Like any dinner party you’ll want to plan your menu beforehand.
- Decide which dishes you want to make fresh and which dishes can be made ahead of time. (See the individual recipes for more storage and reheating information.)
- Mix in traditional favorites with a couple new dishes. Be sure to try out the new dishes beforehand to work out any recipe kinks.
- Use dishes with different flavors and textures.
Typically, for a meal with guests we like to have the following:
- APPETIZERS – 1-2 (Salsas + Dips can be made ahead of time.)
- SIDES – 1 (Rice is a great one that can be made ahead and kept WARM in the slow cooker or chafing dish)
- MAIN DISHES – 1-2 (That can be made ahead of time). Anything Fried is usually made right before serving.
- DESSERTS – 1 (Usually made ahead of time and extended with ice cream) ;)
Once you have selected your main dishes you can start choosing the side dishes.
- Use seasonal ingredients if you can. They’re often fresh and cost effective.
- Find side dishes that can be prepped and/or made ahead of time.
- Be sure to test out new recipes before serving so you can work out any kinks.
- For 6 or fewer guests have 3-4 different sides, then add one more side for every 5 guests.