So, you’ve invited your mates over for a Salvage Supperclub. Before you know it your kitchen will be filled with ingredients pulled from the depths of crispers and the back corners of pantries. These may include half onions, bruised bananas or opened jars of unidentifiable, but delicious, condiments.
Our number one tip to making sure whatever lands in your kitchen can be turned into a meal is:
Have a couple of staples handy!
These will bulk out the meal even if everyone brings similar stuff. With these things present, no matter what comes your way, you’ll be able to turn it into something delicious:
1 quick-cook or pre-cooked carb | eg. couscous, pasta or roasted whole potatoes
Basic seasonings | Oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, honey
1 protein | eg. cheese, tinned beans, tinned chickpeas, lentils
A couple of veggies | Whatever tickles your fancy really
Read more on how to shop for delicious success here.
As people arrive set up a spot where you can put all of the ingredients. This means you can see them all clearly and start cooking up ideas.
Sidenote, this makes for one hell of an instagram-ready, before shot.
Anything people can’t eat
Make sure everyone is aware of any allergies, dietary requirements or strong negative emotions towards any ingredients (we’re looking at you coriander) in the group. Keep these ingredients separate when you get to cooking, for example, if someone can’t eat dairy, keep that feta cheese to a bowl on the side of the salad – peeps can serve themselves.
What do you do with that?
While looking at your bounty, take a second for people to voice any questions or uncertainties about ingredients (whether it’s a browning carrot that may simply need peeling, an ingredient people haven’t cooked with, or just sharing some sweet cooking tips).
Check everyone has basic knife skills, and if not, quickly show them the claw method.
First things first, not everything has to be cooked, start by focusing on the stuff that needs to be used most urgently.
Decision making is waaaayyy easier in smaller groups so step one is breaking into pairs to decide on 1 or 2 dishes. This way everyone gets a say on at least 1 dish and also prevents the “too many cooks” vibe. But do whatever feels right! If you don’t want to be leading and directing, just give people permission to take charge in their mini groups without having to ask you. Tell people they can utilise whatever is on your ingredient table. Just make sure you agree on a rough expectation of when dishes should be cooked by (to avoid hangry status) when breaking into groups.
If struggling to think of what to cook, go back to your meal templates eg. pasta, pizza, salad, roasts, stir-frys, frittata, soups. And remember, Google is your friend.
Show people the goods – share your before and after shots and tag us so we can see! @yfmaustralia #salvagesupperclub
By showing people it can be done, they might buck up the courage to salvage that half-eaten-quickly-going-bad lettuce hiding in their fridge, ergo, you are responsible for the saving of that lettuce also. Share your creations, save all the lettuce.
If halfway through the meal you can see you’re going to have far too many leftovers, concentrate on finishing off the stuff that won’t last (like leafy salads that have already been dressed).
Cleaning is a hell of a lot easier with many hands. Before people head home get everyone to pitch in on the cleaning, so one person isn’t stuck with all the mess.