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5 Step Plan to cooking for a party
Posted by James McIntosh Wednesday, 18th November 2015
Four chickens cooked in one oven at a time. That’s right, Four. Or 4 lasagnes’ or 4 cottage pies or even 4 quiches. And I don’t mean small ones. That’s just one of the features of selected Rangemaster range cookers.
With Christmas coming up and family occasions to cook for, most of us host a big meal at least once. It can be stressful planning not only what to cook, but also to ensure it’s all cooked perfectly when served. Ovens can cook more than one thing at once, but do be careful of putting items straight from the fridge into the oven as it will lower the temperature. Rangemaster ovens will come back to temperature quickly though.
Planning is everything
In cooking there is a French term called ‘Mise-en-Place’. It means, getting everything ready in your head before cooking.
Below is my 5 step plan to a less stressful dinner party, after all, the cook has to enjoy the party too.
- Plan the menu, including accompaniments and afters like coffee and chocolates on the list.
- Write a shopping list and do the shopping. That way you won’t spend more than your budget allows for either.
- Make a time plan, ensuring that all is ready with enough time. If cooked early, you can always cover the food with a little foil and turn the oven down to a lower temperature.
- Read the recipes so you know then in your head.
- Start to cook to the time plan and if you can, make as much as possible in advance.
Points to note
- Baked goods are not flexible when it comes to temperature and have to be cooked at the temperature on the recipe, so always best to have a cold desert that you have pre-made.
- Dishes with stronger flavours are best to cook separate to ones of less flavour, for example, cook a sponge cake and a roast with garlic separately.
- Meat is the most flexible with temperature, the longer it is cooked at a lower temperature, the juicer it will be. However remember it needs to be up to temperature before serving so it’s not raw in the middle, and when cooked, you have 20 minutes of oven space available while it’s resting.
- Ensure that air can circulate between the dishes when cooking so they are not tightly packed in together.
Cooking on the hob
The Rangemaster hobs have so much controllability and a range of burner sizes. Cook vegetables in a tiered steamer, that way, leaving other areas free. Prepare sauces in advance by measuring ingredients so they can quickly be made when needed. If a recipe needs pre-prep like onions softened on bacon fried, do it in advance.