A cooking co-op, or dinner swap, is simply an agreement by two or more individuals or households to provide prepared meals for each other, according to a schedule. The goal is to reduce the time spent in the kitchen while increasing the quality and variety of the food eaten.
It’s not a new idea — dinner co-ops have been around for years — but it was new to me. Mine is based in my apartment building in Jackson Heights, Queens, which adds to the convenience. Members of our co-op, made up of four households, including two editors at the James Beard Foundation and Tony Liu, the executive chef of the Manhattan restaurant Morandi, exchange meals weekly.
It works like this: Once a week, you cook a dish (chicken enchiladas, for instance), making enough to provide at least one serving for each adult member of the co-op. (Children can be assigned half or full portions, depending on ages and appetites.) Around the same time, your fellow co-op members are cooking large batches of their chosen dishes.
Saw Trevor post this earlier in the day. This well describes what I'd like to try – I find it easier to cook large portions in any case. Leave a comment if you're interested in participating.