Cooking Challenge

Here's the deal. I'm in the food rotation to bring a "hot dish" for a high school wrestling match. The dish is intended to serve the wrestlers and parents who are there for an ALL DAY tournament. Typically, the wrestlers snack on granola, fruit, sandwiches, etc during the tournament. But when a wrestler is finally finished, he's ravenous and ready to sit down and chow. This is where the hot dish is supposed to come in. Other parameters of the challenge:

1) I need to arrive by 9am. The location is too far from home for me to go home and then come back.
2) The "hot dish" needs to keep until say, mid afternoon to late afternoon
3) I have access to a power outlet, but nothing else.
4) These folks are NOT adventourous eaters, but they are carnivores.



lilroseglow January 10, 2014
Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I tried chili in a crockpot last time, with cheese/fritos on the side with only modest success. I think this time I'll go with meatballs. Not very well-rounded, but hey I'm going to assume someone else will bring the fruit/salad, and I know meatballs will survive the long holding time.
bigpan January 10, 2014
Lasagna - keep it hot on a plug in hot plate. I am sure they will not care much if it is hot or warm as long as there is lots of it.
LeBec F. January 10, 2014
Maybe teen wrestlers are rarely vegetarians, but if you made chili, it wouldn't be very taxing to make a large batch of regular meat chili and then a small vegetarian batch w/o meat and all else the same.
The condiments could make it particularly memorable so that it's like an Ice Cream Bar except it's a Chili Bar : shredded lettuce, chopped onions , chopped green chilis, chipotle sour cream, plain bottled hot sauce, shredded cheddar,crushed taco chips, salsa or chopped tomatoes. And you could make the chili more appealing by using cubed beef rather than ground meat. I added black, red and white beans to my chili last time and it was so pretty! Also, if you included some grain in your chili, that would be a nice nod to healthful eating--something like chewy wheatberries or shortgrain brown rice or red quinoa. Personally, i would stay away from meatballs in red sauce or lasagna etc- too heavy/hard to digest after a rigorous workout. I would also include a complex salad as an option, w/ lots of texture in the components- mesclun, cukes, sprouts,cheese, nuts or seeds,fennel, apple,avocado, beets-- for those who need it as their entree. (maybe also some small bowls of shredded chicken next to the salad.) People love to have a display of choices; makes 'em feel special. (Not the same old concept of one dish-take it or leave it.)
HalfPint January 10, 2014
I would heat store-bought meatballs (beef or turkey) in a marinara sauce, in a large slow cooker or two (which you can leave plugged in all day). Bring a large bag of rolls (like hoagie rolls or torpedo rolls, presliced) and presliced mozzarella or provolone cheese which can be stored in a cooler with ice packs. When anyone is done and hungry, he/she can make meatball subs. I don't know of a lot of people who hate hot cheesy meatball sandwiches.
kimhw January 10, 2014
Shepards pie or something along those lines will last a long time in a crock pot and is very hardy for hungry boys.
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