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Help planning Christmas Dinner Menu? All from Costco [moved from Los Angeles board]

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On the 20th I am hosting a family Christmas dinner. Relatives are coming from far and wide. We will probably have about 20 people.

My wonderful grandma (matriarch of the family) has generously offered to pay for all the food, and I need to get it all at Costco. Budget is not an issue and grandma has a sophisticated palate. I'd love any help with menu planning.

I am thinking beef, probably prime rib, but I'm open to anything besides ham. I have two ovens so cooking/baking space will not be an issue. Will also do steamed green beans and beyond that, I have no idea. I have 3 young children and little time, so I need easy-to-prepare foods.

Specifically looking for:
basic appetizer/hors d'oeuvres
main dish (protein)
side dishes
bread/starch
dessert

I shop at the Costco off of Rosecrans in Hawthorne.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for any advice!

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  1. I really like their scallops, crab and clams at their in store Friday-Sunday seafood stand.

    1. I'm in New Jersey, but I'm sure many of the items overlap....

      Spices

      Mixed Nuts
      Fancy Chocolates

      Fresh Produce:

      Mesculin Greens
      French Haricot Vert
      Precut Vegetables for Crudite
      Precut Fresh Fruit
      Fingerling Potatoes
      Campari Tomatoes

      Hors d'oeuvres.... you'll know when you see them
      Breads.....you'll know when you see them
      Seafood Dips....lobster, crab or smoked fish
      Pre-Cooked Shrimp for Cocktail or Salad (Italian Style)
      Hummus
      Crackers
      Guacamole
      Salsa
      Tortilla Chips
      Flatbreads
      Olives & Artichokes (Antipasti)

      Dry Salame Assortment Pre Sliced
      Wedges of Local Cheeses
      Fresh Mozzarella in Olive Oil and Herbs....Mix with the Campari Tomaotes Above
      Sour Cream & Butter

      Cream Puffs
      Cheesecake Assortment Fresh or Cheescake Factory Frozen Assortment
      Fresh Baked Goods

      Rib Eye or New York Strip for Roasting Whole approximately 15 pounds.

      Make sure you roast the beef low and slow.....allow approximately 3.5-4-5 hours.

      1. Prime rib from Costco is quite good.
        Glazed or Sauteed Carrots with Thyme is a favorite in our house. Our three boys love carrots.
        Sauteed Haricot Vert with shallots
        La Brea Bakery baguettes with assorted dips (seafood, spinach); maybe add a few cold cuts so your guests can make mini sandwiches
        Crackers and cheese (at $8 the cheese tray is a great deal)
        Souplantation broccoli salad kit
        They have Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes for $11
        I made mashed potatoes with sour cream and chives, using Costco Yukon Golds this past weekend. Got the potatoes, sour cream, heavy cream, and butter from Costco. Was quite delish.
        Holiday coffee spiked with Kahlua and whipped cream is a nice touch.
        I suggest that you don't buy the salsa from Costco. I bought it a few weeks ago and found it way too sweet to be salsa.
        With the exception of fresh herbs, Costco can be a one-stop shop for your holiday dinner. Good luck!

        -----
        La Brea Bakery
        624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

        Vert Cafe
        1526 Brookhollow Dr, Santa Ana, CA 92705

        1. The Costco in MdR/Culver City seems to always have Prime grade prime rib leading up to Christmas. Look out for those - this should be on your list since you mentioned beef. Other Prime cuts that seem to always show up are filets, ribeyes boneless and bone-in, New York strips, top sirloin, and tenderloin. Lamb is always great there as well. Loin chops and racks are everpresent.

          Be careful of the Haricot Verts - I've had issues with them smelling/tasting musty, both from here and from Bristol Farms. Both sourced these from south of the border at this time of year - there might be an issue with packaging, logistics, whatever. Musty like an old cabinet just out of storage.

          Their cheese selection has improved over the past couple of years. The blues are really good. their soft cheeses are more than acceptable and they even carry manchego, which most folks will like.

          Their nuts are pretty standard but they have been carrying marcona almonds now for a couple of years. These always disappear when we set them out.

          The hummus is the Sabra brand. Most folks really like this and you can obviously serve this with veggies, crackers, breads, etc.

          The charcuterie is a little slim but they usually have some pretty good salami (whole and sliced). They also carry fresh mozzarella. They used to carry burrata but I haven't checked in a while - I've tried it and found it acceptable.

          I personally don't care for the shrimp products. Most have a funny taste, and the issues of shrimp farming make shrimp from Costco a deal breaker...

          Be sure to cruise the wine and beer sections. I've picked up some really great Belgian beers for 60% of what it costs elsewhere, and the wine section usually has some excellent deals as well. My latest favorite there the Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand. Very proud nose with lots of citrus and just a hint of sweetness makes it accessible and food friendly to most folks.

          1. Thanks all. Any other suggestions? Here's the menu so far:

            Appetizers: caprese salad-style crostini, shrimp if they look good, mixed nuts, olives, baguette toasts with cheeses, veggies.

            Main: Prime Rib, Mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, fruit salad, and I need something else green/veg. But I don't really want to do a green salad as it's hard to fit on plate/pass. I'd rather do something cooked--suggestions?

            Dessert: Apple pie and the enormous chocolate cake. With vanilla ice cream (not from Costco).

            2 Replies
            1. re: banana_peel

              <<But I don't really want to do a green salad as it's hard to fit on plate/pass. I'd rather do something cooked--suggestions?<<

              Costco always has broccoli. What about a casserole like broccoli amandine? It's easy, the recipe is flexible and variable, and it tastes good. You can always switch up the green bean thing if you feel almonds are too repetitive as well. And please consider what I mentioned about the haricot verts. Out of four batches that I've purchased, three were bad.

              1. re: banana_peel

                Alternative to prime rib: boneless ribeye roast. We got it a couple of years ago and it was completely wonderful. Sauteed it a couple of minutes, then roasted to medium. I did Yorkshire puddings with it, first time I ever made them, and they were marvelous and pretty easy.

                You could do a creamed spinach, or sauteed quickly with pine nuts and garlic...they always have that organic baby spinach. Or since you already have a green veg, how about roasted carrots/parsnips? they can go in the oven with the beef.

                Dessert: those little frozen eclairs. YUM

              2. Don't forget the Kirkland brand wines.