One simply cannot help but to be swept up in the festive atmosphere of the Holiday Season with its conviviality, warmth and camaraderie. I love to plan our family’s Christmas Dinner and never take my preparations lightly. The good news is that many dishes can be prepared in advance to take the stress off the big Dinner day! I always liked the traditional aspects of Christmas and for our last family dinner I went with a seasonal traditional menu, albeit with my special spin. Everything was so delicious that I’ll be making those dishes for years to come and I hope you will find this menu inspirational for your family festivities. We love hosting and entertaining and certainly our last Christmas Dinner was the highlight of the year end! Warm, hearty shots of Butternut Squash & Apple Soup, topped with crispy bacon, green apple julienne and a dollop of sour cream were a beautiful beginning to a holiday meal. To see the full menu, follow me here!
Photographed by Gary Flom There is more to the Holiday Menu than just a delicious home-made feast. The ambiance, the décor and shared embrace of the goodwill of your family and friends at your dinner table make all the difference in the world. Our Traditional Red & Gold palette-inspired Holiday Décor was very festive and chic. Read more about it in my décor category. This Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad graced our holiday table as a delicious light appetizer everyone just loved. The lemony-mustardy vinaigrette really softens this thinly shredded salad and adds a satisfying depth of flavor while grated Pecorino Romano cheese contributes a piquant bite. To create a truly luxurious tablescape, my friend floral designer Olga designed floral spheres of white and red carnations. We bow-tied the middle sized sphere of pure white carnations with a ravishing red ribbon. I like to serve terrines at our large gatherings with family and friends. They can be assembled two days in advance and left in the fridge for flavors to really develop. The earthiness of mushrooms goes well with the season. And this Mushroom Terrine was a hit! The artfully layered mushrooms like Golden Chanterelles, Trumpet Royals and other tiny varieties, are molded into the terrine which when sliced reveals the exciting eye-catching “interior design”. Serve it along with some salad of peppery arugula or rainbow of microgreens tossed in light vinaigrette. This lavish sphere of red carnations with golden ribbon bow-tied around it was a centerpiece for the table. I used a simple glass cake stand to display it. Roasted Beets Salad with Radicchio, Mushrooms & Walnuts is delightful in its colorful presentation, combination of textures and seasonal sense of taste. Roasting these baby root vegetables brings out their natural sweetness. Quickly sautéd medley of gourmet mushrooms are mixed into the salad for a savory earthy flavor. The white-veined red radicchio leaves don’t just add a beautiful color but also a mildly spicy bite. The dressing made with Sherry, aged balsamic vinegar, nutty walnut oil and tangy Dijon mustard delivers just the right level of sweetness and acidity to this beet salad, changing it from humble to remarkable! Our Traditional Red & Gold Christmas Tree was bearing a graceful assortments of beautiful ornaments, ribbons and a gilded star topper on top. The pièce de résistance of our meal was our stunning Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Loin with Roasted Apples and Hasselback Potatoes as a hearty side dish. My husband couldn’t stop raving about it for days. When sliced, the swirls of prosciutto, white pork meat, kale and filling are visually arresting! The crispy prosciutto, supple pork and tender ground pork based filling provide a distinct combination of textures in this recipe. Roast the pork loin with small apples, which by absorbing juices from the meat will become almost caramelized and serve as a great condiment for the dish. Pour the dripping-based sauce over the sliced loin to finish it off and enjoy the accolades from your guests! And for dessert, you can never go wrong with the traditional- Christmas pudding with Rum and Dried Fruits. Yummm! Happy New Year, Everyone!