FRESH Ideas for Holiday Parties

These are two appetizers that would be great for any party you are planning this holiday season. They are quick, easy and most of the work can be done ahead of time. Your guests will love the flavors and you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself because you won't be tied up in the kitchen.

Beef Satay with Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce

Satay originated as a street food in Thailand but has quickly become a popular choice for entertaining or appetizers. You can find the Certified Angus Beef rib-eye satay cuts in the meat case at FRESH by Brookshire's. Because of the quality of the meat and the tenderness and flavor of the rib-eye, the only seasoning you need is a little salt, pepper and oil. The dipping sauce offers all of the sweet, spicy and sour flavors of a restaurant quality Asian sauce. It would also be good to use as a stir-fry sauce or for dipping sushi, pot stickers or egg rolls.



1/2 cup hoisin sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons diced green onion

2 teaspoons sambal oelek chili paste, to taste

2 teaspoons grated garlic

1 pound beef satay strips

6-inch wooden skewers

salt, pepper, olive oil for seasoning



To prepare the sauce combine the first eight ingredients in a blender and puree. The sauce can be made two days ahead. 30 minutes before serving, rub meat with grapeseed or olive oil. Thread one strip of satay onto each skewer. Season with salt and pepper. Spray a grill pan with cooking spray and heat over high heat. Grill satay skewers two to three minutes on each side to medium rare. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with dipping sauce.


Proscuitto & Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

This recipe for stuffed mushrooms is a classic from my recipe box. Every time I throw a party my friends always request it. Hollow out your mushrooms, make your filling and stuff the mushrooms the day before. Just before your party place them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. It's an easy elegant hot hors d'ouevre that is perfect for any gathering. You can also make these with larger mushrooms and serve them as a side dish.



2-8 ounce packages white button or cremini mushrooms

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 shallots, minced

6 slices prosciutto di Parma, thinly sliced and finely chopped

½ cup white wine

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1 cup chicken broth

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

1/4 pound goat cheese crumbles

salt and pepper



Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Remove stems and set aside. With a melon baller or small spoon hollow out the tops of the mushrooms to allow more room for stuffing. Finely chop stems and set aside to use as an ingredient in the stuffing. In a large saute pan heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and chopped stems and saute until soft. Add prosciutto and saute for another minute. Add wine and deglaze pan. Add panko and broth and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, goat cheese crumbles and season with salt and pepper. Spoon stuffing into mushroom caps and pack tightly. This can all be done one day ahead of time. When ready to serve preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Place stuffed mushroom caps on a baking sheet that is lined with foil and greased with olive oil. Bake until mushrooms are cooked and heated through. About 15 to 20 minutes.


FRESH Ideas with Christine Gardner can be seen each Tuesday at 5 p.m. on CBS19 and again on 



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