It's not just potluck anymore…

Archive for the ‘Main Dish Recipes’ Category

Recipe Sharing

This week at Calvary Lutheran in Rapid City, we served 400 church goers with roasted pork loin, wild rice pilaf, a salad bar and dinner roll and a homemade marble cake.  Here’s how we did it…


Roasted Pork Loins with Wild Rice Pilaf

Servings: 450

180 pounds pork loin roasts (4 1/2 cases from Sysco)

Cut pork loins as needed to fit into steamtable pans, fat side up. Sprinkle liberally with Montreal Steak Seasoning and add about 2 inches of water to pan. Cover tightly with foil and roast at 300 degrees in convection oven for about 3 hours, or until pork reaches a temperature of 155*. Cover loosely with foil and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

Make 8 full size steamtable pans of wild rice pilaf, using 2 boxes of Sysco Long Grain and Wild Rice Blend per pan.  Add water to pans as directed on box and use seasoning packet. Saute vegetables (see below) and add about 2 cups of the mixture to each pan.  Cover with foil and bake as directed on box.

Total amount for saute’d vegetables:  4 cups chopped onions, 4 cups chopped green peppers, 8 cups sliced canned mushrooms. Saute in butter until tender.


Marble Sheet Cake with Chocolate and Vanilla Frosting


Chocolate Marble Sheet Cake

This recipe makes 4 half sheet pans for 120 servings. Cut 5×6 for 30 pieces per pan.

Make recipe 4 times for 480 servings in 16 half sheet pans.


6 cups butter (3#), softened

9 cups sugar

Beat butter and sugar in mixer until creamy.

Add 12 eggs, a few at a time, just until blended after each addition.

Add 4 Tablespoons vanilla

Whisk dry ingredients together:

15 cups flour

6 Tablespoons baking powder

1 Tablespoon salt

Add flour mixture alternately with 6 cups half and half, at low speed, just until blended.

Divide 8 cups of the batter into a separate bowl.  Stir in 1 ½  cups unsweetened cocoa, 1 cup hot water and 1 ½  cups sugar.

Spread vanilla batter into 4 greased and half sheet pans.  Spoon chocolate batter on top and swirl into vanilla batter with a knife.

Bake at 300* convection for 25-30 minutes.  Cool completely before frosting.


Vanilla Cream Frosting

Make recipe 3 times to frost 8 sheet pans

10 oz butter

10 oz shortening

7 pounds powdered sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup instant nonfat dry milk

4 Tablespoons vanilla

2 cups water


Cream butter and shortening in mixer until light and fluffy. Combine dry ingredients and add to butter mixture, alternating with the water to blend smoothly.  Add vanilla and more water if needed to make a thinner frosting.  Beat for 5 minutes until mixture is creamy.


Chocolate Cream Frosting

Make recipe 3 times to frost 8 sheet pans

Make recipe as directed above, with the addition of 16 oz unsweetened cocoa to the dry ingredients.  Add an extra 1 cup of water, adding more if needed to get to spreading consistency.


Roast Beef Recipe for a Crowd


As requested, I’m posting the roast beef recipe that we make for our Wednesday meals.  Last week we cooked 310 pounds of roasts for 600 very generous servings. The expected crowd showed up (we had 586)!  The beef turns out very tender if you make sure to let it cook long enough.  Here’s how we do it:

Roast Beef

Start with about 7 oz uncooked roast per serving, which will cook down to about 4-5 oz cooked weight per serving.

We use the Beef Eye of Round Roasts which we order from Sysco. Each case weighs between 68-80 pounds, 12 roasts per case.

Put 2 roasts in each full-size deep steamtable pan. Spray roasts with Garlic Oil Spray.

Sprinkle generously with Canadian Steak Seasoning on all sides.  Put roasts in the pan with the fat side up.

Add about 2 inches of water to pan.

Cover tightly with foil.

Bake on high fan setting at 400* in the convection for 30 minutes.

Reduce to 375* low fan setting for another 4 hours or more (until tender).  This may take up to 5 hours depending on how full the oven is and how large the roasts are.  Check for tenderness with a meat fork.

Save juice for gravy!  We use the Sysco brand brown gravy dry mix as a base, following the directions on the package, but substituting au jus from the roasts for part of the hot water.

Roasts slice well with an electric knive when hot.  If cooking the day before and refrigerating overnight, we slice the roasts cold with a commercial size meat slicer.  Then the sliced roasts are rewarmed (with heated au jus added) in a 300 degree oven for several hours.  The temperature of the meat should be brought to 165* within 2 hours.


Hot Fudge Sauce and French Dip Recipes

We served French dip roast beef sandwiches, broccoli salad with dried cranberries, french fries (which we oven baked), Blue Bunny Homemade Vanilla ice cream, and our very own “Calvary Made” hot fudge and caramel sauces to a nice size crowd of 500 last night.  It was so busy at dinner time with making sandwiches, bringing hot fries out of the oven and everything that I didn’t get any photos taken.  But since I had several requests for some recipes, I thought I’d post those even without the photos to go along with them.

french dip 2

French Dip Roast Beef for 600

260 pounds eye of round roasts

19 boxes (2 oz each) Lipton onion soup dry mix

19  cans regular beer, 12 oz each

19 cans beef broth, 50 oz each

Garlic flavored olive oil spray

Canadian Steak seasoning

600 Hoagie Buns, 5 inch size

Put 2 or 3 roasts, depending on size, into 19 full size, deep steam table pans.  Line with “pansavers” bags to keep from having to scrub those pans later.  Spray roasts with garlic spray and sprinkle with steak seasoning.  Turn fat side up.  Add to each pan:  3 cans beer, 1 can beef broth, 4 cups water mixed with 2 oz soup mix.  Cover with foil.  Cook on high fan setting in convection oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Reduce to 375 degrees, low fan, for 4 hours.  Slice thinly, put 4 or 5 ounces on each bun, and serve with hot au jus in cups to dip sandwiches into.


French Dip at Home

Beef roast, plan on about 7 oz uncooked weight per person (So get about a 4 1/2 pound roast for 10 servings)

Season roast with Canadian steak seasoning

1 can beer, 12 oz can

1 can beef broth, 10 oz can

1 can french onion soup, 10 oz can

Put into crockpot and cook 8-10 hours on low.  Slice or shred when tender, and serve on hoagie rolls with the juice.


ice cream


Hot Fudge Sauce at Home

12 oz unsweetened chocolate

8 TBSP butter

2 2/3 cups sugar

2 cups half and half

2 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk

6 TBSP Bailey’s

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat.  Stir constantly.  Add sugar, half and half, and continue cooking until thick.  Gradually add condensed milk.  Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in Baileys.  Serve warm.


“Calvary Made” Hot Fudge Sauce for 500 Servings


96 oz unsweetened chocolate

4 cups butter

21 cups sugar

16 cups (4 quarts) half and half

16 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk

2 cups Bailey’s Irish Cream

½ cup vanilla

Serve with 27 gallons Vanilla Blue Bunny Ice Cream


Melt chocolate and butter over low heat.  Stir constantly.  Add sugar, half and half, and continue cooking until thick.  Gradually add condensed milk.  Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in Bailey’s.  Serve warm.


A shout out and thank you to my sister-in-law, Julie, for sharing this hot fudge recipe with us.  We have enjoyed it in our family for many, many years.  I’m not sure what the origin of the recipe is, but maybe she’ll make a comment and let us know after she reads this post 🙂


Christmas Pig Feast and the Molasses Cookie Recipe

What an amazing crowd of about 650 people at dinner last night!  We feasted on smoked pig and whole boneless pork loins, spinach salad with mandarin oranges, scalloped potatoes, apples, rice pudding and molasses cookies.  Tony Balay graciously offered to volunteer his time and BBQ expertise to prepare all the meat for us, which involved quite a lot of preparation.  Tony picked up the pig, a 220 pound Duroc, from a ranch in Scenic on Monday.  He prepped the pig and started smoking it on his grill at 10pm on Tuesday.  19 hours later, the Christmas pig was ready for display and within an hour and a half it was nothing but bare bones!  The volunteers in the kitchen prepped the 200 pounds of pork loin with a beer and butter marinade that was injected and allowed to absorb overnight in the refrigerator.  At noon on Wednesday, the loins were covered with seasonings and strips of bacon, then went into the smoker to cook for 4 hours.  Meanwhile, our hard-working volunteers made 100 dozen cookies, 24 crockpots of rice pudding, 18 pans of scalloped potatoes, and the salad with 36 pounds of spinach and 24 pounds of romaine lettuce.  Very few leftovers tonight!


Tony prepares the pig for display and carving.

Tony prepares the pig for display and carving.


All dressed up and ready for dinner.

All dressed up and ready for dinner.


Isn't she lovely.

Isn’t she lovely.


It's time to eat!

It’s time to eat!

Apples sauteed in butter with brown sugar and cinnamon goes great with roast pork.

Apples sauteed in butter with brown sugar and cinnamon goes great with roast pork.

Spinach salad with mandarin oranges, celery, green onions, sugared almonds, and an orange juice vinaigrette

Spinach salad with mandarin oranges, celery, green onions, sugared almonds, and an orange juice vinaigrette


Molasses cookies, look for the recipe at the end of this post.

Molasses cookies, look for the recipe at the end of this post.

Tony finally gets to eat dinner!  Thanks for all your hard work Tony!

Thank you Tony for all your hard work. Now you can have dinner too!


We made pretty quick work of this little piggy.

We made pretty quick work of this little piggy.

And then after dinner...a wonderful celebration of the season with our children singing songs of baby Jesus and Christmas Joy!

And then after dinner…a wonderful celebration of the season with our children singing songs of baby Jesus and Christmas Joy!

Molasses Cookies,  7 dozen made with small scoop

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup shortening

1 ½ cup sugar

½ cup molasses

2 eggs, lightly beaten

4 cups flour

2 ¼ tsp baking  soda

2 ¼ tsp ground ginger

1 ½ tsp ground cloves

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

½   tsp salt

granulated sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cream butter and shortening, then beat in sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in molasses and eggs until thoroughly combined.  Whisk dry ingredients together and add gradually to butter mixture until smooth and blended.  Drop by small scoops into sugar to coat, rolling into balls.  Put on ungreased cookie sheets or parchment paper to bake.  Bake for 7 or 8 minutes.  Cookies flatten as they bake.  Remove from oven and move to wire rack to cool.


We’re taking a little break from our Wednesday night programing from now until January 16th.  The menu for the 16th will be posted the week before, so check back here or on the Calvary Lutheran Church website if you want to know what’s for dinner.  Thanks to all the many volunteers who have helped out in the kitchen and dining room for the first 13 weeks.  Looking forward to 14 more weeks in the coming new year before the break for summer!

St. Nick and the Lasagna Recipe

Christmas is certainly in the air now!  St. Nicholas came to visit Calvary Lutheran Church last night.  Children at the worship service each threw one shoe into St Nick’s giant bag, then waited with joyous anticipation for church to be over so they could run out into the narthex and locate their very own candy filled shoe.IMG_1327


St Nick gets a little help from Confirmation Elves to round up all those shoes


For dinner tonight, we served a four cheese with Italian sausage lasagna, a few pans of vegetarian lasagna (by special request), Italian garden salad with an Olive Garden Italian style dressing, bread, and two choices of cake, coconut cream or caramel chocolate.  We served 470 for dinner tonight, a little less than the usual crowd, with some of the Confirmation groups out on mission projects.  Due to popular request, I’ll post the recipe for the lasagna at the end of this post.  Here are a few photos from dinner:



Tuscan Bread loaves from La Brea Bakery (ordered through Sysco) filled the dining room with the smell of fresh baked bread.


Coconut Cream Cake, made with a basic yellow cake mix, infused with cream of coconut and topped with crushed pineapple and a white frosting and toasted coconut.


Chocolate Caramel Cake, made from a basic devil’s food cake mix, infused with sweetened condensed milk, caramel and chocolate ice cream toppings, and frosted with a chocolate non-dairy icing.


A well balanced plate…Thanks for sharing Tom!


A lettuce blend with the addition of Kalamata black olives, banana peppers, tomatoes, red onions, parmesan cheese, croutons and a homemade Italian dressing.

Four Cheese Lasagna  Serves 12  


(adapted from Southern Living Cookbook)


                                      1.5 pounds lean ground beef
                                      1.5 pounds Italian sausage
                   1 1/2 cups (about 20 oz) chopped onions
                                              24 oz tomato sauce
                                              18 oz tomato paste
                                           3/4 cup water
                                  3 tablespoons dried parsley
                                  2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
                                    1 tablespoon Beef bouillion
                                               1 tsp garlic powder
                                              24 oz cream cheese
                                              24 oz cottage cheese
                                              12 oz sour cream
                                           6 whole eggs
                                              24 oz lasagna noodles, dried
                                              12 oz sliced pepperoni
                                              24 oz Mozzarella cheese
                                              16 oz parmesan cheese, shredded

Saute onion in heavy skillet with olive or vegetable oil until tender.  Brown ground beef and sausage.

Stir in tomato sauce, paste, water, parsley, Italian seasoning, bouillion, and garlic powder. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream and eggs; stir well.

Cook lasagna noodles and drain.  Spoon small amount meat sauce in bottom of greased 9×13 pan.

Layer noodles, cream cheese mixture, pepperoni, meat sauce, and mozzarella; repeat layers.  Sprinkle top with parmesan.

Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meatloaf Dinner and Recipe

This week we served 470 for dinner at Calvary Lutheran.  It was a blustery, cold night and the presidential debate was on tv which possibly kept a few of our regulars home tonight.  The kitchen crew made 70 meatloaves (using 140 pounds of 90% lean ground beef), 12 full size pans of mashed potatoes, 60 pounds of peas, 36 pounds of lettuce for a big tossed salad, 40 dozen chocolate chip cookies, and 12 pans of pumpkin bars (cut into 480 bars).

“Mean and Lean Meatloaf” adapted from the Disney Family Cookbook

Here’s the recipe for 4 to 6 servings:

2# lean ground beef

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cups chopped onions

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

2 Tbsp steak sauce

1/2 cups catsup

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

½ tsp basil

½ tsp garlic powder

Whisk together for Sauce: (double this for extra thick sauce on top of your meatloaf)

1/2 cups catsup

3 Tbsp packed brown sugar

1 tsp ground mustard

Mix ingredients well, form into 1 loaf in a 8 1/2 inch loaf pan, or into smaller loaves on a baking sheet.  Bake at 325* convection, or 350* in regular oven, for 1 hour, covered with foil.  Top with sauce and bake an additional 15-30 minutes uncovered, until internal temp reaches 160*.  Let sit for 10 min. before slicing.

Mexican Fiesta 9-26-12


I hope everyone enjoyed the taco buffet last night.  We had 530 at dinner, including 55 visitors.  The buffet line included marinated grilled chicken breast, ground beef with taco seasonings, and lots of accompaniments on the side to build your own soft tacos or nachos: rice, beans, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, salsa, sliced black olives, sour cream, jalapenos, nacho cheese sauce, and tortilla chips.  8 big seedless watermelons were cut up and tossed with a little lime zest.

Here’s the recipe we used for the ground beef if you ever need to serve tacos to a really big crowd:

Ground Beef Soft Tacos (makes 400)

3 oz taco meat per taco

400 flour tortillas

80 pounds  85% lean ground beef

8# chopped frozen or fresh onions (Saute onions with the ground beef)

Combine seasoning mix and add to beef after browning:

1 cup dried minced garlic

3  cups chili powder

¾ cup ground cumin

1 cup dried oregano

1 TBSP cayenne pepper

¾ cup salt (add more to taste if needed after combining with meat)


And now for dessert ladies and gentlemen:

Brownies, Snickerdoodles and Lemon Bars


Calvary Lutheran Church Brownies

Makes 2 half size sheet pans, 60 brownies.   Make the recipe 6 times for 360 brownies

1# 8 oz unsweetened chocolate (Total: 9#)

2# 4 oz butter  (Total: 13 ½ #)

1# 14 oz eggs, or about 17 eggs   (Total: 8 ½ dozen)

4# 8 oz sugar  (Total: 27#)

1 oz vanilla  (Total: 6 oz)

1# 8 oz flour, sifted  (Total:  9#)

Melt chocolate and butter carefully over a pan of simmering water.  Do not exceed 110*.  Remove from heat and cool to room temp.

Combine eggs, sugar and vanilla and whip on high speed until thick and light in color.

Blend 1/3 of the egg mixture into the chocolate/butter to temper it, then fold in the remaining egg mixture.

Gently fold in the sifted flour.

Bake at 325* convection for 25-30 minutes or until firm to touch.


Pork Roast and Cheesecake Recipes

It wasn’t a traditional Irish dinner, but in the spirit of the season, we decked out the dining room in green.  We served 470 for dinner with 200 pounds of boneless pork loin roasts, broccoli rice casserole, sweet potato casserole, and dinner rolls.  For dessert we made 30 cheesecakes with fresh strawberries and a strawberry glaze on top and 5 gallons of chocolate pudding.  Here are a couple of requested recipes from our dinner:

Roasted Pork Loin

5 pound boneless pork loin, rubbed with a mixture of 1 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1 clove crushed garlic.  Marinate in refrigerator overnight with the rub, or go ahead and cook right away.  Roast uncovered at 325 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.

Mix glaze ingredients in saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until bubbly and thickened.

1/2 cup sugar

1 TBSP cornstarch

1/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup water

2 TBSP soy sauce

Brush roast with glaze and return to oven for an additional half hour.  Rest the roast for 10 minutes before slicing.

Basic Cheesecake adapted from The Foster’s Market Cookbook









1 ½ pounds cream cheese, softened

¾ cup sugar

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

½ cup heavy cream

2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325*.  Cut cream cheese into small pieces and blend with electric mixer until soft and creamy.  Add sugar and flour slowly until completely incorporated.  Add eggs and yolk one at a time, beating after each addition.  Combine the cream and vanilla in another bowl and slowly add to the cream cheese mixture, blending thoroughly.

Pour filling into prepared pan (see below).  Place the cheesecake in a large roasting pan or baking dish.  Add enough water to come 1 inch up the sides to make a water bath.  Place the roasting pan with the cheesecake in the oven to bake for 1-1 ¼ hours, until the cheesecake sets and is firm about ¾’s of the way into the center, the center will be slightly loose.

Remove cheesecake from oven and remove from water bath.  Place on a baking rack to cool completely.  Leave in the springform pan and place in the refrigerator to chill several hours or overnight.  Add topping.


1 ½ cups graham crackers, crushed

3 Tbsp sugar

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Combine and press into bottom of greased springform pan, pressing about 1 inch up the inside of the pan.  Place in refrigerator and chill until ready to use.  Before adding filling, wrap the bottom of the pan with a large sheet of foil, going up the sides about 2 inches to prevent any water to seep in from the water bath.

Strawberry Glaze:  from Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook

1 cup strawberry jelly

½ cup apricot preserves

1 Tbsp light corn syrup

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1 Tbsp cold water

½ cup pureed fresh strawberries

Mix jelly, preserves and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted.  Blend in strawberry puree.  In a small cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the water, then whisk into the glaze mixture.  Bring to a simmer and cook until it boils, thickens and turns clear.  Strain the glaze and drizzle over berries on top of the cheesecake.  Refrigerate until cold and glaze has set, about 2 hours.

NOTE:  Since we made 30 cheesecakes, we did not use a water bath.  The tops of the cheesecakes crack a bit, but when you cover them up with strawberries who can tell?  Also, in making the glaze, we opted not to strain it in the interest of time and it still looks and tastes great.

“Thanks for making my birthday dinner!”  Happy 9th Birthday Ellie!

Mitch and EJ are regulars on Wednesdays. Thanks for joining us guys!

“Don’t come any closer and don’t touch my food…I’m just getting started and it’s delicious!”   (at least I think that’s what he said)

Greek Dinner Recipes

Here are all the recipes from our Greek menu last night.  We made 576 baked lemon chicken breasts (bone-in, skin on), 165 pounds of roasted yukon gold potatoes, and 350 servings of Greek Salad.  On the side we had pita bread with 24 pounds of prepared Hummus and 2 gallons of Kronos Tzatziki sauce that were ordered from Sysco.


Here’s the original recipe from Ina Garten, “The Barefoot Contessa”, from her newest cookbook How Easy Is That?

Lemon Chicken Breast


» 1/4 cup good olive oil
» 3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
» 1/3 cup dry white wine
» 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
» 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
» 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
» 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
» Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
» 4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
» 1 lemon

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just one minute — but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme and 1 teaspoon salt, and pour into a 9-by-12-inch baking dish.

Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in eight wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for two minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.


GREEK SALAD:  350 servings

50# case Cucumbers, seeded, peeled, cubed (about 50 lg or 80 smaller cucumbers)

25# case Roma tomatoes, diced (about 100-120)

2 large red onions, about 2#, thinly sliced lengthwise

12# feta cheese, either crumbled or cubed

12 cups kalamata olives, pitted  ( 4.4# jar from Sysco)

Dressing:  Whisk to combine

2 cups lemon juice

1 cup red wine vinegar

7 ½ cups olive oil

2 cups dried oregano

2 TBSP Salt

1 TBSP pepper

If you don’t have 350 to feed for dinner, here’s the smaller version of the recipe:


3 1/2# Cucumbers, seeded, peeled, cubed (about 5)

1 3/4#  Roma tomatoes, diced (about 7)

1/4 of a large red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise

12 oz feta cheese, cubed or crumbled

¾ cup kalamata olives, pitted

Dressing:  Whisk to combine

2 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP red wine vinegar

½ cups olive oil

2 TBSP dried oregano

½ tsp Salt

½ tsp pepper



Greek Roasted Potatoes with Garlic, Lemon, and Oregano

Serves 10
3 pounds pre-cooked Yukon Gold potatoes, use either whole small potatoes, or larger ones cut into wedges

¼ cup olive oil
½  tsp garlic powder

¾  tsp dried oregano, crumbled
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ cup chicken stock
2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375°F convection. Combine all ingredients except potatoes in large bowl.  Toss potatoes in marinade to coat.  Put on sheet pans covered with Silicone mats or foil in a single layer.  Drizzle extra marinade over potatoes.
Baking time will depend on whether or not potatoes were pre-cooked.  The pre-cooked, frozen potatoes will take about 35 minutes to roast until golden brown. Uncooked potatoes will take additional time.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Cooking for a Crowd:

Greek Roasted Potatoes with Garlic, Lemon, and Oregano

Serves 525  5 oz servings

165 pounds pre-cooked Yukon Gold potatoes (Eleven 15# cases Baby Bakers frozen potatoes from Sysco) or use fresh uncooked Yukon Gold Potatoes cut into wedges

10 ½  cups olive oil
12 TBSP garlic powder

13 TBSP dried oregano, crumbled
4 TBSP salt
1 TBSP ground black pepper
130 oz chicken stock
6 ½  cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375°F convection. Combine all ingredients except potatoes in large bowl.  Toss potatoes in marinade to coat.  Put on sheet pans covered with Silicone mats or foil in a single layer.  Drizzle extra marinade over potatoes.
Baking time will depend on whether or not potatoes were pre-cooked.  The pre-cooked, frozen potatoes will take about 35 minutes to roast until golden brown. Uncooked potatoes will take additional time.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.


For dessert we served Blue Bunny Mango Tango Sorbet and Wholesome Farms Raspberry Sherbet.

καλή όρεξη   kali orexi

 Enjoy your dinner!

Bon Appetit!

Fruit Pizza and Italian Garden Salad Recipes

The sun was shining and the snow was melting yesterday as we spent the afternoon in the kitchen preparing for our Italian dinner.  80 pounds of spaghetti noodles were precooked, rinsed, then drizzled with a little olive oil. Just before serving, the noodles required only a 1-2 minute dunk in boiling water to heat up again.  This is the best way to feed a huge crowd in a short amount of time.  The spaghetti sauce started with 20 pounds of 90% lean ground beef that we browned on the griddle, then added to 60 pounds of leftover meatloaf that was in the freezer from dinner a few weeks ago.  To the meat mixture we added 24 #10 cans of Contadina Deluxe Spaghetti Sauce, and used seven 22 quart roasters to warm it up in.  We planned for 500 servings, but only served 450 last night, so leftovers will be shared with the WAVI women’s shelter today.

The recipe for the Italian Garden Salad we served was one that I adapted from a recipe I found online for a copycat version of the Italian salad at Olive Garden.  Here’s the recipe if you have a big crowd to feed:

Italian Garden Salad:  400 servings

40# American Salad Blend (Iceberg, Romaine, Radish, Red cabbage, carrots)

5 red onions, thinly sliced

1 gallon banana peppers

10# small vine ripened tomatoes, cut in quarters

1 #10 can sliced black olives

50 cups large croutons

6 cups grated parmesan cheese



16 cups olive oil

6 cups white vinegar

1 1/2  cups Miracle Whip

3 ¾  cups lemon juice

8 cups grated parmesan cheese

5 TBSP garlic salt

¾ cup dried Italian Seasoning

3 ¾  cups water

Puree ingredients in blender until smooth.

Add croutons and dressing to salad just before serving.


We served 2 kinds of bread that was ordered through Sysco:  Baker Boy Garlic Toast and Tuscan Loaf from La Brea Bakery.  The garlic toast comes frozen with 125 pieces per case.  Last night we used 4 1/2 cases.  It requires about 3 minutes on a hot griddle to get it warm and toasty.  The Tuscan Loaves come frozen with twelve 28 oz loaves per case.  These are thawed, heated and sliced and have a really great homemade flavor. We used 10 loaves for dinner as an alternative for those who don’t care for the strong garlic flavor in the toast.

For dessert we made fruit pizza that I adapted from a recipe given to me by my friend Deb Fredrich.  Thanks for sharing Deb!  We used kiwis, strawberries, blueberries and bananas as our toppings, but any fruits will do (unless they are too juicy.)

24 pounds of fresh strawberries, 4 1/2 pounds fresh blueberries, and 50 kiwi were chopped and mixed together.  15 pounds of bananas were sliced and layered on the pizza crust separately.

Fruit Pizza:  Makes 48 squares, when cut 4 x 6.  Use 2 half size sheet pans (13″ x 18″ x 1″)

3 cups butter (softened not melted)

2 cups powdered sugar

6 cups flour

Mix and pat into 2 half size pans.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper first.  Bake 20 minutes @ 300 degrees in convection oven.  Cool.

24 oz. White chocolate chips

4 1/2 ounces whipping cream

Melt chips and cream together in microwave and add:

16 ounces softened cream cheese

Beat all together and spread on cooled crust.  Make sure the cream cheese mixture seals against the sides of the pan, otherwise the fruit will seep to the crust and make it soggy.  It is not a good idea to cut the pizza ahead of time, it will also make the crust soggy.

Refrigerate a couple of hours or overnight for the cream cheese mixture to harden.

Add your favorite fruit: Cut fruit in small pieces and spread on cream cheese topping. Don’t use frozen fruit because it will be too juicy.

 To make the glaze to go on top of the fruit, mix together in a saucepan:

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp corn starch

1 cup pineapple juice

1 tsp lemon juice

Cook on stovetop until thick, stirring constantly.  Cool, spoon over fruit.

Coming next week…Cuisine of Greece.  Menu will be posted soon!

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