Hosts typically offer food when inviting guests into their homes. One thing to consider when selecting foods to serve is recipes that can be timed well and are most suitable for entertaining. Interacting with guests and meeting their needs can be challenging enough without having to make frequent trips to the kitchen to check on meals. Simple meals can reduce the likelihood that hosts will spend all of their time in the kitchen.
Timing can be everything with regard to cooking, and with the following tips, hosts can offer foods that are cooked and served with ease.
Go with what you know
Save experimentation for another time. When entertaining, stick to tried-and-true recipes you have made many times before and can prepare from memory. Sticking with recipes you know removes potential sources of stress and frustration from hosting.
Working with recipes you know also means you understand just how long it takes for foods to cook. This enables you to time courses properly so they come out of the oven hot and can be served at the right temperature.
Cook ahead when possible
It is easier to serve foods promptly when dishes are already prepared. When foods are prepared in advance, serving can be as simple as reheating in the oven or placing uncooked foods in the oven. Keep in mind that food will heat up more quickly in serving dishes that are shallow. If time is of the essence, prepare foods in pans or other vessels that are not too deep.
Certain meals are good choices for advance preparation. These include casseroles, stews and baked pasta dishes. Fish and roasts are best served the day of cooking.
Learn guests’ tendencies
It’s helpful to know guests’ personalities and their propensity to arrive on time before assigning foods to bring. For example, the early bird of your group can be trusted to bring appetizers or mixers for early cocktails. Someone who usually arrives fashionably late should be tasked with bringing dessert or something else to be enjoyed after the meal.