Q & A: How much do I cook for a party?

hautemealz.com subscriber Donna asks:

“I’d love to host some dinner parties this summer in our new house, but I never know how much to cook, especially for a large group. Any tips on serving in big numbers?”

One of the most frustrating aspects of cooking for a crowd is the fear of running out of food.

I HATE seeing an empty pan on my serving table! So, how much should you buy? Too little, and you risk running out, too much and you’ve spent more than you need to.

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Portion Guidelines

Here are some general guidelines to help you calculate how many people you can serve with that raw chunk of meat on the butcher’s shelf…

When planning a meal, it is always better to purchase too much meat than not enough. Always be prepared for people with larger appetites.

The “Mystery Guest”

Mystery-GuestOne trick I use is to add a “mystery” guest for every 4 confirmed.

In other words, I plan 5 portions for 4 people, 10 portions for 8, 15 for 12, etc. If there are leftovers, the cooked meat will keep in the refrigerator for several days or the unused portions may be frozen for long term storage.

Party on!

– Chef Perry