While exciting, entertaining can be very stressful, especially if cooking for a party of 100 people. Cost is a factor, as well as creating dishes that are flavorful and delicious for the guests. You want them to leave the party full and satisfied, eager to contact you for the recipe later on. A sit-down dinner might seem more difficult than buffet style, but is not much of a challenge with advance preparation.
Standing rib, (or Prime rib as it is commonly known), is easy to prepare and filled with flavor. Large amounts of fat in the meat, called marbling, make it tender and juicy. While it may cost a bit more, the quality of the meat will be something your party guests will remember for a long time. You will need 60 lbs. of standing rib, which is equal to four roasts with seven ribs each, serving each guest just over one-half pound. Rub the meat with seasonings and beef base before cooking. Cook each rib roast until medium rare. A fine palate will appreciate the meat's natural flavor. A pot of beef base juice, called au jus, tastes salty and flavorful when poured over the top of each rib portion. A small amount should be ladled onto each plate.
For a starch, horseradish mashed potatoes add a touch of spice. A vegetable medley of steamed carrots, broccoli and cauliflower will complement the dish and add vitamins.
Set out the right amount of plates and add a small scoop of the potatoes, using a large ice cream scoop. Spoon some of the steamed vegetables next to the potatoes and then a portion of the beef. A sprig of parsley on the plate makes a classy garnish.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
If your guests prefer fowl to beef, Chicken Cordon Bleu presents a great combination of flavors and is easy to prepare. Purchase one chicken breast per guest. Carefully slice open the side of each chicken breast to make a pocket. Stuff a slice of Swiss cheese and a slice of ham in each one. The contrast of the two meats brings a salty, yet moist result. Try to keep it hidden within the chicken, as the surprise comes for the guests when they slice into it. The chicken is breaded and baked to create a light and crunchy coating.
Potato wedges baked with rosemary are a nice side dish. Using fresh rosemary shows you’ve gone the extra mile and care that your guests dine on the very best. Saute thinly sliced squash and zucchini in olive oil, garlic, pepper and butter as a vegetable. A fresh sprig of kale provides a pretty garnish.
A fish choice is healthy and tasty, as well as simple. Fresh salmon is not gamey at all, which can turn off an educated foodie. A three-to-five-ounce portion of fresh salmon fillet per guest is enough to be elegant and not overbearing. A salmon fillet prepared right is easily sliced through with a fork and is best accompanied by a gourmet sauce.
Rice pilaf on the side is delicious with seasonings, chopped carrot and celery. Serve each plate with a large lemon wedge as a garnish. The guests will view a nice presentation and a squeeze of lemon adds some zing.
Eva David is a freelance writer and graphic designer based in Chicago. She has received several awards for her short stories. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and Advertising from the University of South Florida.