Basic question - but what tips / techniques does the group use to keep food warm at the table? Often, particularly with pasta or noodles, the food is cold before we get halfway through it.
Is it simply a matter of heating the plates, heating the serving dish, a saucing technique? something else? Do certain plates cool off food mare than others?
Thoughts & advice gladly accepted.
I plate the food in the kitchen, on warmed plates or bowls. I leave the extra over low heat on the stove, or on a warming tray. I hate having platters of food on the table. The food gets cold, and people mindlessly overeat. If you want more, you're going to have to get up and go to the kitchen and get it. (Dinner parties excepted.)
As with Cherylptw, I serve pasta in wide bowls. and heat them first, usually by filling with hot water and then throwing in the microwave or a low oven. Also, making the sauce in a pan wide enough to hold the pasta, and tossing pasta and sauce together over low heat gives the two a chance to marry and keeps the pasta hotter than tossing in a big serving bowl. Other than that, simple speed from stovetop to table is key.
With pasta, heating the individual serving dishes helps but I like to use bowls instead of plates as bowls hold the heat in longer than a flat plate which allows the food to cool quicker. As far as other foods, it's hard to keep food warm at the table unless you are using covered serving dishes or heating elements.
Also, certain foods keep warm longer such as casseroles, lasagna, fried or baked chicken; larger cuts of meat, baked dishes and fried foods that hold heat (the chicken) stay warm longer.