Easy catering for 75 people

A catering order came up and the request was for 75 people. This can get messy and we didn’t get confirmation until the last minute. The following is what we came up with. Consider it if you need something quick, asian and clean. I hate measuring (it also takes the fun out doesn’t it? Then again, if you get paid to do this your taste buds better be in line with the masses) so the following are estimates.

Korean BBQ Short Ribs

30 pounds Korean short ribs (they are usually $6-7 per pound! Some markets have short rib for soup at only .99 cents per pound. These are usually not uniform in thickness but from the same part of the cow. Half of what I bought was this to cut down on cost. You can also find them pre-marinated.
Marinade:
Pinch of  chili pepper (i use korean but not nessasary)
cup onion powder
cup garlic powder
10 cups soy sauce
8 cups sugar
quarter cup ginger
quarter cup worstershire
dash hickory smoke (optional, since my intention was to broil and not traditionally grill)
Directions: take a few five gallon painter’s buckets and line them with trash bags. Dump the meat. Dump the marinade. Let it absorb over night. Set the oven to broil. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil (easier to clean) and place the beef. It’s done when the bones start to protrude. Cut between the bones for “finger food” status and garnish with sesame seeds or green onions. Actual labor time for me was prepping the marinade and cutting at the end which i would guess totaled 20 minutes.

Thai Drumsticks

20 pounds chicken drumsticks (or wings or thighs, I used drumsticks because they were cheaper and had less number of bones)
salt
pepper
paprika
garlic powder
sugar
sweet chili sauce
Directions:
clean the chicken by rinsing under cold water until it “feels” clean, you’ll know when that is. Be careful for splashing chicken water (safety first!). Pat dry or let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix even parts of the above ingredients and evenly coat the chicken. Line you cookie sheets and bake at 400 degrees. When the chicken starts retracting from the bone (or nears 165 degrees F) start painting the sweet chili sauce onto it. BTW, this chili sauce you can find in the asian isle of your market and is usually a dressing or dipping sauce. Put the chicken back in the oven for 5 minutes and repeat a couple more times. Labor time was mostly washing and brushing the sauce, but I’d estimate 15 minutes. Garnish with peanuts (be careful of allergies) and/or diced bell peppers.

You can cover the beef and chicken in foil and leave  in the oven at 140 degrees F to keep warm until service. I wouldn’t do it more than an hour though otherwise things could get fry.

Meanwhile cut the fruit. Some tips. Pineapple is good when you pull a leaf and it comes off easily. Coating in salt, resting and rinsing it off can bring out the flavor but not nessasary.  Small cookie cutter comes in handy to remove the core after slicing discs. Apples discolor fast and easy so i would recommend cutting last and tossing it in a sweet citric juice like OJ or in our case lemon + sugar. We kept the grapes in clumps of 5-6 per branch to make them easier to handle.

If you plan an event down to the toothpick, then execution should be stress free. Also, though this is asian themed, don’t use asian time…prepare to be finished 30 minutes ahead of schedule because you never know what will happen. I had to stop in the middle of preparation because some lady came in asking for 18 sandwiches and I had never seen her before. No problem since we were half an hour ahead.

Hope this was useful to someone.

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