A full-course meal is a meal that contains more than three courses of cuisine. Most of the time, these meals are extravagant affairs held in honour of someone or a particular occasion. To prepare a full course meal on your own, start by creating a menu in advance of your event. Make a decision on how many courses you’d like to serve and what they’ll consist of. After that, before you begin cooking, set the table. Before the meal is served, this will save you time and allow you to enjoy some quality time with your guests. Then it’s time to start serving the various courses. Before serving a new course, clear away any dirty plates and check to see that your guests’ water goblets and wine glasses are fully stocked.
Part 1 Getting Started
1. Make a plan for your menu ahead of time. Cooking a multi-course dinner takes a significant amount of time. If you plan ahead of time, you will have plenty of time to prepare each course of the meal. When planning your menu, choose one or two items that will be prepared fresh and the rest that will be prepared ahead of time.
Soups, pasta sauces, gravies, and bread can all be prepared the day before and stored in the refrigerator until needed.
Recipes that make use of a variety of cooking equipment should be chosen. For example, if all of your recipes are baked in the oven, you may find yourself running out of time to complete them all.
2. Prepare the dining room table before you begin cooking. This will give you plenty of time to prepare the food before your guests arrive, so you won’t feel rushed. The way you arrange your table will be determined by the number of courses you have planned. As an illustration:
Place a placemat and a charger plate on each chair before you begin. The charger plate will remain in place until after the dessert course has been served, if necessary.
Place the dessert utensils above the charger plate in a horizontal position.
Place the utensils on the table in the order in which they will be used. The silverware that will be used first should be placed on the outside of the plate, and the silverware that will be used last should be placed next to the plate.
Drinking glasses such as goblets and wine glasses are placed near the top right corner of the placemat.
In most cases, dessert plates and coffee cups are brought in after the other courses have been served.
3. Maintain the proper temperature for prepared foods. Cold dishes, such as salads or gazpachos, can be stored in your refrigerator if they are wrapped in plastic wrap first. Warm dishes can be wrapped in aluminium foil and placed in the oven to keep them warm longer. Check to see that your oven is set to the lowest possible temperature.
The majority of ovens have a “warm” setting. This setting will keep your food warm without allowing it to become charred.
4. Consider bringing in outside assistance. The cost of catering a full meal can be prohibitively expensive. In contrast, if you hire someone else to prepare the meal as well as clean up and serve it, you will be able to spend more time with your guests rather than spending your evening slaving in the kitchen.
If you are unable to afford full-service catering, inquire with local caterers about their service-only packages, which may be available. You will prepare the food, but waiters will deliver it to your home and serve it to your guests.
Part 2 Choosing the Courses
1. Make a decision on how many courses you will be serving. A full course meal can consist of anywhere from three to twenty courses, depending on the cuisine. Most modern hosts and hostesses, on the other hand, limit themselves to six courses. If you take on too many tasks, you may not have enough time to properly prepare everything or spend quality time with your guests. Keep in mind that each course will require a separate plate or bowl as well as silverware. Check to see that you have enough of each to serve your guests’ courses.
A three-course meal is typically comprised of an appetiser, a main course, and a dessert, among other things.
Typical courses for a four-course meal include soup, an appetiser, a main course, and a dessert.
A five-course meal can consist of a soup, an appetiser, a salad, a main course, and a dessert, among other things.
In most cases, a six-course meal will include an amuse-bouche, an appetiser, a salad, a main course, and a dessert, among other things.
In a seven-course meal, you’ll get an amuse-bouche to start, a soup to follow, an appetiser to follow, a salad to follow, the main course, a dessert to follow, and a mignardise to finish with coffee or tea.
2. Serve an amuse-bouche as a first course. This course is usually served on small appetiser plates and is presented before the soup or the appetiser course, respectively. These dishes are made up of one or two savoury bites of food that can give a hint of the flavours to come in the rest of the meal. The following are examples of popular amuse-bouche dishes:
Deviled eggs with a creamy sauce
On a slice of toasted crostini, spread a layer of herb-infused cream cheese.
Small wedges of creamy brie are topped with slices of roasted peaches.
3. Let’s start with the soup course. In most cases, this course is served before the appetiser or in place of the appetiser altogether. This dish is served in a small soup bowl and eaten with a soup spoon that has a rounded tip on one end. Your soup of choice may change depending on the season. As an illustration:
Consider serving a chilled gazpacho soup during the summer months.
In the winter, a warm, creamy lobster bisque is a welcome treat.
4. Distribute the appetiser to your guests. In many parts of Europe, this course is referred to as the entrée because it serves as a prelude to the main courses of a meal. They are typically served on small appetiser plates and include small cuts of meat, seasonal vegetables, starches, and sauces that are accompanied by a small amount of sauce. As an illustration:
A few pieces of deep-fried ravioli should be served with a side of marinara sauce.
Bake button mushrooms stuffed with breadcrumbs and seasonings in the oven for 20 minutes.
Serve your guests a few miniature crab cakes with tartar sauce to start the party off right.
5. Serve the salad as a first course. Depending on where you are in Europe, the salad course may be served after the main course. The salad, on the other hand, is becoming more and more popular as a first course. Salad courses are typically composed of seasonal vegetables dressed in a flavorful dressing. Among the most popular options are:
Salads de jardin fraises et simples, made with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a tart vinaigrette
Salads made with olives, lettuce, red onions, and feta cheese that are tangy and delicious.
A papaya salad with a sweet and sour taste from Southeast Asia.
6. Make a presentation of the main course. An ordinary dinner plate is used to serve the main course. This course is typically comprised of a baked, fried, or roasted protein served with a seasonal vegetable side dish and a loaf of crusty French bread. Make sure to include a bread dish and a butter knife in the top-left corner of each placemat if you are serving bread. The following are the main courses:
Hearty pasta dishes with chicken, fish, or veal cutlets as the main course.
With potatoes, carrots, and onions, a thick slice of tender roast is served.
Tenderloin medallions grilled on the grill, served with a side of creamed spinach
7. Prepare and serve the dessert. The dessert course is served on a small appetiser plate with a dessert spoon or fork that has been specifically designated for this purpose. An ice cream sandwich or other sweet dish is served with a glass of dessert wine as a final course for most dinner parties. Some people, on the other hand, prefer to serve cheese and crackers as an alternative to dessert. As an illustration:
A cheese board, consisting of a variety of soft and hard cheeses, such as brie, gouda, and blue cheese, can be assembled. Warm, toasted crackers are the perfect accompaniment to the cheese board.
Serve with a small slice of velvety chocolate cake and a glass of sweet port wine to complete the presentation.
Make sure to serve your guests a tart, sweet lemon bar and a glass of dry white wine as an appetiser.
8. Serve some mignardises on the side. A mignardise is a small dessert that is served with tea or coffee and is typically served with whipped cream. The completion of this course signifies the conclusion of the meal. Among the most common blunders are:
Petit Fours are small squares of cake that have been beautifully decorated.
Madeleines in miniature form, made with butter and sugar.
French macarons that are bite-sized
Part 3 Serving the Courses
1. Remove each plate from the table before serving another. Immediately after all of the guests have finished eating, collect the dirty dishes, leaving the charger and any unused silverware on the table. The following course should be served immediately by placing the prepared dish directly on the charger.
Consider allotting a few minutes in the kitchen between courses to prepare the food and arrange it on the plates.
The charger will remain on the table until the dessert is brought out.
2. Consider the manner in which drinks will be served. For full-course meals, most hosts or hostesses will provide goblets of water and a glass of wine in addition to the course meal itself. In case you have the space, consider serving drinks family-style by setting out pitchers of water and bottles of wine on the table, and allowing guests to help themselves. You will save time and be able to relax during each course as a result of this.
If you do not want pitchers or wine bottles on the table, you will be responsible for refilling the glasses of your guests on your own.
If you have hired wait staff, they will take care of refilling the drinks for your guests.
3. Before dessert, make sure that all of the dishes are done. Remove any bread plates, main course plates, silverware, and the charger from the table once the dessert course is complete. Dessert silverware should be placed at the very top of the placemat on the table. This will provide your guests with space to stretch out while they enjoy dessert and digest their dinner.
During this course, some people like to serve dessert wine, port, brandy, or scotch, among other things.
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