How to Host Your Own Cozy Indoor Picnic for the Holiday Season
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...
by The Venue Report

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.


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


Yield: 4qt

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

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.


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.

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.

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.


Yield: about 2qt

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

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

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.



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

previous story
next story

We're The Venue Report and we are SERVING
up the latest breaking reports to your email inbox WEEKLY.

Find out where to host dinner parties, birthday bashes,
weddings, social events; you name it.

We report on the coolest venues across the land,
inside tips, exclusive deals in your city & brand
new venues so you can be the first to host a party there.

Where will you celebrate?
Please Check Your Email
*we will not share your info with anyone