Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Feeding a crowd - lost for ideas?

Within my circle of friends we often have people over for dinner. Not just one or two people, as a normal french person would do; mostly because everyone lives in such small apartments that anything over 4 people becomes spatially challenging. No, me and my friends seem to have 'large groups' of people; mostly because we have so many friends. I often get asked the question 'What can I cook?' , 'How can I feed 8 people?'
So, after some consultation and personal trial and error, I am giving you a collection of recipes that work for larger than normal numbers and are not too expensive on the pocket.  They are all recipes that I've cooked for groups of people, hence they have been tested on numerous taste testers. The good news is people are still coming back to my place to eat.

I've borrowed ideas from friends too so there's more ideas to pass on to you. Just click on the label at the side to find all the recipes belonging in this category. If you have a good recipe, pass it along and I'll share it with everyone - providing it passes the taste testers' approval, of course!

This recipe is from a German friends of mine, Kristin. It's a perfect dish for winter days, rainy days, comfort days. 

Pasta and bacon Bake (Gratin de rigatoni et lardon)
serves 6-8

500g rigatoni pasta
400g bacon chopped (lardon)
1 onion
500g sour cream (créme fraîche)
5 eggs
salt, nutmeg
200g grated cheese
Preheat your oven to 200°C.

Heat a large pot of water on the stove for the pasta. Add enough salt to taste like the sea. You should always cook pasta like this. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the instructions. (Usually it's 10 minutes).
Once cooked, drain completely. Rigatoni pasta is a hollow pasta so shake the colander when you drain the pasta as water can get trapped in the tubes. The extra water will spoil your dish.

Finely dice the onion and chop the bacon if necessary. In a frypan gently cook the onion and the bacon, until golden brown.

In a bowl beat together the sour cream (créme fraîche), eggs and salt (a good pinch). Add about 12 gratings of nutmeg to the mixture. 
Now to assemble your dish. Mix together the pasta and bacon. Place this in a dish.  Pour over the egg mixture, making sure you push all the pasta down. Any pieces sticking up are likely to burn.
Sprinkle the grated cheese over the pasta. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
When the cheese is sizzling and melted it is time to take it out of the oven.
Let it cool down before serving or people will burn their mouths. Serve with a green salad and a simple dressing. 

No comments: