Tips For Cooking For A lot Of People In One GoWednesday, July 31, 2013 Mary Anne Velasco
Having a lot of people over for a dinner party, or any party where there is a lot of food being served, and a lot of mouths to feed is never easy. There are ways to make this entire process easier so you can stress less and enjoy your party more.
Do as much as you can before the day. Make sure that anything you can do before the day is done. You can pre chop vegetables, make and freeze stock, order in food and I'd recommend using a food wholesale site if you're ordering in for a lot of people. Making sure you have great quality ingredients will go a long way when cooking for a lot of people where you want to keep it all very simple.
Keep it Simple
You are probably tempted to bust out the recipe book and impress people with your amazing culinary skills but unless you know the recipe inside out you're really asking for trouble. Usually when cooking on a deadline and for a lot of people, anything then can go wrong will go wrong, and you don't want that happening on an unfamiliar recipe that you don't know how to correct. Cooking things with 2-3 ingredients is best. Finger food is perfect, anything you can dip is great. If you are having a party where people are walking around then anything small and great for nibbling on is ideal. If you are catering for a dinner party try and keep the meal simple too. Great quality meat with great vegetables can go a long way.
Use what you already have
If you keep a well kept kitchen with plenty a well stocked store cupboard [I buy store cupboard stuff wholesale too as it lasts for a long time and works out cheap]. You should be basing recipes around what you have on hand, then buying in what you need on top of that. Catering for people can add up very fast so make sure you don't over spend when it’s unnecessary.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
This doesn't necessarily mean hiring in expensive caterers [although extra help is fine too! - you don't need to do all the cooking yourself!] But you can ask friends to help you out. You can get everyone to bring a little something they made themselves - plenty of people love baking so let them shine and bring the puddings! The key to remember is that unless you want to spend the entire party in the kitchen you're going to have to take some shortcuts and cut some corners [in a nice way]. So remember to enjoy your party too and spend some time out of the kitchen.