Cooking for a Crowd (and recipes for Easter entertaining)
The Easter extra long weekend is coming up and it’s the perfect time to fire-up in the kitchen and cook for family and friends. Because I hate missing out, the one thing I always do when entertaining is to plan a menu that doesn’t require me to spend a minute more than necessary in the kitchen once the guests have arrived.
So here are a few of my ideas for ensuring entertaining is effortless and enjoyable.
- Plan ahead. Knowing what you need to cook and when, is really important. Write yourself a list of the order you are going to prepare food and times that things need to go in the oven. Set timers if you need them also.
- Make it as easy on yourself as possible. Don’t choose fiddly, gourmet meals that require loads of prep or cooking just before serving. Instead, choose meals, sides and salads that you can prepare ahead.
- Plan a BBQ so all you need to pre-prepare, are salads and sides – and make sure someone else can BBQ for you.
- Slow cooked anything is a great choice. Time the cooking so it’s ready for when you plan to eat.
- Curries, casseroles and bakes are also great because you can make them the day before and simply reheat to serve (most of the time the flavour is more developed so they taste even better).
- Prepare sides, salads and dressings the morning before you entertain and simply assemble and dress just before serving. So for me that means I have dressings made and in jars ready to pour. Any chopping, toasting nuts or seeds, washing leaves etc; is all done in advance.
- Dessert always needs to be fully prepared so you can simply uncover and serve. A cheese board is another
My take-home message is just don’t over complicate things, plan ahead and prep as much as you can in advance. It’s often the simple things in life that are the most delicious!
Suggestions for your Easter menu:
Good Friday Seafood recipes…
- Fish Cakes
- Simple Ceviche
- Crispy Salmon with Coriander Pesto and Sweet Potato Chips
- Simple Half Shell Scallops
Dips, simple starters and ‘bring a plate’…
- Smoked Salmon Dip (in 2 minutes)
- Balsamic Spiced Hummus with Dukkah
- Heirloom Tomato and Plum tart
- Sweet Potato and Caramelised Onion Tart
- Turkey, Lemon and Feta Meatballs or Sausage Rolls
- Haloumi, Lemon, Hazelnuts
Slow Cooked Mains…
- Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Mint Chutney
- Middle Eastern Beef Brisket
- One Pan Moroccan Dinner
Mains to make ahead and reheat to serve…
- Creamy Mexican Chicken (serve buffet style with tortillas, guacamole and salad)
- Turkey and Sage Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Chicken Bacon and Vegetable Meatloaf
- Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie
- Pumpkin Lasagne
Sides and Salads to feed a crowd…
- My best collection of sides and salads is in my latest ebook (just $9.95) find out more here.
- Sweet Potato Mash
- Mediterranean Potato Bake
- Healthy Grain Salad
- Middle Eastern Potato Salad
- Moroccan Carrot Salad
- Green Bean and Almond Salad
- Cauliflower, Lemon and Broccoli Salad
Desserts to make ahead
- Mango and Coconut Parfait (with salted Pineapple)
- Coconut Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries
- Berry Nice Brownies
- Best Cake Ever (with loads of flavour variations)
- Raw Chocolate Easter Nests
Have a very happy, delicious Easter! G x