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Open House at Martha's
A little of this, a little of that ... Martha's Christmas brunch buffet includes plan-ahead recipes, specialty foods, and plenty of fresh, seasonal citrus fruits. Read on for Martha's brunch menu and make-ahead strategy.
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Baked Country Ham with Honey Mustard & Lingonberry Jam and Angel Biscuits
"I have tried so many methods for cooking a smoked ham -- I used to make one that needed to be boiled in a great big laundry tub and created so much fat I didn’t know what to do with it -- and the version here is the absolute best." promises Martha. She serves the ham in a special stand she bought in Paris years ago, but a carving board would work just as well.
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"I know fresh seafood is a splurge," says Martha, "but people always remember how many oysters they ate. I serve fresh oysters from Norwalk, Connecticut, but you could also do crab claws in the West, or shrimp."Get the Oysters on the Half Shell with Mignonette Recipe
4 of 11Decadent dishes like the creamed spinach with poached eggs are mostly cooked in advance before serving. Get the Creamed Spinach with Poached Eggs and Brioche Croutons Recipe
5 of 11Martha loves to spotlight people's talents. As such, her friend and massage therapist Svetlana expertly turned out a few hundred beautiful buckwheat crepes while chatting with other guests in the kitchen. Get the Buckwheat Crepes with Mushroom Filling Recipe
6 of 11A few stylish touches elevate the presentation. Three cake stands resting on a platter create an etagere for serving smoked fishes (from top: sable, sturgeon, and smoked salmon) and crepes. Get the Crepes with Smoked Fishes and Dill Cream Cheese Recipe
7 of 11Martha says, "This is just multiple colors of oranges and grapefruits on thinly sliced pomelos -- I'd never done that before, but it just occurred to me how pretty that would look as a base, and I had to try it." Get the Citrus Salad with Pomegranate Seeds Recipe
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Mulled Blood-Orange Punch and Bloody Mary Mix
Setting up the bar on an outdoor porch keeps the cocktails cool. (In smaller homes, this prevents a bottleneck around an indoor bar.) Guests customize Bloody Marys with ground black pepper and skewers with caper berries, okra, pickled onions, and lemon.
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Poppy-Seed Cookies with Meyer Lemon Curd & Swiss Meringue and Mini Chocolate Cakes with Dark-Chocolate Ganache
Since this is brunch -- and not her guests’ last meal of the day -- Martha keeps desserts bite-size (little lemon-meringue cookies and mini chocolate cakes) and mixes in store-bought traditional favorites, as well as Christmas cookies that can be taken home.
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Panettone, Stollen with Marzipan, and Seasonal Candies"I order traditional Christmas candy and stollen and panettone, and round those out with delicious lemon cookies and mini chocolate cupcakes," says Martha. "That's more than enough, really, for a meal like this, because I also have the citrus salad."
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