The holiday season is a magical time filled with plenty of surprises. As Southwest Florida’s most trusted custom catering company, we are always looking for new ways to treat guests to an unprecedented holiday party experience. While our creative chefs are hard at work in the kitchen, we want to share some tips on how to make the food at your party unique and scrumptious.
5 Ways to Create Unique Holiday Recipes in Southwest Florida
1. Offer an International Flair
Each culture has its own holiday traditions and signature dishes that bring everyone together to share a great meal. When planning your holiday party in Naples and Southwest Florida, we encourage you to choose dishes that incorporate aspects of international cuisine. Don’t be afraid to mesh foods from different cultures to create new top holiday dishes.
Here are some of our favorite internationally inspired holiday foods:
- Hummus & wontons: Our five spiced edamame hummus and crisp wontons are a great way to mesh a popular Chinese side with a flavorful twist on a Levantine and Egyptian spread.
- Spinach & tomato spanakopita: Greeks rave about this savory pastry, which is a crisp phyllo with baby spinach, blistered tomatoes and cold smoked feta.
- Cheddar chutney cheesecake: We looked to India when crafting this flavorful holiday dish with apple wedges and crisp wontons.
2. Craft Colorful Holiday Cuisine
Our Naples catering team considers food an art. Each dish’s name, recipe, presentation and display all come together to create the ultimate dining experience. This time of the year, create unique dishes that complement your holiday party theme or colors.
Brilliant shades of red and green with accents of white can easily work their way into your favorite holiday party salads and sides like:
- Lemon garlic-shallot blistered green beans
- Sundried tomato Caesar salad, romaine lettuce, shaved parmesan, roasted garlic focaccia croutons and lemon vinaigrette
- Roasted garlic-herb baby red potatoes
3. Incorporate Local and Season Holiday Ingredients
We try to source as much local fresh produce and specialty items as possible – such as fresh seafood right off the Naples water! Our farmers crudite with fresh seasonal vegetables, preserved lemon hummus and herbed chèvre dip is always a favorite among guests searching for healthy hors d’oeuvres.
Here are some seasonal dishes using the best seasonal ingredients:
- Maple-cinnamon whipped sweet potatoes: Warming spices like cinnamon pair perfectly to this sweet fall vegetable.
- Cranberry jasmine rice pilaf: No holiday party would be complete without this superfruit finding its way into at least one dish.
- Brown butter paprika scented acorn squash with toasted pepitas
- Savory pumpkin hummus: Pumpkin provides a great flavor for much more than pies. Add this fall flavor to a popular party dip like hummus and serve with spiced pita chips.
4. Use Nontraditional Cooking Methods
Different cooking styles can magically transform classic holiday ingredients into the most innovative dishes. Our chefs love using new cooking techniques to put their personal touch on everything that comes out of our kitchen.
Each year our catering team visits conferences and scours the world to get ahead of culinary trends and cook truly unique holiday dishes like these:
- Forest mushroom farro salad: A combination of caramelized shallots, roasted wild mushrooms, blistered tomatoes, roquette and tomato vinaigrette
- Espresso cocktail sandwich: We pair our Za’Atar spiced chicken with espresso aioli and cherry tomato on a silver dollar roll.
- Devils in the saddle, house candied bacon, Medjool dates and bleu foam
5. Add a Bit of Alcohol to Your Entrees
Adding alcohol to traditional holiday food is a great way to bring out the most brilliant flavors of the season. It makes an exceptionally good addition to sweet and savory dishes like these:
- Red wine-braised beef tender served in a cremini mushroom pan sauce
- House made bacon sautéed Brussels sprouts with sherry gastrique
- Bloody Mary shrimp marinated oven-roasted shrimp, Bloody Mary infused cocktail sauce and lemon wedges
- Artichoke fritters: local IPA batter fried artichoke hearts with lemon garlic aioli
We invite you to view three delicious sample holiday menus, featuring many of the unique menu items shared above, to help begin your holiday party planning!
Our Southwest Florida catering team is proud to provide a completely customized dining service complete with the most unique and delicious holiday party foods. Crafting beautiful cuisine that tastes even better is our passion, and we want to share it with you.
For an elevated catering experience at your Southwest Florida holiday party, whether you’re enjoying the season in Naples, Fort Myers, Marco Island or Bonita Springs, contact us online or give us a call at: 239-774-FOOD (3663).