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ELLEN'S KITCHEN
prep and day
yvonne fagnano
11/07/11
Hi ellen!

this site has been so helpful! i can't thank you enough...i'm in a hot panic. I'm cooking for a weeding this saturday. I'm concerned about a few things.
1. main dishes are ham and baked ziti...are these things i can prepare and make on Friday with a plan to reheat on Saturday.

a. how much reheating time and temps will i need if i can do this

2. sides are green beans and potatoes. the potatoes are freaking me out, she didn't want mashed just chunky potatoes with peppers...i was planning on cooking them saturday morning some time...will that work...i'm planning on just reheating the beans

3. the reception hall is allowing me to keep the food warm there...should i reheat the food proior to that so that it's hot..

planning on food being served around 6pm...i plan to be at the hall around 3, with oven to keep the food warm will that be a good plan

4. finally...with dinner expected to be around 6 what time should i bring the chafing dishes out 5:45?

thanks again

Yvonne

ellen
11/08/11
It took me a minute to figure you meant a wedding and not a park-beautification event...

Yvonne, what is on the appetizer table? This should be out as soon as the guests begin to arrive, usually about an hour before the wedding party arrives.

Reheating Basics, PREHEAT the ovens at least 20 minutes. Keep temps at 325 or lower. Keep covered (foil) while reheating until last 15 minutes. Refrigerated adds 40-69 minutes to reheat time. MUST bring to 160 in the middle of the dish before transferring to chafers- use an instant read thermometer, if you don't have one, get one.

You don't say how many people are cooking. You need 3 cooks and at least 6 servers for a 100-129 person wedding party done buffet style.

1. main dishes are ham and baked ziti...are these things i can prepare and make on Friday with a plan to reheat on Saturday.

The ham can be reheated, sliced before reheating. Needs a nice broth or sauce to avoid drying out when reheating. See the discussion on reheating turkey in the holiday cooking section, there is ham info, also.
The ziti will be MUCH tastier if you bake it at the place, at least 20 servings should be meatless (and so labeled on the card at the table) for the non-ham , non meat eaters in the group. That is 2 9x13 or 1 standard pan. It can be made ahead and refrigerated. This adds about 40 minutes to the cooking time.

a. how much reheating time and temps will i need if i can do this- see the article mentioned above for ham. Bake the ziti fresh.

2. sides are green beans and potatoes. the potatoes are freaking me out, she didn't want mashed just chunky potatoes with peppers...i was planning on cooking them saturday morning some time...will that work...i'm planning on just reheating the beans.

I would cook the potatoes ahead and reheat, and make the beans fresh.

3. the reception hall is allowing me to keep the food warm there...should i reheat the food proior to that so that it's hot..
Don't understand? You must fully reheat the food (in the oven or on the stovetop), putting out to serve, and you must hold the food at 180 oven before it goes on the table.

planning on food being served around 6pm...i plan to be at the hall around 3, with oven to keep the food warm will that be a good plan

Keep food HOT not just warm. Food safety. 2 1/2 hours for this much food for an inexperienced caterer? You need help.

4. finally...with dinner expected to be around 6 what time should i bring the chafing dishes out 5:45?

Again. don't know how many people. You need one double sided serving line with full chafers for each 50-70 people for fast service. Talk to the couple about what activities, toasts, etc, they want to do before everyone gets up to eat, and how long. You want to have the food in the chafers before the activity starts (imagine clatter of pans while program is going on...)

Yvonne
11/09/11
Thanks Ellen!

wedding will be about 165 people. App table we are planning on having, crackers and cheese, pretzels, fruit and cookies

 
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