Ideas for the Holiday Party


 Getting into the Spirit

Holiday gatherings, whether they be cocktail and hors d'ouevres affairs, a buffet or a festive sit down dinner, can take less work than it seems - and the easier they are, the more fun you can have. One of time tested ways to keep the party simple is with really great food. Let the food do the work, not the recipe.

We have put together ideas for appetizers first and then dinner ideas second. The dinner ideas are categorized by country to give you a possible theme or feel for the party. 


First, we start with some of the unwrap and serve choices:


Simply add crackers or toasted baguette. We have a selections of 8 oz each of Pig and Fig terrine, Nduja, and rabbit and pork cheek terrine.


Foie Gras Terrine

Deep rich velvety flavor. Delivered to you with toast crackers and fig syrup. Open and serve.

Stone Crab Claws:

Open the box, use the hammer to crack the claws and put the included sauce in a bowl. Perfect!


Cheese Buscuits

Perfect with a cocktail - just a bit spicy. Only three ingredients. Open and maybe you can get them into the bowl from the tin before they are gone.


Caviar and Roe

Nothing simpler, nothing more interesting, and nothing sets a better atmosphere. We have various different caviar sets one of which should be a great fit for your gathering.


Cheese and Charcuterie

The finest seasonal cheeses and salumi - delivered to your door ready to serve.

The following are simple appetizer recipes - some assembly required:

Salt Cod Dip:

  • 3/4 pound salt cod, preferably center-cut
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 small sprigs thyme
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Crackers or crostini, for serving
  1. Soak the cod in cold water in the refrigerator for 24 hours, changing the water 4 times.
  2. Drain the cod. Put in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a bare simmer; drain, then repeat with fresh water. Drain again, then add the milk and cream to the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until the fish is flaky, about 15 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the milk mixture, then drain and coarsely flake the fish.
  3. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until tender, about 20 minutes; drain. Let cool slightly, then press through a ricer or a food mill. Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme and cloves in a small saucepan; cook over low heat, 5 minutes. Strain the flavored oil and set aside.
  4. Put the cod, half of the flavored oil, the reserved milk mixture, the lemon juice and 1/2 cup hot water in a food processor; pulse until smooth. Add the potatoes and the remaining flavored oil and pulse to combine; season with pepper. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Serve warm with crackers.

Cheese Fondue Appetizer

  • 1 Set of To-Table Swiss Fondue Cheeses, Shredded (Link to Product here)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cherry brandy, such as kirsch
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Assorted dippers
  1. In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard.
  2. Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid. Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in cherry brandy, mustard and nutmeg.
  3. Arrange an assortment of bite-sized dipping foods on a lazy Susan around fondue pot. Serve with chunks of French and pumpernickel breads. Some other suggestions are Granny Smith apples and blanched vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and asparagus. Spear with fondue forks or wooden skewers, dip, swirl and enjoy! 

Horseradish Seasoned Shrimp

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup horseradish, drained
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 3/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on) (Find ready to use Large Shrimp here)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  1. Mix the tomato paste, horseradish, olive oil, hot sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl; add the shrimp and toss. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Spread out the shrimp on the baking sheet and broil until just cooked through, 4 to 8 minutes (no need to turn). Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges.

Royal Red Shrimp Ceviche

  • 2 lbs of fresh Royal Red Shrimp (Find Sweet Royal Red Shrimp Here)
  • 1 red onion, cut in half and finely sliced lengthwise
  • 12-15 limes, juiced
  • 1-2 Serrano peppers or other hot peppers, cut in half
  • A few sprigs of cilantro + ½ bunch finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil (or if you prefer a more neutral flavor use avocado oil)
  • 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
  • Salt to taste
  1. Place the sliced onions in a bowl, add some salt and cover with warm water. Let rest for about 10 minutes, drain and rinse well with cold water.
  2. Place the shrimp in a glass or plastic bowl; add the lime juice, washed onion slices, hot peppers, cilantro sprigs, garlic clove, and salt. Cover and let marinate for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove the hot peppers, the cilantro sprigs and the garlic clove.
  4. Add the cilantro and olive oil to the marinated shrimp and onions, mix well. Taste and add additional salt if needed. Serve with corn tortilla chips.

 Potato & Tenderloin Canapes

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin (Find All Natural Center Cut Tenderloins Here)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 small red-skinned potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2/3 cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and diced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon capers, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • Large pinch of sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven; roast until a thermometer inserted into the meat registers 125 degrees F, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest 15 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and add salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until just tender, up to 5 minutes. Drain and let cool. 
  3. Mix the roasted peppers, shallot, vinegar, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the capers, garlic, rosemary, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Thinly slice the beef and arrange on the potato rounds; top with the pepper salsa. Serve warm or at room temperature. 


We start the dinner menus with some ideas from Italy.

Pork Rib Roast Marinated in Citrus

  • One 10-bone pork rib roasts, about 8-10 pounds (Find Colorado Pasture raised Bershire Pork Rib Roast here)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3 lemons, zest removed in strips with a vegetable peeler and lemons juiced
  • 3 oranges, zest removed in strips with a vegetable peeler and oranges juiced
  • 20 fresh bay leaves
  • 8 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Roasted small apples and pears (score apples to prevent skin form splitting), for garnish
  1. Using a paring knife, make three 1-inch-deep slits on the fatty side of pork rib roast closest to the bones. Stud the garlic cloves with the whole cloves and stuff them into the slits.
  2. In a baking dish, combine the lemon and orange zests and juices with the bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, fennel seeds, juniper berries and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the pork and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally. Bring the pork rib roast to room temperature before roasting.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Scrape off the marinade and generously season the pork with salt and pepper. In a very large skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the pork and brown over moderate heat, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the pork rib roast to a large roasting pan. Roast for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, rotating the pan once or twice, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 140°. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes. Cut the pork between the rib bones into 10 chops. Transfer to plates, garnish with the roasted apples and pears and serve.

Fennel Gratin

  • 5 fennel bulbs (5 pounds), quartered
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fennel and cook until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, 2 minutes. Add the cream and cook until reduced to 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in 1 cup of the cheese. Gradually add the eggs and whisk until incorporated. Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the parsley and the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Season the bread crumb mixture lightly with salt and white pepper.
  4. Arrange the fennel in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour the cream sauce over the fennel, sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the fennel is tender, the sauce is bubbling and the crumbs are browned on top. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Glazed Cipollini Onions 

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 pounds cipollini onions
  • Strips of zest from 1 lemon
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a large saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water. Cook over moderate heat without stirring until a medium-amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, carefully add the butter and 1/2 cup of the balsamic vinegar. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook until the caramel is melted.
  2. Add the onions, lemon zest, bay leaves and chicken stock to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over moderately low heat until the onions are very tender and glazed and the liquid is syrupy, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

North American

Mussel and Butternut Squash Soup

Photograph by David Malosh
  • 2 pounds fresh mussels (Order Fresh Mussels from Maine Here)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 fresh chile pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 ounces butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 7 ounces ditalini pasta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for topping (optional)
  1. The first thing you have to do is clean the mussels. Put them in a colander and rinse them under cold running water to remove any sand and grit. Mussels often have little threads that look like seaweed hanging off them called beards. Rip them off. The mussels should be closed; discard any that are open.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chile pepper and cook for a minute. Add the mussels, wine, and salt and pepper to taste and stir together. Bring to a simmer and cover with a lid, allowing the mussels to steam open, which should take about 5 minutes. Cook until all of the mussels are fully opened. Discard any unopened mussels. Let this cool down a bit. Remove and discard the garlic. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, shell them and discard the shells. Put the mussels in their broth and set aside.
  3. In another large saucepan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, butternut squash, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the onion gets slightly golden, about 8 minutes. Add the pasta and mix together. Add 3 cups water, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the pasta is done and the squash is fork-tender, about 12 minutes. Eyeball it here: If your ingredients need to cook longer and you need more liquid, add more water. If you want to give the soup a creamier consistency, mash half of the squash with the back of a fork.
  4. Add the mussels and broth to the squash and pasta mixture; let it simmer for about 5 minutes to combine the flavors. Remove from the heat and add the Parmigiano before serving. Top with the parsley.

Standing Rib Roast

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 bunch rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (8 to 8 1/2-pound) bone-in standing rib roast (Order Aged, All natural Superior Rib Roast Here)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 pound baby carrots, tops trimmed
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and quartered
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups rich chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl combine the cayenne, rosemary, and garlic. Add enough olive oil until it becomes a loose paste. Schmear the roast with the rosemary-garlic paste and really massage it into the meat. Season generously with kosher salt.
  3. Put the onions, baby carrots, celery and mushrooms in the bottom of a roasting pan. Toss with a little olive oil and salt, to taste. Add the wine, 1 cup of chicken stock and the bay leaves. Put the roast on top of the veggies and put into the preheated oven until the roast is really brown and lovely, about 25 to 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F for another 1 3/4 to 2 hours. Occasionally during the cooking time, spoon some of the juices over the meat. If the liquid level in the pan goes down too much, add the remaining 1 cup of stock. It also would be a great idea to rotate the roasting pan about halfway through the cooking process.
  4. Check the temperature of the meat by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the center of the roast. For medium-rare it should be 125 degrees F and 130 for medium. Remove the roast from the oven to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
  5. Taste the veggies in the pan juices and season with salt, to taste, if needed. Skim off any excess fat.
  6. Slice the roast and arrange on a serving platter. Serve with the veggies and the pan juices.

Wild Mushrooms and Beans


For the topping:
For beans and sauce:


  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
  3. While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

    Wild Rice and Foraged Mushrooms

    • 8 ounces long-grain wild rice ( order real and truly wild North American Wild Rice Here)
    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
    • 1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
    • ½ teaspoon salt, more to taste
    •  Black pepper, to taste
    •  cup dry sherry, such as Dry Sack (do not use cream sherry)
    1. Bring 5 cups water to a boil. Stir in rice, then reduce heat so liquid is just simmering. Cover and cook until grains just begin to pop, about 40 minutes. Drain excess liquid from rice and set aside.
    2. Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their liquid and are golden brown, about 8 minutes; remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining butter and mushrooms.
    3. Return all the mushrooms to the skillet and season with the salt and pepper, to taste. Very carefully add sherry to deglaze the pan, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated but mushrooms are still moist.
    4. Mix mushrooms into prepared rice and season again with salt and pepper.


    The Turkey (originally from the colonies) with mashed potatoes is the main Christmas fare in Britain. We have much to say about turkeys here if you go this route.


    Yorkshire Pudding

    • 4 eggs (large, measured into a jug)
    • 1 cup milk (equal quantity of milk to your measured eggs)
    • 1 cup flour (equal quantity of all-purpose or plain flour to measured eggs)
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 tablespoons lard (or beef dripping or vegetable oil)
    1. Heat the oven to the highest temperature possible, however, do not exceed 450 F or the fat may burn.
    2. Pour the eggs and milk into a large mixing bowl and add the pinch of salt. Whisk thoroughly with an electric hand beater or hand whisk. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
    3. Gradually sieve the same volume of flour (as the eggs) into the milk and egg mixture, again using an electric hand beater or hand-whisk to create a lump-free batter resembling thick cream, if there are any lumps pass the batter through a fine sieve. Leave the batter to rest in the kitchen for a minimum of 30 minutes, longer if possible - up to several hours.
    4. Place a pea-sized piece of lard, dripping or 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil into your chosen Yorkshire pudding tin, or a 12-hole muffin tin and heat in the oven until the fat is smoking.
    5. Give the batter another good whisk adding 2 tablespoons of cold water and fill a third of each section of the tin with batter and return quickly to the oven.Leave to cook until golden brown - approximately 20 minutes. Repeat the last step again until all the batter is used up.

    Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pistachios

    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 500g Brussels sprouts, halved
    • 50g pistachios, roughly chopped
    • 100g pomegranate seeds
    • pomegranate molasses, to drizzle (optional)
    1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Put the sprouts in the pan, cut-side down, and leave them to fry for 10-15 mins, tossing occasionally. If they’re just lightly brown, carry on cooking for a further 5 mins until blistered.

    2. Scatter over the pistachios and stir-fry until toasted. Remove from the heat and stir through the pomegranate seeds. Season with salt and tip into a serving dish. Drizzle with a little pomegranate molasses, if you like.



    Oysters are often on the menu as an appetizer and should not be forgotten as a menu item. Easy once you get the hand of shucking. (Find Live Maine Oysters here)

    Brined Roast Goose With Orange Glaze

    • 10- to 12-pound goose (order To-Table Goose Here)
    • For the Brine:
    • 1 to 1 1/2 gallons cold water
    • 1 cup kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 bay leaf
    • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
    • Dash of allspice
    • For the Glaze:
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine or champagne
    1. Wash the goose and trim excess fat. Place in a large cooking bag in a roasting pan or in a large covered container for brining.

    2. In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of the water with salt, sugar, and spices until salt and sugar are dissolved. Cool slightly and add to 1 gallon of cold water.

    3. Pour over the goose and, if necessary, add more ice cold water to cover the goose. If you use a cooking bag, twist and tie tightly so the goose is covered with the brine. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

    4. Remove the goose from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the goose dry.

    5. Heat the oven to 375 F. Prick the goose all over with a fork to aerate the skin. Place goose, breast side down, on a rack in a large roasting pan. (A V-rack is good for this if you have one.)

    6. Roast for 20 minutes. Using tongs, turn the goose breast-side up and roast for 20 minutes longer.

    7. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Combine orange juice, marmalade, and wine or champagne in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat.

    8. Remove the goose from the oven and carefully pour off the fat. Reduce heat to 325 F and continue roasting the goose for about 20 minutes per pound, brushing lightly with orange-wine mixture about every 30 to 40 minutes.

    9. Goose juices should run clear when the thigh is pierced with a sharp knife. A meat thermometer inserted in the meat of the thigh should register about 180 F.

    Gratin Dauphinois

    • 2 pounds russet potatoes (peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices)
    • 5 cups whole milk
    • 2 garlic cloves (very lightly bruised to release the flavor)
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 1/2 cups crème fraiche (substitute sour cream)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
    • 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
    • Optional: 2/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese

    In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the potatoes, milk, and garlic to a gentle simmer.

    Continue simmering the potatoes for 15 minutes, until they just start to turn tender; be very careful not to overcook them as they need to hold their shape for layering in the pan. 

    Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Drain the milk from the pan and add the heavy cream, crème fraiche (or replace with the milk already used), salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the hot potatoes.

    Heat the cream mixture to barely a simmer (a few bubbles are fine but no more) for 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are very tender, but not falling apart.

    Butter a large baking dish and carefully lift the potatoes into the dish and layer without breaking them up too much. Cover with the cream from the pan.Sprinkle the Gruyere cheese over the potatoes.

    Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown on top and the cream soaked up. 


    Latin American

    Crab Salad Stuffed Avocado

    For the crab salad:
    • 1 pound of Peeky Toe crab meat
    • ½ red onion, finely chopped
    • ½ red bell pepper, finely diced
    • ½ green bell pepper, finely diced
    • ½ cucumber, finely diced
    • 4 radishes, finely diced
    • Juice of 2 limes
    • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    For the stuffed avocados:
    • 4-5 ripe but firm avocados
    • ½ lime

    To garnish:

    • Lettuce or salad greens, cilantro leaves, chopped green onions or chives, radishes
    To prepare the crab salad:
    1. Mix the Peeky Toe crab meat with diced onions, diced bell peppers, diced cucumbers, diced radish, lime juice, olive oil, chopped cilantro, and salt/pepper. The salad can be prepared in advance and kept refrigerated until just ready to assemble the avocados.
    To prepare the crab stuffed avocados:
    1. Cut the avocados in half, remove the seeds and peel the avocados. Sprinkle each avocado half with a little lime (or lemon) juice to prevent the avocados from browning too quickly.
    2. Fill the center of the avocados halves with the crab salad. Serve the crab stuffed avocados over lettuce leaves and garnished with chopped chives (or green onions) and radishes.

    Orange Chipotle Ham


    • 8-10 lbs spiral cooked Berkshire ham (Order Here)
    Orange chipotle sauce:
    • 1-2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, adjust to taste
    • 3 cups fresh orange juice, from 7-8 large oranges
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • ½ tablespoon of ground achiote/annatto, can use paprika as substitute
    • 1 tablespoon orange zest
    • 2 tablespoons tequila
    • 1 cup of brown sugar or honey
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 2 whole cloves
    Optional gravy sauce:
    • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons corn starch
    • For the orange chipotle sauce:

    For the orange chipotle sauce:

    1. Remove the seeds from the chipotle pepper or chilies, if you want the sauce extra spicy you can leave them
    2. Combine the orange juice, lime juice, chipotle chilies, cumin and achiote in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain if desired.
    3. Combine the orange chipotle puree in a medium sized saucepan. Add the orange zest, tequila, sugar or honey glaze, cinnamon stick, and cloves.
    4. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook for 25-30 minutes.
    5. Remove the cloves and the cinnamon stick. Save the sauce until ready to use.
    For the baked ham with orange chipotle sauce:
      1. Pre-heat oven to 325F
      2. Place the smoked ham in a large baking pan, with the flat side of ham facing down. Pour ½ of the orange chipotle sauce over the ham.
      3. Cover the ham with foil and bake at 325F for about 1 hour.
      4. Warm up the rest of the sauce, remove the foil from the ham and pour the remaining sauce over the ham.
      5. Continue baking the ham for another 40-45 minutes, basting it every 10-15 minutes with the pan sauces. The ham should be baked for about 10-12 minutes per pound.
      6. Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before carving and serving.
    For the orange chipotle gravy:
    1. Place ~3 cups of the pan sauces in a small sauce pan with the balsamic vinegar. Bring to boil and cook about 5 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile mix the corn starch with a little bit of the pan sauces (or water), then stir into the gravy sauce. Mix until well dissolved and thickened. Remove from heat and serve warm.

    Chimichurri Roasted Capon

    Chimichurri butter:
    • 1 cup of butter, 2 sticks or 8 ounces, room temperature
    • 1 bunch of parsley, leaves only
    • 5-6 sprigs of fresh oregano, use leaves only
    • A handful of fresh basil leaves
    • 6-8 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 4-5 green onions or scallion stalks
    • 1-2 teaspoons of chili pepper flakes or 1 small red hot pepper, seeded and deveined, diced
    • 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    To bake with the Capon:
    • Onions, potatoes or your choice of veggie

    For the chimichurri Butter:

    1. Place all the ingredients expect for the butter in a small food processor and pulse until the herbs are finely chopped.
    2. Add the butter and continue pulsing until you have smooth creamy mix. Can be made ahead of time, but should be brought back to room temperature before using to prepare the roasted chicken.
    For roasting or baking the whole chicken:
    1. Rub about half of the butter chimichurri all over chicken, including under the skin. Save the rest of the chimichurri butter for basting and for serving.
    2. Pre-heat oven to 425F
    3. Place the vegetables (onions, potatoes, etc) under chicken in baking or roasting pan.
    4. Bake the chicken (uncovered) at 425F for 30 minutes
    5. Lower heat to 400F, baste chicken and bake for another 50-60 minutes, basting every 15-20 minutes.
    6. During the last 5-10 minutes, add additional chimichurri butter or chimichurri sauce on top.

    Ensalada Rusa

    • 3 ½ lbs russet potatoes about 4 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and diced
    • 1 lb carrots about 6-7 medium size carrots, peeled, boiled and diced
    • 8 oz peas/corn about 1 cup, boiled for less than 3 minutes
    • 6 celery stalks finely diced, about 1 cup
    • 1- 2 apples peeled and diced
    • 1 cup diced white onion about ½ onion
    • Lime juice from 1-2 limes
    • 1 small garlic clove crushed
    • 1 cup homemade mayonnaise
    • 1 tbs finely chopped cilantro parsley or dill- optional
    • Salt to taste

    Mix all of the ingredients together, chill until ready to serve



    cheese and chorizo


    Spanish Garlic Shrimp

    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 10 large cloves of garlic (finely minced)
    • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or 2 whole dried cayenne peppers)
    • 1 pound shrimp (find Royal Red Shrimp here)
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • Optional: 2 to 3 ounces Spanish brandy (or substitute dry sherry)
    • Optional: 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
    • Salt (to taste)
    • Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
    • 3 teaspoons fresh parsley leaves (chopped)
    • 1 fresh baguette
    1. In a sauté pan or heavy frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for about 1 minute or until the garlic just begins to brown, being careful not to let it burn.
    2. Raise the heat to high and immediately add the shrimp, lemon juice, and optional brandy and paprika. Stir well to coat shrimp, then saute until the shrimp turn pink and start to curl (about 3 minutes).
    3. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    4. Transfer shrimp with oil and sauce to a warm plate or serve straight from the pan. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with the fresh bread.

    Spanish Seafood Soup

    • Large pinch of saffron threads
    • 6 cups fish stock
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 brown onion, halved, thinly sliced
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 long fresh red chilli, seeded, finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 1 1/2 lbs. ripe truss tomatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped
    • 1 lb. skinless firm smoked cod fillets, cut into 3 cm pieces
    • 1/2 pound royal red Shrimp
    • 1/2 pound cleaned Tenderized cuttlefish (sepia), cut into 2 cm strips
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • Chopped fresh continental parsley, to serve
    1. Soak saffron in stock for 10 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, chilli and paprika. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the liquid evaporates. Add stock mixture and tomato. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
    3. Add the fish, shrimp and cuttlefish. Cook for 5 minutes or until seafood is just cooked through. Stir in lemon juice. Season. Sprinkle with parsley


    Spanish Christmas Lamb

    • One 6-7 pound leg of lamb (Order Colorado Leg of Lamb here)
    • 2 large sweet onions
    • 6 medium potatoes (Yukon Gold )
    • Olive oil (for frying the potatoes and onions)

    For the Marinade

    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • ½ cup dry white wine
    • Lemon juice from ½ a lemon (freshly squeezed)
    • One tablespoon white wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
    • Black pepper to taste (1/2-1 tablespoon)
    • A couple of sprigs of thyme, crushed
    • 4 bay leaves, crushed
    • 8 cloves of garlic, ground to a paste
    1. Prepare the marinade: Mix together the salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, white wine, vinegar, garlic paste, thyme and bay leaves.
    2. Spread the marinade all over the meat and wrap in plastic wrap. Marinate overnight, making sure every part of the lamb is covered in the marinade.
    3. The next day, take the lamb out of the refrigerator at least one hour before putting in the oven.
    4. Peel the potatoes and dice them in medium sized cubes. Pan fry them in olive oil, remove with a slotted spoon, and reserve.
    5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    6. While the oven is pre-heating, dice the onion julienne style (in thin strips) and cook in the same olive oil until translucent and soft (8-10 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon.
    7. On a large baking sheet, spread the potatoes and onions in a layer on the bottom. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Put the marinated lamb on top.
    8. Cover with foil and roast for 3.5 hours. Check on the lamb and cook for an additional 30 minutes if not tender enough.
    9. At this point, remove the foil and raise the oven temperature to 425°F. Roast for 20 minutes uncovered, turning halfway through to achieve a golden brown on each side of the lamb. Move the potatoes and onions if necessary to prevent over-browning.
    10. Remove the lamb from the oven and rest at least 20 minutes before carving.

    Turron de Alicante -( Find here by clicking) is a great Hard or soft Spanish Sweet for dessert

    Swedish See:


    Holiday Beverages

    Hot Chocolate

    • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
    • 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 12 cups whole milk
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 8 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
    • 24 peppermint candies, crushed (about 1 cup), for serving
    • 3 cups mini marshmallows, for serving
    • 2 cups peppermint schnapps, optional, for serving
    1. Whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder in a 6-quart slow cooker. Turn the cooker to high, and slowly whisk in the milk to prevent lumps from forming. Add the vanilla and salt, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. The sugar and cocoa powder should be completely dissolved.
    2. Whisk in the chopped chocolate a little at a time until it is all incorporated. Replace the lid, and cook until thickened, 30 minutes more.
    3. Turn the cooker to warm, and serve with small bowls of the peppermint candies and mini marshmallows and a small pitcher of schnapps, if using. For minty cocoa, let a few teaspoons of the peppermints melt in an 8-ounce cup or add 2 tablespoons of schnapps.


    • 6 cups whole milk
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for sprinkling
    • 12 large pasteurized egg yolks
    • 2 cups sugar
    • Bourbon or praline- flavored liqueur (optional)
    1. Heat the milk, cream and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steaming, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
    2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a separate saucepan until smooth. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture coats a spoon and registers 160 degrees F on a thermometer, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the warm milk mixture. Let cool 30 minutes.
    3. Transfer the eggnog to a pitcher, cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon into each glass. Top with the eggnog and sprinkle with nutmeg.

    Hot Spiced Blood Orange Cocktail

    • 2 cups of water
    • ½ cup of brown sugar or 4 ounces of piloncillo/panela , add more to taste
    • 4 cinnamon sticks
    • A few additional spices: cloves, star anise, all spice berries
    • A couple of orange peel strips
    • 4 cups of blood orange juice
    • Rum to taste, use regular or infuse with cinnamon ahead of time for an extra kick
    1. Combine the water, brown sugar or panela (piloncillo), the cinnamon sticks, spices, and orange peel strips in a medium sized pot.
    2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let the panela/piloncillo melt. Add the blood orange juice and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. To make the fast or cheater version you can boil it for 10-15 minutes.
    3. Strain to remove the cinnamon sticks and spices.
    4. Mix in the rum or aguardiente directly or individually in each serving glass, and serve warm. You can also make it ahead of time without the added alcohol and keep it refrigerated, then re-heat when ready to serve.

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