Apartment Living

Easy Meals for a Crowd

admin - Thursday, December 10, 2015
Easy Main Dishes for a Crowd

My family is a clan – close-knit, traditional, large – each individual laces together to form a powerful group around the holidays, and our favorite part? The food. We’re a foodie clan. 

We flock in numbers, bringing our immediate families, kids, pets, significant others, roommates from college who couldn’t make it home, and we require sustenance – lots of it. 

So if your family is anything like mine, follow these go-to recipes for feeding your squad: 

Chicken for a Crowd
This easy chicken dish can be prepared the day before the holiday gathering and cooked the day of. We like to use disposable 9×13 tins for easy cleanup, and they stack nicely in the refrigerator. The ingredients are simple: 

1. Boneless Skinless Chicken tenders, thawed and pat dry
2. A light olive oil
3. Your favorite seasoned breadcrumbs (We use Progresso)
4. 9×13 tins
5. Foil to cover your tins

First, grease your tins with light olive oil and preheat the oven to 350F. 

Then take your Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenders (thawed, and patted dry). You can leave them whole or slice them opened to have thinner pieces. Dip your tenders in the light oil, then into your bread crumbs. Place your tenders in the pan. You can place them close together so you’ll be able to fit quite a few in each pan. 

Cover your tins tightly with foil and pop them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. 

After 20 minutes, remove the foil (save it for later) and flip each tender. If you put them close enough together, you’ll be able to flip multiple tenders at once with a large spatula. 

Cover the chicken with the foil and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Ta-da! That’s it. This main dish can stay warm in a 200F oven or on hot plates for serving. 

We love to serve these tenders with homemade bleu cheese yogurt sauce, or buffalo sauce. 
1. Yogurt Bleu Cheese
a. 1 c. plain yogurt
b. ½ c. bleu cheese
c. 1 Tsp. garlic powder
d. Mix all ingredients together and let sit
2. Buffalo Sauce
a. 1/3 c. hot sauce (like Frank’s)
b. ½ stick of butter
c. 1 Tbsp. honey
d. Microwave to combine ingredients in a microwave-safe container 

Beef for a Crowd
This is my family’s Christmas beef recipe, and the key to perfect, tender beef is LOW and SLOW. All you need is:

1. One 3lb Eye of the Round Roast
2. ¼ c. flour
3. 1 package onion soup mix
4. 2 Tsp. garlic powder
5. 3 Tbsp. Soy sauce
6. Foil to wrap and seal the beef tightly
7. A glass Pyrex baking pan with a lid

First, preheat your oven to 425F. 

Wash and pat dry your roast. Spread your large piece of foil on your counter (to be used as your prep area). Then, rub the roast with the garlic powder and flour. Put half of the soup mix under the roast and the other half on top. Bring the sides of the foil up and sprinkle the soy sauce over top of the roast. 

Next, seal that beef up tightly. Place it in your Pyrex glass pan, put the lid on and place it in a preheated 425F oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes turn down your oven to 200F degrees for 3 hours. Turn down for what? Fork tender beef in a rich sauce.

After those 3 hours are up, you can serve immediately, but we like to make this dish ahead of time.  If you premake this dish, follow these next steps: 

1. Put the whole dish in the refrigerator until it’s cool.
2. When cool, remove the beef, save the broth, and slice the beef into thin slices. 
3. Place the sliced beef in disposable tins or back in the glass Pyrex dish. 
4. Taste the broth. You can add ¼ c. to ½ c. water. 
5. Pour the juice over the beef, cover the tin with foil or put lid on the glass dish and put back in the refrigerator. 
6. The day of the party, take out the beef 30 minutes prior to reheating. 
7. Reheat covered for 20 minutes at 350F.