Ellen's Kitchen HomePage

Keep Ellen Cooking!
Support New Pages!

Search this site

New pages - Check it out

A dash of spirit

The recipe box

Clear Light Cookery

Get out the big pots

Facts and FAQs

Pantry

Kitchen Gardens

Resources and Reviews

Cooks Reach Out

Cook's Chat Forum

Learn How to Choose Web Hosting

Labyrinth Readers Society

ELLEN'S KITCHEN

Baked Potato Bar for 100
Taco Bar for 100

If you are planning fajitas, see the Fajita page. A taco or potato bar is a popular, low cost meal for a large crowd. The topping amounts for a baked potato bar or a taco bar are very similar. Use the table below for a guide.
ItemServing sizeWeight as purchased Measure as served
POTATOES
Potatoes, medium white, baked 1 medium potato55 pounds per 100 6 1/2 ounces each
if larger size is used;
80 count potatoes
1 large potato62 pounds per 1009 ounces each
PLUS 3 cups olive oil, 1/4 cup salt, 2 tablespoons pepper to coat; scrub brushes, fork, baking pans
TORTILLAS
Crisp shells
PLUS soft tortillas
2 shells
PLUS 2 soft tortillas
200 crisp shells per 100
PLUS 2 soft tortillas (8")
To add a taco salad option, purchase 6 pounds of corn or tortilla chips, 2 quarts of dressing, increase lettuce and tomatoes as indicated below
TYPICAL TOPPINGS
Butter or margarine pats
may double
2 pats 2 lb 4 oz200 pats
Butter or margarine, whipped 2 tablespoons 3 lb 8 oz12 1/2 cups
Butter or margarine, sticks or blocks 2 tablespoons 6 pounds 8 ounces12 1/2 cups
Broccoli, partially cooked, chopped 2 tablespoons 20 pounds fresh
OR 12 pounds frozen, chopped
3 1/4 quarts
Tomatoes, fresh, diced/finely chopped 2 tablespoons 6 lb 8 oz 6 lb 6 oz
3 1/4- 4 quarts
Lettuce, shredded 2 tablespoons for tacos, 2-3 ounces for taco salad 6 lb 8 oz for tacos
double or triple for taco salads
6 lb 6 oz
3 1/4- 4 quarts for tacos
double or triple for taco salads
Cheese, shredded
Cheddar or American, Swiss,
Mozzarella or Monterey Jack
DOUBLE for tacos
2 tbsp 3 lb 2 oz 3 1/4 quarts
Cheese, cottage
OR refried beans
1/4 cup
(1 No. 16 scoop)
12 lb 8 oz 6 1/4 quart
2 #10 cans
Chili con carne,
taco meat
OR chopped BBQ
OR other meaty sauce
1 / 2 cup (1 size 2 ladle) 3 1/8 gallon
25 pounds raw ground meat
If doing several meats, do 15 beef and 10 each of 2 others
Chives, dehydrated 1/2 teaspoon 1 cup
green onions, chopped 1 tablespoon 10 bunches 6 cups
crisp bacon bits 1 tablespoon 2 pounds 6 cups
olives, sliced or chopped 2 tablespoons one #10 can
3 pounds 7 ounces
3 1/4 quarts
Onions, dry, chopped, rehydrated 2 teaspoons 3 lb 5 oz 2 1/4 qt
Sour cream
(may double amount)
1 tablespoon 3 pounds 3 ounces 6 1/4 cups
Yogurt, plain
(may double amount)
1 tablespoon 3 pounds 7 ounces 6 1/4 cups
Salsa or Pico de Gallo 2 tablespoons 7 pounds 3 1/4 quarts
Taco sauce 2 tablespoons 7 pounds 3 1/4 quarts
1 #10 can
Guacamole 4-6 tablespoons 20 pounds 10 quarts

ADD THE NACHO OPTION

If you want to ADD nachos to the bar, purchase:
1 pound chips per each 10 people,
3 #10 cans nacho cheese- open only 2 to start, you may not need the 3rd
1 gallon sliced jalapenos
have either the refried or other beans
increase the salsa by another gallon

More Topping Ideas

Vegetables
mushrooms, sauteed
fresh or frozen peas
onions
celery
carrots
tomatoes
olives
avocado slices or chunks
broccoli
cauliflower florets
sweet bell pepper
jalapenos
Sauces and Dressings
flavored sour creams,
such as chipolte, truffle, cilantro
Ranch dressing
sour cream dips
seasoned butters
garlic butter
cheese sauces
Meat sauces such as stroganoff
Marinara sauce
Alfredo sauce
chili
nacho cheese or chili con queso
Meats
flaked tuna
smoked salmon
bacon bits
shredded ham
grilled or creamed chicken
shredded or crumbled ground beef
stroganoff or beef tips
chopped barbecue
blue cheese
shredded Parmesan cheese
tiny shrimps scampi
Exotic and Gourmet toppings
chopped fresh herbs
pesto
sauted spinach with garlic
stir fried baby vegetables
roasted red peppers
mixed grilled vegetables
caviar or fish roe
dipping oils
truffle oil
sliced toasted almonds
chopped water chestnuts

GUIDELINES FOR SETTING UP A BAKED POTATO BAR

The potato bar is a popular way to serve baked potatoes along with various toppings.
Allow for sufficient cooking time, depending on the cooking method selected. 50 potatoes can take 2 1/2 to 3 hours in a conventional oven if baking straight for immediate serving.

Prepare the potatoes:
First, clean and season the potatoes. Scrub the potatoes under cold running water. Use a wire brush to remove all dirt and rough patches of the skin. Remove any sprouts or eyes with the tip of a potato peeler or a small spoon. Trim off any green patches. Pat dry with paper towels or clean dry kitchen towels.
Use a stainless steel fork to poke holes into the potatoes (minimum 8 per potato) but don't do this far ahead of time, or the potatoes will be full of brown marks from oxidation. This shortens baking time and keeps the potatoes from bursting in the oven.
In a shallow pan, whisk oil and seasonings, roll the potatoes in the oil.

To Foil or Not to Foil?

It's no longer recommended to wrap baking potatoes in foil. Besides causing a soft, wet skin, the moist area between the outside of the potato and the foil can be a breeding ground for bacteria, especially bad if the potatoes will be held before serving.


For oven baking, loosely arrange the potatoes on baking sheets. None should be touching. Check the oven fit. The pans should allow at least 1 inch of air between the oven wall and the edge of the pan on every side.

Cook the potatoes

Cook-and-hold-method:
  • Place the raw potatoes into coolers to determine how many and what size coolers you need to hold all the potatoes.
  • Preheat the oven(s) to the highest setting (minimum 500F).
  • Bake the potatoes in the thoroughly preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  • While your potatoes are baking, fill the coolers with hot (not boiling) water and replace the covers.
  • When you are about to take your potatoes out, empty the hot water and quickly dry out the coolers.
  • Immediately load the potatoes into the preheated coolers. Place the lid on immediately and LEAVE COVERED TIGHTLY.
  • Bake the next batch and when done add to the first batch.
  • The potatoes will continue to cook in the preheated cooler. They need to hold at least 45 minutes and remain hot for serving for up to 6 hours.
  • Using this method, the potatoes can be transported safely; just remember the coolers will be HOT and HEAVY.
Oven method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and use tongs to turn the potatoes. Return to oven and continue to bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Crockpot/ slow cooker method: place potatoes upright on end in about 10 5-to-6 quart slow cookers. Cover and cook without opening lids on LOW heat setting 6 to 8 hours or until potatoes are tender.

Nesco/ electric roaster method method: Allow 1 roaster for each 10 to 15 pounds of potatoes, at least 3 roasters for 100 people. PREHEAT the roasters to 400 degrees. Prepare the poatoes, bake 10 pounds for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on potato size. Add 1/2 hour for 15 pounds in the roaster. Cover and cook without opening lids.

Check the potatoes for doneness with a toothpick. The potatoes are done when tender through to the center. They actually feel soft when rolled in your gloved hand.
For best texture, wearing dry oven gloves, gently roll the fully baked uncut potatoes to fluff the potato before opening. If done correctly, the skins will not burst, but the potatoes will feel soft or tender in the hand.

Toppings and Bar Set Up

Prepare cold toppings ahead. Keep refrigerated and covered until ready to serve.

Prepare hot toppings. Keep hot- above 160 degrees- until served.

To assemble potato bar:

  • Plan for sufficient serving utensils for baked potatoes and for each topping. For 100 people a two sided bar with the same items on both sides is preferred.
  • Stock no more than will be eaten in 1 hour, MAX. Replenish potato bar as needed.
  • Toppings which have been at room temperature CANNOT be returned to the refrigerator and must be discarded.
  • Do not add fresh toppings to old toppings; let the dish be emptied and replace the entire serving container.
  • To serve potatoes, cut a large X on top of each potato and push up sides and ends. The fluffy potato will balloon out of the skin very attractively, ready to absorb the delicious toppings.

    Top

    REHEATING TORTILLAS
    The best way to heat tortillas? On a grill. In my opinion, reheating large amounts works better with corn than flour, and here is the bulk method:

    Steam-heating a Large Amount of Tortillas: Set up a rack in a large roasting pan, pour in about 1/2 inch of water and cover the rack with a heavy (preferably terrycloth) kitchen towel. Don't let it touch the water or it will act as a wick, soaking the bottom layer of tortillas. Divide your tortillas into stacks of 10 or 12 over the cloth, cover with a second cloth, cover the pot tightly and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Time 1 minute, (IMPORTANT!!!) turn off the heat and let stand 15 minutes without opening the lid.
    You may put the roasting pan in a low oven (not hotter than 200 degrees) and keep the tortillas warm for about an hour or so. Plan to heat a few more tortillas that you’ll need, since the top and bottom ones reheated by this method tend to get so soft they fall apart.

    Other Reheating Methods: Factory-made tortillas packaged in the paper wrappers (which may have a thin plastic-like coating inside) may be successfully reheated in a microwave oven: make a tiny hole in the package (to let steam escape), then microwave in the package for 30 to 60 seconds (depending on the power of your oven) on high. Wrap in a heavy cloth and let stand a few minutes before serving.

    DO NOT use this method with plastic wrapped tortillas!

  •  
    What's New? Check Out the New Pages Page

    Click Ellen's Kitchen Updates to request updates, suggest new topics or report a broken link, comment, or question. Put "updates" in the subject line if you are requesting updates. PLEASE send questions separately from update requests.


    © Copyright 1998-2012 -- All rights reserved --



    This site maintained by Galaxy Website Design