Cooking For Guests

This post answers the following questions

1) How to cook for your guests?
2) Why many people see a dinner party as being a special occasion?
3) What are the tips in cooking for a dinner party?
4) Why making a dish with which you are familiar is important?
5) What to prepare in a dinner party?

At some time or another, you will probably find yourself cooking for a large number of guests. Maybe you’ve just bought a house and fancy having a few dinner parties rather than the messy get-togethers you used to favour, or maybe after years of avoiding it you’ve finally accepted that it’s your turn to cook Christmas dinner. Whatever the reason, it is important to recognise the fact that cooking for a group of people is much harder than cooking for just one or two.

For a start, there is a little more pressure. If you invite people over for food, they expect to get something reasonable to eat. You can’t just make them a sandwich. If you’re not the world’s best cook, this presents something of a problem. Now is not the time to start experimenting and acting like Heston Blumenthal. Stick with what you know.

Many people see a dinner party as being a special occasion where they have to do something out of the ordinary. The problem with that is that if you are cooking something you have never cooked before, there is a greater likelihood that it will all go wrong. Many elaborate dishes require very particular skills. If you don’t have these skills, you’re asking for trouble if you expect to get things right first time.

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Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craige/2139414195/

A far better bet is to make a dish with which you are familiar. If you can make something well, then buy high quality ingredients and make a deluxe version of it. It is also a good idea if that particular dish is relatively straightforward in terms of how it is cooked and prepared. Sometimes when you increase the volume, other elements change as well. A good example is when roasting a joint. A small one might be ready in an hour, but if you’re feeding a few more people, you can bank on a much longer cooking time.

Don’t get too fancy with loads of courses either, unless you are confident you can deliver them in good time. A cold starter, prepared in advance, saves a lot of stress. Otherwise you might find you’re trying to finish off one dish while you should be doing something with the one that is to follow.

Take a leaf out of the book of catering firms. Where possible, they will try and make one massive pot of something. That way, there is only one thing to worry about and there is the added bonus that people can go back for seconds.

If you need catering supplies, Joel Hammond recommends http://www.mscateringsupplies.co.uk/

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