Thursday Dinner (IPC's Communion Season 2011)

It was a great turn out for tonight's dinner; close to 200 as anticipated! It is a great honor to have such a dynamic preacher/speaker such as Dr. James Baird and so many families came to hear him.

I should have made a little more black beans and rice (I put Tilapia on a bed of salad for those few who did not get rice), and Tropical Salsa, but over all everything went very smoothly.

Rice was cooked with garlic, onions, and chicken broth. Then cooked black beans were added with a bit of ground cumin and cayenne pepper.

Two hours prior to serving, dry rub was sprinkled on the Tilapia filets...

and par-cooked. On a high heat sear and blacken one side of filet and put on a full-size sheet pans. And 10 minutes prior to serving, bake at 400 degrees F. for 6-7 minutes.

Tropical salsa which had papaya, pineapple, jalapeno, fresh lime juice, chopped cilantro, and Thai red chili sauce was made a day ahead.

Coconut-Kiwi cake was made a day ahead too, then garnished with kiwi today.

I think this is one of the best ways to eat coconut!

It was simple but enjoyable meal for my church family. And best of all, hardly any leftover food! Yes!

I will post the recipes later for you, I pinky promise! Tell me which one you want me to post first.

Thursday Dinner

Blackened Tilapia (50 lbs of 5-7 oz portion filets, some cut in half)
Blackened Chicken (6 lbs for small children and for non-seafood eaters)
Tropical Salsa (12 pineapples, 8 papayas, and other ingredients
Black Bean and Rice (4 full size steam pans)
Garden Salad with Sundried Tomato-Basil Vinaigrette (3o small heads of Romaine Lettuce,
3 English Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes)
Coconut-Kiwi Cake (4 full size pans, 180 pcs)

Now, many little details are omitted here on this prep list but you get an idea how we do things in our kitchen when serving a meal like this.

Up to 5 days prior to serving:
Make Salad Dressing

One day before serving:
Make Tropical Salsa and refrigerate
Make Coconut-Kiwi Cake and refrigerate (without Kiwi garnish)

Five hours prior:
Thaw Tilapia completely in cold water (comes individually wrapped in plastic)
Make Tea/beverage

Four hours prior:
Cut coconut cakes, garnish with kiwi slices, refrigerate until ready to serve
Chop Romaine lettuce, wash & drain, prep cucumbers and cherry tomatoes
Start soaking long grain rice and rinse.

Three hours prior:
Saute minced garlic and onions with olive oil, add drained rice and broth, cook, fluff
Add drained and rinsed black beans (we used dried black beans, soaked and cooked them) to cooked rice, cover with foil and keep warm

Two hours prior:
Sprinkle dry rub, we used 50 lbs of Tilapia so started early

An hour prior to serving:
Begin blackening fish filets, put on sheet pans, preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Salad things out and ready to toss last minute
Beverage station set
Desserts out and ready for plating
Tilapia in oven 10 minutes prior and cooked for 6-7 minutes, in batches since diners come in waves.
Begin plating 5 minutes prior to serving.

And not so fun part.......the clean up!


  1. Beautiful food, beautiful images! So hungry now!

  2. that was a beautiful dinner and so much work wow,, you don't see church dinners like that around here,, thats very fancy smancy

  3. This all looks so wonderful! I'm don't usually gravitate towards seafood unless it looks promising and that tilapia looks amazing :)

    Post the coconut-kiwi recipe first please..mmmm.

  4. a-mazing! can't wait to see recipes... don't forget to take your vitamins;)

  5. great job Kay. Makes me want to make tilapia on top of beans and rice now. Yum! Love all your "make ahead" and prep tips.


  6. You are so cool to me, Kay. I admire your creativity and strive to be like you one day.

  7. I wish I knew how to cook even 1/4 the scale that you do!

  8. Love tilapia and black beans and rice. Looks wonderful!

  9. I'm excited about all these recipes, but I vote for blackened tilapia first!! Or wait, maybe the coconut kiwi . . .
    Great job! That's a lot of food to prepare, but also a lot of happy diners.

  10. Where do I sign up, you are so talented.

  11. Wow! You're amazing. Hope you get some rest soon.

  12. The food looks incredibly delicious and beautifully presented. I could go for a piece of that blackened tilapia right now..... followed by a piece of coconut-kiwi cake! Can't wait for the recipes!