Holiday Menu for 8

We got together with friends last weekend for an early holiday dinner. It was a truly special meal, and this menu is in a similar vein. I have a soft spot for a traditional feast like this one, because it’s very similar to the special dinner my mom used to prepare every Christmas Eve.

holiday-menu-for-8Pre-dinner nibbles:

Coppa-Wrapped Dates with Blue Cheese are tasty little nuggets that will get the party off to a delicious start but won’t spoil anyone’s appetite. Open a bottle of Carbernet Sauvignon or Syrah to pour with these. Last weekend, I also baked a loaf of Nourishing No-Knead Bread–only I added golden raisins and walnuts. Then I thinly sliced and toasted the bread to serve with a selection of cheeses (Manchego works beautifully, so does a soft cheese like Brie).

To start:

This dinner gets a classic start with a simple salad of romaine lettuce tossed with our Bestest Buttermilk-Chive Dressing. The dressing is wonderful on its own, but I also like to stir in an ounce of crumbled blue cheese. Add s sprinkling of croutons and you’re ready to serve.

The main event:

Holiday entrees don’t get more traditional than our Prime Rib of Beef au Jus. Even better, our version includes a classic Yorkshire pudding side, which you can prep while the meat rests. This recipe serves 12, so you’ll have some tasty Boxing Day leftovers.

On the side:

Prime rib deserves some potato action, and our Celery Root, Potato and Apple Mash is an updated riff on plain-Jane mashed potatoes. I also like Brussels sprouts with this menu. Here’s how I make ’em: Blanch 2 pounds of trimmed and quartered Brussels sprouts (dunk ’em in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and plunge them in ice water). Cook 4 ounces diced pancetta in a saute pan over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat behind in the pan. Increase heat to medium-high. Add 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots to the pan; saute 2 minutes. Add blanched Brussels sprouts; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Toss with the cooked pancetta.

Sweet finish:

All you need are 7 ingredients to make our Eggnog Flans with Maple and Toasted Walnuts. Remember, these need to made at least a day ahead.

All of us at wish all of you a happy, nourishing holiday!

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