Updated: Dec 12, 2022
Three ideas for an elegant holiday dinner
For anyone who reads my blog, it is clear that for us the holidays revolve around food. Whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Eve, the celebration is not complete without an interesting dish on the holiday dinner table.
We lived in Europe for many years and on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day seafood is the way to go. At this time of year, a parade of large platters of shellfish is seen leaving fresh markets en route to a family gathering nearby. Similarly, restaurants in Paris, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon – all places we have either lived in or visited during the holidays, will often have a seafood tower as a featured item on the menu.
Lobster on Christmas Eve
So a few years ago we started featuring lobster on our holiday dinner table, usually on Christmas Eve. Our favorite way to prepare and serve the lobster is to par cook the lobsters so that they are still slightly raw. The meat is then removed from the tail and claws and poached in clarified butter until tender. The lobster pieces are served with a fresh batch of clarified butter.
Rack of lamb for Christmas dinner
Christmas dinner tends to be a “meatier” option and many times we have opted for a rack of lamb. The recipe is one derived from the Williams Sonoma grilling book – a Provençal sauce made from mustard and tarragon covers the rack, with a bit held back to drizzle on the lamb when it is served.
Venison tenderloin is a great holiday dish
This year I was fortunate to have a friend gift me some venison, so another holiday dinner option will very likely be a tenderloin prepared sous vide (one hour in the circulator at 130 degrees) and then finished over a very hot fire in one of my favorite cooking implements - the ceramic cooker (Big Green Egg).
The perfect accompaniment is a cranberry sauce that is dead easy to make. The cranberries are cooked in a mixture of water and maple syrup until they pop. After taking the cranberry sauce off the flame, a couple of tablespoons of orange zest are stirred into the mixture.
Bon appétit and happy holidays!