Keeping food warm in oven?

beth4December 19, 2009

I don't have a warming drawer, but I do have a Wolf range and it has 170 degrees as its lowest setting. It also has a "proof" setting of 85 degrees, but I think that's too low for keeping food safe.... But I freely admit I know nothing about keeping food warm for significant periods of time.

I'm providing the entree for tomorrow's neighborhood progressive dinner -- seafood bisque & rice. Cocktails, appetizers, soup & salad courses will be at other houses, then neighbors will come here for the entree.

I plan to bake the bisque and prepare rice, then place them in my oven, with temp set at 170 degrees --- for the 1.5 hours of the preceeding courses.

Do you think that will work for keeping the food in good, serving condition? I do plan to cover thoroughly with tin foil to ensure bisque doesn't dry out.

I'm wondering if I should add a large pan of water, so that moisture can be circulated in oven at the 170 degrees, to simulate a warming drawer.

Your advice and suggestions will be MUCH appreciated.

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I would make sure the bisque has a lid on should be fine at 170 for an hour. It will be hot when you put it in the oven won't it?
you say bake and serve with perhaps I am confused....seafood bisque is a cream you have to be careful not to get it too hot or it will separate.
Do you have a crock pot?
As for the rice....that will dry out...Iw ould cook it and put into a covered dish and nuke it tow arm up....fluffing about every minute.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 5:10PM
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Sorry to be confusing, Linda. I got the recipe from my cousin, who got it from the Cooking forum, right here on GW. The recipe is labeled "Best of the Best from New England", but doesn't have a name associated with it. I've frequently searched for it on the Cooking and Recipe Exchange forums and have not been able to find it. But it is delicious!

While it is made of butter, sherry and milk, it's not really a soup...maybe a thick chowder, but even then I don't think it's a chowder.

If I had cute chowder-type bowls, I might serve it in those. Since I don't, I bake it in large casserole dishes and serve it with rice on the side, so the rice can absorb the wonderful, sherry-flavored juices.

The 2 casseroles I plan to bake and serve in tomorrow night do not have lids, so that's why I planned to cover tightly with the foil.

I plan to bake the bisque while I cook the rice on the stove top. Then cool oven down to 170 degrees, and then move the still warm casseroles and the rice, tightly covered, into the oven. I thought the rice would be fluffy, with each kernel separated, when ready to serve.

Here's the recipe, if that helps you envision whether this plan will work. Again, I'll be away from home for 1.5 hours, and then everyone will return here. My hope was that I could remove the food from the oven, pour the wine and everyone could sit down at the table for almost immediate serving.

Seafood Bisque Casserole

Recipe By: Best of the Best from New England

1/2 pound each shrimp, crabmeat, scallops
1 tablespoon shallots -- chopped
7 tablespoons butter
10 tablespoons sherry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese

Sauté seafood and shallots in 4 tablespoons butter. Cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle with 6 tablespoons of sherry; salt and pepper. In another pan melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and add flour to make paste. Add milk and remaining 4 tablespoons sherry; stir until smooth. Combine sauce and seafood mixture and place in a casserole or individual ramekins.

Top with bread crumbs and Parmesan.

Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.

Thanks in advance for advice.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 5:38PM
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A report back. I hosted my progressive sit-down dinner for 12, and was away from my home for 1.5 hours (attending the appetiziers, soup and salad courses) before the entree was served. I baked the seafood bisque for 30 minutes before I left home, cooked the rice on stove top, cooled the oven down to 170 degrees, put everything in oven, along with a pan of water, set oven to 170 degrees, and went to the neighbors for the hors douerves course, the soup and salad, and then everyone returned here for the entree of the seafood bisque and rice, served with a marvelous chardonnay, and everything coming out of my 170 degree oven tasting fresh, moist and perfectly cooked. I was ecstatic, and the compliments came from all around the table.

So....there is a life for those of us who don't have the luxury of having a warming drawer to keep everything at the appropriate temp! :)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 1:19AM
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Congratulations on your success. And thanks for sharing your method and the recipe. I use to participate in a progressive dinner and really enjoyed in, I don't hear of them as much. I have a warming drawer but forget to use it.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 5:11AM
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My goodness, that sounds good. How many does the recipe as posted serve? My family would love it - but there are 19 of us. Thanks.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 10:22AM
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Recipe sounds great....copy....paste....!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 10:41AM
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The recipe serves 6, as written. My cousin, a wonderful cook from whom I got the recipe, extends it by adding 8 oz. sliced mushrooms sauteed in 1 Tbs butter, cod and some "fake" crab. For yesterday's dinner for 12, I doubled the recipe, then added 1/2 pound fake crab, 1.5 lbs of cod and 1 lb mushrooms. With all of these "extenders", I tripled the rest of the ingredients, because I really did want to have a nice sauce to soak up some of the rice. And it worked out perfectly. It looks like there are 2-3 servings left. Several of the guests had seconds.

I've made this often, serving groups from 5-12, and it always receives great reviews.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 12:44PM
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