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Cooking for a crowd

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Well... 14 people, which in our New York City apartment equals a "crowd." The Home Cooking community is my favorite among the Chowhounds. You always provide great inspiration.

I find that I'm hosting a group for a casual dinner on Friday. I need an easy summertime menu that can all be prepared in advance and eaten standing up. I'm not coming up with any ideas that are exciting and I thought I'd put it out there for your welcome suggestions.

Thanks! Amy

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  1. Have you considered having a tapas party? Most things can be made in advance, and can be eaten standing up. If you like that idea, happy to find some old threads for you.

    1. Lot of ideas here:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/19/din...

      1 Reply
      1. re: mpalmer6c

        holy. i just saw this. lots of ideas!

      2. Thanks -- tapas and appetizers sound lovely. I think I should have mentioned that my baby has morphed over night into a toddler with all the activity and temperament that goes along with it. I have to figure out something that isn't labor intensive. I'll look through the NYTimes list -- perhaps there is something yummy but adaptable to my oh-so short attention span!

        1. how about cooking several bisquick type quiches ahead and then re-heating them and serving bread, salad, or fruit salad alongside?

          1. How about a Hoisin Chicken Rice Bowls - can be eaten standing up and only need a bowl and a fork. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

            Hoisin Chicken Rice Bowls

            serves 5

            1 tablespoon peanut oil
            1 large red pepper, diced small
            1 10-ounce package baby portebello mushrooms, diced small
            2 garlic cloves, minced
            2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced small
            1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained, diced small
            2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce
            4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
            3 cups of hot cooked rice
            romaine lettuce leaves
            sesame seeds
            scallions, thinly sliced

            Heat peanut oil over medium high heat in a large saute pan. Add red pepper and mushrooms and saute for 5 - 6 minutes until tender. Add garlic and saute an additional minute. Add chicken to pan and cook for 6 - 8 minutes or until cooked through. Stir chicken and red pepper mixture occasionally while it cooks. Add water chestnuts, teriyaki sauce and hoisin sauce and stir to coat the chicken and vegetables. Continue cooking until heated through.

            To serve, line a single serving size bowl with romaine leaves. Top with a large scoop of rice, some of the hoisin chicken, and a sprinkle of the sesame seeds and scallions.

            http://www.dinnersforayear.blogspot.com

            1. My go-to with a crowd like that is Chicken Marabella from Silver Palate, but I make it with some extra sauce and use boneless chicken that I cut into bite-sized chunks after baking the dish. Then I serve it with a cous-cous salad and cucumber spears to dip in a yogurt sauce.

              1. I did a "stand up dinner" for a larger crowd. The menu could be what you find fits into your schedule. I set up "stands" for different courses. One "stand" was soup. Any good hot or cold soup can be made ahead of time (fitting into the baby's nap schedule), another was vegetables... I chose barely blanched asparagus that could be dunked into a dipping sauce but any veggies can be served that way. The main course was a roast... could have been ham, beef, turkey breast or whatever.. served on good rolls; the guests assemble their own using whatever you provide that matches the meat, or meats. That also covers the carb. Then a dessert. A trifle would be nice, pretty and not much work. As the guests move from station to station they talk to more people.. and they can skip any station they wish without notice. You will need lots of little plates, and napkins. Not much silverware.