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Gathering around the table with friends and family is one of the best ways to create lasting Christmas memories. This Christmas dinner ideas  features an impressive beef rib roast that you’ll want to carve at the table for dramatic effect. 

Sides like a radicchio and squash salad and roasted brussels sprouts round out the meal with fresh seasonal produce, and chocolate pots de crème are a dramatic finale.


Prime Rib with Red Wine Jus and Rosemary Butter

Meltingly tender and full of flavor, prime rib—also known as a standing rib roast—is a showstopping main course for a Christmas feast. As long as you’ve remembered to put in a special order with your butcher for the beef, you can assemble this impressive dish with a minimum of hands-on time.

  • 4-rib standing beef rib roast, about 6 lb. (3 kg)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
  • 2 leeks, white and light green portions, sliced 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) red wine
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) beef or chicken stock
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary

Pat the rib roast dry with paper towels, then season generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C).

In a flameproof roasting pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrots, celery and leeks and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Arrange the rosemary sprigs on top of the vegetables, then place the roast, bone side down, on top of the rosemary.

Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes more, or until done to your liking. Transfer the roast to a carving board and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the pan.

Place the roasting pan on the stove top over medium-high heat. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Add the stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. The consistency should be similar to that of heavy cream.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the butter and rosemary until thoroughly combined. Season with salt.

Once the jus is reduced, whisk in half of the rosemary butter, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a sauceboat.

Carve the roast and arrange on a warmed platter. Serve immediately with the jus and remaining rosemary butter alongside. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Bacon

Slivers of crisp bacon add salty and savory notes to brussels sprouts in this easy side dish that’s worthy of a wintery holiday feast, but also easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner.

  • 1/2 lb. (500 g) bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch (6-mm) batons
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, if needed
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. pine nuts, toasted

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat, fry the bacon until most of the fat has rendered out, about 5 minutes. Add the shallot and continue cooking until the shallot is translucent and the bacon is crispy, about 5 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon and shallot to a small bowl and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan.

Increase the heat to high, add the brussels sprouts to the pan and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sear until the brussels sprouts are lightly browned, about 3 minutes, adding the olive oil to the pan if the pan seems dry. Reduce the heat the medium, stir in the lemon juice and cook until the brussels sprouts are tender but not mushy when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 5 to 7 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the bacon and shallot. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and serve immediately.

Roasted Potatoes with Mint and Lemon

Simple roasted potatoes seasoned with your favorite herbs are the classic accompaniment to both roasted and braised meats and poultry. Although thyme, rosemary and sage are the herbs you’re most likely to see tossed with potatoes, here the use of fresh mint and a bit of grated lemon zest puts a new spin on the classic.

  • 1 lb. (500 g) red baby potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 lb. (500 g) yellow baby potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup (1 1/4 oz./37 g) kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint, plus 15 small mint leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).

Place both types of potato and the 1/4 cup salt in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the lemon zest and the 1 Tbs. chopped mint along with a few grinds of pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Pour the butter mixture over the potatoes and drizzle with the olive oil. Stir to thoroughly coat the potatoes, then spread the potatoes in a single layer in a large baking dish. Season generously with salt.

Transfer to the oven and roast the potatoes until the skin is crisp and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a small knife, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining mint leaves and serve immediately. 

Radicchio and Squash Salad with Goat Cheese

A vibrant reddish-purple member of the chicory family, radicchio has an intense, somewhat bitter flavor that mellows deliciously when it is briefly seared over high heat. A sprinkling of pepitas adds crunch, while goat cheese adds richness to this hearty salad.

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 5 Tbs. (3 fl. oz/80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbs. Champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 head radicchio
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. pepitas
  • 2 oz. (60 g) fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).

Peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the seeds, then cut the squash into wedges about 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide. Place the squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Roast until the squash is tender and golden brown, about 25 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, the vinegar, sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper until combined. Set aside.

Cut the radicchio in half through the stem end, then cut each half into quarters, leaving the stem intact so you have 8 wedges.

In a large nonstick fry pan over high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the radicchio to the pan and sear until slightly wilted and lightly browned all over, about 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

In the same pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until just tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in half of the dressing and remove from the heat. Add the radicchio, squash and remaining dressing to the pan and toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the pepitas and goat cheese, garnish with the parsley and serve immediately

Roasted Acorn Squash with Farro

In this autumnal recipe, beautiful acorn squash is stuffed with farro, a hearty whole grain that is popular in Italy. It makes a substantial side dish served alongside a holiday turkey or roast, and also serves as a satisfying vegetarian main dish.

  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) canola oil
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 acorn squashes, halved and seeds removed
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (6 oz./185 g) farro
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered and cored, then thinly shaved crosswise
  • 2 Tbs. pomegranate seeds

In a small sauté over medium heat, warm the canola oil until it sizzles when the tip of a sage leaf is dipped into it. Working in batches, add the sage leaves to the oil and fry until crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set aside.

Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).

Drizzle the cut sides of the acorn squash halves with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the squash halves cut side up on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the farro and cook until tender, about 20 minutes, then drain. Set aside and keep warm.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is lightly browned and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

When the squash is finished roasting, season again with salt and pepper and transfer the squash halves to a serving platter.

In a large bowl, toss together the farro, brown butter and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add the fennel and pomegranate seeds to the bowl and toss to combine.

Spoon the farro mixture into the squash halves, garnish with the fried sage leaves and serve immediately

Chocolate Pots de Crème with Amaretto Cherries and Hazelnuts

Pots de crème—rich custards that are cooked in a water bath to give them their creamy texture—are even more decadent when flavored with chocolate and topped with nuts and a sprinkling of amaretto-soaked cherries. Be careful not to overcook them; they should still tremble slightly when you remove them from the oven

  • 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) dried sour cherries
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) amaretto
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) milk
  • 4 oz. (125 g) good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) toasted hazelnuts, chopped

Preheat an oven to 300°F (150°C).

In a small bowl, stir together the dried cherries and amaretto. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cream and milk. Bring to a simmer, then immediately remove from the heat and add the chocolate and sugar. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla, cocoa powder and salt. Whisking constantly, gradually add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and continue whisking until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass measuring cup or bowl with a pouring spout.

Place four 4-fl.oz. (125-ml) ramekins in a shallow roasting pan or large baking dish and divide the chocolate mixture evenly among the ramekins. Pour water into the pan so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake until the custards are just set along the edges but still jiggle slightly when shaken, 30 to 35 minutes; the custards will continue to set as they cool. Carefully remove the ramekins from the pan and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days before serving.

To serve, drain the cherries if they have not absorbed all of the amaretto, discarding any excess liquid. Top each custard with a dollop of whipped cream and divide the cherries and hazelnuts among the custards, sprinkling them evenly on top. Serve immediately

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Christmas Dinner Menu Ideas

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