For home chefs, the holiday season is about much more than just gathering with family, friends and loved ones to catch up on how everyone’s year has been. It’s about the art of hosting; preparing holiday dishes that stand out and gifting our loved ones with an experience they will always remember.

It means being an artist in the kitchen, applying your chef skills and culinary creativity to dishes and impressing your guests with every touch. Not only that, but this year RiceSelect® in association with Bon Appétit, wants to show you how to make your holiday hosting a greener, more sustainable experience for everyone involved.

Holiday Season Appetizers

Whether it’s Christmas appetizers or Thanksgiving appetizers, if you’re looking to serve something special to tingle the taste buds of your guests before the main meal, then sausage-based starter recipes might be your best bet. Just imagine how pleased your guests will be when they come in from the cold and are greeted by a platter of delicious Wild Rice Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms. Savory sausage and nutty, fragrant brown rice combine like a dream to provide you with a holiday starter guaranteed to hit the spot. Alternatively, for cheese lovers, this Rice and Cheese Spread, is the perfect starter to pass around as guests get settled in at your holiday gathering.

Holiday Season Recipes to Impress

Every family or group of friends should be fortunate enough to count a home chef among their circle, someone who cares passionately about cooking and is always ready and willing to host a gathering. Guests will be expecting surprises at your holiday gathering, not just the classics that everyone knows how to cook, that’s why this Pumpkin Sage Risotto is the perfect option if you’re looking for a dish that’s both seasonal and distinctive.

Best Rice to Use for Risotto

Most chef’s opt for the Arborio Rice variety when making risotto recipes, however it is possible to use other grains if you can’t get your hands on Arborio. Most short grain rice varieties can be used in risotto, with Sushi Rice being surprisingly conducive to this classic Italian recipe. The only grains you should possibly avoid are long grain varieties like basmati and jasmine as they tend to have a lower starch content, hence achieving risotto's signature sticky texture might prove more difficult. Furthermore, if you're looking to make your holiday risotto more sustainable, then check out RiceSelect® Organic Arborio.

Next Level Homemade Stuffing Recipe

No Thanksgiving or Christmas celebration is complete without stuffing, and if you’re looking for a recipe that’s both traditional and original, then look no further than this Pecan Rice Stuffing Recipe. Made with Rice Select® Royal Blend®, a unique blend of Texmati white, brown, red and wild rice grain varieties, this recipe will change how your guests think about stuffing forever. What’s more, making recipes with pecan is a great way to incorporate seasonal ingredients into your cooking, making your exploits in the kitchen rewarding for both your guests and the environment.

Tasty Thanksgiving Sides with Couscous

When we think of holiday feasts, the signature main course dishes with turkey and ham spring to mind, but it’s important not to lose sight of side dishes, and that’s where couscous comes in. This Holiday Couscous Salad Recipe made with crispy bacon, crunchy pecans and tart cranberries will complement your holiday main course dishes nicely. Then, for a plant-based side that’s suitable for vegans and vegetarians, this Roasted Seven Vegetable Couscous is a great option.

Holiday Season Desserts

Whether it’s a Thanksgiving dessert recipe or Christmas dessert recipe you’re looking to make, RiceSelect® has you covered. For the former, making the most of seasonal ingredients is a great way to make your festive dessert in line with the values of sustainability, and this White Chocolate Trifle, made with delicious in season raspberries, is a great way to cap off a successful holiday meal.

How to Present your Dessert

As the meal comes to a close, you’ll want to make sure your culinary exhibition goes out with a bang, and that’s where thinking about dessert presentation comes in. Notice how our White Chocolate Trifle was adorned with a few subtly placed raspberries, not only to add sweetness to the dessert, but also to mark the season. Dessert presentation is by no means difficult but it does require some planning, that’s why it’s important to keep a few basic principles in mind.

  1. Choose clean plates: Not just clean, but sparkling. A shiny plate will draw attention to the aesthetic of your dish.

  2. Choose your plate size carefully: Your choice of plate should correspond with the size of your dessert. Imagine your plate as a stage and your dessert as the star of the show.

  3. Adorn your dessert: Add a splash of color with a little garnish. For chocolate based desserts a little cream often enhances its visual appeal.

  4. Add a crunchy component: Even if it’s not a key ingredient, displaying some crushed nuts or biscuit crumble atop your dessert will embellish the profile of your dessert.

  5. Mark the occasion: Add a little design feature to mark the occasion. If it’s Christmas, add some powdered sugar on top for that seasonal frosted effect.

For more dessert ideas to practice your presentation skills on, feast your eyes on these delectable dessert recipes.

Festive Rice-Nog Pudding Recipe

Try this delicious and Festive Rice-Nog Pudding recipe to add a bit of cheer to your holiday get-together and a show-stopping dessert to your table.

Chocolate Hazelnut Rice Pudding Recipe

For a show-stopping dessert, try this rich and creamy Chocolate Hazelnut Rice Pudding made with aromatic RiceSelect® Texmati® White Rice.

Black Russian Rice Pudding Cake Recipe Black Russian Rice Pudding Cake Recipe
Black Russian Rice Pudding Cake Recipe Black Russian Rice Pudding Cake Recipe
Black Russian Rice Pudding Cake Recipe

With rich dark chocolate, coffee liquor and creme de cacao, this decadent Black Russian Rice Pudding Cake is extra fluffy made with Texmati® White Rice.

Sustainability this Holiday Season

Building towards a sustainable future is something RiceSelect® is committed to, that’s why we’ve teamed up with the folks at Bon Appétit to bring you our guide on How to Have a More Sustainable Holiday Season. From sourcing local ingredients to reducing waste to getting creative with our unique, 100% recyclable, 100% BPA free RiceSelect® jars, making your holiday season gathering sustainable couldn’t be easier.