I've just been give rthe esponsibility (yet again) for our company Christmas Party. Usually I just get it catered, but this year the boss thinks that , with a little help from my freinds, I can cook just as well as what we have been getting and do it cheaper. That's flattering and all, but I've never cooked for this many people before.
First things first... Flattering yes, but YOU deserve this party just as much as everyone else does. If YOU are going to be saddled with this responsibility of cooking as opposed to just making a call to a caterer, YOU deserve some compensation for your efforts. So the question is, is it flattery, or is the boss just concerned with the bottom line, and figures he has a scapegoat to accomplish his goal (a party) at a reduced cost. Only you can answer this. Now on to the food... I'll not reiterate the recommendations already adressed. You could do ribs, but backs are probably cost prohibitive, and would take a lot of room to do (even with racks).. Spares cost 1/3 to 1/2 that of backs, and country ribs even less. Yeah I know they don't qualify, but were lookin for max capacity here. At the bottom I'll give ya visual verification that you can get 32 pounds of country ribs on a grill the size of a Weber Genesis. For poultry also consider boneless turkey breasts. Easy to slice (in a slicer). Just think of what is normally on your catered menu for anywhere you've attended. You could go the 3 choice route, and have poultry, pork, and beef. You could make your beef dish ground meat mosticholli. If you go with chicken, brisket, and pork loin you can get in for less than a buck a pound for all. As far as cooking for this big of a crowd, once you secure the needed grate area it's a matter of semantics. I'd also suggest doing a whole hog, but since you are cooking for a diverse group, there may be those that have aversions to eating pork. A varied menu will mostly be required. Another thing to consider, is the atmosphere of the event. Is this a dressy event? If so then eating with the fingers might be out. If that'as the case I'd recommend the boneless turkey over the bone in chicken. If it's come as ya'arr, then some sauce on the shirt might be expected. For sides, potatoes are always welcome, and will help to fill the void. Sliced, and boiled are nice but someone has to peel them. Mashed flakes are quick. Add a sprinkle of dried parsley and oregano, and you're done with those. String beans, and corn are quick and easy to round out the veggies. If you do go the turkey route, boxed stuffing just needs water added, and time to absorb (another void filler). Powdered gravies will suffice if needed. A salad is required, and you can get these ready ro go in big packages at most warehouse type markets (as well as most all of this...Sams here in the mw). Finish it off with a tray of pepperoncini's, black, and green olives, with some sliced french bread, and I'm sure that you'll be the hit of the party to rave reviews for your cilinary mastery. Just make sure that you're compensated for all of your efforts. It's great to be appreciated, but remember that you work there too and deserve the off time to comiserate just like everyone else does. Best of luck, and keep us posted with your bill of fare
Here's 32 pounds of country ribs on my gasser...