First-timer hosting Christmas dinner - critique my menu?
Hello hounds! This will be my first attempt at hosting Christmas dinner. We will have 22 adults and a handful of kids to feed. I've tried to choose dishes that are classic because there aren't too many adventurous eaters in the group. However, I think the group would be open to new/different dishes as long as the flavors are traditional/simple New England-ish (e.g., no French- Asian fusion, foie gras, or caviar) I'm also trying to choose dishes that can be prepped the day before as much as possible.
So here's my menu so far. Fire away!
-Sausage (salami or summer sausage), mustard, aged cheddar, Parmesan crisps, fancy store bought crackers
-veg n dip
-Spiced bar nuts (gramercy tavern?)
-Caprese sticks (skewered cherry tomato, mozzarella ball, basil)
-Puff pastry pinwheels or cheese straws
-CI's grill-roasted prime rib with Horseradish whipped cream
-2x baked potato casserole
-Green beans w pine nuts and lemon
-Slow-roasted tomatoes with rosemary
-from scratch crescent rolls (MIL is bringing these)
-Chocolate caramel tart or s'more pie
-Cheesecake (MIL is bringing this)
-carrot cake (SIL is bringing)
OK, but have checked the price of pine nuts recently? Last time I checked they are way to expensive due to a poor crop in China last year. Some people are substituting chopped walnuts for the 'pignoli.'
Here's an excerpt from another website...
While we firmly believe that the pinyon trees are the most environmentally sound choice for pine nut sourcing in the U. S. we are also sensitive to the economic conditions and people simply cannot afford $25 - $30 lb pine nuts. Maybe a few, but not mainstream U.S. The long and short of- the market is forecast for pine nuts is affordable shelled imported pine nuts to reach our shores in November, when the new harvests start arriving at the docks.
Good point about tomatoes. There are certainly no local tomatoes to be found in upstate NY, but the cherry tomatoes at the grocery store are usually OK. For the roasted tomatoes, I was thinking a drizzle of balsamic and a sprinkle of sugar would help rescue the supermarket plum tomatoes. Was looking for some color on the plate-- any ideas for something else that might work better?
Others may like Brussels, but have I have the "Brussels sprouts are gross" gene, so they are a no-go.