Cooking Tips to Create Quick Meals for Groups
While cooking at home can be a hassle and can take a long time, that’s only if you’re not fully prepared.
But we, at The Seasoned Chef, are big fans of easy cooking. Simple recipes, simple ingredients, delicious dishes, less time in the kitchen, and more time with the family are our forte. It’s a combination that we don’t intend to change in the near future, either.
Though we can admit that cooking for a group can be more time consuming. From larger recipes with more prep time needed, to even crossing your fingers that you have all the ingredients available, there are a lot more details to consider when you’re cooking for more than one.
Luckily, you have our team in your corner – a group with decades upon decades of experience in creating delicious recipes for any sized group. And we know some simple tips that will help to make cooking for groups a breeze.Here are our top 6 tips you need to know.
6 Tips for Creating Quick Meals for Groups
1. Briefly plan ahead. You don’t have to write out a whole schedule for your work, but read through the recipe a day or two ahead of time and plan the steps you will need to take on the day of your event. Maybe even discuss the recipe with a cohort if you have the luxury. Try to think about the basic skills you already possess and relate them to the steps in the recipe. For instance, if the recipe tells you to heat a skillet or frying pan, then add oil and the product, you are doing basic sauté steps and you can simply do what you already know to get the recipe moving forward in a timely fashion.
2. Organize!! On the day of the event, we like to get all of the items in a recipe out where we can see them. Then we’ll cut and sort, which is definitely more time consuming than cooking. For example, a typical stir fry takes 20 minutes to get the ingredients cut and sorted, then only 3 to 5 minutes to cook! In fact, if you have the time ahead of the big day, you may want to consider cutting and sorting the ingredients a day or two ahead of time to give yourself a little bit of wiggle room in your schedule.
3. Asian is easy. The flavors that make up the rich, sweet, sour, and spicy tastes of Asian cuisine are mostly shelf stable. Most can live for long periods of time on the pantry shelf, and those refrigerated items also will keep for months. Flavors such as hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, soy, fish sauce, black vinegar, rice vinegar, and Chinese chili sauce require no refrigeration and can be mixed together in a wide variety of ways to easily adapt themselves to other flavors and ingredients. Typically, these flavors can even be mixed ahead of time and added at the end of the cooking process to simply flavor the entrée, or be used as a marinade. We recommend keeping thin, Asian style noodles in the pantry as well as rice so that you can have an easy meal on hand for the whole family. (Pro tip: We love using Basmati rice specifically. It cooks in twenty minutes and has a better flavor and nutritional profile than our more common long grain white rice.)
4. Grow fresh herbs. Whether in a window box or in a garden, fresh herbs are relatively easy to grow and can instantly add a big burst of wonderful flavor to most dishes. Think about what herbs you tend to use most - such as rosemary, mint, or oregano. How delicious would they be if they came straight from your home window box? Yum!
5. Cut down on shopping time. Shop the center of the store once or twice a month and the perimeter of the store one to two times a week. This pattern of shopping will ensure that your perishables stay fresh, but that you have all of the shelf stable products on hand that you’ll need to develop your tasty cuisines at home!
6. Recruit help. We love to make cooking time into a family time at home. Through the years, it’s been a beautiful time to reconnect with one another, as well as helping to develop a passion for cooking for our younger generations. No matter how old your family members are, there’s also a suitable role for them to learn in the kitchen!
Did You Know…
We have a cookbook that we developed just to make your life easier. “Mix Match, Make Take” was designed to help you make delicious, healthy foods quickly and easily. The secret is in the title, where the recipes can be rearranged and “mixed and matched” to your liking. Then, with the overstock (our word for leftovers), we explain how to “make and take” for the following days.
Simple, nutritious, and time-saving recipes that will make your life easier. If that sounds perfect to you, then click here to check out all of the details and purchase!