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A Simple and Stylish Holiday Buffet

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Rancher's Reserve® Holiday Red Wine Roast
Sweet Potato-Acorn Squash Gratin
Cheesy Beer Fondue with Amber Ale

(Family Features) The key to a successful holiday buffet is a menu that can be prepped in advance so you can enjoy the party and mingle with your guests. It's also important to make sure that the buffet table looks as beautiful as the food.

Whether you're preparing a small family get-together or a large holiday bash, event planner to the stars Debi Lilly and Executive Chef Jeff Anderson, of Safeway's Culinary Center, have your décor and menu covered.

For more holiday menu and décor ideas, visit www.safeway.com.

A Beautiful Buffet

"For gatherings large and small, a buffet is a great replacement to a sit-down dinner. With a few creative twists, you can impress your friends and family before their first bite," says Lilly.

  • Wrap fresh cut evergreen with debi lilly design™ red satin ribbon and run along the length of the table to create a beautiful look with a warm seasonal aroma.

  • For an easy and impressive twist on candles, wrap a debi lilly design™ Illusion Vase with a colorful ribbon, and insert a pillar candle.

  • Fill debi lilly design™ Illusion Vases of varying heights halfway with water. Cut off the stem of a red rose, and gently peel back the petals to help it float on top of the water. Then place dinner plates on top of the vases to display your appetizers.

Finish the look with debi lilly design™ Winterberry Scented Candles and scattered red rose petals along the length of the buffet.

Rancher's Reserve® Holiday Red Wine Roast

  • 12 ounces red wine
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 8 to 10 cloves garlic, smashed or rough chopped
  • 2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 1/4cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Oven bag
  • 1 Rancher's Reserve® 3 Bone Prime Rib Roast (6 to 7 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 6 to 8 long sprigs fresh rosemary

    1. Marinade: Mix together red wine, sugar, garlic, onions and oil with a whisk; stir well to dissolve sugar. Pour over top of roast, cover and store chilled for a minimum of 12 hours and up to 36.
    2. Remove roast from refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before roasting, allowing it to come to room temperature.
    3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Put 1 tablespoon flour into oven bag, shake, then place bag into large roasting pan.
    4. Remove roast and onions from marinade. Season roast with salt and pepper; lay rosemary sprigs across top of roast, and tie on with butcher's twine.
    5. Put onions in middle of roasting bag and place beef onto onions. Insert an instant read thermometer into meat.
    6. Seal bag and put roast into the oven. Roast for 1 hour 45 minutes, or until beef reaches an internal temperature of 135°F, which is medium rare; if you want well done, leave until desired temperature is reached.
    7. Remove from oven and allow to rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Carve slices across grain of meat, and serve with roasted onions.
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Makes 5 to 8 entrée portions
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Sweet Potato-Acorn Squash Gratin

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup onion, medium dice
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 sweet potatoes cut into 3/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup acorn squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

    1. Heat large heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion and garlic, cooking until golden brown.
    2. Add cream, potatoes, squash, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low simmer. Cook until potatoes and squash are tender when poked with a skewer or knife, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
    3. Assembly: Butter a 13 x 8-inch casserole with 2 tablespoons butter. Add cooked potato-squash mixture, then drizzle with reserved cream. Finish by topping with Asiago and breadcrumbs, cover with aluminum foil.
    4. Heat oven to 385°F. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until heated thoroughly. Remove foil and finish baking for 10 minutes, until top is golden brown.
    5. Remove from oven, garnish with fresh herb sprigs, and serve.

Makes 4 to 8 side dish portions

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Note: If preparing in advance, strain potato-squash mixture from cream, cooling cream and potato-squash mixture separately. Reserve chilled until ready to assemble.
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Cheesy Beer Fondue with Amber Ale

  • 2 cups grated horseradish cheddar cheese, approximately 1 pound
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion, red or white
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
  • Pinch of thyme or rosemary, fresh or dry
  • 6 ounces of Amber Ale
  • 1 to 2 drops Tabasco or hot sauce of choice
  • Chives for garnish
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons goat cheese
  • Pinch of kosher salt and black pepper
  • Fresh baked artisan bread, cut into cubes or slices
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    1. In large resealable bag, combine cheese and flour. Close bag tightly and shake until cheese is coated with flour, set aside.
    2. Warm oil over medium heat in heavy bottom sauce pan; add onions, garlic and thyme, cooking until colored golden brown.
    3. Add beer and bring to boil; reduce heat to low.
    4. Begin adding in cheese slowly, stirring with whisk or wooden spoon until melted and fully incorporated. Remove from heat and stir in Tabasco, salt, pepper and chives.
    5. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese. Serve with bread.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

SOURCE: Safeway

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