The holiday season is about celebrations, gatherings and decadence. While merriment and fellowship are at the forefront, food is often the main event, if we’re being honest. No matter the size and reason of your gathering, there is a holiday menu to complement any occasion. Read on for culinary inspiration for your next holiday hosting opportunity.
The Cocktail Party
If festive fetes are your preference instead of elaborate sitdown dinners, create a menu filled with finger foods and substantial appetizers. Incorporating a variety of bites is the key to ensuring no one goes hungry. A spread that includes meat, seafood, dairy and vegetarian options will create a festive spread and appeal to all appetites. A sample menu includes:
- Charcuterie board, or boards, depending on your guest list: Include a variety of hard and soft cheeses, meats, crackers, breads and fruits.
- Crispy pork meatballs: The panko-crusted meatballs with Asian flavors are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
- Buttery garlic shrimp: Warm shrimp tossed with garlic, wine and butter. Fast to make and faster to disappear.
- Spinach and artichoke cups: A holiday party staple, get the whole experience of spinach artichoke dip in one convenient bite.
- A food bar: For a heavier offering, set up a novelty food bar as an activity, conversation starter and way for guests to heartily fill up their plates. A french fry bar, baked potato bar, or deviled egg bard are all crowd-pleasers.
Classic, Seated Meal
Perfect for a Christmas Eve feast or a Christmas Day celebration, including all the elements of a traditional holiday meal, can be comfort food for many who are gathering around the table. A sample menu includes:
- Beef tenderloin: Satisfying and beautiful, this sophisticated dish is a crowd-pleaser.
- Cider-glazed carrots: A seasonal favorite, these delectable carrots are a staple on any holiday menu.
- Herbed-garlic potatoes: These savory, flavorful potatoes are light enough yet completely satisfying.
Don’t get stuck in the kitchen when the rest of the family is opening gifts. Instead, prepare this decadent brunch in advance to enjoy a slow morning soaking in the magical moments that make up Christmas morning. A sample menu includes:
- Breakfast quiche: Breakfast quiche can be filled with fluffy eggs and savory bacon and is a perennial Christmas morning favorite.
- Baked french toast: Cinnamon-baked French toast is delightfully decadent and will satisfy those with the sweetest of sweet teeth.
- Sweet and spicy bacon: Give your bacon an extra zing by sprinkling it with brown sugar and cayenne pepper.
An Elegant Feast
Toast to all the good tidings the past year has brought you over a decadent, sophisticated standing rib roast feast. A sample menu includes:
- Goat cheese stuffed endive: Endive filled with goat cheese and walnuts is the perfect way to start the meal on a light yet flavorful note.
- Standing rib roast: The centerpiece of the holiday menu, this succulent main dish will have your guests talking long after the table is cleared.
- Honey balsamic green beans: The sweetness and lightness of this green bean dish will balance the richness of a standing rib roast.