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It's not the end of the world cooking for a crowd!

Jun 12, 2008
If the idea of cooking for a crowd intimidates you, we have some few tips that may show it's not that scary. There isn't big difference between cooking for two or for a dozen if you are attentive to safety, keep yourself organized and prepare all you will need in advance.

Don't risk

First thing you need to learn before starting to cook for a crowd are the hazards of it. To avoid bacteria which could cause illnesses you will have to make sure all the food is cooked at the right temperature. Cold food must be properly cooled until the moment of serving. Wrong cooking or cooling procedures will allow bacteria to reproduce so quickly that food can get spoiled in minutes depending on the situation.

You are probably wondering what you can do to have the food properly cooked and don't risk your guests health. It's not difficult. By monitoring the temperature of your dishes you can avoid them to reach dangerous temperature zones. When possible, we also recommend dividing the dishes in small portions for storage. It will allow the food to easily cool avoiding creating bacteria friendly environment.

Portions - Rule of Ten

How many times you were on a banquet, and you had the feeling there was too much or not enough food? To have an incredible large dinner it's indispensable to figure out the right amount of food. And, some simple mathematics will give a good hand on it.

To figure out how much you will have to enlarge your recipe, the catering industry uses the Rule of Ten. It says that for ten adults you will need:

Four pounds of the chosen meat, Three pounds of potatoes for salad. One pound pasta for cold salads; Two to three pounds of pre-cooked prawns; Two pounds of shellfish; Two liters of soup or stew (for appetizers); Two liters of soup or stew (in case it's the main dish); Two pounds leave salad; Three cups of salad dressing; Twenty cocktails per hour; Four liters of punch;

If you know the guests enjoy cocktails a lot, make sure you have the proper amount of ice (ten pounds) and a good assortment of soft drinks. Watch the liquors as well! You will need a 750 ml bottle for each 16 cocktails.

Cooking Provisions

You may find it hard to encounter pans, pots and dishware to cook for a crowd. Disposable foil pans are an option, but you need to be aware that they can be quite fragile when holding hot or heavy food. To avoid getting into trouble your best shot is to rent professional equipment that will give you the peace of mind of having the proper tools what will certainly help you to concentrate exclusively on the food.

Stay Organized

When serving, make sure you have a list of everything you prepared. Score out what you have already served, and you will avoid to have by the end of the dinner not served dishes remaining inside your fridge.

Previous preparation and organized work are the keys for cooking for a crowd successfully having only to congratulate yourself for the impressive job you did.
About the Author
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