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Easy Meals for Large Groups

Spending time in Bulgaria, you soon discover how to prepare easy meals for large groups of guests.

Although it sounds pretty daunting when it comes to entertaining a large party of guests, with careful planning it can be made simple. Bulgarian food is full of flavor and satisfying. If you have ever visited a Bulgaria's home for something to eat you will have noticed your host will always seem to have a lot of dishes that have already been prepared. It is as though they are waiting for visitors! But if you need to return the invitations then we take a look at some easy ways of pleasing the crowd of hungry guests.

When cooking for a large crowd planning is the main factor, and it saves a lot of time and helps reduce the pressure. Prepare a menu with the number of guest you have invited in mind. With each dish add all of the required ingredients you need to buy on your shopping so it can be bought in one trip. If it is your first time then the menu should consist of easy to prepare dishes that are filling and delicious. Dishes should consist of straightforward dishes that can be prepared beforehand. It is easy with Bulgarian food to choose several dishes that can be served as a buffet style meal. The traditional Bulgarian dishes can be filling and go a long way amongst your crowd of hungry diners.

The biggest difference you would find in Bulgaria when entertaining is the season, the recipes differ between summer and winter mainly due to available ingredients and weather conditions. Here we give you some ideas of what is would be on offer at a dining table so maybe you could try to replica these easy meals when entertaining. These delicious recipes and many more can be found in our lifestyle, food and drink section on Quest Bulgaria.

During the summer the fresh produce is second to none, it is of an excellent quality. For people less time is spent indoors cooking and more time is spent in an outdoor summer kitchen and making cold dishes such as tarator and a selection of salads along with various grilled sausages, meats and fish. So for large groups of guests visiting it is easy to make a lot of salad dishes in advance, the most popular is Shopska salad. Accompanying the large bowls of salads would be a selection of BBQ or grilled vegetables, meats and fish. Grilling is a very popular cooking method during the long hot summers in Bulgaria. Risotto style dishes, with chicken, pork or vegetables are common, also peppers which are stuffed with a risotto style filling, white or yellow cheese.

During the winter in Bulgaria catering for a large group would consist of salads, but with a difference this time. A huge variety of preserved vegetables combinations that are pickled in a tasty brined solution are served. Another favourite to share is large dishes of Bulgarian style Russian salad, which is similar to potato salad but with additional ham and gherkins. Snezhanka a strained yogurt, gherkin and garlic dish. Grilled marinated meats such as pork, chicken or sausages and burgers are usually served with the salads and bread.

Home cooked meat and vegetable stews such as kavarma are a delicious and warming dish served with bread. Stuffed cabbage leaves called sarmi and Bulgarian moussaka with mince are tasty and warming dishes that can be cooked prior to guests arriving.
Banitsa is a Bulgarian pastry which can be savoury or sweet. It is a very popular food that in many homes is made all of the time and there is always plenty of it. It is made in large a baking tray that is sliced into large chunks, and served to help yourself.

In addition Fresh bread is on the table at all times, and also beer, white wine, rakia and soft drinks. Fruit and yogurt, or baklava, cakes and biscuits are served as a dessert.

Traditionally

Taking a leaf out of a Bulgarian home kitchen you would discover that in past times and today in more rural areas, a lot of time is spent preparing and cooking dishes. The majority of the ingredients would and still do come from the garden. Home grown fruit and vegetables are grown in abundance and at the end of summer preserved in jars in one form and another for the winter. Chickens are raised for eggs and meat, and goats are kept for milk and cheese. A pig is often reared for winter and every single part of slaughtered animal will be used for foodstuff. Typically because money is tight only basics are bought at local shops. But, it is amazing at what meals and tasty food can be created from these foods.

All year round visiting a Bulgarian home, there is always something delicious and wholesome being prepared and cooked including homemade soups, bean dishes, lentil dishes and salads. From our Bulgarian home kitchen ideas it is fairly easy to put together some easy meals for large groups of guests arriving to your home too.