You may remember earlier this year I visited a fun guest ranch in Whitefish, Montana. The Bar W Guest Ranch was a splendid experience all around but as a foodie, I was equally impressed with our home cooked family style meals. Ranch Chef Richard Mount was in charge of feeding not only the guests but the staff as well breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert daily from an ordinary size home kitchen.
The meals were always fabulous and right on time so with the holidays fast approaching, I asked him for a few tips and recipes that were his favorite for easy for feeding large groups.
“I wanted to stay with the style of ranch cuisine, with emphasis on fresh ingredients. The most fun I have had is with some of the salads we have been serving this summer in addition to the different vegetable combinations.
Guests have enjoyed the grilled vegetable platter. All I do is slice tomatoes in half, slice fresh zucchini in thick 1/2 inch slices with the same for sweet onions. Then brush one side of each with a mix of melted butter, fresh garlic, olive oil and herbs. Don’t forget sea salt and ground pepper. grill on each side until done. Quick, and looks great when layered out on a large platter.
The other most requested recipe this summer is the watermelon salad. It has watermelon, cucumber, fresh mint, feta and dressed with a bit of red wine vinegar. again don’t forget salt and pepper. This has been a great side dish with grilled beef steak summer, very refreshing.
I tend to not follow recipes as I am a “ranch cook”, that will build flavors in a dish as it cooks. A fellow chef once called this cooking with love.”
Get the recipe for our version of Watermelon Salad on Daily Dish Magazine
When cooking for crowds keep these few tips in mind:
- Plan ahead (get our free printable meal planners)
- Prep early
- Pick simple recipes with a lot of flavor
- Utilize leftovers to speed up cooking new dishes
- Utilize slow cookers
Check out a few more of my favorite recipes that are easy for crowds:
- Buffalo Cucumber Salad
- Zucchini Corn Casserole
- Jalapeno Popper Cauliflower Casserole
- Lightened Up Broccoli Salad
- Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken