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Cooking for a Crowd: Menus, Recipes and Strategies for Entertaining 10 to 50 Paperback – 7 Oct 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Press (7 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594860114
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594860119
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.6 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,114,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Cooking for a Crowd Wyler, food editor of "Food & Wine," offers a complete and imaginative guide to entertaining, featuring menus, recipes and strategies for entertaining 10 to 50 with style and ease. Full color. Full description

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Pamplin on 9 April 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I was going to cater for 10 people for a week. Thought it might be useful, but I didn't use it once. The recipes were not practical for every day use - only seemed to useful if you were doing a dinner party and even then recipes were a bit dated. The apparently useful 'strategies' were few and far between and also unhelpful. So all in all, I wouldn't bother. Buy a slow cooker recipe book instead!
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By CEW on 9 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had not appreciated the book was American and the recipes consequently were not really what I expected and am unlikely to use.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
101 of 103 people found the following review helpful
Excellent treatment of neglected subject. Buy It. 22 Oct. 2005
By B. Marold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
`Cooking for a Crowd' by Susan Wyler has come out in a new, substantially larger edition, based on a volume originally published in 1988, and I, for one, am really happy to see it. Among all the various genres of cookbooks, those dedicated to cooking for large numbers of people are very difficult to find. Even many works on meals for entertaining only cover recipes for six to twelve. Of those books I have reviewed, the most notable exception is Martha Stewart's now classic original book, `Entertaining' which gives us recipes for 25 or more. As a dedicated viewer of the Food Network, I can also say with some authority that in all their programming for the last four years, I have seen but one show done on Tyler Florence's `Food 911' show which gives recipes for feeding a large crowd. Even otherwise excellent cookbooks such as David Waltuck's `Staffmeals' doesn't give us recipes for serving a large group of people, and I am sure he feeds a lot more than eight or twelve people at his restaurant's staff dinner. And, the only other book I have seen (the name escapes me, as I have not yet reviewed it) costs a whopping $60 retail for something no larger than the usual $35 Culinary Institute of America or `Cooks Illustrated' volume.

I have to believe there is no great market for this subject, although I am amazed that I can find more books on the cooking of Tuscany than I can on cooking for a church fundraising dinner. This, of course, is not true of baking, especially bread baking, as there are many books that deal seriously with professional bread baking and techniques for multiplying recipes by relatively large amounts.

Cookbook publishing executives must simply never hear of any crying need for these kinds of books, or, cookbook authors simply have little interest in writing them. Before exploring Ms. Wyler's book, lets think out loud a bit on what it takes to make four to six interesting dishes for fifty (50) people. I have some grounds for doing this, as I have been a sous chef in a church kitchen where we have done exactly this for the last several years.

First, you need dishes that can be made ahead, refrigerated for a day or two, and heated up at the last minute.

Second, you need some dishes such as salads that do not require reheating, and will also not wilt down overnight in the refrigerator, in order to not overload your ovens.

Third, dishes with relatively inexpensive and common ingredients are best. You do not want to price your macaroni salad to $5 a portion by adding 100-year-old balsamic vinegar.

Fourth, you probably want ingredients that are available the year around, and are of reasonable quality the year around. Thus, apples, white mushrooms, broccoli, dried pasta, and ground beef are excellent ingredients while asparagus, dandelion greens, peaches, and grapefruit may not be good the year around.

Fifth, you want recipes where amateurs can do the prep work, and I don't mean dedicated amateur foodies.

Sixth, you need dishes that will keep well in either heated hotel pans or large slow cookers. Dishes with gravies that may separate shortly after reheating will not do.

Seventh, you should be able to do most recipes without a lot of specialized equipment, but if a food processor will whiz up lots of slicing and dicing, it's good to have that info.

Ms. Wyler's book hits the mark on almost all these counts.

In addition to getting high marks on my points, she has done especially well to arrange her recipes by both type of occasion and by number of guests, assuming that you will have a lot more people coming to a wedding supper than you will to a family Thanksgiving dinner. And, before you complain that you can find recipes for a Thanksgiving dinner in any one of a dozen books and magazines such as Nigella Lawson's `Feast' and the November issue of `Martha Stewart Living', I should point out that Ms. Wyler does it for twelve people and a goose rather than a turkey!

And, these are not all simple recipes. This may be a violation of one or more of my criteria, but I like the fact that we get recipes for making our own lasagna noodles and brown goose stock. You don't have to make these, but having the resource to do it is a very good thing (with apologies to Martha).

I am not overly impressed with cookbooks which give extensive do ahead instructions for all their recipes, as Sara Moulton always did on her Food Network Show, `Sara's Secrets'. What good is a three day do ahead cycle, when on the first and second days, you are busy getting dinner on the table for that night, let alone getting ready for the next night's dinner. I'm much happier with Rachael Ray's few tips on fast cooking, even if I never use her recipes. Ms. Wyler also does not limit herself to one or two days advance preparations. Some pantry items can be prepared up to a few months in advance. For pickled dishes, this is great, as it allows you to gather a great crowd together and do your chow-chow or jardiniere off line.

Ms. Wyler gives us menus for thirty-five different events, with some buffets, mostly sit-down dinners, some grilling events, and some breakfasts and brunches. Every menu includes at least a salad, a main course, and a dessert. Many, especially Thanksgiving and buffets include a second main course and several side dishes.

I am a little surprised that the author does not recommend wines for each menu, but you will not miss this unless you MUST have wine at every meal.

A very nice treatment of a specialized subject.
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
THE book about organizing fine dining for many! EXCELLENT! 17 Oct. 2005
By An epicurean - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I absolutely love this book. It is so practical, straight forward, and varied. Whenever I have more than six guests, I turn to this book for great ideas, and fantastic menus carefully planned out for any occasion, as well as any time constraint. Some recipes are complex, others simple, but always the directions are crystal clear. Susan Wyler understands the constraints and the schedule of the modern cook. I highly recommend the Slow Roasted Goose with Pork & Prune Dressing and Port Wine Sauce (I'm making this for Thanksgiving). Other outstanding dishes were the Lamb Shank Cassoulet, the Curried Ginger Carrot Soup, and African Peanut Butter Chicken Stew. And, by the way, I've found myself halving some of these recipes--you don't need a crowd to enjoy these great dishes. So far, each recipe I've tried came out perfectly, but I still have many to wade through. I'm almost looking forward to next Christmas dinner although my entire in-law family will be visiting, driving me crazy. That's how good this book is.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
a wonderful choice for crowd and cook 8 Aug. 2005
By entertaining guest - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a cookbook where the directions are clear, the results sophisticated and delicious and the cook still able to enjoy the party when the festivities begin. Whether the crowd in question fits around the dining room table or spreads out to the backyard patio, the menu suggestions in COOKING FOR A CROWD are imaginative, mouth-watering and fail-proof. This is the kind of cookbook written by someone you wish would invite you over to her own home. Or someone you could---with the help of this book---happily entertain at yours!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Resource 16 Mar. 2007
By D. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great menu ideas, good recipes.

This cookbook is a gem! A lot of quantity-cooking cookbooks have recipes for things like slop and canned-cream-of-whatever-soup special. This book has simple, classy recipes along with strategies for serving a crowd of people.

All of the recipes I have tried from this book have been great. Once you see her proportions and suggested quantities, it is also easy to scale other favorite recipes to serve a larger group of people.

This contains recipes and menus for different-sized crowds and for different occasions (from elegent dinners to picnics).

Excellent resource. Highly recommended.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
GREAT COOKING IDEAS FOR PARTIES 21 Nov. 2005
By palisandr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a very practical book, fool of wonderful recipes. Very well written, simple to follow. I've only had a chance to try a couple so far, but with great success. Black and Orange Halloween Party for 24 was simple enough to do, and an instant hit. The Chocolate Chili with Beef, Pork, and Black Beans was to die for. I can't wait to try other dishes from this book. Highly recommend this cookbook.
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