Holiday Treats that Won’t Break the Bank

As heard on Linda Gassenheimer’s Food News and Views



I love this festive season and I look forward to something really special on our table when friends come over.  This year my question is what’s special or elegant without breaking the bank?  Here’s surprise suggestions from my radio guest – caviar, smoked salmon, camembert and truffle pate.  He’s Moshe Cohen from Marky’s Caviar and Fine Foods on NE 79th Street in Miami.

For more products go to



Available at Whole Foods, Key Biscayne Market, Crown

Hackleback                                         $22 for 1ounce

Paddlefish                                           $19 for 1 ounce

Marky’s Golden Osetra                      $45 for 1/2 ounce


Blinis to go with Caviar                       $7.60 for package of 7

Available at Marky’s Showroom


Smoked Salmon

Available at Key Biscayne Market and Marky’s Showroom

Fossen Bon Appetit                             $8.00 for 4 ounces


Natural Crisp Bread Crackers              $4.95 for 4.5 ounce box

Available at Whole Foods and Marky’s Showroom


Truffle Mousse

Available at Whole Foods, Epicure Market and Marky’s Showroom

Terroire d’Antan                                  $7.50 for 4 ounces terrine




Available at Whole Foods, Epicure Market and Marky’s Showroom

Camembert au Calvados

Graindorge                                          $9.00 for 5.3 ounce cheese


Brillat Savarin with Papaya                 $9.00 for 3.5 ounce cheese




Available at Epicure Market and Marky’s Showroom

Saucisson Sec                                    $15 for 1/2 pound sausage



Leonidas                                              $9.00 for 1/4 pound gift box

Dinner in Minutes Recipe: Halibut In Cider

Cider-cooked fish tastes like autumn

Fish cooked in cider and served over saffron rice is a typical dish from the Asturias region of northern Spain, an area famous for its hard cider.

Hard cider is available at this time of year in many supermarkets. If you can’t find it, use beer or sweet (unfermented) cider.

Hake is the traditional fish used for this Spanish meal. It can be difficult to find in the United States, so I have used halibut. Cod or grouper works well, too. This meal contains 583 calories per serving with 21 percent of calories from fat.

View my recipe

Great Grandma’s Potato Latkes

Susan Purdy, author of The Family Baker – Never-Let-You-Down Basic Recipes, gave me her favorite recipe that her great grandmother used to make.  Great Grandma was a very modern cook, because she used very little fat in making her latkes.

2 pounds Idaho or Russet potatoes, about 4 medium potatoes or 3 cups chopped
1 medium onion, about 3 cups grated
2 eggs
2 tablespoons matzo meal
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted margarine or butter

Peel and wash potatoes.  Grate in a food processor fitted with a grating blade.  Remove blade and with potatoes still in bowl fit chopping blade.  Chop until coarsely ground.  Remove to a strainer and drain over a bowl or the sink for 15 minutes.  Rinse food processor bowl and grate onion using the grating blade. In a medium sized bowl, mix onion, eggs, matzo meal, salt and pepper together.  Add drained potatoes and blend together. Heat margarine in a large nonstick frying pan.  When hot, drop about 2 tablespoons potato mixture into pan and flatten with a spatula.  The latkes should be about 3 to 4 inches in diameter.  Sauté on medium for 5 minutes and turn.  Cook gently another 5 minutes and remove to a warm serving platter.  Cover with foil to keep warm or place in a 300-degree oven while you make the rest.  Makes about 24 latkes.

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