I just made appetizers for a party of 150 people! It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. My friend Carol helped me prepare seven different dishes; a fruit and cheese platter, two chicken dishes, cucumber cups, salad skewers, quesadillas, and brownies. Didn’t have much left, so I guess they liked it.
To give yourself more time with your dinner guests during the hors d’oeuvres time, or even time with your family before your evening meal, try searing your seasoned (at least salt and pepper) protein in a very, very hot skillet, for up to 2 minutes on each side to get a nice crust on it which will keep all those great flavors inside. Then set them aside, covered, at room temperature, to finish cooking them at a later time. Then follow these directions for desired doneness.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Bring meat to room temperature. On wire rack over baking sheet, cook steak, chops, etc…, until an instant –read thermometer registers:
Rare; 135 degrees (about 20 minutes).
Medium-rare; 140 degrees (about 25-30 minutes).
Medium; 145-150 degrees (30-35 minutes).
For center cut fish fillets:
Medium-rare; 135 degrees (about 20 minutes).
Medium-well; 145 degrees (about 25 minutes).
Let your meat or fish rest for a few minutes to redistribute the juices, then serve.
Timing is everything! Use it to spend time with friends and family.