Originally Posted by ed-adams
Let me give you a little background first.
My fiance and I have decided to learn how to cook a couple months back and it's been going great so far. We obviously started with beginner-level recipes and made quite a few good dishes (steak, chicken breasts filled with mozarella and wrapped in bacon, a whole lot of pasta, etc).
In an effort to give back a little (and, hey, show off) every Sunday we cook for our parents (it's a small country, easy to get together).
My question is this: So far it's been quite difficult to manage cooking for 6 people at once (me, her, my parents, her parents). Sometimes I don't have enough burners, the food doesn't fit into the pan at once, so some of it is a bit colder than the rest of the food, etc. It's a headache. For example, I needed to cook six steaks, but only two fit in the pan. so I had to cook two, remove them, cook two more, remove them, and all the while, the first two are getting colder. You know what I mean?
Now, my fiance has asked me to do a meal which includes a first course and a main one. This blew my mind. It's not that I don't know how to cook these things; it's that I know I'm gonna explode under the pressure.
Short of skipping on the first course myself to continue cooking the main course (or cancelling the wedding and finding a new wife :p), what tips can you give me for managing such (relatively) large endeavors?
First of all, don't get too ambitious. It's better to serve something simple but beautifully cooked than something very ambitious which turns out to be a disaster. And you don't want to be so exhausted and flustered with the cooking that you can't enjoy the party.
Malta is very warm at this time of year so what about a salad for the first course - there is wonderful fish and shellfish available in Malta. I'm sure you must know that 1970s old faithful, prawn cocktail, which has become fashionable of late, albeit in a slightly modernised version. Or what about egg mayonnaise, perhaps with a curried mayonnaise, served on a bed of salad greens? You can do a lot of the prep in advance before you get down to the nitty-gritty of the cooking.
For your main course try and choose something that you can prepare the day before, refridgerate and put in the oven in time for the lunch party - vegetable or shell-fish lasagne, moussaka, chicken cacciatore, or if you wanted a cold main course, chicken veronique.
Don't give up