Cooking Noodles, (egg or rice)for a crowd is a great way to get rid of leftovers or share food with friends. But sometimes, cooking for a large group can be overwhelming. How do you plan to ensure everyone has enough food?
When you cook for a crowd, you do not want to run out of food before serving everyone. If you are planning to cook noodles for a crowd for your pasta night or family dinner, make sure you have time to prepare ahead of time, even lo mein.
Preparing noodles in advance for a large crowd minimizes the difficulties associated with cooking for many people at once.
By cooking ahead of time, you may prepare smaller amounts, reducing the stress of finding a sufficiently large pot.
How to Make Noodles for A Crowd
Get your family and friends to come, and make sure you cook the best noodles for them! Here are the steps to achieving it:
1. Fill a stockpot with 4 to 6 quarts of water for each pound of noodles you intend to prepare.
2. To give the noodles more flavor, dissolve 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt in hot water.
3. Add the noodles to the boiling water as soon as it comes to a rolling boil as possible. Stir the noodles thoroughly while rinsing off the starch that forms immediately after entering the pasta water.
4. After adding it to the boiling water, stir the noodles continuously for the first 2 minutes to prevent pieces of pasta from overcooking while the starch washes away from the outside layer.
5. After the first two minutes, stir the noodles at least once every minute until they are ready. Noodles are generally cooked to “al dente” after 7 to 12 minutes, in which case they are still somewhat firm and chewy.
6. When serving, immediately stir in the hot sauce or creamy sauce while the noodles are still warm and before the remaining starch in the dry noodles forms crystals. You can also mix the noodles in olive oil to prevent them from sticking.
How to Cook Noodles for a Crowd Ahead of Time
If you would like to cook the noodles ahead of time, here’s how:
1. Cook the noodles according to the directions above.
2. Drain the noodles in a colander and let them cool completely.
3. Place the cooled noodles into containers such as plastic storage bags or airtight containers.
4. Refrigerate the noodles for up to three days before serving.
Make sure you use fresh noodles or pasta. Fresh noodles cook much faster than dried ones. It will take less time to cook fresh pasta than dried noodles because it does not need to absorb additional liquid. To avoid having leftover noodles, serve them within 3 to 5 days of preparing them.
You can also freeze uncooked noodles for later use. Just place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them for 24 hours. Transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them to resealable plastic bags and keep them in the freezer. They can be stored there for up to six months.
How to Keep Noodles Warm
There are three ways to keep the noodles or pre-cooked pasta warm: slow cooker, a double boiler, or a chafing dish.
Use a Slow Cooker
To keep the noodles warm in a slow cooker,
- Add about half of the noodles to the slow cooker.
- Cover the noodles with cold water by one inch.
- Put the lid on the slow cooker and set it to low heat.
- Check the noodles every 30 minutes and add more pot of water as needed. The noodles should stay warm for several hours.
Use the Double Boiler Method
- Place the pot containing the noodles over medium-low heat.
- Add enough cold water to cover the bottom of the pot by about one inch. If necessary, add more cold water to cover the noodles.
- Set the top pan of the double boiler over the pot containing the noodles. Do not allow any steam to escape.
- Let the noodles simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the top pan and drain the noodles. Serve immediately.
Use a Chafing Dish
- Fill a large cast-iron skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil. Heat the oil over high heat until it reaches 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Use tongs to remove the noodles from the pot.
- Carefully drop the noodles into the hot oil. Use tongs to stir the noodles around in the oil.
- Warm the noodles for 2 to 3 minutes, occasionally stirring, until golden brown. Using tongs, lift the noodles out of the oil and drain them on paper towels. Serve immediately.
How to Reheat Noodles
Noodles reheat best when they have been refrigerated or frozen. To reheat, either put the noodles in a microwave oven or heat them in a covered pot over low heat. For microwaving, follow these steps:
1. Microwave the noodles at full power for 4 to 6 minutes, depending upon their thickness.
2. Rotate the bowl halfway through cooking time.
3. When done, stir the noodles well and serve.