Easy open-house buffet party

Try this delicious menu for drop-in guests (and get most of the work done ahead of time)

Peggy Knickerbocker

James Carrier

A fun alternative to a sit-down dinner

Sometimes it's nice to take a looser approach to entertaining during the holidays and let friends and family swing by all day, instead of throwing a sit-down dinner party. 

Cookbook author Peggy Knickerbocker suggests succulent, aromatic spice- and seed-encrusted pork tenderloins, accompanied by an hors d'oeuvre of tender little bay shrimp on endive leaves, flavorful roasted vegetables, and an escarole salad that stays crunchy for hours.

On a side table, she sets out a couple of surprising desserts: sliced oranges sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and fizzed up with sparkling wine, and a moist, almost black gingerbread made with Guinness stout.

Click ahead to get her recipes.

Bay Shrimp on Belgian Endive

Photography by James Carrier

Easy open house buffet

This no-hassle menu features recipes that can be made ahead of time and taste fine served at room temperature, leaving you time to enjoy your guests.

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Spice-rubbed pork tenderloins

James Carrier

Spice-rubbed pork tenderloins

The fragrant spice rub used to make this dish is good on chicken and spareribs as well.

Make extra and store in an airtight container for up to a few weeks--it's like money in the bank.

Prep and Cook Time: about 40 minutes, plus at least 1 hour marinating time.

Recipe: Spice-rubbed Pork Tenderloins

Sparkling oranges

James Carrier

Sparkling oranges

Buffet bar

Ken Gutmaker

Buffet bar

Finger food feast

Photography by Dan Goldberg

Finger food feast

No need to polish the silverware–instead, try dishes inspired by Ethiopian cooking for the ultimate in finger foods.

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Serve Sweet-Potato Soup with Prosciutto Crisps

Photography by Annabelle Breakey

Easy open house party

This menu mixes several chic recipes with a few ready-made items for stress-less entertaining, no matter the size of the crowd.

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Midweek party menu

Photography by Lisa Romerein

Your midweek holiday party

A party in the middle of the week? You can pull it off in style with this menu of simple, crowd-pleasing hors d'oeuvres.

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Tavella Family's Sausage

Photography by James Carrier

An Italian family lunch

An Italian family's generations-old tradition of making homemade sausage is shared in this rustic holiday menu.

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