04 February 2011

Cooking for Many



Most cookbooks offer up recipes for serving two or four or six, but few cookbooks provide recipes for large events. Longtime cookbook author, Charlotte Turgeon, filled to void of a cookbook to feed larger crowds from 10 to 200 in her book Cooking for Many.

Cooking for Many is divided up in the way you might think it would be, in menus for special occasions such as Christmas and weddings. Each menu features a nifty shopping list, so when you out and about trying to make casseroles for 200 you won’t forget to pick up the bay leaves or sherry.

Since the recipes call for large amounts, many of the recipes transpire over several days or take on an interesting approach of diving the recipe into a “sooner” and “later” division of time for such involved undertakings.

This is an offering for a church gathering. I can remember eating a lot of turkey tetrazinni or “tetrazzone” at many a church gathering, though I am quite sure that it was never made in such a large quantity. But if I ever need to whip up a batch for 200, I know just what to do.

Turkey Tetrazzone

2 20-pound turkeys
1 bunch celery
1 pound carrots, sliced
6 large onions (1 1/2 pounds)
12 cloves
3 tablespoons salt
12 peppercorns
4 bay leaves 1 teaspoon thyme
20 pounds egg noodles

Sauce:

2 1/2 pounds margarine
3 pounds (12 cups) flour
2 gallons turkey broth
2 gallons milk
1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons white pepper
3 cups sherry
10 8-ounce cans sliced mushrooms
1 pound grated Parmesan cheese
large bunch parsley

First Day: Place each bird, which has been quartered by the butcher, into a large kettle. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil, skimming off any matter that comes to the surface. Divide the seasoning between the two kettles, sticking the cloves in the onions. Poach the turkeys for 3 hours or until tender but not over-cooked. Remove to large pans. Peel off the skin and put it back in the kettles, and boil down the stock until there is a little more than a gallon in each kettle. Strain into one large kettle. Cool and refrigerate the broth and the turkey overnight.

Second day: Skim off the coagulated fat from the top of the broth and heat the broth along with the milk in a large kettle. Heat margarine in another kettle but do not let it brown. Remove from the fire and stir in the flour. When well mixed, add I gallon of the hot liquid and stir until well blended.
Add the seasonings and sherry. Simmer over low heat for thirty minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Using as many kettles as feasible, cook the noodles – not more than 2 pounds at a time in one kettle – in large amounts of boiling salted water for 6 minutes. Run cold water over the cooked noodles.

During these procedures, the cook’s assistant should be boning the turkey and cutting the meat into thin strips.

Drain the mushrooms.

Arrange 20 2-quart casseroles on the working counter. Into each casserole put a 2-inch layer of noodles. Cover with a layer of turkey and pour 2 cups of sauce over it. Repeat. Spread a thin layer of mushrooms on the last layer of sauce, cover with a film of sauce, and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and store overnight in the refrigerator.

Serving day: Bake each casserole for 1 hour at 375 F. Reduce the heat to 200 if the casseroles need to be kept warm. Garnish each with a small bouquet of parsley before serving.

If you are planning to feed a big crowd for the Super Bowl, this should help you out. But you need to start today or you won't have it on the table by Sunday.

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