Holiday Entertaining

Article excerpt

The holidays are a time for reflection, a time for togetherness, and a for families and friends to create the memories that last a lifetime. At the center of most of these gatherings is a uariety of tasty homemade dishes. But the mere thought of planning and preparing prevents many of us from even trying to entertain. So to help you make that process a bit easier during this holiday season, try some of the following recipes and create your own special memories.

STANDING RIB ROAST

16- to 8-pound standing rib roast 2 large cloves garlic, crushed 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 onion, thickly sliced 1 cup dry red wine 2 cups chicken broth

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Trim most of the visible fat from meat. Place roast bone-side down in shallow roasting pan. Rub garlic over meat. Sprinkle rosemary over meat. Season with seasoning salt and pepper. Arrange onion around roast. Pour 1/2 cup of the wine over meat. Roast meat with meat thermometer inserted into center until desired doneness, basting frequently with pan juices, about every 30 minutes. Transfer meat to heated platter, reserving drippings in pan. Place foil over meat to keep warm. Skim fat off pan drippings. Set pan with drippings over medium-high heat. Add chicken broth and remaining wine, and boil until syrupy, scraping up any browned bits and stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Season the sauce with additional seasoning salt if needed. Strain sauce. Serve meat with sauce.

Yields 6 to 8 servings

CORNISH HENS WITH CHUTNEY GLAZE

Grated peel and juice of 1 orange

Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon 1/4 cup bottled mango chutney 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 4 Rock Cornish game hens, (about 1 1/2 to 1 1/2 pounds each) thawed if

frozen

To make glaze, combine citrus peel and juices, chutney and butter in small saucepan. Simmer a few minutes to blend flavors, breaking up any mango pieces with hack of spoon. Tie legs of each hen together with string and turn wing tips under back of each hen. Brush hens lightly with glaze and arrange, breast-side up, in shallow baking pan lined with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until hens are tender, brushing occasionally with remaining glaze. (Cover legs and wings with small pieces of foil if they start to become too brown.) Remove string. If desired, garnish with orange and lemon wedges and parsley.

Yields 4 servings

FROZEN PEPPERMINT CHEESECAKE

1% cups chocolate wafer cookie

crumbs (about 24 wafers) 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted 1 8-ounce package cream cheese,

softened 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed

milk (not evaporated milk) 1 cup crushed, hard peppermint candy

Red food coloring, optional 2 cups whipping cream, whipped

Combine crumbs, sugar and margarine, press firmly on bottom and halfway up the side of a 9-inch spring-form pan. Beat cheese until fluffy in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. If desired, stir in crushed candy and food coloring. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into prepared pan; cover. Freeze 6 hours or until firm. Garnish as desired. Freeze leftovers.

Yields one 9-inch cheececake

RISOTTO WITH VEGETABLES AND CHEESE

1 tablespoon olive oil 3 large cloves garlic, sliced 1 medium onion, sliced 8 ounces sliced mushrooms (mixed

varieties if desired, including

portabello, cremini, shiitake and

oyster mushrooms) 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock 1 1/2 cups Basmati rice 1 bunch chopped green onions 1/2 cup each diced red, green and yellow

peppers 1 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a nonstick saucepan, starting on medium-high heat then reduce to medium-low and steam garlic, onion and mushrooms. Cover and continue cooking until onion has softened, about 6 minutes. …