Home Cooked for the Holidays: David Tutera

Posted on Nov 25, 2013 10:45am

Party planner, entertaining expert and star of "David Tutera: Unveiled," David Tutera stopped by for our Home Cooked for the Holidays series. He showed the ladies some easy appetizers for holiday entertaining.  Here are his delicious and creative recipes!

Upscale Pigs in a Blanket 


Your favorite flavored pre-cooked sausages

Pre-made crescent roll dough

Fresh asparagus

Custom dips (see below)


Quickly blanch the asparagus and run under cold water to stop the cooking/preserve the color. Cut the pre-cooked sausages and asparagus stalks into 1.5-2" lengths. Trim the pre-made crescent dough in half to create 2 smaller triangles. Wrap each segment of sausage with a crescent dough piece and place on a cookie sheet. Wrap bundles of 2-3 asparagus segments in remaining crescent dough pieces and place on cookie sheet. Bake according to crescent dough instructions.

Custom Dips for Upscale Pigs in a Blanket

Cucumber-Feta Dip Ingredients: (for lamb sausages)

Crumbled feta cheese

Peeled, chopped cucumber

Lemon juice

Fresh dill

Garlic salt



Mix all ingredients together (to taste) in a bowl and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving.

Truffle Cheese Dip Ingredients: (for chicken sausages)

Your favorite semi-hard cheese (such as gruyere or cheddar)

Truffle oil


Melt the cheese in a double boiler on the stove. Once the cheese is melted, add water to keep it from re-solidifying and mix well until completely incorporated. Move cheese to serving bowl and stir in truffle oil to taste.

Seasonal Potato Skins


Sweet potatoes

Olive oil

Salt, pepper


Favorite Toppings:

Mini marshmallows



Pre-cooked, crumbled bacon

Sour cream


Dried cranberries

Fresh Parsley, chopped

Caramelized onions


Wash/scrub sweet potatoes very well, dry, and season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake in the oven until fork tender. Halve the sweet potatoes and add a tab of butter to each half, mashing into the insides of each potato so the butter is fully incorporated. Place the potato halves on a cookie sheet with the cut side up and return to the oven, baking until the edges start to brown. Halve each potato again (so we now have quarters) and place on a serving tray. Load up the potatoes with your favorite toppings or create a make-your-own bar for guests. Some preferred pairings are:

-Mini marshmallows, cinnamon, and nutmeg

-Crumbled bacon, sour cream, and chives

-Dried cranberries, fresh parsley, and caramelized onions

Stuffing Balls


You favorite boxed stuffing recipe

Your favorite seasonal ingredients (such as cooked ground turkey or dried cranberries)


Cranberry sauce


Prepare your favorite boxed stuffing recipe according to the recipe. The more seasonal ingredients (such as ground turkey and dried cranberries) the better! If using ground turkey, sauté it on the stove before adding the additional ingredients. Add to the stuffing.  Allow to cool completely. In a large bowl, combine the prepared stuffing with raw eggs so that the mixture is moist but moldable. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Form the mixture into 2" balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake the balls in the oven until they are browning and hot/warm in the center, approximately 20 minutes for a tray of 12 stuffing balls. Serve on a tray using toothpicks with a side of cranberry sauce for dipping.

Holiday Flat Bread Pizzas


Store-bought raw pizza dough

Olive oil

Brussels sprouts


Red onion

Butternut squash

Parmesan cheese


Salt and pepper


Roll out the pizza dough so that it is approximately the same size as your cookie sheet. Oil the cookie sheet and lay the pizza dough on top, drizzling the pizza with more oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Using a mandolin, carefully slice the vegetables into thin slices and arrange on the top of your pizza. Add shavings of Parmesan and bits of pancetta. Bake your pizza in the oven until the crust is golden and crispy and the toppings are browning. Slide off the cookie sheet, slice into rectangles using a pizza wheel, and serve!

Cranberry Shortcakes


All-purpose baking mix




Fresh cranberries

Heavy Cream



Prepare the all-purpose baking mix shortbread recipe according to the instructions on the box using the milk, sugar, and butter. While the shortcakes are in the oven, place the fresh cranberries in a pot on the stove with water and more sugar. Boil the cranberries until they are softened and the liquid is slightly thickened. Put the heavy cream, sugar, and cinnamon in the bowl of your stand mixer (or a regular bowl if using a hand mixer) and whip until a firm whipped cream as formed. When your shortbread is finished in the oven, remove them and assemble your shortcakes. Slice the shortbread in half and fill with the stewed cranberries and whipped cream. Replace the top of the shortcake and top with more cranberries and whipped cream.

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