I've been asked to cater our office Christmas dinner party. I am nervous and excited, and so far, at a loss about what to cook :)
I have some experience cooking for large groups, although it's been a while since I did anything this size. The focus of the dinner is on spending time together, the food does not need to be very fancy.
Appetizer, main, and dessert, and possibly some small things to nibble before dinner.
I'm planning on doing most of the prep and cooking at the office, because I want to limit the time I spend at home cooking for this. There's a large kitchen at the office, but it has only 2 burners and a smallish oven. No microwave. Heating stuff and keeping stuff warm will be an issue. There's tons of counter space, big sinks, a professional dish washing machine, a huge fridge and freezer though.
Costs need to be kept down to a minimum. The food does not have to be traditional or particularly Christmassy, but seasonal in the sense that its suitable for a winter dinner. It can be really simple and unfussy.
I'll have some people to help me with prep, cooking and plating.
So... what to cook? I'm thinking a starter that can be completely prepped ahead and only needs assembling (cold, or something that only needs very brief reheating).
Main will obviously need to be something briased or stewed, that will only need reheating. (in fact the first thing I though about was a huge pot meatballs in mushroom / onion/port gravy).
Some kind of beef stew seems an obvious choice. But I'm not averse to something completely different, with Middle Eastern flavors maybe, or even a pasta dinner (although pasta for 40... hm...)
Dessert, again, needs to be something that can be prepped ahead and assembled at the last moment. All thoughts, ideas, tips and tricks are very welcome.. and I'll keep adding to this thread while my plans take shape!