37

The common method would be to cook the pasta in advance, then shock it in cold water to stop the cooking before draining and refrigerating it. You would then heat it up in boiling water for about 20 seconds just to heat it through. You would just need a portable burner to keep a pot of water boiling for service. On the other hand, 20 pounds of pasta for ...


22

As a variation to SAJ14SAJ's suggestion: Cook and shock it as suggested, but instead of heating it back up in water, heat it back up in whatever sauce you're using. You'll want to pull the pasta early (a little before al dente), and should save some of the pasta water so that you can thin back out the sauce if the pasta starts absorbing too much. (the ...


14

I see a few issues with what you've described: It sounds to me like a significant portion of your time 'cooking' is actually cleaning. This might mean that you're not letting the pan heat up significantly, or that you're not using enough oil. (yes, we're trying to be healthy, but it is fried rice). By cooking in bulk, you're likely over crowding your pan. ...


11

Consider expanding your repertoire of meals to those designed to cook for a long time without attention, and to cook in large batches. You seem to be taking things that are supposed to cook "a la minute" and cooking 3-5 times as much, which as you've seen doesn't work out well. If you have an oven, roast chicken (or other meat) and a cookie tray full of ...


8

Generally speaking, a 1/2 lb per person should be plenty assuming you have some food other than meat they will be eating, and it sounds like you do. I'd recommend buying 15 lbs total and you will definitely have enough. Since you are going to have multiple meats, that makes it a bit more challenging because you have to guess which is going to be eaten more/...


7

A cheap and simple way of improving the quality of your storage method is to buy ziplock bags. You should store each individual serving in separate bags and press out the air as best as you can. These bags can be frozen, so that will give you longer storage times. They can also be reused, so it's not expensive. (A more expensive solution would be to buy a ...


7

As the other answer was more about your specific example of fried rice & stir fry, I'll offer a completely different answer on 'cooking more efficiently', more in the lines w/ what Kate mentioned, but a few recommendations: Compare your speed in processing things to TV chefs (that actually do cooking, not just substitute pans out every couple of minutes)...


7

Regarding potatoes, not sweet potatoes: It's actually great to precut potatoes for French fries, it gives you an opportunity to soak them in water, which removes the starch and simple sugars from the outside of the fries and even from just below the surface. In fact, many if not most places that make fresh cut French fries do cut the fries in advance and ...


7

I highly recommend using a steamer if you have access to one, but if you don't have it, you don't have it. The good news is that the process for making scrambled eggs on the stove is about the same no matter how many eggs you're making - add as much beaten eggs as you're comfortable stirring in the pan, cook over low heat stirring occasionally. The major ...


6

About 8oz or 225g/person is probably a good place to start. Think about when you have a standard steak or a piece of chicken in a restaurant. The pre-cooked weight will usually be in the region of 8-10oz.


6

It really depends on how you're planning on using the bacon: If you're going to be crumbling it anyway, you can cut it across the strips, and drop it into a pan and slowly render it, then turn up the heat to let it crisp. You might also need to drain the grease part way through. If you're willing to take a loss in flavor ... you can separate it into slices ...


5

Three main factors you need to think about is the water ratio, method of cooking and portion size. When cooking Japanese rice(short glutinous grains) the optimal ratio is about 1:1 of water and grain. Normally when cooking smaller portions you add additional water to compensate for the water that evaporates and turns to steam while you cook so in most ...


5

A good rule of thumb is to allow 1lb of meat (before cooking) per person, not counting small children who will obviously eat less. It's better to have too much than not enough - you can always use leftovers.


5

It depends in part who you are serving--hungry college students (or those with that mindset) eat considerably more free food than do wealthy health-conscious professionals. You also need to keep in mind that while you don't want to overshoot massively, it also looks bad to run out of food. You may also need to keep in mind that a significant number of ...


5

Normally, cooking a stew (not counting prep) in less than a three hours seems like rushing it to me. I can't imagine that you'd ever get the fall-apart tender meat that people expect from a stew, but... There are a number of techniques that I've seen professional cooks use when they're in a time crunch that may help you overcome time constraint problems ...


5

After helping out with a few events over the years, with one of the places that we hold events renovating but removing almost all of the catering/serving gear in the process, some additional suggestions from someone who's still a notice: Try to visit where you'll be serving the food in advance, to make sure that you're familiar with the facilities, and ...


5

Well, I am in position to answer my own question now. I used 6 shanks (I got two more as I got worried they wouldn't be enough) and fed 10 adults and two children very comfortably with some leftovers. My original shank weight was 6.8Kg and I had four front and two hind pork shanks. I would guesstimate they yielded about 300g x 12 people ~ 3.5Kg so, if ever ...


5

Your sauce is thickening up too much because it's losing moisture. After you cook your cheese sauce to perfection and mix it in with your pasta 2 things are happening: The sauce loses moisture due to evaporation. It's hot, and even with the lid on you will still lose moisture The pasta will soak up water from the sauce. It's just starch, and starch sponges ...


5

Microwaves don't toast. The pass high energy microwaves through food. These waves struggle to penetrate high density materials, causing them to heat. It's (mostly) the water within the microwaved food that is heated up, and that cooks (or defrosts) your stuff. Toasting is an external application of usually radiated (but conducted will do) dry heat. You ...


5

After looking at many very similar recipes (in English) for Romanian sour meatball soup, or Ciorba de Perisoare, I'm inclined to think that this recipe does indeed make 5 liters. Most all of the recipes I've looked at start with 500g of meat and have pretty much the same ingredient list. This recipe found on CookingGlory says to : Add about 12 to 16 ...


4

Yes, recipes need to be changed as well. The most important [IMHO] difference is leavening (yeast/baking powder/soda etc.) The next issue is ratios, once you get beyond 'doubling' a home recipe your ratios will get out of sync. When you multiply dry ingredients (other than yeast) do so By Weight rather than dry measure. (note for sugars in a yeast ...


4

A quick Google search turns up a couple of companies. I didn't look for locations since you didn't specify yours or whether you're open to international shipping options. This one looks like it deals in rather large quantities, some as low as one kilogram, others as much as a ton. Seems like a larger investment than you might be prepared for; you'd probably ...


4

You simply need to ensure sufficient area/a max thickness of the onion layer. You can let them simmer first in their own juices, but I have never had good results that way. You really need them spread out for sauteing. In practical terms for a home kitchen, this means cooking in batches. Of course, nothing stops you from using multiple burners at once, and ...


4

I have a few cookbooks for caterers that have this sort of thing. I've even gotten one from our library system (although not my local branch, I was at one of the larger ones) So, using that term, I tried searching for 'catering recipe websites' had a bunch of false positives, but it did find : http://lotsofinfo.tripod.com/ ("Over 500 Make ahead or Large ...


4

Honestly, I had never heard of the method as toasting is not really a function of a microwave, but looking it up it is actually a listed method which can easily be found via searching. It would not be my personal choice, but should actually work as butter/oil is used and the microwave will heat the oil/butter and effectively create a frying environment. ...


3

For entertaining purposes the rule of thumb I've most commonly seen in your case, where the meat is the primary food being served, is about 8-10 ounces per person. That's size per portion after cooking. You are making pulled pork and brisket, and each of those will lose just over 40% of their weight during cooking. So if you assume 5 ounces of brisket and 5 ...


3

Amazon, and its subdealers sell a lot of these:, caffeine, niacin, ascorbic acid, tocopherols, etc. Looks like it's not the place to find 100gm bottles of folic acid or menadione, so you'll have to search elswehere for those.


3

The "chilly bin method" will work with small cuts of meat like individual sized portions. If you're just scaling up with individually sealed cuts, I would err on the side of caution with using more bins rather than a single larger bin (and even favoring multiple large bins since they will have higher heat retention). The reason for this is that in a large ...


3

It sounds like part of the problem is you're putting a very high standard on your cooking, since you're working hard to prep and use marinades. Normally this is a really good thing and is often the difference between "good food" and "great food". At the same time, though, it takes much more time. Worth it if you're hosting a dinner, but not so much when you ...


3

I would add that you will find the pasta sticks together when resting, so work a few tablespoons of neutral tasting oil through the cooked cooled pasta with gloved hands to separate the strands. In chain Italian restaurants, they cook off 5 kg at a time, cool it immediately in ice water, drain, refrigerate and oil. This keeps for 36 hrs. And can be portioned ...


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