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The Perfect Party Menu

Body+Soul, November/December 2006

We can't help but face seasonal spreads with a mixture of glee and dread. Sure, they're festive and comforting, but they're not called "guilty pleasures" for nothing. So that we might all have our cake and eat it too, we've refitted the usual greasy party lineup with the help of Boston-based chef Jody Adams. Looking beyond the fried, fatty dishes all too common come party time (pigs in a blanket, anyone?), we've created a fresh, healthy, and delicious buffet menu -- one every home chef can follow. Grab some champagne glasses and a handful of arugula, because it's time to celebrate.

To Start
Sparkling pear and cranberry cocktail

Antipasto
Figs and prosciutto, garnished with Parmesan cheese
Gigante beans
Roasted red saffron peppers

For the Buffet
Roasted chicken with chestnuts
Hearty garlic greens
Seared sea scallops with pomegranate-dressed salad

Dessert
Semifreddo with dried cherries

Think Ahead
Not everything needs to be prepared the day of the party, nor should it be.

A Day Before
-Prepare the semifreddo dessert.
-Make the roasted red peppers.

The Night Before
-Season the chicken and store it in the refrigerator.
-Rinse and soak the gigante beans.

Text by Hillary Geronemus; recipes by Jody Adams

Comments (6)

  • 21 Feb, 2008

    THANK YOU JODY ADAMS FOR THE WONDERFUL RECIPES TO HAVE FOR A PARTY (MATTERS NOT WHEN) WE HAVE A 8.6 FT BUFFET THAT CAN HOLD ALL THESE DISHES AND MUCH MORE, TO SUIT ANYONES TASTE, EVEN THOSE OF US THAT ARE ON DIETS. LAST YEAR I GAINED 10 LBS BY SPLURGING. UGH

  • 13 Dec, 2007

    This menu would not go over with my extended family. If the holidays aren't a time to splurge a little, when??! I'm tired of chefs who make up their minds that no one is supposed to relax and enjoy moderate amounts of richer foods we don't eat the rest of the year. Where are the Julia Childs who aren't afraid of some butter

  • 10 Dec, 2007

    OY VEY!

  • 7 Dec, 2007

    How unHannukah like is this menu - prosciutto??

  • 14 Nov, 2007

    Funny that this is listed under Chanukah for dinner party ideas, as some of the recipes include pork and shellfish

  • 14 Nov, 2007

    Funny that this is listed under Chanukah for dinner party ideas, as some of the recipes include pork and shellfish