(Family Features) A holiday celebration at home should be as much fun for the hosts as for friends and family. With a little advance planning, the goal of effortless entertaining is suddenly within reach.
First, make it brunch, typically lighter and simpler to prepare than dinner. Buffet style is another smart choice - just arrange the dishes on pretty holiday linens and invite guests to serve themselves.
Half of the work is done when you go with full-flavored imported Italian cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano and Montasio, and air-cured hams like Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele. As PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) products, they belong to a special group of high-quality European foods that can be made only in specific geographical regions.
Four dishes that add up to a no-stress brunch buffet:
- A frittata with the deeply savory flavors of Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. It's equally delicious warm or at room temperature, whichever is more convenient.
- Thumbprint biscuits featuring melted Montasio cheese in the indentations on top - a clever touch for biscuits made with ready-made dough.
- Another brilliant two-ingredient recipe consists of eggs baked in Prosciutto di San Daniele "cups." They are crisp, creamy and irresistible.
- Festive garnishes for a salad of deep green kale leaves, tossed with orange vinaigrette, include Grana Padano shards, pears and pine nuts.
For more information on the PDO system and holiday recipes using these legendary cheeses and hams, visit www.legendsfromeurope.com.
Think About Drinks
One way to keep it simple is to settle on a house drink for your brunch buffet, such as a Poinsettia Cocktail made with one part cranberry juice and one part Grand Marnier to four parts prosecco. For the nonalcoholic version, combine the juice with sparkling water or lemon-lime soda.