Massimo Capra’s Holiday Party Menu Planning Tips

The best way to enjoy a party is to divide chores between spouses, one should tend to the food and one should be in charge of the drinks.

Better yet invest in getting a helping hand from a professional waiter. Shop around and you  might find that a couple hundred dollars can go a long way to make your life easier: from  greeting guests, serving, to the final cleanup, it can all be prearranged.

A must-have when guests arrive is a “welcoming drink” such as red or white wine, beer, water, and a premixed cocktail ready to be poured. Also, knowing your guests preferences is imperative as it doesn’t make sense to go crazy with cocktails if you have beer fanatics.

Now that we have taken care of beverages, we can move on to munchies. Some Parmigiano nuggets, toasted garlic bread, hummus dip, dry cured sausages and olives are always safe  choices.

Squash Flan with Wilted Kale, Dry Cranberries, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Balsamic Glaze
Squash Flan with Wilted Kale, Dry Cranberries, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Balsamic Glaze – Recipe available in the Fall 2013 of Canadian Home Trends Magazine on newsstands now or order a copy online.

Next step to your dinner party planning is the meal preparation. A squash flan can be prepared ahead of time and to garnish use some wilted kale with dry cranberries as it only takes a few seconds to complete. The bulk of its flavour comes from the flan itself and it is a very popular item at Mistura in our Fall menu.

Holiday Stuffed Rolled Turkey
Holiday Stuffed Rolled Turkey

For the main course, you can never go wrong with a favourite Holiday serving such as a roasted turkey. It is not a very popular year round course due its size, but makes a tasty treat for gatherings.

TIP: Have your butcher debone the turkey completely and flatten it out while keeping the skin intact. Then, fill it with the stuffing and roast it carefully. This technique will save a third of the time baking and the meat won’t taste dry.

As dessert is also an important course, I prepared a panna cotta with roasted pears. A simple touch of good balsamic or glaze completes this dessert. Panna cotta is a relatively new invention but has become a favorite amongst diners. The name panna cotta means cooked cream and it implies a heavy creamy dessert but it is a gentle light concoction sure to please all your guests.

Vanilla Panna Cotta, Roasted Pears, Chocolate Sauce and Salted Almond
Vanilla Panna Cotta, Roasted Pears, Chocolate Sauce and Salted Almond – Recipe available in the Fall 2013 issue of Canadian Home Trends Magazine on newsstands now or order a copy online.

 

Happy Holidays!

massimosig

Photography by Stephani Buchman

Written by Massimo Capra

Massimo Capra

Massimo Capra has been on The Food Network many times with successful shows like Restaurant Makeover. He has a regular spot on CityTV’s Cityline, is a national column writer and author of two best selling cookbooks. He is now the host of his own destination cooking show called Gourmet Escapes. He is co-owner/executive of Mistura and also brings his passion for great gourmet food at affordable prices to Canada’s busiest airport, Pearson International (Toronto), with the opening of Boccone Trattoria Veloce and Boccone Pronto.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *