Holiday Entertaining On A Budget

7:10 PM, Dec 9, 2009   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Your holiday party doesn't have to be a bah-hum-bug event just because you're budget is tight.

You can still spread good tidings and cheer to your friends without spending a lot.

Timothy Dean, chef and owner of Timothy Dean Bistro and Jazz, shares some affordable hors d'oeuvres and starter dishes you can easily prepare for your holiday entertaining.

Chef Dean says you can serve four guests for under $10 with his Thai Curry Mussels.  And, add some zing with a Parmesan Reggiano Tuile Caesar Salad.  The total cost to, again $10 for four guests.    

The astonishingly affordable Butter Poached Maine Lobster with Macaroni & Cheese can be served as a main course or divided into four starter dishes.  


4-1 1/2 lb. live Maine lobsters

2/5 lb. smoked Gouda cheese

2/5 lb. fresh Parmesan cheese

2/5 lb. Velveta cheese

1 qt. heavy cream

1 box of elbow macaroni

Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

To prepare lobster:

Bring three quarters of water to a boil in a large pot, add 1 tsp. fleur de sel.  Add Maine lobster to the boiling water, poach until lobsters are bright red, approximately 6 minutes. Once the color is attained, remove lobsters from water and place in a large ice bath to cool.  Remove lobsters from the ice bath.  Gently crack the lobster shell and remove the tail and claw.


Using the same pot of water, add one box of elbow macaroni.  Cook until tender.  Drain the macaroni and place in ice bath to cool.  Remove from the ice bath and set aside.

Butter Poach:

Melt one pound of butter in a sauce pot.   Add lobster tail and claw meat.  Cook at a low simmer for approximately 3-4 minutes.

To serve:

Place macaroni and cheese in a bowl.  Remove lobster from butter and place on top of the macaroni. 

Serve and enjoy.

Holiday Entertaining Budget Tips:

Create a budget before writing a guest list.

Cut cost by sharing hosting duties.

Opt for a causal party over a more formal one.

Scan store circular to find the b est deals and buy in bulk.

Prepare a menu using seasonal items.  It will be more cost efficient.

Serve more vegetarian-style dishes rather than ones that require meat.  It's cheaper.

And use natural items from your garden to decorate and make centerpieces for the table. 

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