Blowout Holiday Dinner Recipes
’Tis the season to entertain, and this year, you’re going all out. You’re thinking an elegant cocktail hour, with bites too pretty to eat. Then, of course, the main meal and you want to put something extra-special together. So it’s a beef Wellington and lobster in beurre blanc kind of year. And these holiday dinner recipes are not as hard as you think. They also go perfectly with a marathon of holiday movies.
Serves 6 Guests
Caviar & Potato Chips
Surf & Turf
Beef Wellington & Vanilla Poached Lobster
Dairy-Free Creamed Spinach
Caviar Baked Potatoes
The Four Seasons Cannoli
For the Caviar
4.4 ounces Caviar
Waffle cut potatoes chips
For the Cheese Plate
Sainte Maure de Touraine
Rush Creek Reserve
Arethusa Blue Cheese
Tresors Gourmand crackers
Sliced French bread
Bonne Maman Mixed Berry Preserves
For the Beef Wellington
One package Dufour puff pastry
3 1/2 lbs to 4 lbs Beef tenderloin
1 1/2 lbs Mixed mushrooms
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Maldon sea salt
2 sprigs Rosemary
4 sprigs Thyme
For the Butter Poached Lobster
6 5-6 ounce Lobster tails
2 sticks butter
For the Caviar Baked Potato
8 large Yellow potatoes
2 sticks butter
4.4 ounces Caviar
Hors d’Oeuvres Hour
From start to finish, this menu minimizes prep time and/or is make ahead, and maximizes the wow factor. The hors d’oeuvres are all about the assembly and presentation, and not so much holiday dinner recipes. They’re all no-cook. I love long cocktail hours where guests can nibble on crowd-pleasers of cheese, potato chips and caviar. I suggested a few of my favorite goat and cows milk cheese, but you can make the cheese your own with any variety. Just make the cheese display plentiful and beautiful by adding pops of color with the fruit and compotes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
This is another one of those easy holiday dinner recipes that is high on the wow factor. I like to make the Beef Wellington with the highest quality beef tenderloin I can find, as that’s 75% of the dish. I also marinate the beef tenderloin overnight in an air-tight bag with olive oil, Maldon sea salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons finely minced rosemary and a sprig of the thyme. Bring the beef tenderloin to room temperature before you assemble with the other ingredients.
Sear the Beef, to Sear in the Moisture and Flavor
In a cast iron skillet, heat a high-heat point oil like sunflower or grapeseed over medium high heat until a drop of water sizzles. Sear the beef tenderloin on all sides until browned, about 2-3 minutes each side. Remove from heat and brush with the Dijon mustard. Set aside until cooled.
Make the Mushroom Duxelles
Mince the mushrooms until they are fine. Heat a skillet with olive oil on medium heat. Add the mushrooms, sea salt to taste, 1 tablespoon rosemary, and 1/2 tablespoon thyme. Cook about 7-8 minutes, until cooked through. Let the mushrooms cool and the liquid release. Drain the excess liquid and set it aside.
Time to Assemble the Wellington
On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry until thin. Add the mushrooms in a layer on top of the dough. Place the beef tenderloin on the puff pastry and roll until nice and snug around the beef. With a pastry cutter, trim excess dough from the edges and seal. With plastic wrap, roll tightly around the beef tenderloin to help form that perfect circular shape. with a knife, score the top of the top of the puff pastry, which will allow steam to escape during cooking. Refrigerate to set the Wellington for about 5-10 minutes.
A Golden Crust Tip
Unwrap the plastic and brush the beaten egg on all side of the puff pastry crust. It’s one of the essential steps to your holiday dinner recipes. This will make your Beef Wellington crust that beautiful golden color. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let the Wellington sit for about 5 minutes. Slice the Wellington into individual pieces and serve. If you have some of the leftover mushroom juices, you can drizzle a tablepoon or two on top of each piece.
The Caviar Baked Potato
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
I forgot how much I loved a simple baked potato, until I was at Maison du Caviar in Paris. This variety skips the proper traditional way to make a baked potato, and adds a French refinement. First, begin by wrapping your clean potatoes in foil. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25-30 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the centers, but leave a circular border of potato. Mash the potato flesh in a bowl and add a stick to 3/4 stick of butter. Salt with Maldon Sea Salt to taste. On six of the potatoes only, add the mashed potato. Set aside in the warm oven until ready to serve.
Whip the second stick of butter in your stand mixer until surreally fluffy. In a pastry bag, pipe half the whipped butter into rosettes in with a shared dish for the table or individual butter dishes.
When you’re ready to serve, artfully pipe some additional butter on one half of your warm potato, and place a generous serving of caviar on top. On the other half of the potato, garnish with snipped chives. This is guaranteed to be one of your favorite holiday dinner recipes. Serve immediately.