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Entertaining: Enlivening a Traditional Holiday Dinner

Jewel tones and gold set the scene for a festive holiday dinner

Written and produced by Krissa Rossbund
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley

    This holiday menu takes its inspiration from traditional English Christmas dinners and the colors of the season. Sweet-spicy nuts welcome guests for cocktails; a colorful salad sets the stage; and roast beef tenderloin brushed with a sweet and sharp maple syrup and balsamic glaze anchors the main course. Such classic accompaniments as a cranberry-pear chutney and mini Yorkshire puddings are served alongside. For dessert there’s homey but elegant caramel-laced bread pudding topped with pecans. Our editors and Test Kitchen agree this is one of the best holiday menus we’ve tasted.

    Recipes were adapted from Los Angeles-based caterer Bite Catering Couture’s executive chef/founder Elizabeth Goel’s cache of holiday inspirations.

    Check your pantry for these necessary items before shopping:

    • Sugar (need about 3-1/3 cups)
    • Dark brown sugar (need 1-1/3 cups)
    • Flour (need 2/3 cup)
    • Ground cinnamon (need 1 teaspoon)
    • Cayenne pepper
    • Salt
    • Kosher salt
    • Ground black pepper
    • Vanilla extract (need 4 teaspoons)
    • Extra virgin olive oil (need 1/3 cup + more to brush)
    • Honey (need about 2 tablespoons)
    • Eggs (need 1 dozen)
    • Milk (need 3/4 cup)
    • Butter (need 1/3 cup)
    • Canola oil (need 3 tablespoons)
    • Parchment paper

    Produce

    • 2 to 3 bunches rosemary (need about 17 sprigs)
    • 1 bunch thyme
    • 1 bunch sage
    • 1 small head romaine
    • 1 small head radicchio
    • 5 ounces arugula
    • 1 to 2 pomegranates (or 1 package dried pomegranate seeds)
    • 3 large firm pears
    • 1 orange (need 1 tablespoon shredded peel)
    • 1 small grapefruit for juice
    • 1 small onion
    • 1 small head garlic (need 4 cloves)
    • 1 jalapeño pepper
    • 2-1/2 pounds parsnips
    • 1-1/4 pounds carrots
    • 1 bulb fennel

    Grocery

    • 1 (64-ounce) bottle unfiltered apple cider or apple juice
    • 1 (16-ounce) bottle apple cider vinegar (need 1/3 cup)
    • Pure maple syrup (need 1/2 cup)
    • Balsamic vinegar (need 1/2 cup)

    Baking aisle

    • Allspice (need ¼ teaspoon)
    • Sea salt (need 3/4 teaspoon)
    • 1 pound mixed nuts, such as cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, and/or walnuts
    • 1 (16-ounce) packages pecan halves
    • 2 (6-ounce) packages dried cranberries

    Meat counter

    • 2 (2 to 3-pound) beef tenderloin roasts

    Dairy

    • Orange juice (need 1/3 cup)
    • 1 quart whipping cream

    Cheese counter

    • 4 ounces gorgonzola

    Bakery

    • 1 to 2 baguettes (need 24 1/4-inch slices)
    • 1 loaf brioche, challah, or Hawaiian sweet bread

    Alcohol

    • Orange liqueur (need ¼ cup)
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley
  • Peter Krumhardt and Colleen Duffley