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Supper Club Entertaining: Menu Planning
When planning a menu for a supper club gathering, keep these tips in mind:
- Most dishes that require a lot of initial preparation—chopping, slicing, stirring—and short to medium cooking time will work well for a supper club.
- Develop a menu that takes into consideration the equipment in your kitchen and the placement of people as they cook. Strive for a balance of cooked foods that require the stove and/or oven along with other foods, such as salads and desserts, that do not need cooking.
- Unless you know the skill level of the participants, it's best to create a simple menu that does not require advanced cooking abilities. Of course, skill levels will vary, and you will find that people learn from each other, which adds to the appeal of the party.
- Determine the number of dishes on the menu according to the size of the group (eight is an optimum size). Generally speaking, a first course, main course, side dish and dessert are a workable menu for group cooking.
- It's fun to prepare an appetizer that can be made quickly and then served to the group as everybody cooks. A themed menu, such as pizza or tapas, is easy to plan and enjoyable to prepare.
- Foods that work well for group cooking include:
- Homemade pasta: Offer a variety of sauces, such as ones based on tomatoes, cream and olive oil. Consider including a baked pasta dish, too.
- Stir-fries: They're simple to make and healthful to eat. Most of the work involves chopping, slicing and dicing. Include prepared appetizers, such as potstickers and egg rolls (make a dipping sauce to accompany them).
- Paella: This festive one-dish meal has many ingredients to prepare and a relatively short cooking time. Guests can take turns monitoring the rice as it cooks.
- Pizza: Make the dough a day ahead, then the group can prepare a variety of toppings along with a salad and dessert.