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Cooking for a Crowd Can Be Challenging but Not Impossible

Tip of the Day

I firmly believe cooking for a crowd can be challenging but not impossible. With a little planning and forethought, you can develop a strategy that not only works…. AND won’t drive you nuts in the process.

The first task is obvious… you need to decide what the entrée will be. You need to think about your resources when thinking about various entrée possibilities….. size cookware that you have available…. the number and size of ovens…. size and number of microwave ovens(s)….. size and number of burners on your cook top….. can crockpots be utilized? …… any neighbors willing to let you reheat a tray in their oven?......

You not only have to figure out the logistics of cooking the large amount…. You also have to be able to reheat it efficiently so everyone is served at the same time.

Some foods lend themselves well to feeding large crowds. Baked ziti is one such food…. If you have a large oven… you may be able reheat 4 trays ….. which should give you enough to start…. and then if you have more trays to reheat…. Heat the first 4 trays to bubbling along the sides….. remove the trays from the oven and cover with foil…. immediately put the next batch in…. when they come out…. the original 4 still should be hot.

If you decide to serve meatballs….. they can be baked ahead and frozen…. the day of the party… place the meatballs and your sauce in a crockpot…. they take care of themselves. You may need multiple crockpots… so if you only have one…. ask friends or neighbors if you can borrow one.

Adapting recipes for large crowds can be intimidating….. there really are two approaches to this….. you can make your entrée in batches…. baked ziti and meatballs would probably be the best example of that…. or you can have a “large quantity” recipe for an entry…. an example of that would be the beef stroganoff recipe I will publish.

I have been asked fairly often for a stroganoff recipe for a crowd…. I will publish one today….. it’s made with ground beef instead of sliced beef….. it’s very tasty…. a true crowd pleaser.

While it’s nice to have a “large quantity” recipe…. you have to have a pot or skillet big enough to handle the recipe…. which would be doubtful…. so that brings us back to cooking in batches…. you look at your ingredient quantities and not everything is easily divisible…… what I recommend is that you obtain all your ingredients…. chop the onions…. get all your ingredients ready…. decide how much your pot can hold….. and then decide on the number of batches you will be making…. then divide the ingredients evenly among the batches.

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