You've invited a bunch of people to your house for dinner. Now what?
Chef Trevor Bird of Vancouver's Fable Kitchen and Fable Diner has pulled together his top tips to cook for a crowd that will make entertaining a breeze!
Prepare a menu in advance.
This is the biggest thing you can do to get ready to cook for a group of people. By preparing your menu in advance you'll know exactly what your getting into as far ahead of time as possible.
Order the right amount of food:
The average human can't eat more than 1lb of food per meal (that's about 450 grams or 16 oz). So when you're ready to shop, go to Meatme.ca for your meat, and consider that a 6oz. piece of meat is good for one person. Once you've calculated 6oz multiplied by the # of people attending your dinner, don't doubt your math.
Mise en place:
This fancy French culinary term means "to put in place" and is pronounced meez-ahn-plahs (if you want to impress your guests). It means to have everything prepared and ready to go before you start cooking. Read and understand your recipe, prepare all your ingredients and even make what you can in advance of cooking. If you’re making a vinaigrette for a salad, do it ahead of time. Get as many elements of your menu ready in advance of the event.
Cook your meat low and slow:
Most importantly, on the day of the event, you want to cook your meat or fish low and slow. Put your oven between 225-250F, generously season the meat with salt and pepper, and for every inch thick, leave it in the oven for 20-30 minutes. This not only gives you time to prep other food while the meat is in the oven, but it also prevents overcooking.
Reverse Sear your meat:
Once you've cooked your meat low and slow, and about 5 minutes before you're ready to sit down to eat, sear your meat using the bbq or pan on high heat for 2 minutes each side. (It's called reverse searing, because a lot of people sear their meat before cooking it - and now we've reversed it)!
All that's left to do is slice & enjoy!
Chef Trevor Bird