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skewers for 100, help please!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am planning our wedding and thought about doing chicken and steak skewers, just meat, no veggies on them. There will be about 100 people and I am having a hard time finding what amount of meat I will need. I am thinking about making 100 of each, that way there will be about 2 per person give or take, is that way too many? Not enough? I am also not sure if I do the small or large size, there will be plenty of salads, buns etc. We will be BBQing them all on a few large BBQs.
Thanks for any help!
post #2 of 8
You're brave catering your own wedding.....Congrats too!!

People may eat more than that - outdoors, fresh air, smell of bbq...the appetite gets moving :) If you use chicken thighs, it'll be less expensive than breast, and won't dry out as much as breasts - they can be tempermental. Also, marinate, whatever flavours you like. Plenty of recipes out there. Same wih the beef - get maybe rump steak rather than something more pricy, marinate. Shop around for specials even if its ahead of time - you can mix in with your marinade, then freeze in ziplock bags.

As for quantity, I'd allow 3 oz. per skewer. Don't cut the meat into huge chunks, make them smaller than normal, it will look fine and feed more, and cook quicker. I'd go for 3 skewers each, so 3oz x 300...do the sum...I'm not sure if our pounds are the same amount of ounces as yours. You will need as many extra hands as you can. Do them the day before, put on trays, cover and stack in the fridge. Unless you have a lot of help on the day, then you could have the meat ready in bowls in their marinade and get them threaded, but I'd work on doing a lot the day before.

I'd make sure that you are certain of the number of people coming...otherwise you'll have a heap left.

Good luck! And have a great wedding day :D
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much, 3 might be a good idea, especially once you get booze in the mix too!
We are planning to have a food prep party the day before, get all the girls together with a few bottles of wine and all the food and get it done, I am also lucky to have a future mother in law who lives to cook and feed as many as she can!
post #4 of 8
Three types of skewers: red meat, poultry, fish.

Considering it's a wedding, you're best red meat option is probably tenderloin. You'll want about 30 pounds trimmed. Have your butcher do the trimming, your plan is already pretty darn ambitious for your own wedding.

I suggest marinating the meat briefly in a 50/50 mix of red wine and worcestershire, then sprinkling them with seasoning just before grilling. The seasoning mix should be kosher salt, black pepper, smoked paprkia, granluated garlic, granluated onion and a bit of thyme and sage.

Poultry -- well chicken. What else is new? Thighs are easier and surer than breasts. However breasts can be done if they're brined, rather than marinated. Your best option might be marinating thighs (cut them in quarters) in olive oil, lemon juice, onions and garlic, seasoning them with the same seasoning used for the beef; then sprinkling with dried oregano and lemon juice just as they come off the grill.

You'll want 25 pounds skinned, boned and cubed. If you want me to calculate waste for you, I'll be happy to do it. But again, ask your butcher.

For the fish skewer, either salmon wrapped in (really good) bacon; shrimp brined in water, satl, chili, limeade, and tequila; or, if you really want to splurge, you could do lobster tail instead of shrimp. You want about 20 pounds of shrimp, lobster or salmon. If you decide on shrimp, no matter what else you do, have them cleaned.

Set each table with three sauces -- remoulade, spicy ketchup and a mild salsa verde.

Lots of different salads and an array of warm dishes, too. If it were my party I'd go Mediterranean with rice pilaf, tzatziki, tabouleh, babaganoush, dolmas, spanakopita, Greek salad, pickled radish, Greek flat bread (not pita, pita's too dry), and whatever.

There are innumerable options for side dishes, whether themed or not. I don't expect you to consider my suggestions as sent down from on high, carved on stone tables. Rather, they're just ideas to get your creative (and gastric) juices going.

Oh. And very best wishes,
post #5 of 8
I am going to agree with much of what BDL suggested. I do think that meat skewers with out veggies might be a bit plain so you do need to really think about your sides and what you want your theme to be. That may impact what you want to use as marinades or seasoning for the protein.
Tenderloin would be my choice. Factoring 4 ounces per skewer and a quantity of 200 you will need 50 pounds of tenderloin. That may be another reason you want to consider using veggies. You can of course do smaller versions but then it becomes more difficult to keep the meat MR especially if you are holding them at all. That's a choice you have to make before any one can offer meaningful advice on the amount of meat you will need.
If you are a Costco member or have friends or family that can take you to a wharehouse I suggest you get the tenderloin there. They carry peeled tenders. They will be more costly per pound but cheaper over all. If you buy tenderloins from a butcher you will be paying for the entire loin and there is a fair amount of waste unless you clean them your self and utilize the chain, much of which would be fine for skewers. FWIW uncleaned tenderloins at Costco are running $7.50 per pound here. If you do have a butcher clean tenderloins for you make sure they give you the trimmings or better yet have them ground into burger.
A far more cost effective option if you can find it is a needled ball tip which when cut can resemble a mock fillet. Needled meat takes marinades well as the flavor penetrates the flesh. You may have to ask a butcher about that and special order them. IIR they are 185B's but I haven't had my coffee yet. :lol:
Another option that would be a fraction of the price is top sirloin. All Costco's carry this cut AFAIK and they can needle them for you. Top sirloin would literally be 1/5 the price of tenderloin.
On the chicken I am going to depart from the advice of the others and suggest breast. Not every one likes thigh meat and chicken is not expensive. Stores in my area this year have had un-sized boneless, skinless breasts for $1.49# as long as you buy ten pounds.
Since you didn't ask about fish I won't spend much time on that for a number of reasons. If you have pescatarians then shrimp is easy and will please most. If I was to do a third option I would lean towards lamb or goat just for the fun of it.
Congrats and have fun!
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #6 of 8
I agree w/the top sirloin. I'd also suggest slice'n thin strips instead of cubes. You can "weave" it onto the skewer to look better/different, and it will cook faster.

Chicken, not much of a choice, imho. If you decide to use the breast, I suggest brine'n them so they won't dry out as easy.

I'd stay away from fish. Your gonna have your hands full w/just these two meats.

Also, if you go w/tenderloin I wouldn't marinade. That cut is one of the best and only needs S&P. Top sirloin I would slice or cube and then marinade. Also when cutting up top sirloin you'll want to make sure you cut out all the "silver skin", it just won't break down and will be hard to eat.

Just some ideas.

Congrat, Heather.:thumb:
post #7 of 8
I don't like the skewer idea at all. The only way this would work is if they come right off the grill onto the plate. If they are held in Chaffing dishes they will be dried sticks of meat. The only way I would do any meat or chicken would be to baste while cooking to keep and sauce or glaze on the meat. One example would be Chicken Yakitori you should be able to cook this with out drying it out and also hold it with a bit more sauce/glaze.. The success of a catering is not only the quality and care a person takes with cooking but also being able to hold the food so it keeps the same quality and flavors as coming right off the grill. A good caterer knows how to hold a cooked food under the right conditions to insure the best possible product at the time of service. The items you are speaking of for BBQING need to be basted and kept warm as such to insure this quality..If you are not going to serve off the grill, I would rethink the main entrée items...You are not a professional caterer and these meat items need a lot of TLC to be done right............................. Chef Bill
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
wow that is a lot of info to take in! I have some good notes to reference to now, thank you all!
I was planning to use chicken thighs, I normally prefer breast for everyday eating, but I find thighs to be juicier when done on a skewer, not to mention about half the price here. I was planning on getting a bunch of packs of top sirloin steaks which we normally buy, and find very tender and cubing them to use, but I am just an at home cook so I have never looked at the bigger packs of meat before, I definitely will! Both I was planning to get from Costco. I am also doing a fish dish, fresh sockeye salmons from our friend who is a fisherman, also done on the BBQ. We will be BBQing while people have some cocktails and appies and serving hot right off the BBQs, just placing on chafing dishes for serving and to keep whatever is sitting there still warm.
It is to be quite a casual wedding and I am just aiming for a very casual summer meal, which is one of our favourites. I had wanted to do veggies on the skewers as well, but I thought some people will be picking certain things off and the veggies can be hard to cook with the meat, sometimes they get a bit singed, other times they aren't fully cooked, while I don't mind this at home so much I don't want to serve blackened or undercooked veggies that will get cold and soggy quickly!
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