Written by a contributing writer
Even if you’re a domestic goddess in the kitchen, the idea of cooking for a large crowd of people can be extremely daunting. Now that we’re well into summer, you may be having a lot of family staying over in the future, and wondering how you’re going to manage it all. If you’re going to have to feed the five-thousand soon, here are some hacks to make the whole thing easier.
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When It Comes to Meat, Oven Fry, Don’t Stove Fry
Fried chicken has been a favorite crowd-feeder for years, mainly because of how versatile it is. It can be served with a wide range of sauces while keeping everyone happy and be prepared as chicken parmesan and a variety of other dishes. The only drawback is that when you make breaded chicken on the stovetop, as most people do, you have to make several batches, keeping the finished ones warm in your oven, while you finish off all the rest. This can be extremely time consuming when you’ve got a hungry crowd to feed. Oven-fry the cutlets and you’ll only have one batch to worry about. If you’re squeezed for space, this is one of the most detailed reviews of the best new countertop ovens that we've seen. By switching to the oven, you’ll cut your work in the kitchen in half!
Top Casseroles with Their Own Side Dish
When you’re cooking for a large crowd, casseroles are something of a no-brainer. The downside of them is the fact that they usually require some kind of side-dish to feel like a full meal. Those side dishes usually need to be prepared on the stove at the same temperature, but you can save yourself the trouble by topping the whole casserole with their side dishes and preparing the whole thing in the oven! One popular example of this is a southern chilli casserole topped with cornbread. Preparing this means that you won’t have to prepare the cornbread separately and can simply put the whole dish in the oven and set a timer. This frees up more time for working on the desserts, polishing off appetizers, or simply mingling with your guests and playing host. This simple change can make recipes that you may have found intimidating so much easier!
Make Baking Tray Desserts
Sundae bars are perhaps the best choice of dessert when you’re feeding a large crowd, but all the mess and hassle can make this difficult and impractical. How do you save yourself from cleaning up all those stains and sprinkles? Bake a huge dessert that takes up the entire baking pan! This can cut down all the hassle of sundaes to a neat 5-10 minutes in the oven following a nice, easy prep. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to deprive your guests of ice cream completely! There are many baked desserts that leave room for ice cream in the recipe, or can be easily combined with it afterwards. Whatever your tastes, use a baking tray, and you’ll make dessert a snap.