Cooking for a crowd seems to be a very fearful event for many people. But it is not a very tough task. If you have proper preparation and necessary supplies it is not impossible to cook for a crowd. Be safe, prepared, organized and most importantly don’t be tensed to cook for a crowd. Don’t worry about the number of people you are about to cook.
You should be aware of the health risks associated with cooking meals for a crowd. Hot food not only has to be cooked to a certain temperature, it has to remain at that temperature until it is served. Similarly, cold food has to be kept cold until you serve it. When food is improperly cooked or cooled, bacteria can grow and reproduce, sickening everyone who ate the tainted food.
What’s a cook to do? When you’re cooking for a crowd, use instant-read thermometers to monitor the temperatures of your large-scale dishes to make sure no one gets sick. If you’re cooking ahead for a crowd, and you need to cool, say, a large pot of soup or broth, ladle the hot liquid into several small containers so each container can cool more quickly, inhibiting bacteria from forming.
Apply the Rules of Ten:
If you fail to cook enough food for your guest it will create an embarrassing situation. Again, if you cook more than enough food, much food may become simply waste. Plan for the accurate quantities of food carefully.
During the time of cooking for a crowd measure whether to double, triple or quadruple your recipe. My personal opinion is to follow the rules of ten. While cooking foods for ten adult people serve the following:
Four pounds of meat
Three pounds of potatoes to make potato salad
One pound of dry pasta to make pasta salad
Two to three pounds of pre-cooked, peeled shrimp
Two pounds of clams or mussels
Half gallon of soup/stew
One gallon of soup/ stew (if served as a main dish)
Two pounds green salad, or 3 large heads of lettuce
Three cups of salad dressing
Twenty cocktails (each hour)
One gallon of punch
If you are cooking for a crowd of ten that loves cocktails, remember to have on hand ten pounds of ice and a variety of soft drinks. A standard cocktail uses 1.5 ounces of liquor, so plan on getting 16 cocktails from each 750 ml bottle.
Necessary Supplies of Cooking:
Finding pans, bowls, and dishes when you’re cooking for a crowd can be a challenge. You can buy large, disposable foil baking pans, but they can be flimsy when loaded with hot, heavy food. Your best bet is to rent professional catering equipment, including large coolers, so you have all the supplies you need and you can concentrate on the food.
Things can get pretty crazy when you’re cooking for a crowd, so make a list of every dish you’re serving and check the list frequently. You don’t want to have the party end and the guests go home only to find that you have six gallons of uneaten potato salad in the cooler because you forgot to serve it.
Be prepared and organized to take the guesswork out of cooking for your guests. Congratulate yourself after the party is over for doing a brilliant job.
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