The Great Hall
What can be made before cooking time? The Great Hall: What can be made before cooking time?
By Lilwong (Lilwong) on Monday, January 19, 2004 - 01:29 am: Edit

I'm no pro cook but I cook quite often and sometimes for quite big groups (parties of 20). I usually start the day of preparing as much as I can but it almost always ends up with me rushing the like hell 'cos everything's gotta come together at the same time.

What's worse is the meals are not course-by-course but like big ala-carte buffets where all the food is laid out on the table for all to share. I try to prepare everything as close to serving time as possible to keep it nice but this is becoming unfeasible as I experiment beyond pot roasts to ala minute dishes.

So my main question is: what sort of foods are suitable for parstock? If I pan-fry my fish 2-3 hours ahead of service, can I keep it in the oven at 70Celsius and expect it to be roughly of the same quality by the time of service? What veges can be blanched ahead of time?

I usually try to strategize and hv a soup, a roast n a pan-fry so that the 1st 2 items can be prepared ahead of time. But recently I had one risotto n a pan-fry of which both I judged it to be better to prepare just before service n everything almost went to hell, the risotto was fine but the fish was cold by the time the dishes went out.

Geez, just realized I typed a lot just to ask a simple question. Sorry guys, got carried away there. Take care!

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Monday, January 19, 2004 - 07:25 am: Edit

Serving those dinners are tricky when you are doing it all, makes you appreciate Chefs and cooks a little more!
What you are doing is fine, as per the vegetables you can just about blanch any hard vegetable, anything not leafy that will not hold up well.
During the holidays I do that with family and it can be hectic, I try to involve them as dinner time gets closer, I put the salad on the table, let them eat, then I start doing the veggies, starch is easy to do ahead and hold and, yes I always try to do a roast of some sort, like pork leg, prime rib, whole turkeys, for fish what you can do is a big filet and cook it whole!
When they are finishing the salad I make them bring the plate to the kitchen and serve them from the kitchen if the food is too much for the table....same with dessert and it works out well, they feel they helped and I don't get ragged out!
Even though sometimes I don't eat the food that day!!!!!

By Chefhdan (Chefhdan) on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 02:03 pm: Edit

Hell YEah!

I always put the family to work.

I just gotta watch out when the wife starts to answer me "YES CHEF" woohoo! then I'm in de yogurt!

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