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Holiday Entertaining

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Dinner Party Drama
BY GILLIAN DUFFY
PRODUCED BY JORDAN SCHAPS
TEXT BY ROBIN RAISFELD

Most of us, if we're honest, would admit to mixed feelings about the holidays. On the one hand, there's a lot to celebrate. On the other, is it really necessary to serve turkey again? Tradition has its uses (sandwiches!). But sometimes it's fun to break the rules, cast the net a bit wider -- wide enough, for instance, to catch the wild boar that transforms chef Rick Laakkonen's deeply flavored ragout, one of several enticingly exotic recipes that prove you don't need a hunting permit to go wild with game. Broaden your hors d'oeuvre horizons by planning an informal evening around international tapas, from miniature croques monsieur to chili-spiked sake-steamed clams. Tag along to a potluck supper hosted by gourmet grocer Andy Arons; lucky for him -- and us -- his guests are professional chefs. And for a sweet finish, we keep things simple with three takes on an old-time classic that absolutely take the cake.

Small Goes Global
There's a fine line between hors d'oeuvre and tapas. Why not cross it? The former's a dainty prelude to the main course, the latter a delectable entity in its own right . . .

Wild Kitchen
Game's not for kids -- but assisted by top Manhattan chefs and suppliers like D'Artagnan, it's come of age as holiday fare . . .

The Cake Also Rises
Chances are, your earliest kitchen memory involves a cake mix, a set of beaters, and an ungodly amount of store-bought frosting, most of which you ended up either eating or wearing . . .

Cooks on an Island
A group of friends in a Manhattan kitchen, all brandishing knives. A hit tv show? No. But a spectacular holiday meal . . .

Living in a Spirited Age
BY TONY HENDRA
A new era of barrel-aged whiskey and rum is emerging. Put these mellowed liquors on your palate and feel the flavor kick in . . .


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