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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
Gigante Beans
Roasted Red Saffron Peppers

For the Buffet
Roasted Chicken with Chestnuts
Seared Sea Scallops with Pomegranate-Dressed Salad
Hearty Garlic Greens

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