For Courtovich, holidays mean opening his home for gatherings—from intimate dinners to his famous large parties for 50 or more, held on sequential nights with rotating guest lists. And this pro entertainer has hacks for that. As he explains, successful entertaining relies on a plan and depends on a circle of trusted vendors, reliable shortcuts and proven recipes.
This holiday dinner for eight showcases the “Courtovich” approach: a strong appetizer program, show-stopping main courses and a simply elegant layer cake from Sweet Teensy Bakery.
Puff Pastry Pizza
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (preferably Dufour), thawed
- ¼ pound soppressata (Italian hot dry salami, thinly sliced)
- 1 pepperoni (thinly sliced)
- 1 package mozzarella cheese (thinly sliced)
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly
Turn oven to 425°.
Take a thawed sheet of puff pastry and place flat on a silpat or parchment paper. Use a roller to flatten out to almost the size of the baking sheet. Prick entire sheet with a fork and put in fridge for 10 minutes.
Take out of fridge, bake for 8 minutes and remove. Layer the entire baked sheet with soppressata, then top with 1 layer of sliced mozzarella cheese covering the entire sheet. Packaged, pre-sliced mozzarella from the grocery works best with this.
Sprinkle the red pepper flakes on the top of the cheese. Next, add a layer of pepperoni on top of the cheese, leaving ½ inch between each slice. Sprinkle with the dried oregano. Top with sliced Roma tomatoes to cover the entire pizza.
Bake for 15 minutes or so on a high rack in the oven, or until the cheese is golden brown on the sides.
Let rest for 5–7 minutes, then put on cutting board to serve.