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How to Host Your Own Cozy Indoor Picnic for the Holiday Season
The Venue Report
byThe Venue Report
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The Pearl Hotel

1410 Rosecrans Street, San Diego, CA, United States

Whether you're cooking from the comfort of your own kitchen or having a romantic cabin escape, step up your average dinner and a movie night by creating an indoor picnic. What's on the menu? Lamb Meatballs covered in a savory Moroccan Tomato Sauce with a side of Duck Mole. These dishes are comforting, flavorful and best-served family style this holiday season. 

The experts at MIHO Catering Co. and Hostess Haven are showing us how it's done with step-by-step recipes and tried-and-true tips. Who knows, you may fall in love with these dishes and mix up your holiday menu once and for all.






TRENDING: Gun Metal

Take your indoor picnic to the next level and play up your presentation. Switch out the gold dinnerware for a deeper silver and let the wine flow all night! 

Tip: Don't take a turn towards stainless steel unless it's intentional. Not every silver was created equal. 

- Hostess Haven Founder, Farra Miron







MOROCCAN TOMATO SAUCE

Yield: 4qt

INGREDIENTS
1 onion, fine dice
2ea celery stalks, small dice
2ea carrots, peeled, small dice
½c garlic, smashed
8qt Roma tomato, large dice
2ea bay leaf
3t coriander, toasted/ground
1t cumin, toasted/ground
3t fennel seed, toasted/ground
½t saffron, soaked in hot (but not boiling) water for 10 minutes. Reserve water.
1t turmeric
2t smoked paprika
1ea orange, zested/juice
2T sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

RECIPE PREPARATION
Step 1:
Cook celery, carrots, onion and garlic in a saute pan over low heat until cooked through but not yet browned.
Step 2: Add all spices (2ea bay leaf, 3t coriander, 3t fennel seed, ½t saffron, 1t turmeric, 2t smoked paprika) and continue to cook over low heat for about 4 minutes.
Step 3: Add 8qt of largely diced tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, continue cooking with the lid until the tomatoes release their water (stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes).
Step 4: Remove lid and cook for another 20 minutes, add the zest/juice of 1 orange and 2T of sherry vinegar.
Step 5: Pour mixture into blender and mix until a sauce-like consistency.







LAMB MEATBALLS

Yield: About 55 Lamb Meatballs

All natural lamb with garlic and parmesan, braised in a harissa tomato sauce topped with shaved fennel and herb salad.

INGREDIENTS
5lb lamb shoulder, trimmed, cubed
1 onion, fine dice
½c garlic, fine dice
1T smoked Paprika
1T coriander, toasted /ground
1t cumin, toasted/ground
2t fennel seed, toasted/ground
½t saffron, bloomed in hot water
1t turmeric
the zest of a whole orange
¼c cilantro, chopped
5 eggs
2c breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste 

Herb salad: Equal parts fresh parsley, chive batons, and tarragon.

RECIPE PREPARATION
Step 1: Season lamb meat with all spices except saffron. Mix with your hands until mixture is homogenous and starts to become very sticky like sausage meat, about 1 minute.
Step 2: Cook 1 diced onion and ½c garlic in a pan over low heat until translucent, no color, add saffron (and water it soaked in) and cilantro, cook until water evaporates.
Step 3: Place mixture on a plate and set aside to cool.
Step 4: Use meat grinder to grind lamb meat, fold in onion mixture, 5 eggs, and breadcrumbs.
Step 5: Portion out in 1.5oz balls (you should have about 55), pan fry until cooked through.
Step 6: Pour Moroccan tomato sauce over to barely cover.
Step 7: Wrap with plastic and foil and bake at 300* for 40-45 minutes or until you reach an internal temp of 160*.
Step 8: Plate meatballs individually or couple them together and add more Moroccan tomato sauce to your preference.
Step 9: Garnish dish with herb salad and shaved fennel over meatballs according to your preference.








DUCK MOLE SOPES 

Yield: about 2qt

All natural mary’s duck leg, braised in a fig mole, topped with shaved radish, lime zest and cilantro. 

INGREDIENTS
1ea yellow onion, chopped
4ea garlic cloves, whole
6c roma tomatoes, large dice
8c chile cascabel, soaked, no stem/seeds
5ea pasilla chile, soaked, no stem, with seeds
5ea chile negro, soaked, no stem, with seeds
1c figs, dried, chopped
3ea corn tortillas, fried
2½T sesame seeds, toasted
1T anise seed
2T cumin, ground
1T coriander, ground
1t cinnamon, ground
3oz dark chocolate
3ea limes, zested
2c chicken stock
8ea duck legs

RECIPE PREPARATION
Step 1:
Soak chiles in boiling water, covered, for about 2 hrs.
Step 2: Saute onion and garlic in a separate pan with oil.
Step 3: Add remaining ingredients listed above, except lime zest, and bring to a simmer
for about 45 minutes. 
Step 4: Add lime zest.
Step 5: Blend until smooth in a blender or food processor.
Step 6: Pour sauce over duck legs and braise at 300*F for about 3 hrs or until tender.
Step 7: Once cool enough to handle, remove the bones and skin, let meat cool in sauce
then shred.
Step 8: Top shredded duck on top of sopes (best found at your local Mexican market).
Step 9: On top of shredded duck, place a piece of shaved radish, fresh lime zest and
sprig of cilantro.

 



Credits 

Recipes: MIHO Catering Co. | Dinnerware: Hostess Haven | Venue: The Pearl Hotel

 
 
 
 
 
 
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