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Sandwich events come in a wide range of flavors, from a stand up tea to a picnic. You may be planning a graduation event or a Super Bowl party. On the plus side, it is popular, can be relatively easy to organize and prepare, easy to eat and has quick cleanup. On the down side, it is a relatively expensive lunch, and for an all day event, sandwiches must be discarded and fresh ones put out every two hours. Prep time is up to 3-4 hours for 100 assembled sandwiches. Preparation can only be done one day in advance, trays must be refrigerated and cannot be stacked, and leftovers cannot be frozen. You also need to offer a second choice for the vegetarian or non-meat eater if your main sandwich is meat-based.
One way to simplify preparing a sandwich meal is to offer the buns and bread separately and the fillings to be assembled by the eater. This also prevents wasting unused sandwiches. Again, the fillings should only be at room temperature for two hours, so plan your serving bowl size to match this. In addition, this service can really slow down a buffet line- one solution is to portion out the meats or fillings onto paper sheets or cups (as done at some commercial sub shops), allowing the diner to quickly select the serving desired.
Preassembled sandwiches require careful storage to stay moist and cannot be saved once they have been on the table for a couple of hours. Since it takes time to construct a sandwich, a self serve sandwich bar is most often practical for teens or for informal events such as sports rallies where time is not an issue. You can reduce costs of sandwich events by both service and menu choices. Box lunches give the tightest portion control, limiting both the size and number of sandwiches. Pre-made sandwiches do reduce the size of each sandwich. Even with self service, you can portion out each 2 ounce serving of meats into a fold of deli paper, as they do at a popular fresh sandwich chain. Most people will take just one. As a general rule, there is less waste with self serve.
There are also many ways to cut the meat consumption by expanding the sandwich menu design. The most obvious is to offer at least one non-meat sandwich filling. You can add a baked beans or soup; it only takes 5 large crockpots (or 1 1/2 Nesco roasters) to provide soup or beans for 100 people. A heavy appetizer such as chili con queso or 7 layer bean dip with crackers or chips will reduce the amount of sandwiches eaten. For a self serve sandwich bar, offer an Italian olive salad or artichoke relish to add to the sandwiches. You can add at least one heavy side dish. How about a salad such as bean or potato salad or Texas caviar, or a side dish like baked beans, scalloped potatoes or macaroni and cheese in a crockpot, or a baked potato bar. Offer a relish tray with about 2 ounces of veggies and 1 1/2 tablespoons of thick dressing per person, approximately 12 pounds of vegetables. Provide a modest portion of potato chips, 6 pounds or 8 pounds of corn chips. Place your breads, soup and sides ahead of the meats in the self-service line. Large Desserts help, too. Large cookies or bar cookies, fresh fruit, and frozen treats make great sandwich desserts.
For preassembled sandwiches, select the fillings that suit your schedule needs. It takes one person about 4 hours to assemble 100 fancy sandwiches, including making the filling. Make meat sandwiches no earlier than 1 day ahead. Make filled sandwiches with spreads and cream cheese sandwiches for the same day, or within 24 hours, if possible. Spread soft butter or mayo in a thin layer all the way to the edge of the bread no matter what kind of filling. Mix sandwich fillings on the dry side, just loose enough to spread.
Tomatoes and pickles are real "sog sisters". If possible, serve them on the side and let the eaters put them on. You can even do this in a box lunch, and it looks nice in the little baggie with a couple of carrot curls. Slice tomatoes vertically up and down instead of into the more common horizontal slices; they release less juice. While slicing, scrape away most of the tomato seeds. They can go into your stock pot along with end pieces. Drain both pickle slices and tomato slices as well as washed lettuce on paper towels before assembling into sandwiches. If you have doubts about how long a sandwich will be good, make up some test sandwiches and check it out.
You can order specialty breads and rolls from any good bakery at very little extra cost. Small cocktail sandwich rolls are about 10 per pound, "turkey rolls" are 5 per pound, hamburger rolls are 4 per pound, sourdough, Kaisers or hoagies about 3 per pound. Croissants or mini croissants are beautiful at weddings and receptions. Fresh "Pullman loaves" have flat tops and a tight texture and are especially easy to work with for tea sandwiches.
Premade closed sandwiches|
|Allow at least 120 sandwiches for each 100 guests||1 pound shaved deli meat makes 5 regular sandwiches or 8 light sandwiches
1 pound regular sliced meat such as turkey, brisket or corned beef makes 3 1/2 to 4 sandwiches
1 gallon sandwich filling
makes about 30 sandwiches
|To add cheese (1 ounce serving)||7 pounds, presliced|
add a pound if you have to slice by hand
|Bread or rolls||14 pounds loaf bread|
OR 120 rolls
|Ham/cold cuts (2 ounce serving)||14 pounds|
|Cheese (1 oz serving)||7 pounds|
|Bread or rolls||11 pounds loaf bread|
|Ham/cold cuts (3 ounce serving)||24 pounds|
|Cheese (1 1/2 oz serving)||10 pounds|
|Bread or rolls||17 pounds loaf bread|
OR 160 rolls
Big sandwich or teen hoagie meal|
|Ham/cold cuts (4 ounce serving)||32 pounds|
|Cheese (2 ounce serving)||14 pounds|
|Bread or rolls||22 pounds loaf bread|
OR 180 regular rolls
OR 120 hoagie rolls
|Where the table shows ham or cold cuts, this is pre-sliced one ounce slice. For hand-sliced roasted meats, you will use up to twice as much, or more if you do not have a carving person and the diners carve for themselves.|
|Chicken, Tuna, or Egg Salad|
|luncheon salad (1 cup serving)||6 gallons|
|reception (1/2 cup serving)||3 to 4 gallons|
self serve (1 cup for 2 sandwiches)
|7 to 8 gallons|
|Bread or rolls||14 pounds loaf bread|
OR 120 rolls
|Open Face Sandwiches|
|small openface tea sandwiches, fingers or rolls|
24 dozen pieces
such as cheese toast
12 dozen slices
1 1 1/2 pound loaf makes 16-20
|hot sandwiches with gravy|
1 per person
1 1/2 pound loaf makes 16-20
|2 1/2 ounces ready to eat meat plus 1/4 cup gravy per person|
|Sandwich Fixings for Self Serve Sandwich Bar
|7-10 heads of lettuce cored rinsed and broken for sandwiches, |
12-14 pounds tomatoes sliced,
one gallon total sliced olives, pickles and peppers,
10 big red or sweet onions (7 pounds) thin sliced and soaked overnight in the refrigerator in water with a few tablespoons of sugar added.
mayonnaise, 2-3 quarts and/or
butter, 2-4 pounds soft
mustard, 18 ounces to 2 1/2 quarts
ketchup, 80-112 ounces
double for French fries
pickle relish, 3 quarts
sauerkraut or slaw on sandwiches, 2 qallons
|For coney sauce for 100 or hot dog chili for 100, see these recipes: Coney sauce and Hot Dog/Nacho chili, which is also great for chili cheese fries.|
9 cups (4 1/2 pounds)chicken meat, cooked ready to eat, finely shredded or chopped
Mix well, add additional dressing as needed to make it spread easily. Spread on well-buttered bread allowing about 2 ounces per sandwich. A 16 to 20 ounce sandwich loaf will make 9 full size sandwiches or cut into 36 tea sandwiches. Yield: Filling for 40 full size sandwiches.
36 hard-cooked eggs, chilled, finely mashed or grated you don't have to boil and peel the eggs. They can be done in the oven. Check the Eggs faqs
Combine all ingredients thoroughly, starting with 1/2 the mayonaisse and adding more as needed to get a satisfactory texture for spreding. Spread on well-buttered bread allowing 2 ounces per double sandwich. A 16 to 20 ounce sandwich loaf will yield 9 double sandwiches or 36 tea sandwiches. Yield: Filling for 40 double sandwiches.
3 pounds cream cheese
Don't let cream cheese or cream cheese sandwiches sit around for hours at room temperature. It is a bit harder to work in the sour cream when the cheese is cold, but this is a food safety issue. Mash the cream cheese, mash in the sour cream until the mixture is smooth and spreadable. Add the chosen sweet or savory mix-in. Mix well, add additional sour cream if needed to make it spread easily. Allow about 1/2 cup per sandwich. A 16 to 20 ounce sandwich loaf will make 9 double sandwiches or 36 tea sandwiches.
3 pounds cream cheese
3 cups chopped green onions
1 1/2 pounds smoked salmon, finely chopped
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Blend all ingredients in bowl until well mixed. Pack into log or loaf and shape into ball and refrigerate several hours until it holds its shape and is ready to serve.
Don't let cream cheese or cream cheese sandwiches sit around at room temperature; after 2 hours, they have to be discarded. It is a bit harder to work in the sour cream when the cheese is cold, but this is a food safety issue. Mash the cream cheese, mash in the sour cream until the mixture is smooth and spreadable. Add the chosen sweet or savory mix-in. Mix well.
4 pounds lean ham, liverwurst or luncheon meat, chilled and grated
Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Spread on well-buttered bread allowing 50 ml per double sandwich. A 16 to 20 ounce sandwich loaf will yield 9 double sandwiches or 36 tea sandwiches.
Pimento cheese is a comfort food, people have strong opinions about it, and the flavor ranges from rather sweet to mustardy dill. Experiment.
4 pounds cheese*, grated
*Cheese used is most often Velveeta, mild cheddar or Colby. Grind or grate it fresh, for some reason the pre-grated cheeses don't make nearly as good a spread. Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Pickle may be dill or sweet. Experiment with small batches until you are very happy with it. Spread on well-buttered or mayo'd bread allowing 2-3 ounces per double sandwich. A 16 to 20 ounce sandwich loaf will yield 9 double sandwiches or 36 tea sandwiches.