Even for the best hosts, cooking for a large group can be an unnerving experience. To avoid getting stressed out by the thoughts of what could go wrong, you need to budget well and plan in detail in good time for the party.
Know the number of guests you expect to have and plan accordingly. Get all the utensils and cutlery you need for every course to be served set and ready for the day and start making food preparations at least two weeks before the day.
Shopping for grocery and ingredients you need to make a meal for a large group may more than one trip to the store and you want to avoid a last-minute rush because you missed something.
These tips will make cooking for a crowd a much more pleasant experience.
Prepare your food in advance
There are foods that can be prepared well in advance and will stay fresh for up to three days in your refrigerator. With foods like these, all you have to do is reheat them on the day of the party and you are good to go.
There are also some ingredients that can improve the longevity of your salads. What is Cream of Tartar, you ask? It’s the magic ingredient that prevents your vegetables from losing their green colour.
Preparing most of your foods in advance enables you to also enjoy the party instead of running up and down in the kitchen.
A buffet-style party saves you the cost of hiring several waiters and also gives your guests the liberty to serve what they want and the portion sizes they need. It’s also saves you a lot of energy. All you have to do is set up serving tables that are long enough so your guests don’t spend a lot of time standing in the queue.
Choice of foods
When cooking for a crowd is not the time to experiment with your recipes. Neither is it the time to wow your guest with the latest culinary delicacy you recently acquired from your cooking club. Not everyone is for acquired tastes.
Go with common dishes and do not let your personal preferences reflect in your cooking. If you like a particular spice, do not put in every food you make. Again, not everyone might be enthusiastic about Mexican chilies.
Ensure that your buffet menu has something for everyone.
Most recipes carter for at most six people so if you are hosting a group larger than that, you have to scale up all the ingredients so that you have enough food while maintaining the same quality expected of your food.
For instance, if the recipe is made for 5 people and you are hosting 15, you simply scale up the ingredients by a factor of 3.
The other trick to having enough food is to have a little bit of everything. You don’t have to make huge amounts of a single menu item when you have a diverse offering of food for people to choose from.