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When preparing party recipes for Christmas, keep the menu simple. With a little organization and a few hours spent cooking, you can offer a hospitable feast without becoming crazed.
Tips to Keep it Simple
Create a festive spread with room-temperature foods to avoid worrying about keeping things hot.
Cook several dishes that are splashy but easy to prepare in advance; mix in ready-to-eat food from the market so that you’re providing lots of substance (but not “filler” food such as pretzels or chips).
Make the backbone of your party smoked fish, high-quality cold cuts, and wonderful breads, laid out with tasty condiments. Consider roasting a pork loin or two instead of the ubiquitous ham or turkey. if affordable, put out a bowl of boiled shrimp.
For vegetarians, provide festive vegetable choices, such as the Peppers and “Caviar” below.
As a palette cleanser, consider fresh, sliced fennel; if you’re pressed for time, find Middle Eastern dips at your supermarket such as Baba Ghanoush.
The following recipes serve 12 to 15 people but can be made in multiples for larger parties. It’s easier to prepare them in batches, rather than trying to double or triple the recipes.
The important thing is to be relaxed and enjoy the company of your family and friends. After all, sharing a happy time is what the holiday season is all about.