Tasting Table's Dinner Parties
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Click the links below to explore the recipes in this menu:

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Maple and Cracked Peppercorns
Scallop Ceviche with Coriander and Furikake
Smoky Chicken-Phyllo Croustillant
Spiced Short Ribs
Chestnut Soup with Caraway Crème Fraîche
Membrillo And Blue Cheese Drizzled with Saffron Honey
Deconstructed Croquembouche with Dulce de Leche Cream

Sparkling wine need not be Champagne to be excellent, and it need not be Cold Duck to be inexpensive. You can turn to Champagne-mimicking regions like Cava for a better value. Or take advantage of the rising popularity of relatively inexpensive pétillant naturel or the more varied selection of dry, sometimes savory Lambrusco that has been hitting the American market in recent years. Bottom line: There are all kinds of delicious, affordable fizz with which to toast on the holidays.


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The Cocktail: Spice Island Punch

Instead of creating individual cocktails for your guests, mix a big bowl of punch so revelers can serve themselves. The Spice Island Punch combines rum, cognac and blood orange and pomegranate juices, and is flavored with allspice dram--a liqueur flavored with allspice berries--and cinnamon sticks. You can serve the punch warm or pour it over ice and top with a splash of sparkling wine for a cold libation.

This month’s playlist is designed to accompany clinking glasses and twinkling lights, two requisites of any holiday affair. As with all Tasting Table’s Dinner Party playlists, it’s a mix that traverses genre and time, from Billie Holiday and Chet Baker to Asobi Seksu and Fiona Apple. Some tracks are inspired by the holidays, winter and the New Year; others are simply intended to make you shimmy.

Click the image to the left to open the full playlist on Spotify or click here to download the full playlist on iTunes.