King Kullen Shares Favorite Holiday Recipes

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The Long Island supermarket has all the groceries you need to put on the perfect holiday party!

Christmas is right around the corner and it’s time to prepare dinner menus, get a head start on holiday baking and finish decorating. King Kullen has everything needed to prepare favorite holiday meals and dishes and help get people into the holiday spirit.

The Main Course

Ham has long been a staple of holiday meals. Choose between fresh ham or spiral smoked ham for the centerpiece of your holiday meal. Season fresh ham with a variety of herbs and spices. For a savory, tender ham, try this recipe for fresh ham with rosemary, garlic and lemon. For a sweeter marinade, give roasted fresh ham with cider glaze a try. Chris Cuttone, director of meat & seafood at King Kullen, recommends trimming the fat on the fresh ham before marinating. Place in the oven uncovered and cook for 15-20 minutes per pound.

Spiral smoked hams come already cooked. Fill a roasting pan with water and place the ham face down in the pan. Complete your spiral smoked ham with a glaze. A classic favorite is a brown sugar glaze. For a citrusy glaze, pineapple honey glazed ham is the recipe to make. Switch things up with a cranberry orange glazed ham for a festive and tasty dish.

For Pasta Lovers

Dig into some pasta dishes in addition to the ham. Lasagna, baked ziti, stuffed shells and manicotti are all delicious options. Make lasagna with meat or without it, depending on the dietary needs and preferences of the guests. These dishes are easily made a few days beforehand, as well. Freeze them ahead of time, take them out to defrost the night before and bake them in the oven the day of the gathering.

Holidays from The Sea

Incorporate seafood into the dinner menu. Start with fried calamari or shrimp cocktail for guests to snack on as appetizers. Serve linguine with white clam sauce for dinner. You’ll need garlic cloves, white wine, butter and spices like Italian parsley, oregano and red pepper flakes. Garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano for added flavor. Sear fresh scallops in garlic and serve them over pasta with this simple garlic scallops recipe.

A Veggie Lover’s Delight

Round out the dinner menu with some delicious vegetable side dishes. Turnips and sweet potatoes are perfect for a crispy and creamy gratin. Here’s a recipe from Martha Stewart for a turnip and sweet potato gratin. Creamed spinach, roasted or sautéed brussels sprouts and cauliflower are additional popular dishes. Brussels sprouts with balsamic and cranberries is a festive side dish to add to the table. Joe Schneider, King Kullen’s director of produce, advises looking for “brussels sprouts that are bright green and heavy, with leaves that are tightly packed. Brussels sprouts with leaves that are yellowing show a sign of aging.”

Sweet & Savory Holiday Desserts

What’s a holiday party without dessert? Impress friends and family at a cookie swap party with homemade sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. Flour, sugar, baking powder, unsalted butter, egg, vanilla extract and salt are all that is needed to make cutout sugar cookies. Use holiday cookie cutters to cut out cookies and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cookies start to brown around the edges. Decorate the cookies with detail using royal icing – only meringue powder, powdered sugar and water are needed to make this icing.

Holiday Drinks

Make holiday-themed beverages for the adults to indulge in. Make a Christmas sangria using cranberries, granny smith apples and rosemary. Add in sparkling apple cider and pinot grigio or chardonnay. A prosecco punch combines cranberry, pomegranate, clementine and lime juice for a citrusy cocktail. Add in prosecco and vodka, along with sliced limes, clementine oranges, fresh or frozen cranberries and pomegranate seeds. For a drink with a kick, make pomegranate or peppermint Moscow mules. The ginger beer adds some spice to this sweet drink.

Add Some Fun to The Food

Find fun activities to do with the kids while also creating holiday decorations to use around the house or on the tree. Make wreath ornaments with paper straws, pipe cleaners, beads, string and ribbon. It’s a fun activity for all ages! It seems like everywhere we look, unicorns have popped up on clothing and decorations, and in a variety of pastel and rainbow-themed foods. Get in on the theme with glitter unicorn ornaments to make for the tree or as a gift. With paper plates, red and green paint, cellophane and ribbon, make paper plate lollipops to display as an outdoor decoration. Hot glue a wooden dowel to the plate for the stake.

Healthy Holiday Eating

With all the rich foods available during the holiday season, it’s easy to overindulge. Unfortunately, overindulging usually translates to extra holiday pounds for many people. But there are some things you can do to eat healthier during the holidays while still enjoying yourself.

First things first, choose wisely. There’s no need to take some of every dish available at a holiday party. Be sure to survey all the options if there’s a buffet before putting together a plate. This way, caloric intake can be concentrated only on absolute favorites. But don’t forget some fruits and vegetables! That is, unless they’re deep fried or served in a creamy, rich sauce of some sort.

Secondly, before having seconds, wait 10 minutes. This gives the stomach a chance to digest the first course. After the 10-minute period, a fuller feeling may mean seconds are less likely. And don’t stand next to any food trays or dishes while at the party. That will keep all the food at a distance and not too close and within reach. Eat something before you go to avoid showing up to the party on an empty stomach. This is an even more important precaution if drinking is going to take place at the party. Alcohol also increases the appetite as a side effect. In a similar fashion, have something to eat before grocery shopping during the holiday season. That way, all the seasonal sights and smells may be less tempting, and lead to less impulse buying and eating.

Taking a walk after the party, or in between dinner and dessert (weather-permitting, of course), can help to burn some of those extra calories. Finally, when cooking for the holiday season, try to substitute turkey, chicken or seafood for red meats as heart-healthy alternatives.

Shop Local

King Kullen supermarkets include a bakery and deli, as well as floral, meat, produce, and seafood departments. Everything needed to create a holiday feast that’s sure to be a hit with guests is right here. All sorts of fresh baked goods are available for sale in the bakery. The deli carries Boar’s Head cold cuts, domestic and imported cheeses, rotisserie chickens, meals to go and fresh salads. The floral department has the perfect bouquet arrangement for the holiday season, along with every other special occasion and season throughout the year. In the meat department, shoppers can find all the freshest cuts of beef, pork, and poultry, along with friendly service from the butchers on staff. The produce department contains locally-grown fruits and vegetables by local farmers to help promote the local economy and sustainability. Finally, the seafood department has a plethora of options from under the sea, including lobster, shrimp and shellfish.

Personal Shopping Service Available

The helpful staff at King Kullen is always standing by, ready to help shoppers find what they’re looking for. And since many people are busy during the holiday season, King Kullen now offers a personal shopping service. Just place an order, and the personal shopper will handpick it. Orders may be placed up to two weeks in advance, or in as few as four hours! Shoppers are then given the option of picking up their order at any of King Kullen’s locations, or having it delivered right to their home. Delivery is available to Bay Shore, Bridgehampton, Fire Island, Garden City Park, Island Park and all the surrounding towns.

Please keep in mind that delivery availability is based on a first come, first served basis, as well as on the capacity of the delivery vehicle and ferry company policies. Additionally, there is no same-day personal shopping service to Fire Island. Orders going to Fire Island Tuesday through Sunday must be placed by noon the day prior to delivery. Similarly, orders to be delivered there Monday must be placed by noon the Saturday prior to it. The holiday season can be hectic, so King Kullen offers this convenient service to help its shoppers.

Gift Certificates

King Kullen also has gift certificates available in denominations of $10, $25, $50, and $100. These gift certificates are also valid at Wild By Nature locations and make great stocking stuffers or last-minute holiday gift ideas. The gift cards can be ordered right through the website, after which they are delivered free via the U.S. Postal Service. However, they can also be picked up at any King Kullen locations. And if there’s a time crunch involved, King Kullen can also ship them via FedEx.

In addition to gift certificates to King Kullen and Wild By Nature stores, there’s also a variety of gift cards for other places, including Best Buy, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, Outback Steakhouse, Chili’s, TGI Friday’s, and more.

Catering Services

If the holiday preparations have left no time to cook, King Kullen offers catering services as well. The in-house chef creates all the items on the catering menu. Whether the event is a formal, corporate holiday party or an informal gathering of family and friends, King Kullen’s catering service will see that no one goes hungry. The menu has everything from appetizers, salads, baked goods, hot foods and roasts to fruit & vegetable baskets, seafood options and Kosher options. King Kullen can keep corporate functions running smoothly with cheese platters, shrimp platters and fruit platters. But if the aim is to put on a more intimate holiday gathering with family members, they can cater a five-course dinner seamlessly, allowing family members to spend more quality time with each other instead of spending time cooking and cleaning up. Kindly give 24 hours’ notice when placing catering orders, please.

Though the holiday season can seem very hectic, King Kullen has everything you need to make the holidays fun and enjoyable!

About the Company:

Headquartered in Bethpage, New York, King Kullen Grocery Co., Inc. is recognized by the Smithsonian Institution as America’s first supermarket. Michael J. Cullen opened the doors of King Kullen in 1930. Today, four generations later, King Kullen is still family owned and operated. It remains a leader in the supermarket industry. From that very first store in 1930, King Kullen today operates 32 supermarkets and five Wild by Nature stores across Long Island. In addition to traditional grocery, King Kullen features a large catering and prepared foods department, freshly-baked breads and sweets, and healthy and organic areas, with pharmacies and online shopping in many stores as well.

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Tracey Cullen
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