See a letter from Ellen about the donation campaign. Your help matters!

Church leadership dinner
Hey, ellen.

I'm doing a dinner for my wife's church. I offered to do your wedding chicken or boneless prime rib and of 32 people coming so far 15 have responded for beef and there are 7 people for the chicken (they've never had it or I'm sure there'd be more). I don't have that much time so I went ahead and ordered 20# of the beef. So dare I stick with this amount and assume I'll be able to adjust? We are intending to plate each ourself. Or would it be more likely to succeed to make two recipes of the chicken, slice the beef a little thinner and do a buffet?

I ordered 12# of redskins and intend to do another veggie. How's that sound?

Thanks so much.

You are doing fine and 20 pounds boneless will be plenty if you do that low and slow roast I discuss in the beef roasting article to minimize shrinkage and YOU PLATE IT. It is usual to get almost 2/3 for beef when beef and chicken are offered. Your potatoes are good. I would do two additional vegetables, one roasted with carrots, onions, etc, and one green- whole beans, a broccoli casserole or something like that. It makes the plate look great.

Is a roaster too big for one recipe of the chicken? I could do it in a crock if that's better. Dinner is at 6:30 so it could cook long enough.

Crock pot is small for this, roaster a little big. Make two recipes and freeze some.
I am thinking I'll adjust this for the potatoes and do in a roaster:

Herbed New Potatoes

source: Ina Garten, Barefoot in Paris

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 1/2 pounds small white or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled We used mini redskin potatoes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh green herbs, such as parsley, chives, and dill We used fresh thyme, rosemary, and chives

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the whole potatoes, salt, and pepper and toss well. Cover the pot tightly and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 35 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender when tested with a small knife. From time to time, shake the pot without removing the lid to prevent the bottom potatoes from burning. Turn off the heat and allow the potatoes to steam for another 5 minutes. Donít overcook! Toss with the herbs, and serve hot.
I've looked all over and am getting tired. I've got sage growing outside still so I am thinking that and parsley....

I'm cooking dinner for about 70 people and the meal is chicken stirfry, pork fried rice spring rolls, salad with ginger dressing. The problem i'm having is how much veggies do i get? I bought 14 pounds onions, 12 pounds broccli, 10 pounds of carrots 8 pounds peppers, and 6 puonds of celery. And 25 pounds of chicken is that enough for 70 people? please help me i can't get. thanks jackie
Jackie, it is not clear from your letter whether you are making all the menu items? Or whether these veggies are supposed to cover all the items (chicken, pork, spring rolls, and salad)? Write back.

This is a fairly difficult menu for service, because all the items are last minute prep.

25 pounds boneless, skinless raw chicken is plenty, in fact probably too much if you also have pork.

Read the article on practically perfect fried rice for a lot on tips on this dish.

I would get frozen spring rolls that can be baked. Trying to fry them at the last minute with all the other last minute prep you have to do is asking for trouble.