Ideas for Restaurant Family Meals

I recently started apprenticing in a restaurant as a prep cook, and was put in charge of family meals (breakfast). I have to feed 30-40 people with staple, cheap ingredients and leftovers, always including a starch, a protein (with a vegetarian option), a vegetable, and a salad. Does anyone have big, adaptable, go-to breakfasty meals that will please a crowd? Thank you!

Catherine Lamb


ChezHenry May 16, 2014
And good luck! If you think customers are tough, staffmeal critics are brutal!
ChezHenry May 16, 2014
Shakshuka served with baked polenta and a salad. Place the shakshuka in a tray in the oven, making small indentations with a spoon to create a nest within which to crack your eggs. Leftover polenta can be spread thin and refrigerated to set, sliced and fried in butter the next day to be served with maple syrup or eggs.
rldougherty May 16, 2014
I just did two breakfast casseroles for Mother's Day Brunch. One is a blueberry French toast casserole. I use the attached recipe, but with half the cream cheese and I decrust the bread.

The other is a savory casserole. You basically cut a loaf of white bread in thick slices and line and cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 buttered casserole dish with the bread, trimming if necessary. Top with 1 pound cooked breakfast sausage, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup of green onions. Pour a mixture of 8 beaten eggs and 1 cup of half & half, salt & pepper to taste over the bread and sausage. Cover and place in the oven overnight. Should sit out for 30 minutes before going in a 350 degree oven for 60-90 minutes.

Both were a hit! If a person did not like one, they liked the other. I served it with bacon and a fresh fruit salad.
amysarah May 16, 2014
Leftover pasta, veg's, cheese, bits of prosciutto or bacon, etc. can go into a big frittata - or if there's day old bread, a strata. (I often make these 'clean out the fridge' concoctions.) Also David Waltuck, of the late, great Chanterelle in NYC, has a lovely book called Staff Meals. It includes some breakfast/brunch items, but also lots of veg's, salads, and dishes that could be adapted:
nutcakes May 16, 2014
A build your own breakfast burrito bar? Hash browns, mixed onion and peppers, scrambled egg, tofu scramble, any kind of chopped meat or chicken, cheese, salsa. Salad could be along the lines of jicama and oranges if you can.

How about some kind of Asian soup with noodle, or jook. Toppings like sliced egg, meat bits, sauteed greens, tofu. With cucumber pickled salad w/ red onion and kim chee.
theatrelion May 15, 2014
My favorite weekend breakfast is potatoes with whatever veggies I have in the fridge, sauteed and topped with over easy eggs. It's always delicious, versatile, and easy!
Meaghan F. May 14, 2014
Check out Ferran Adria's "The Family Meal" - it is exactly what it sounds like: a collection of recipes that are his favorite for family meals at El Bulli. It's a fantastic cookbook and exactly what you're looking for.
ZombieCupcake May 14, 2014
Biscuits and gravy, simple plus you can use a slow cooker and keep warm.
Nancy May 14, 2014
Kugel (pasta custard pudding) in sweet (traditional cottage cheese and raisin) or savory (chicken, fish, roasted vegetables, etc) versions. Vegetables on the side (to avoid too much liquid in kugel). Advantage - can be served hot, warm or cold. If cold, good with your choice of savory sauces.
Catherine L. May 14, 2014
Frittatas seem like they will be my best friend! If anyone has any go-to combinations, I'd love to hear them!
EmilyC May 14, 2014
If you have leftover bread to use up, this frittata would be perfect. It's like a savory, egg-y french toast, and you could top it with any number of vegetables and herbs.
Kevin F. May 14, 2014
A large scramble works well, if you cook it soft as it will tighten up as it waits to be served. You can add many leftover items to that, vegetarian or not. Also, leftover baked potatoes, cube and toss on flat top with onions / peppers / corn and a decent BBQ rub mixture (or another spice mixture). Another idea would be a granola - easy to make in large batches and keeps quite well.
TobiT May 13, 2014
Savory bread pudding.
Brette W. May 13, 2014
Frittatas! Potatoes (hash or roasted or boiled + dressed with stuff)! Breakfast tacos! Grain salads! Baked eggs with veg!
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