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Old 08-22-2007, 03:23 PM
Location: Down South
195 posts, read 163,881 times
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My child's Baptism is coming up and I need to make a meal ahead of time to freeze about a week before, and then defrost and heat to serve to around 35 people after church. Any ideas?
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:55 PM
Location: Prospect, KY
5,288 posts, read 17,081,700 times
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This is one of my favorite recipes for a crowd....all the toppings can be done one day ahead of time....just cook the pasta and top with the yummy toppings - very easy and flavorful and the pesto, olives and corn can be bought and stored ahead of time...it goes together very quickly - it is just a matter of putting it all on a platter and serving it...of course the pasta has to be freshly cooked and hot - but this dish is good at room temperature too.

California Pasta Salad

1 lb. penne pasta
1 package frozen corn or frozen corn with peas
1 large jar pesto (Trader Joe’s makes a nice one)
1 jar sun dried tomatoes coarsely drained and chopped, reserving oil
1 large can sliced olives
1/2 to 3/4 lb. lightly steamed asparagus (or green beans, squash or other
firm vegetable) cut in bite sized pieces
Marinated, barbecued or sautéed chicken breasts, cut in bite sized pieces (or leftover beef, pork or shrimp – store bought rotisserie chicken is great)
Garnish: ½ cup pine nuts toasted
Feta cheese
Fresh Italian parsley or basil, chopped

Chicken stock or broth and reserved oil from sun dried tomatoes as needed to make pasta the right consistency

Cook pasta according to package directions, but just before it is done, add frozen corn, cooking a few seconds. Drain pasta and corn. Place pasta and corn in large pasta dish or serving bowl.

Add pesto, sun dried tomatoes, sliced olives, asparagus and chicken pieces. Mix lightly but thoroughly, adding broth and reserved oil as needed. Garnish with toasted pine nuts, feta cheese and chopped parsley or basil.

Not sure if this freezes well but it is simple and delicious:

Marilyn's Chicken Enchiladas
2 seasoned chicken breast; grill, rest and slice
1/2 jar (15 oz.) green chili salsa
1 Jalapeno pepper; chopped (optional)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 flour tortillas (depends on size)
2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
Mix chicken with salsa and Jalapeno. Pour whipping cream into a shallow bowl.
Dip each tortilla in cream then place each tortilla in a baking dish. Spoon
chicken mixture into tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Roll tortillas and lay
seam side down in dish. Pour remaining whipping cream over tortillas and
sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.

The following recipe is absolutely delicious and could be made a day or two ahead of time - very flavorful my family loves this recipe:

Mexican Chicken Stew
Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
Few dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
1 lime
1 cup cooked white rice
Kosher salt
Sour cream, for garnish
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and sweat until soft and translucent. Add spices and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant and aromatic. Add tomatoes, chicken, Worcestershire, and stock.
Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.
Cut the lime in half, squeeze juice into the pot, and then add the juiced halves as well.
Add white rice and cook 5 minutes longer to warm rice through. Season, to taste, with salt.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream and cilantro.

I made this last week - delicious is all I have to say - I bought the shredded carrots, and finely shredded cabbage at the store. Used store bought rotisserie chicken and shredded it - julienned the snow peas and sliced the onions early in the day - made the dressing the day before - put it all together so quickly - again the flavors are incredible.

Chinese Chicken Salad

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons chipotle pepper puree
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 head Napa cabbage, shredded
1/2 head romaine lettuce, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1/4 pound snow peas, julienned
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
Chili oil, optional
Grilled lime halves, for garnish
Whisk together the vinegar, peanut butter, ginger, chipotle pepper puree, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and canola oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Combine cabbage, lettuce, carrots, snow peas, cilantro, and green onion in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine.
Transfer to a serving platter and top with the shredded chicken, chopped peanuts, and mint. Drizzle with chili oil, if desired. Garnish with grilled lime halves.

Last edited by Cattknap; 08-22-2007 at 04:06 PM..
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:58 PM
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,072 posts, read 10,682,127 times
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I would contact a nice restaurant and cater it. It would be worth it.
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:38 PM
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Default All Time Church Favorite

Turkey (or Chicken) Tettrazini. Pretty much agrees with everyone. Serve with a salad & bread. It's cooked vermicelli in a casserole with diced turkey, sauteed celery & mushrooms, in a cream sauce & or mushroom soup. (Pimentos optional.) Top with parmesan cheese and bake. It freezes great! If this looks good & you can't find it online, pm me & I'll send you my mom's recipe.
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:32 PM
Location: NE Florida
9,361 posts, read 21,915,459 times
Reputation: 9229
Swedish meatballs, rice, tossed salad, fresh fruit bowl and bagettes with butter.

Easy sweet thing- layer of cream cheese, layer of carmel sauce (Marie's) & slices of granny smith apples tucked in along the top. (dip the apple slices in lemon juice after slicing to prevent them from turning brown)
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:53 PM
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,391,308 times
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I'm all for simplicity. I'd cook a large turkey ahead of time and buy a spiral ham for slices of both on nice rolls. You don't want a sit down dinner I presume. This time of year zuchinni. A big casserole with spaghetti sauce over it heated up in the microwave. Easy.
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:39 PM
Location: CA
2,464 posts, read 5,564,759 times
Reputation: 2558
Spaghetti. Seriously. It's cheap, it's easy. Toss in a salad and some garlic bread on the side. You can freeze it. Reheat it on the stove (microwave will dry it out). Or have it catered - with that many people you might be snowed AND it could cost you $$$ just in ingredients if you make anything yourself (except for spaghetti of course). Anything over 15 people and I'm catering...
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:10 PM
Location: Zebulon, NC
2,275 posts, read 5,417,074 times
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You can buy a few of those huge frozen lasagnas, and serve with salad and garlic bread.

I would definitely do premade - such as frozen lasagna, or turkey and/or ham from Honeybaked Ham or grocery store. It's great to make something homemade, but save that for smaller dinner parties. For groups as large as that, keeping it simple and easy is the key.
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Old 08-25-2007, 02:13 PM
Location: Prospect, KY
5,288 posts, read 17,081,700 times
Reputation: 6499
If it is really hot where you are, you may not want to serve anything hot....how about something like taco salad - you can prepare the ground meat and taco seasoning, cut up the tomatoes, lettuce and green onions, open the cans of olives and corn, shred the cheese and store everything in individual zip-lock baggies. Have your tortilla chips or Fritos on hand and add sliced avocado or purchased guacamole and then put everything out and let people help themselves. Bake and freeze some corn muffins, cut up a watermelon and snip some grape clusters, buy some cookies and ice cream and you are done.
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Old 08-25-2007, 02:33 PM
4,948 posts, read 15,647,833 times
Reputation: 2830
i also say lasagna, do a ham, then make or buy potatoe salad, you also
could do a roast beef for a crowd. serve chips, have some cheese, rolls
or bread. If you have a good italian place near you, i bet you could pre-order
one which is made to pick-up the day b4.
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