Holiday Entertaining By Stefanie Tortorella from The Salt & Pepper Catering Co. - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Holiday Entertaining By Stefanie Tortorella from The Salt & Pepper Catering Co.

Noth­ing sig­nals the hol­i­days like enter­tain­ing a crowd. How­ever, how do you mix adult cock­tail fair with kid friendly bites? Here are a few of my favourite ‘double-duty’ hol­i­day items that appeal to sophis­ti­cated adult palettes and sat­isfy the young, not so adven­tur­ous ones too.

DROP-IN GUESTS:  A tried and true cheese ball

FOR THE ADULTS:  A sim­ple ched­dar based cheese ball rolled in toasted wal­nuts and served with arti­san crisps

FOR THE KIDS:  The same cheese ball made into mar­ble size balls on GIANT gold­fish crackers.

Ched­dar Cheese Ball
makes approx­i­mately 65 mini cheese balls

1 8oz pack­age cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
3 cups grated orange ched­dar
1–2 green onions, sliv­ered
1 box GIANT gold­fish crack­ers
65 Black sesame seeds for eyes (optional)
In the bowl of a food proces­sor mix all above ingre­di­ents to com­bine.  Remove from food proces­sor and form into mini cheese balls.  Chill in refrig­er­a­tor for 2 — 24 hours prior to serving.

DINNER PARTY: A One Dish Din­ner.


A gourmet veg­e­tar­ian lasagna with a green salad & a fresh baguette is easy to put together ahead of time and doesn’t require a lot of atten­tion dur­ing the cook­ing process. I layer roasted red pep­pers and whole sautéed shi­take mush­rooms between fresh lasagna noo­dles with tra­di­tional cheeses.

The Salt & Pep­per Cater­ing Co. Lasagna


4 small leeks
2/3 cup of extra vir­gin olive oil
1/4 cup of bal­samic vine­gar
2 tsp of sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper

Trim base and most of green parts of leeks.  Cut in half length­ways and rinse thor­oughly.  Place leeks in a roast­ing dish driz­zle with olive oil, bal­samic vine­gar, sea salt & cracked pep­per.  Cover roast­ing dish with alu­minum foil and roast until ten­der.  Approx. 35min at 300 degrees.  Remove from oven, uncover & let cool.

Roasted Red Peppers

2 Red Pep­pers, washed, dried and left whole
Olive Oil to coat
Pinch of sea salt


Toss pep­pers with olive oil to coat.  Add sea salt.  Place in a roast­ing dish and bake for approx. 45min at 350 until soft and the skin is slightly charred.  Remove from oven.  Trans­fer to glass bowl.  Cover bowl with cling film and allow the pep­per to cool.  When cool enough to touch, remove cling film and peel the skin off the pep­per, dis­card­ing any seeds.  Quar­ter each pep­per and set aside.

Tomato Sauce

3 cloves of gar­lic, thinly sliced
6 fresh basil leaves, leave whole
2 TBSP extra vir­gin olive oil
2x 400gr tins of Ital­ian toma­toes (whole, prod­uct of Italy) crushed by hand.


Heat olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan over med-low heat and cook gar­lic until soft­ened.  Do not brown.  Add the toma­toes and sea­son.  Cook over med-high heat for 15min.  Stir con­stantly so that toma­toes do not stick to bot­tom of pan.  Add basil, olive oil & re-season to taste.


1 1/2oz of unsalted but­ter
9 oz of shi­itake mush­rooms, stems dis­carded, leave whole
2 TBSP of bal­samic vine­gar
pinch of sea salt
2 TBSP of olive oil


Melt but­ter in a fry­ing pan.  Add mush­rooms, vine­gar and sea salt.  Cook over med-low heat, stir­ring occa­sion­ally until mush­rooms are soft.  Remove from heat and let cool.


375gr (12oz OR 8 sheet) of fresh lasagna noo­dles
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
1 1/2lb of fresh ricotta cheese
3 1/2oz of Reg­giano Parmi­giano, shaved
10oz of fresh moz­zarella cheese, thinly sliced
dash of extra vir­gin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper


Brush lasagna dish with olive oil.  Ladle tomato sauce to coat the bot­tom of dish.  Place a sin­gle layer of lasagna noo­dles in the bot­tom of the dish.  Cover with 1/4 of the tomato sauce fol­lowed by the leeks and 1/2 the ricotta & parmi­giano cheese.  Top with lasagne noo­dles and repeat with the roasted pep­pers.  Add a third layer of lasagna sheets and repeat with the mush­rooms.  Top with sliced moz­zarella and shaved parmi­giano.  Cover with the last of the lasagna sheets.  Top with a small spoon­ful of sauce and fresh basil leaf.

Bake cov­ered for 50minutes at 350.  Remove foil, increase heat to 450 and bake for an addi­tional 10 min­utes or until lightly browned.


PASTA RAGS:  Take the left over, fresh, lasagna noo­dles and tear them into odd size, floppy shapes that are man­age­able for kids.  Cook accord­ing to direc­tions on the pack­age and toss with but­ter & parme­san cheese.

COCKTAIL PARTY:  SLIDERS are a huge crowd pleaser for all ages.


Dress slid­ers with your favourite artis­nal cheese & home made aioli.  At Salt & Pep­per we serve our slid­ers with PEI cloth­bound ched­dar and a chipo­tle aioli

The Salt & Pep­per Cater­ing Co. Slider

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp kosher salt


In a medium size mix­ing bowl, use your hands to incor­po­rate kosher salt into meat. Form 2 ounce pat­ties (I use a scale to mea­sure). Sear slid­ers on both sides on BBQ or in grill pan. This step can be done a few hours prior to cook­ing.  Let meat cool com­pletely and refrig­er­ate until you are ready to use.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degress.
Place slid­ers on parch­ment lined bak­ing sheet.  Cook for 6–8 min­utes until desired done­ness. Remove from oven.  Serve on mini ham­burger buns with chipo­tle aioli.

Chipo­tle Aioli
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1  tsp chipo­tle pow­der
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup canola oil

Place first 4 ingre­di­ents in the bowl of a food proces­sor.  Mix to com­bine.  With motor run­ning pour canola oil into mix­ing bowl in a slow and steady stream.  You will see the mix­ture start to thicken.  Once you have reached the con­sis­tency of may­on­aise stop motor.


Use the same slid­ers and top with kids’ favourite organic ketchup

Serve cheese balls on GIANT gold­fish crack­ers with sesame seed eye

   & Pepper Catering Co.', url: '', contentId: 'post-2074', suggestTags: 'Entertaining,Lasagna,Sliders', styling: 'full' });return false" class="evernoteSiteMemoryLink">

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *


Keep me up to date, sign me up for the newsletter!