Saturday Dinner (IPC's Communion Season 2011)

Though this was a relatively simple menu with much of the prep work done ahead, the kitchen staff and I were moving a bit sluggish this afternoon. We felt the fatigue settling on our bodies serving dinners three nights in a row. I had to have some caffeinated drink to perk me up and it sure worked, now I am WIDE awake and it is way past my bed time! Here is what we did.

Boneless, skinless chicken breast is lightly dusted with herb dry mixture of dried oregano, basil, parsley, granulated garlic, pepper, and kosher salt, then seared on a hot griddle. Finish baking in oven until internal temperature reaches 155-160 degrees F. Let meat rest 25-30 minutes before slicing.

Here is a quick way to prep romaine lettuce for salad. Hold by the root end , chop into bite size, then wash the lettuce; drain in a colander.

After water is completely drained, put lettuce and veggies in large bowls and have them ready to toss with dressing. It is important to put just enough of dressing to coat the salad.

Sprinkle cheese on top.

Perfectly cooked pasta for 200? Click here for my previous post. Since angel hair pasta is so easy to overcook in large volume, choose a little thicker pasta such as spaghetti or linguini . After cooking the pasta firmer than al dente, quickly cool in ice cold water, then drain. Add a little of olive oil to prevent from sticking. Cover loosely until ready to serve.

Reserve the water from cooking the pasta, add more water to the pot and keep the water simmering until ready to reheat the pasta. See how I keep the cooked pasta in the metal colander with a deep large pan to fit underneath?

Pour boiling reserved pasta water over the noodles. Stir the pasta for only for about 10-15 seconds. Do this in small batches to reheat the remaining.

My church family love Sister Schubert's yeast rolls! These par-baked frozen rolls can be purchased at Sam's Club. We brush them with melted butter and bake at 350 degrees for 5-6 minutes in the convection oven.

Decadent Chocolate cake with Chocolate Buttercream frosting was made three days ago and frozen.

Simple but delicious Italian meal tonight! OK, one more meal tomorrow.
And my church family is on their own for rest of the week. I'm done. "Io sono finito!"

Saturday Menu:
For 200

Chicken Marinara (48 lbs of chicken breast/16 quarts of marinara sauce/ 20 lbs pasta)
Yeast Rolls (Sister Schubert's 190 rolls)
Greek Salad (30 heads of romaine/4 lb.cherry tomatoes, 3 English Cucumbers/3 red onions/3 lbs olives/5 lb feta cheese
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing (4 full pans, 180 servings, not everyone eat dessert)

General Prep List:
**Marinara sauce and chocolate cake can be made and frozen weeks ahead
**Greek salad dressing can be made and refrigerated a few weeks ahead

On the day of serving:

6 hours prior
Thaw chocolate cake, uncover the wrap or foil so ice crystals on the wraps don't fall on the icing

4 hours prior
Cook pasta firmer than al dente, cool, set aside loosely covered, reserve pasta water & keep hot
Slowly reheat marinara sauce (we reheat sauce in a steamer)
Prep salad
Herb dry rub on chicken and sear until lightly blackened

2 hours prior
Baked seared chicken in oven 12-18 minutes until internal temp reaches 155-160 degrees F
Let meat rest and slice against the grain, loosely cover and keep room temp
Cut Cake
Yeast rolls on sheet pans, brush with melted butter

1 hour prior to serving
Salad ready to toss, mix with dressing 15 minutes prior to serving
Heat pasta in batches by pouring boiling reserved water
Plate cakes
Plate salad
Begin plating main dish, serve with shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Everything looks delish!! I'm sure everyone enjoyed the food. I pray that God will give you an extra boost of energy to get you through the last day of cooking. Hang in there! Looking forward to the pictures from the final day's meal.

  2. Beautiful dishes again. Hope you get some restful sleep!

  3. Going over your blog all week, getting meal ideas, planning etc. I have a large party of fly fishermen (and women) that I am in charge of feeding for a week at a lodge in Montana. They're all extended family and this is supposed to be a vacation but since since I don't fish, I get to cook (that's their logic).

    I've got some picky eaters in the group and several riverside picnics. I'm pretty much in a panic but you're helping a great deal.

  4. Wow Kay! I'm lucky if I can get dinner for 5 on the table each night. that's impressive and it looks absolutely delicious to boot!

  5. Your defiantly a pro :) love the outline of the fork on the plate nice touch. looking forward to the next post.

  6. You are amazing. I have enjoyed seeing the pictures of the beautiful food you have served. Don't know how you do it for so many people and so many nights except that it is your ministry and God gives you the strength and determination to excel.And you do it all with such grace and love. Your friend. Robbie

  7. I love learning so much from you!

    I'm drooling over that chocolate cake!