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Christmas Buffet for 20

Runningchef Nov 18, 2010 10:09 AM

I am hosting Christmas this year and am trying to think of creative, delicious and somewhat easy dishes for the buffet. We don't have a ton of space, so not everyone will have a table to sit by for eating. We will have ages ranging from 1 to 85. I'd like to avoid the traditional meat and potatoes type of meal, and love the idea of heavy appetizers. However, I want to make sure I don't choose items that end up being too labor intensive either. I would love any suggestions you can provide.


  1. Berheenia Nov 18, 2010 10:36 AM

    I just made this chicken squash recipe the night before the party and It was easy and everyone liked it - even DH who doesn't like brussel sprouts.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Berheenia
      Runningchef Nov 18, 2010 10:41 AM

      Thanks! That recipe looks delicious! Unfortunately, my husband won't touch anything with curry...

    2. d
      Dcfoodblog Nov 18, 2010 11:25 AM

      How adventurous of eaters are the guests? Are they expecting something more traditional or would they be tickled by something like a Middle Eastern mezze?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Dcfoodblog
        Runningchef Nov 18, 2010 11:46 AM

        I LOVE adventurous food as does my husband (most of the time) :) ...unfortunately, we will have some elderly people and kids there. Not sure if their taste buds would be up for something too extreme. I'm thinking I should at least keep it somewhat familiar.

        1. re: Runningchef
          Dcfoodblog Nov 18, 2010 12:32 PM

          When having mixed company (and by mixed I mean in food preferences) I go for gourmet versions of Americana. Shrimp cocktail with aioil instead of cocktail sauce. Sliced ham bar with homemade chive biscuits and accompaniments of chutney, coarse grain mustard and homemade pimento cheese (shredded aged cheddar, finely chopped chipotle, and a little sour cream). Egg salad in an endive leaf. Asparagus, baby carrots, and sugar snap peas with green goddess dressing as a dip. And for dessert - piece of poundcake and fruit (strawberries, pineapple, apples) with a chocolate dipping sauce.

          1. re: Dcfoodblog
            Runningchef Nov 18, 2010 01:33 PM

            Oh yum...sounds fantastic!

      2. blue room Nov 18, 2010 11:31 AM

        Martha Stewart has a pretty well received book on hors d'oeuvres -- plain and fancy --
        so maybe her site would be a good place to start a search.

        1 Reply
        1. re: blue room
          Runningchef Nov 18, 2010 11:47 AM

          I'll look there. Thanks!

        2. roxlet Nov 18, 2010 12:10 PM

          A side of smoked salmon, or poached salmon can be a wonderful centerpiece. Costco sells sliced sides, and you can put out small rye breads, cream cheese and capers for the guests to help themselves. Though you said that you want to avoid a meat meal, a beef tenderloin served room temperature with a horseradish cream can be as exotic as you make the horseradish. One year I made crespelle for our New Year's open house. They are crepes rolled with a ricotta filling like the filling you would make for ravioli. They are baked with a marinara sauce and make a good vegetarian option. They are time consuming, but you could definitely make them ahead and freeze them in their pyrex baking dishes. You could also do stuffed shells in a similar way.

          1 Reply
          1. re: roxlet
            Runningchef Nov 18, 2010 01:35 PM

            Smoked salmon or a beef tenderloin both sound wonderful as well...I had thought about that possibility. Maybe adding some petite rolls and having a mini carving station.

          2. l
            laliz Nov 18, 2010 12:35 PM

            A buffet for 20 ~~ I would serve a sliced ham and a sliced turkey at room temp. I'd have a bread basket, a platter of cheeses, and mustard, mayonnaise, and cranberry sauce.

            Then I'd have a big salad ~~
            Cherry Brie Tossed Salad
            Taste of Home
            Draped in a light vinaigrette and sprinkled with almonds, this pretty salad is a variation of a recipe that's been passed around at school and church functions and even birthday parties. Everyone wants the recipe. -Toni Borden, Wellington, Florida
            SERVINGS: 10
            CATEGORY: Salads
            TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
            • DRESSING:
            • 1 cup cider vinegar
            • 1/2 cup sugar
            • 1/4 cup olive oil
            • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
            • 1-1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
            • SALAD:
            • 2 tablespoons butter
            • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
            • 3 tablespoons sugar
            • 8 cups torn romaine
            • 8 ounces Brie or Camembert, rind removed, cubed
            • 1 package (6 ounces) dried cherries
            In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients; shake until sugar is dissolved.
            For salad, in a heavy skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add almonds and cook and stir until nuts are toasted, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar; cook and stir until sugar is melted, about 3 minutes. Spread on foil to cool; break apart.
            In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine, cheese and cherries. Shake dressing; drizzle over salad. Sprinkle with sugared almonds and toss to coat. Yield: 10 servings. *Editor's Note: Swiss cheese can be substituted for Brie or Camembert.

            A platter of roasted red, orange, and yellow peppers, green and black or Greek olives.

            2 quiches (Artichoke parmesan)\
            Artichoke Parmesan Quiche

            Pastry for single-crust 9-inch pie

            1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish

            1 (14 oz. can) artichoke hearts, drained

            1 1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese

            3 ozs. cream cheese, softened

            1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

            1/8 tsp. salt

            1 cup plus 2 T. evaporated milk
            3 eggs
            Prehaet oven to 450ºº. Line a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with pastry;prick bottom and sides several times with a fork. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until beginning to brown; set aside. Decrease oven temperature to 400ºº.
            Sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over crust. Squeeze liquid fron artichokes hearts, blot dry and chop well; distribute over Parmesan. Sprinkle Swiss cheese over artichokes.
            In small bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese with nutmeg and salt until light. Gradually beat in milk, then eggs, one at a time; continue beating until mixture is frothy. Pour over filling ingredients.
            Bake about 40 minutes or until light golden brown. Before serving, sprinkle each slice liberally with additional Parmesan cheese.
            Yield: 1 quiche; 6 servings

            a cookie basket and a box of chocolaes (preferably from See's)

            1 Reply
            1. re: laliz
              Runningchef Nov 18, 2010 01:36 PM

              Sounds great! Thanks for the recommendation

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