It's not just potluck anymore…

Posts tagged ‘Sysco’

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.


Ham Dinner, Chocolate Cookie Recipe

Undeterred by the blustery weather, 500 people ventured out to join us for dinner last night.  The Texas Hold ’em group from the Canyon Lake Senior Center was the first to arrive (see photo, above center) and patiently waited for dinner service to begin.

Here’s what we served for dinner:

200 pounds of  Farmland Pit smoked hams with brown sugar, ordered through Sysco, which we sliced ourselves and warmed in roasters

24 pans of broccoli rice casserole

90 pounds of honey roasted carrots

500 Rich’s Petit Pan dinner rolls, ordered through Sysco

70 homemade pumpkin pies (we served 60, and sold the last 10 after dinner)

22 dozen homemade double chocolate cookies

12 dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies


Double Chocolate Cookies, 22 dozen (264) cookies

(This amount will fit in our large commercial mixer in one batch.)

16 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

4 pounds of  butter

½ cup vanilla

8 cups sugar

8 cups brown sugar

8 eggs

2 2/3 cup cocoa powder

1 cup milk

48 oz chocolate chips

Whisk together flour and baking soda.  Cream butter, vanilla and sugars.  Beat in eggs.  At low speed beat in cocoa, then the milk.  Mix in the flour just until blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Drop onto lined sheets.  Bake for 12-13 minutes at 350* convection.  Remove from oven and cool slightly before removing from cookie sheets.


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!

Ash Wednesday Soup and Pie Supper/Recipes

With no education classes last night, our Ash Wednesday Soup and Pie Supper was a little smaller, quieter and less frantic than the usual Wednesday meal.  We served 345 last night with 36 gallons of soup, 33 loaves of artisan bread, 330 grilled cheese sandwiches, 25 chocolate cream pies and 25 lemon meringue pies.

The first soup was a homemade vegetable soup that I adapted from a Weight Watchers cookbook recipe.  Here’s the recipe for 100 servings:

Pistou:  A Hearty French Vegetable Soup 

100 servings

 25 cups diced onions

25 cups sliced carrots

25 potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 TBSP salt, add more before serving if needed

2 TBSP pepper

9 ½ gallons water

25 medium zucchini, sliced

25 cups chopped, trimmed green beans

25 cups corn

1 #10 can beans, kidney, navy or black

3 cups grated Parmesan cheese

6 cups minced basil, fresh

1 ½ cups tomato paste

25 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups olive oil

Divide among large pots, the onions, carrots, potatoes, salt, pepper and water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally about 30 minutes.

Stir in zucchini, green beans, corn and beans.  Simmer for another 30 minutes.

In separate bowl, whisk the cheese, basil, tomato paste and garlic.  Whisk in the oil.  Stir about 12 cups of the hot broth into the mixture, then gradually add the basil mixture into the soup. Continue to simmer until ready to serve.

The second soup selection was a Creamy Tomato Bisque that I ordered from Sysco, made by Block and Barrel Classic.  Whole milk is added to the concentrated frozen soup and we warmed it slowly in roasters.  The grilled cheese sandwiches were assembled in advance with sandwich bread, American cheese, and a little margarine on the outsides of the bread.  We used the griddle on the stove and 2 extra portable griddles in order to keep up with the demand.

Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup!

The third kind of soup was a Block and Barrel Classic from Sysco, Wild Rice with Chicken.  It was also a frozen concentrate to which we added 2% milk and warmed up in the roasters.  Great flavor!

The three varieties of breads we served were a Focaccia Bread made by Rotella, Asiago Cheese Batard and Olive Rosemary Batard made by BKRSIMP (I don’t know what that stands for).  All the breads were ordered from Sysco.  We warmed them up and sliced them to serve.

And now for the PIES!  We made 25 chocolate pies on Tuesday and refrigerated them overnight.  On Wednesday we added a coolwhip layer on top and shaved on some milk chocolate.

Here’s the recipe for 5 pies:

Chocolate Cream Pies   Recipe for 5 pies:  Use 1 large pot

Mix together in large bowl, whisk until blended, and set aside:

4 cups sugar

2 cups unsweetened cocoa

1 cup plus 2 TBSP cornstarch

¾ tsp salt

6 eggs

3 cups skim milk

In heavy pot, heat 9 cups skim milk, until tiny bubbles form around edges, to 180* but not to boiling.  Remove from heat.

Gradually add hot milk to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Return milk mixture to pot.  Add 12 oz semisweet chocolate.  Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add 2 TBSP Vanilla.  Pour into 5 prepared crusts. Cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Chill completely, at least 3 hours.  Top each pie with 8 oz coolwhip and shaved chocolate.

For each pie crust:

4 ½ oz graham cracker crumbs (about 1 cups)

2 oz sugar

3 oz melted butter

Combine all ingredients, pat into pie pan. Bake at 375* for 5 minutes.

(Filling for 25 pies:  Total milk is 3 ¾ gallon, cocoa 10 cups, 30 eggs, 20 cups sugar)

(Crusts for 25 pies, use 7 pounds graham cracker crumbs, 4 2/3# butter, 3# sugar)

I Love Pie!

We also made 25 lemon pies on Tuesday and added the meringue on Wednesday.  The meringue is better on the day you serve it.

Meringue Madness!

And into the oven it goes…

Here’s the recipe for one pie:


□   1 baked 10 inch pie shell
□   1 1/2 c. sugar
□   1 1/2 c. water
□   1/2 tsp. salt
□   1/2 c. cornstarch
□   1/3 c. water
□   4 eggs, separated
□   1/2 c. lemon juice
□   3 tbsp. butter
□   1 tsp. grated lemon peel
□   1 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugar and water with salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Mix cornstarch with 1/3 cup water to make a paste; add to the boiling mixture slowly, stirring constantly; cook until thick and clear. Remove from heat.

Beat egg yolks, add lemon juice and stir into thickened mixture. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles. Remove from heat and add lemon peel, butter and vanilla. Cool.



Combine and cook in saucepan until thick, stirring constantly:

½ cup water

2 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp cornstarch

Beat 4 egg whites at high speed, gradually adding 6 Tbsp sugar until stiff peaks form.  Add the cooled, cooked mixture and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.

Pour filling into baked pie shell and top with meringue, making sure it goes to edges. Bake in a slow oven, 350 degrees F. about 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown on top.

Spaghetti Dinner next week, details coming soon!

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