Coming up with an elegant but effortless holiday menu can be a challenge. But with ideas from local caterers, we’ve laid out three meals that can easily be recreated at home.

Russell’s Café & Bakery

Chef Russell Ping of Russell’s Café & Bakery created what he considers ‘the perfect holiday dinner.’ “Most of the menu ideas are homespun comfort foods with a touch of gourmet,” he says. “You can never go wrong using simple, fresh ingredients.”

Citrus & Herb Roasted Turkey—slow roasted turkey with whole vegetables, fresh sage and orange zest

Garlic Smashed Potatoes—with real butter, a hint of cream, garlic, kosher salt and cracked black pepper

Sweet Potato Crisp—brandy and brown sugar-whipped sweet potatoes with a crunchy oat crisp topping

Sourdough Stuffing—with fresh sage and rosemary

White Wine & Herb Gravy—roasted turkey drippings with white wine and fresh herbs

Cranberry Chutney—simmered with fresh orange zest and cinnamon

Chunky Spiced Apple Sauce—slow cooked apples with brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg

Country Butter Top Rolls


For sweet potatoes:

2–3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

¼ cup butter

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup brandy

kosher salt and pepper to taste

Boil sweet potatoes until tender, drain and place in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Add remaining ingredients and whip until smooth.

For oat crisp topping:

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 T kosher salt

1 cup butter, cut into small cubes

Combine sugar, brown sugar, flour, oats and salt in a mixer on low speed. Add the butter and combine until crumbly (don’t over-mix). Spread the whipped sweet potatoes in a greased 8x8 pan. Top with oat crisp topping and bake at 325° for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Steven Becker Fine Dining

Kathy Becker, VP of Steven Becker Fine Dining, says many companies are experiencing the ‘Fear of Cheer’ syndrome due to the economic climate. But she says that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the season. “Our ‘Holiday Cocktail Supper Buffet’ isn’t lavish, but it is elegant enough to serve from your dining room table decorated with seasonal trimming, candles and a beautiful floral centerpiece.”

Imported and Domestic Cheese and Fruit Tray—served with Lavosh and other gourmet crackers

Mini Beef Tenderloin Sandwiches—served on Nadoz Euro+Bakery pretzel rolls with horseradish cream sauce

Cedar Plank Salmon with BBQ Glaze

Penne Pasta Nöel—with baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and Gorgonzola cream sauce

Fresh Vegetable Crudités with Vegetable Dip

Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin

Assorted Homemade Christmas Cookies


2 lbs skinless salmon fillet

BBQ rub (Tom Douglas ‘Rub with Love’ recommended)

Bourbon BBQ sauce, Cedar plank, Lemon slices

Soak the cedar plank in water for 2 to 6 hours. Dry and coat with non-stick spray. Season fish generously with rub. Heat pre-soaked plank on BBQ grill for 5 minutes. Brush fish with BBQ Sauce. Grill on the plank on medium heat approximately 15 to 20 minutes using water spray bottle to extinguish any flames. Serve fish on the plank garnished with lemon slices.


Executive chef Freddy Youngblood’s ‘Family Traditions, Old and New’ menu is inspired by longtime favorites such as Straub’s aged prime beef and Pfeiffer’s Black Forest cake. A twist on the traditional shrimp appetizer introduces something ‘new’ to the meal.

Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Grilled and Roasted Prime Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Mousse

Dauphinoise Potatoes—thinly sliced potatoes layered and baked with Swiss cheese custard

Asparagus with Lemon Pepper—lightly steamed asparagus tossed with oil and seasoned with lemon pepper

Pfeiffer’s Black Forest Cake—dark chocolate cake with a whipped cream and strawberry filling, enrobed in buttercream frosting and covered with chocolate shavings


For dipping sauce:

2 pieces canned pineapple rings (drain and reserve juice from can)

½ T brown sugar

1 ¼ cup K.C. Masterpiece barbecue sauce

¼ cup reserved pineapple juice

¼ piece chipotle pepper (from a can of chipotle in adobo sauce)

Place ingredients in processor and blend until smooth.

For shrimp:

16 pieces 16/20 ct. peeled and deveined raw shrimp

8 oz. coconut, sweetened and shredded

¾ cup all-purpose flour, divided

1 large egg

2 T water

Vegetable oil

Wash shrimp and pat dry. Set aside. Toss ½ cup flour with the coconut until blended. Prepare egg wash: Beat egg with 2 T water. Place remaining ¼ cup flour in a shallow bowl. Heat approximately ½ inch vegetable oil in heavy skillet. Dip each shrimp into the flour, then in the egg wash, then in flour/coconut mixture. Press coconut mixture firmly onto shrimp. Pan fry for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with Pineapple Chipotle Sauce.

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