, and reduce heat to a steady simmer and cover. Cook two hours, check for tenderness, if needed allow another hour. Good fresh beans seldom take more than 2 hours to become tender.

Chile Aromatics mix

  • 15 pounds onions

    Onion

    Image by DB-2 via Flickr

  • 1.5 pounds garlic, chopped fine ( sold in 3 lb bag at Costco, Christopher Ranch brand peeled whole cloves,  I do not use prechopped as it tends to taste rancid)
  • 2/3 cup cumin (about 2, 2.5 spice packs from a Mission street bodega)
  • 1 /3 cup ground coriander (1, 2.5 oz. pack)
  • 2 and 2/3 cups or about 6 spice packs of your choice chile powder ( my combination is 2 mild California style, 5 New Mexico,  and 2 very hot, like chipotle, depending on your mood, or palate of eaters.  Our crowd tends to really like the heat.)
  • 3 #10 cans diced tomatoes

Directions for Chile Spice Mix

Chile Powder for sale in Bolivia

Image via Wikipedia

In your last empty (our church has only three) ginourmous pot, start the onions frying on very low heat, stirring frequently to make sure they don’t scorch.  After they are softened and translucent, add garlic and turn up heat to medium.  Stir until you can smell the good garlic aromas.  Then start opening those spice packs, and stir as you add and smell the enticing fragrances.  Last open the big cans, drain the juice, and add the tomatoes, and stir.  Cover and simmer on low, while you brown your meat of choice.

Meat Mix

  • 2o pounds meat of choice, (whatever is on sale).  Suggestions: ground beef, or half ground beef, half bulk sausage,
  • or  cubed chuck roast, cubed pork shoulder, turkey thighs, boned
    Beef Stew: Season the beef

    Image by Indiana Public Media via Flickr

    and cubed.

  •  Season this cubed  meat with salt and pepper and then toss with masa harina, or flour for dredging– a very light coating before browning.  You can skip the coating step, I only do it if I have the time, but it helps thicken the chile, and adds flavor.

Brown the meat well over medium high heat in small batches in a small deep sided pan.  If you crowd the pan, you will steam the meat and miss the browned bits that add tremendous flavor.  After each browned batch, spoon the beans’ cooking liquid into the pan to deglaze and loosen the yummy flavorants.  Add this precious liquid to your big pot of chile aromatics mix.  Put the browned meat into the 3 big stainless bowls, to make equal portions you will later add to your ginourmous pots.

When all is browned, and the beans have cooked, you can begin to divide your mixes into the separate pots.  (I have found three big pots to be enough for seconds, and sending home gifts to the helpers, and the single moms among us.)  Drain the beans, saving the delicious cooking liquid, into the  big stainless bowls, and evenly divide the aromatics, the meat and beans into the three ginourmous  separate pots. If I am running late- the meat is still browning, and the beans are not as tender as I’d want, I get at least one big pot started simmering and flavors melding, because it all should simmer on low for an hour.  Stir and stir, or it  will scorch!

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Better than Banquent: Chicken Pot Pie for a Barnful

Start Roasting yer  Chicken:

(Handy chicken fact: 1 pound lean boneless skinless chicken makes about 2 cups of meat and
1 pound whole chicken makes about 1 cup of meat)

  • 4  5 lb chickens, cut up– I cut up my own it is vastly cheaper.
  • Mixed herbs or poultry seasonings,  and salt and pepper
An adult male chicken, the rooster has a promi...

Image via Wikipedia

Put convection oven at 400°. Oil roasting pans,  arrange chicken on them and leave space between  chicken pieces,  so it browns well instead of just  steaming. Sprinkle front and back with Mixed Herbs Blend, and roast for 20 or so minutes until it is  well browned.  Do not worry about thorough cooking, as it will cook further in the casserole.  Throw the wings, backs  and giblets (all except the livers, but save them to make great chopped liver)  right back  into your ginourmous stock pot.  Add water to almost 3⁄4 full and bring to a boil, and add at least  6 fat  carrots, 3 big onions, 6 stalks celery, 6 sprigs parsley.

Strip the rest of the chicken  from the bones, and of skin, which also are added to the pot. Simmer gently for at least an hour, or overnight, covered on the pilot, or very, very low heat,  and then skim carefully of fat.  Save this for the next step, which is,

Roux:

  • 3 cups butter or chicken fat
  • 3 cups flour

Melt fat over medium heat, and slowly add flour, mixing with whisk until smooth.  Cook for 5 minutes over low heat.  Use immediately,

or it can be refrigerated for a month or frozen for a year.  Do twice for four pans, serving 200.


Sauce Veloute:( for one pan serving 50)

  • 3 cups roux
  • 1  gallon stock

    A roux-based sauce with chicken stock, white w...

    Image via Wikipedia

  • 1⁄2 gallon whole milk
  • 3 lbs frozen peas
  • 6  lbs cooked chicken, or 4 quarts, or 16 cups, diced
  • 1-2 Tbs salt
  • 1tbs pepper
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 tsp hot sauce

Heat roux if refrigerated or frozen.  Slowly add stock, whisking constantly, until smoothly blended, then milk and cook on low for five minutes, stirring continually.  Add seasonings and taste.  Add peas, carrots, potatoes and chicken.  Keep warm while rolling out crust.

Hot Water Pie Crust: From Cooking from Quilt Country by Marcia Adams.

problem with the pie crust

Image by Joelk75 via Flickr

Do not be afraid of either the lard in this crust, or the idea of rolling out crust.  This stuff is magic, like rolling out Play Dough, it is that forgiving and patchable and moldable!  This pie crust disaster on the right will not happen to you. Hot water pie crust is the beginners’ ideal crust, and the experienced chef’s godsend, as it makes an enormous quantity very quickly in the mixer

.  It is the reason those Amish women  can serve their families pie three times a day.

And About Lard:  It has a undeserved bad reputation as a health hazard, but home rendered lard is as healthy a source of omega 3’s as olive oil.  The stuff in tubs is not as good, but it tastes great if it’s fresh–everyone thinks they are eating a butter crust.

(For 4 8-inchtop and bottom crusts or 4  9-inch single crust, or 1 15 ×12 inch pan , so repeat four times, for four 15×12 pans to serve 100)

  • 1 1⁄2 pounds lard,  (3 cups)

    Cover of "Cooking from Quilt Country : He...

    Cover via Amazon1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 1⁄2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 9 cups all purpose flour (1⁄2 bag)

Put lard and salt in mixing bowl and beat a bit until completely softened.  Pour boiling water over the lard and blend again.  Let this mixture cool to room temperature, but stir often so water and lard won’t separate, though it is not the end of the world, or the crust, if it does).  Stir in the flour, and form the mixture into a ball.  Chill for several hours, or overnight , then let the cold dough sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before rolling out.

Bake pies at 400°

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes for 100

  • 50 lbs. potatoes
  • 80 oz. cream cheese with chives
  • 5 cups half and half

    mashed taters

    Image by plasticrevolver via Flickr

  • 5 tsp pepper
  • 7 1/2 cups butter

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.

Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Put the potatoes over low heat, slightly covered, allowing all the steam to escape, and dry out before mashing and  adding in all the other ingredients.

Turn off the stove and add butter,  cream cheese and half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, black pepper to taste.

Stir well and place in half-sized roasting pan. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until crusty and browned.

Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 40 to 50 minutes or until warmed through, or if you have time, till browned and crispy like a giant tater tot.  Don’t cover with foil or steamer pans, or you’ll soften the crust.

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Texas Toast: A Giant Feast FOR THE GIANTS!

Giants beat Phillys 6-5 in game 4 of National ...

Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

  • (1 pound) firm quality white bread, sliced 3/4 inch. A nice potato bread works well or ciabatta.
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups chopped blanched  broccoli, or asparagus in season
  • 2 cups chopped onions, green are especially nice for color
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (Optional addition,  but it’s good fresh as garnish, with sour cream, avocado and salsa)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup Half & Half or 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup pickled jalapeno, sliced (nice with asparagus
  • or chipotle in adobo, 1/2 cup (to taste–these are spicy, I chop them, and remove some seeds
  • 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cumin
  • optional: red and yellow food coloring to make custard oranger
  • optional: 1 lb taco seasoned hamburger, or spicy Italian sausage, or chorizo–but it is as  good  with all veggies

Place 1/2 of the bread slices in a greased 13 X 9 pan.

Saute onions and blanched broccoli in little bit of olive oil.

Sprinkle  bread with  1/2 cheese, jalapenos or chipotle, and broccoli .
Mix beaten eggs, milk, spices. Pour over bread in pan. Top with remaining breadslices, and then another layer of veg and cheese. Sprinkle with sliced olives.

(Depending on size of pan, you may need to press it all down lightly at this point to make certain all the bread will be moistened. In a big pan, we even had to “weight” it a little with a second pan over the top.)
Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from refrigerator, let sit 30 minutes.
Bake covered at 350 for 1 hour  (9×13) or 120  minutes (steamer pans), and after 45 minutes or so
Check for doneness –center set, 180 degrees.  Can be refrigerated or frozen, reheated covered, leftovers microwave well.

NOTES FOR BIG POT COOKING:This makes ONE 9×13 pan, serving 10-12.  Make four (4) times the recipe as part of this meal for 100, and cook it in 2 or three half steamer pans, or one electric roaster. IF THIS IS YOUR ONLY ENTREE FOR 100 PEOPLE, YOU NEED TEN (10) TIMES THIS RECIPE!!!

Also, it is essential that the bread cubes are covered with the egg mixture and completely soaked in it: weight it down overnight if necessary, put another pan over it, and then a heavy bag of rice or whatnot.

Shopping List for 100:

10 lbs bread

7 lbs colby cheese

5 cups cilantro

7 dozen eggs

6 onions

Red and yellow food coloring to make orange

20 cups broccoli

5 cups chile in adobe, or pickled jalapeno-10 cups

1/3 cup salt

5 tsp pepper–scant 2 tbs

scant 1/4 cup cumin

#10 can olives

Serve with: Carrot Raisin Salad.   Here’s the recipe for a crowd of 100:

8 cups diced pineapple
32 cups grated carrots
4 cups raisins
1 cup salad dressing
1 cup yoghurt (optional if you like a creamy dressing but it will muddy the pretty colors)

Drain pineapple. Save the juice. Wash, peel and grate the carrots. Add raisins and mix. Mix yogurt, salad dressing and pineapple juice. Pour over salad, stir, chill and serve.

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