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   >> Rusty's Grill

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DalTexHornFan
100+ posts
07/11/07 11:57 AM
Fajitas for 30 people


Help! I'm supposed to be cooking fajitas for 30 adults for a party which starts Saturday at 4pm. I'm going to do a combo of beef and chicken, but my question is this - how much food should I buy to cover 30 people?

The crowd will be half men, half women, and in my experience with this group the majority of the women won't touch beef. I was thinking 6 or 7 of the standard grocery-cut flank steaks and 15 chicken breasts would probably be enough food. Does this sound about right?

Also, I was planning on cooking it all in the morning on the grill, covering, and re-heating in the oven just prior to everyone's arrival. Would this be the best way to re-heat?

Any suggestions would be welcome!

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hugeSponsor
5000+ posts
07/11/07 12:14 PM
Re: Fajitas for 30 people [re: DalTexHornFan]

is takeout out of the question?

i would go to pappasitos, but that's me.




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DalTexHornFan
100+ posts
07/11/07 12:19 PM
Re: Fajitas for 30 people [re: DalTexHornFan]

Takeout isn't out of the question, but I didn't want to spend a ton on it. Also, I can can make a pretty good fajita.

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hugeSponsor
5000+ posts
07/11/07 12:26 PM
Re: Fajitas for 30 people [re: DalTexHornFan]

yeah, my concern would be the number of people

cooking for 30 is hard.






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UTEE
2500+ posts
07/11/07 01:12 PM
Re: Fajitas for 30 people [re: DalTexHornFan]

In catering, I generally count on a minimum of 1/3 lb, and more often 1/2 lb of meat per person, and that's assuming you have some sides like rice and/or beans. If you think the women will primarily eat the chicken, then you can skew your purchases in that direction.

Buying fajitas for carry-out or catering is usually pretty expensive, while cooking them yourself is much less so. You could even cook the meat yourself, and buy the sides pre-made from a Tex-Mex joint (or even a BBQ joint for the beans).

Other things to consider are: cheese (grating cheese for 30 takes time, pre-grated is more expensive), sour cream, guacamole, salsa and/or pico de gallo, and grilled/sauteed onions/peppers (these can be done a day ahead of time in a wok if you want, and then reheated in a serving pan on the grill).






"Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word." -- John Steinbeck

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Fanny McLonghorn
1000+ posts
07/11/07 01:21 PM
Re: Fajitas for 30 people [re: DalTexHornFan]

In reply to:

Would this be the best way to re-heat




Yes, but the thing about fajitas is this: The only thing that has to be hot is the meat. Unless you have grilled vegetables or a bunch of queso or something, nearly all of the go-withs are served cold or warm. So my point is, why cook the meat early and then reheat?

Even if it is because you have a smallish grill. You can cook all that meat in less than an hour in a couple of batches and have somebody cutting it up while the you watch the next batch of meat.

Everything else can be made ahead of time. You can do all of the prep work early in the day, and then focus on the meat while people arrive and eat chips and salsa and guac and pico. When the meat's done, cut it and warm the tortillas in the oven. Serve that [censored].

Also, for that many people, never rule out the idea of HEB pre-marinated meat. I have made some good marinades, and the best ones were slightly better than what you can get pre-packaged. Unless you have a week to marinate your meat, you won't be able to match HEB as far as how much flavor is in the meat. That stuff sits in flavor juice for days.

And you will need 10 lb's of meat, minimum. Girls will eat a fourth of a pound tops, a lot of guys will eat half a pound. And leftovers are a thousand times better than running short on meat.

One more tip, don't put all the guacamole out at once. Put half out for people to eat before dinner, and bring out the rest with the fajitas. I don't know what it is, but people see a huge bowl of that green ambrosia, and they become feral beasts bent on the ultimate destruction of all things avocado. It's weird.

Also, don't forget to cut the beef against the grain. It's painful watching people gnaw at their fajita to get a bite off.

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UTEE
2500+ posts
07/11/07 01:23 PM
Re: Fajitas for 30 people [re: DalTexHornFan]

Sorry, just saw your second question about re-heating. Do you own or have access to any large chafing dishes? Or do you own or have access to any of those disposable serving pan/chafing dish setups that use aluminum pans and half-pans? Maybe through a church or some other organization you're involved with?

Using chafing dishes woule be a gentler way to reheat the food, and keep it warm all through serving.




"Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word." -- John Steinbeck

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scottsinsSponsor
5000+ posts
07/11/07 01:36 PM
Re: Fajitas for 30 people [re: DalTexHornFan]

H.E.B. premarinated, tenderized fajitas.

that's all.




"Better frozen with weiner in hand than naked on couch with peanut butter all over me. "

---Macanudo

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Luke DukeSponsor
2500+ posts
07/11/07 03:41 PM
Re: Fajitas for 30 people [re: DalTexHornFan]

Just get ~15 lbs of premarinated fajita meat. HEB brand is pretty popular. Whatever brand that Sam's sells is pretty good too.





"Also, no big deal about the two decades younger. I'm Texas." -LonghornsWin

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THEU
250+ posts
07/11/07 04:22 PM
Re: Fajitas for 30 people [re: DalTexHornFan]

My father-in-law cooks up the HEB branded fajitas and I consider them the best in town (NOT Austin, although his name is Austin). I would certainly suggest you do this, as several others have as well. I just want to add to the clamor. Maybe sheer volumem will strengthen the argument.

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12thStudStan
1000+ posts
07/12/07 12:56 AM
Re: Fajitas for 30 people [re: DalTexHornFan]

Like UTEE, I usually figure on 1/3 -1/2lb. cooked meat per person for fajitas depending upon who I am feeding, what other food is involved and what time of day. For 30 people that means about 10-15 lbs of cooked meat. For flank steak and chicken breasts you can count on about 30% cooking shrinkage, so you are going to need about 14-21 lbs of raw meat to start with.

If you use pre-marinated meat, the marinade the meat is packaged in does act somewhat like a brine and will reduce the cooking shrinkage, but sometimes there is considerable liquid inside the package that is included in the total weight so the it's probably a wash in the end. Marinating your own is easy, but cooking for a group is not the best time to experiment. If you have a proven recipe and procedure of your own, however, I would go with that.

If it were me I would get about 10lbs each of flank and chicken breasts (20lbs total) because they make great leftovers if you have a surplus, but if you run out of meat that is one of the things that people will remember about the party.

As far as reheating goes, fajitas that are cooked (not overcooked) in advance reheat well in a foil covered pan in the oven (200-250). A chafing dish, if you have access to one, works great for keeping them warm and for serving.

If you happen to overcook them and they get dried out, just make up a chimichurri sauce and mix it up with the meat.

Best wishes.




Former Texas A&M star Antoine Wright, now a reserve with the New Jersey Nets, tells Bob Costas on tonight's edition of HBO's "Costas Now" that he received a better education in high school than in college.

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