Holiday Party Dishes and Desserts to Serve

What better way to show how thankful we are this holiday season than hosting your friends and family in your luxury apartment at The Strand? The last two years have shown us the value of being able to gather and be together with those nearest and dearest to us. In order to show your friends and family just how much you missed them & appreciate them, fill them with delicious homemade food!

Everyone knows that the key to a heart is through a warm home-cooked meal. As the weather starts to cool down here in The Bay, and holiday festivities start to pick up, try your hand at some of these holiday dishes. Here are our favorite new and classic holiday party dishes and desserts to serve this season to win over any crowd. 

 

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Photo Credit: Kat Wirsing

Cranberry Brie Bites

INGREDIENTS

1 (8-oz.) tube crescent dough
Cooking spray, for pan
Flour, for surface
1 (8-oz.) wheel of brie
1/2 c. whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 c. chopped pecans
6 sprigs of rosemary, cut into 1″ pieces.

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375° and grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll out crescent dough, and pinch together seams. Cut into 24 squares. Place squares into muffin tin slots.
2. Cut brie into small pieces and place inside the crescent dough. Top with a spoonful of cranberry sauce, some chopped pecans, and one little sprig of rosemary.
3. Bake until the crescent pastry is golden, about 15 minutes.

Stuffed Brussel Sprouts

INGREDIENTS

Cooking spray
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 c. ricotta
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400º. Grease a large baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch Brussels sprouts until bright green, 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water, then drain.
2. Using a small spoon, scoop out insides of sprouts (reserve for another use), then transfer hollowed sprouts to a prepared baking sheet.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, Parmesan, bread crumbs, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into Brussels sprouts, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with more Parmesan.
4. Bake until ricotta mixture is warmed through and Brussels sprouts are crispy, 20 to 25 minutes.

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Photo Credit: Ethan Calabrese

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Photo Credit: Food Network

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

INGREDIENTS

3 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary (divided)

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2.Slice the bottom off each potato and cut crosswise at 1/8-inch intervals, cutting to within 1/4 inch of the bottom. (You can place the potato on a large spoon so the edges of the spoon prevent you from slicing completely through the potato.)
3.Place the potatoes in a large bowl, add the olive oil, salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of the rosemary and toss well, working the salt mixture in between the slices. Arrange the potatoes on a sheet pan cut side up.
4.Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes, until they are tender and golden and crisp on top.
5.Sprinkle with remaining rosemary and serve.

Struffoli 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
1 large lemon, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 large orange, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon white wine, such as pinot grigio
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Canola oil, for frying
1 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note)
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Sugar sprinkles, for decoration
Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional

Directions

For the Dough

1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups of flour, lemon zest, orange zest, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the eggs, wine, and vanilla.

2. Pulse until the mixture forms into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into 4 equal-sized pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut each piece of dough into 1/2-inch wide strips. Cut each strip of pastry into 1/2-inch pieces.

3. Roll each piece of dough into a small ball about the size of a hazelnut. Lightly dredge the dough balls in flour, shaking off any excess. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way.

4. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. (If you don’t have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 3 minutes.). In batches, fry the dough until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. (The rested and quartered dough can also be rolled on a floured work surface into 1/2-inch thick logs and cut into equal-sized 1/2-inch pieces. The dough pieces can then be rolled into small balls and fried as above).

For the Coating

5. In a large saucepan, combine the honey, sugar, and lemon juice over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

6. Add the fried dough and hazelnuts and stir until coated in the honey mixture. Allow the mixture to cool in the pan for 2 minutes.
Spray the outside of a small, straight-sided water glass with vegetable oil cooking spray and place in the center of a round platter.

7. Using a large spoon or damp hands, arrange the struffoli and hazelnuts around the glass to form a wreath shape. Drizzle any remaining honey mixture over the struffoli. Allow to set for 2 hours (can be made 1 day in advance).

8. Decorate with sprinkles and dust with powdered sugar, if using. Remove the glass from the center of the platter and serve.

Cook’s Note

To toast the hazelnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before using.

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Photo Credit: Cookidoo

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