Holiday Entrées

These main courses take a starring role in any holiday meal.

Classic "Prime" Rib

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Classic "Prime" Rib

Salt, pepper, and a rib roast are literally the only ingredients you need for this. Because all the flavor comes from the meat itself and its slow, low-temperature roasting, it's a good idea to splurge on the highest-quality beef you can get (USDA prime grade is hard to find, and expensive, but worth it). The leftovers will make for some of the best roast-beef sandwiches you'll ever have. See more prime rib recipes.

View Recipe: Classic "Prime" Rib

Roasted Chicken with Lemons and Thyme

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Roasted Chicken with Lemons and Thyme

This recipe comes from the Sephardic Jewish cuisine of Spain and North Africa. A simple seasoning of lemon, paprika, and thyme gives the chicken Mediterranean flavor, and high-temperature roasting ensures beautifully browned skin. An easy gravy made from the drippings completes the dish, making it suitable as a weeknight family meal or as the centerpiece to a small dinner party.

View Recipe: Roasted Chicken with Lemons and Thyme

Penne with Brussels Sprouts and Crisp Bacon

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Penne with Brussels Sprouts and Crisp Bacon

Not every holiday meal has to feature a big hunk of meat at the center of the table. This dish encapsulates fall flavor with steamed Brussels sprouts and crunchy hazelnuts, a creamy Parmesan sauce, and just a little bit of bacon. To make this a vegetarian-friendly entrée, use vegetable broth instead of chicken, and serve the crumbled bacon on the side.

View Recipe: Penne with Brussels Sprouts and Crisp Bacon

Marsala-Glazed Ham

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Marsala-Glazed Ham

Any time you cook a 10-pound ham, there are bound to be leftovers. This recipe takes advantage of your extras and is delicious hot or cold, on fine china or on sandwich bread. The marsala-wine glaze gives wonderful color and sweetness to an already impressive presentation.

View Recipe: Marsala-Glazed Ham

Maple-Mustard Glazed Fresh Ham Recipe

Photo: Johnny Autry

Maple-Mustard Glazed Fresh Ham

Fresh ham is different from the cured ham you may be used to. It's juicy, full of rich pork flavor, and much less salty—a wonderful special-occasion roast. Serve with Brussels sprouts and mashed sweet potatoes.

View Recipe: Maple-Mustard Glazed Fresh Ham

Herb and Citrus Roast Leg of Lamb Recipe

Photo: Johnny Autry

Herb and Citrus Roast Leg of Lamb

Orange and lemon in the marinade make for a bright counterpoint to the earthy cumin. Stuff leftovers into pitas, and drizzle with yogurt.

View Recipe: Herb and Citrus Roast Leg of Lamb

Roast Turkey with Truffle Gravy

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Roast Turkey with Truffle Gravy

High-heat roasting makes this bird browned and beautiful, and truffle-scented homemade gravy makes it an extra-special treat. The holidays are a time for indulgence, and since this recipe calls for only a few ingredients, use the best quality you can.

View Recipe: Roast Turkey with Truffle Gravy

Apple-Poblano Whole Roast Turkey Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Apple-Poblano Whole Roast Turkey

This roast turkey variation is both sweet and spicy, just the thing to keep your guests on their toes. Poblano peppers and flavors from whole apples and cider give new meaning to a  holiday classic. 

View Recipe: Apple-Poblano Whole Roast Turkey

Easy Coq au Vin Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Easy Coq au Vin

Savory reigns supreme in this quick recipe that looks like it took hours of slaving in the kitchen to prepare. Garnish the top with a little fresh parsley right before serving with noodles, rice or boiled potatoes.

View Recipe: Easy Coq au Vin

Pork Tenderloin Agrodolce Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Pork Tenderloin Agrodolce

The deep rich colored sauce is full of sour-sweet savor that comes from vinegar, cherries, and cipollini onions. For a wine pairing, try Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2007, il vino "dal tralcetto". It keeps up with both the sweet and sour notes in this dish.

View Recipe: Pork Tenderloin Agrodolce

Crab Eggs Benedict Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Crab Eggs Benedict

This Benedict is served with a "mock" hollandaise sauce made from mayonnaise and buttermilk instead of the traditional clarified butter. Serve with steamed asparagus.

View Recipe: Crab Eggs Benedict

Apple and Cranberry Turkey Roulade Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Apple and Cranberry Turkey Roulade

Prepare the filling, stuff the tenderloins, roll, and tie them a day ahead. Let them stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking. You won't need any cranberry sauce, as the sweet and savory apple-cranberry stuffing does double duty. If you can't find turkey tenderloins, use skinless, boneless turkey breast halves.

View Recipe: Apple and Cranberry Turkey Roulade

Beef Filets with Mushroom Sauce and Parmesan Popovers Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Beef Filets with Mushroom Sauce and Parmesan Popovers

The hearty and earthy mushroom sauce tastes divine atop the filets. Parmesan popovers make for a satisfying accompaniment.

View Recipe: Beef Filets with Mushroom Sauce and Parmesan Popovers

Rabbit à la Moutard Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Rabbit à la Moutard

Rabbit is becoming more popular and accessible across the country. Look for it at specialty markets or sometimes frozen in supermarkets. You can also order online from dartagnan.com. Cook the egg noodles as the rabbit finishes simmering.

View Recipe: Rabbit à la Moutard

Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas

Put a global spin on your holiday meal with this flavorful dish. Serve as a vegetarian entrée or as a hearty side, but do serve it one way or the other!

View Recipe: Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas

Quick Cassoulet Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Quick Cassoulet

In its most simple state, a cassoulet is a slow-simmering bean dish with little bits of meat or sausage. A mixture of meat adds depth, and the medley of sausages here (versus traditional large hunks of slow-cooking meats) speeds up the cook time without sacrificing flavor. Look for D'Artagnan sausages at specialty stores, or order online from dartagnan.com. Open some great red wine, and chase this course with a bitter green salad.

View Recipe: Quick Cassoulet

Classic Roast Turkey and Giblet Gravy Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Classic Roast Turkey and Giblet Gravy

You’ll need to prepare the Homemade Turkey Broth ahead—a day or two in advance is ideal. In a pinch, use purchased fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth.

View Recipe: Classic Roast Turkey and Giblet Gravy

Maple-Brined Turkey Breast with Mushroom Pan Gravy Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Maple-Brined Turkey Breast with Mushroom Pan Gravy

Because you’re starting with a boneless cut, the brining time is much shorter than if using a whole bird. That makes this meal a great choice for an impromptu holiday gathering that still warrants an impressive dish.

View Recipes: Maple-Brined Turkey Breast with Mushroom Pan Gravy

Salmon with Satsuma-Soy Glaze Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Salmon with Satsuma-Soy Glaze

Sweet citrus like oranges, tangerines, or clementines can stand in for the brilliant gold satsumas. But keep in mind that satsuma rind is milder than orange rind.

View Recipe: Salmon with Satsuma-Soy Glaze

Leg of Lamb with Spicy Harissa Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Leg of Lamb with Spicy Harissa

Spice up a holiday dinner with this sultry combo of rich lamb basted with pomegranate molasses and a fiery sauce.

View Recipe: Leg of Lamb with Spicy Harissa

Pork Medallions with Pomegranate-Cherry Sauce Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Pork Medallions with Pomegranate-Cherry Sauce

Red wine, pomegranate, cherries, and balsamic give a rich, sweet, seasonal tang to the comforting flavor of pan-seared pork.

View Recipe: Pork Medallions with Pomegranate-Cherry Sauce

Honey-Coriander Glazed Ham Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Honey-Coriander Glazed Ham

Browning the coriander seeds and cumin seeds called for in this recipe is a truly fragrant experience. Honey makes this sweet spice mixture absolutely delectable when glazed over a smoked ham.

View Recipe: Honey-Coriander Glazed Ham

Spinach Pie with Goat Cheese, Raisins, and Pine Nuts Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Spinach Pie with Goat Cheese, Raisins, and Pine Nuts

This savory pie is full of flavor. Make it as a filling vegetarian option to serve with your holiday meal or let it stand alone as the main star on your dining room table.

View Recipe: Spinach Pie with Goat Cheese, Raisins, and Pine Nuts

Herbed Beef Tenderloin with Two-Onion Jus Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Herbed Beef Tenderloin with Two-Onion Jus

Fresh herbs and oniony flavors make a tender cut of meat absolutely divine. Brandy and dry red wine deepen the already flavorful Two-Onion Jus.

View Recipe: Herbed Beef Tenderloin with Two-Onion Jus

Leg of Lamb with Roasted Pear and Pine Nut Relish

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Leg of Lamb with Roasted Pear and Pine Nut Relish

A sweet sauce is common with roast leg of lamb, but this one has so much more depth of flavor than the traditional mint jelly. And the crunchy pine nuts add depth of texture as well. The lamb itself gets loads of flavor from marinating overnight in a lemon-spice-onion mixture before cooking.

View Recipe: Leg of Lamb with Roasted Pear and Pine Nut Relish

Garlic and Herb Standing Rib Roast

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Garlic and Herb Standing Rib Roast

Large bone-in roasts always make holiday meals feel special. This one, with only seven ingredients, is easy as can be. About 2 hours of roasting yields medium-rare perfection with a crusty exterior that will elicit oohs and aahs when you slice it at the table.

View Recipe: Garlic and Herb Standing Rib Roast

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Bok Choy and Coconut Rice Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Bok Choy and Coconut Rice

Salmon is a common entrée at Hanukkah meals, because many traditional dishes feature dairy ingredients, which kosher dietary laws prohibit mixing with red meat or poultry. This Asian-flavored fish dish is extra tender from long, low-temperature cooking, and is matched perfectly by the creamy rice and crisp stir-fried bok choy.

View Recipe: Slow-Roasted Salmon with Bok Choy and Coconut Rice

Roasted Chicken with Asiago Polenta and Truffled Mushrooms

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Roasted Chicken with Asiago Polenta and Truffled Mushrooms

The name sounds like something you'd find in a three-star restaurant, and the finished dish lives up to the name. Wonderfully creamy polenta and deeply earthy mushrooms complement a simply flavored roast chicken that's juicy and delicious. This dish is perfect for smaller gatherings where a whole turkey or roast would just be too much.

View Recipe: Roasted Chicken with Asiago Polenta and Truffled Mushrooms

Pork Loin with Olivada, Spinach, and Rice Stuffing

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Pork Loin with Olivada, Spinach, and Rice Stuffing

This is one of the best ways to prepare pork loin. Overnight brining ensures a tender and juicy end result, and flavors the meat all the way through. Rolled around a delicious stuffing piquant with kalamata olives, the final product is beautiful as well.

View Recipe: Pork Loin with Olivada, Spinach, and Rice Stuffing

Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Cassoulet

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Cassoulet

Our variation on the classic French wintertime dish uses meaty squash for body, rendering it much more healthful than the original. Though not as traditional as a turkey, ham, or roast, this is a great main course for a smaller holiday gathering or intimate dinner party.

View Recipe: Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Cassoulet

Turkey with Sausage, Apricot, and Sage Stuffing Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Turkey with Sausage, Apricot, and Sage Stuffing

Roasted turkey is an absolute must for any Thanksgiving, so if you're looking to shake things up a bit, the stuffing is a better place to start. Savory sausage (try hot Italian sausage if you like spicy) and sage, an herb that just tastes like Thanksgiving in any application, get a kick in the pants from sweet dried apricot, which provides contrast in both flavor and texture. Cooking the stuffing inside the turkey suffuses the meat with a subtle sage-and-apricot scent, but if you're uncomfortable doing that, just cook it in a separate pan.

View Recipe: Turkey with Sausage, Apricot, and Sage Stuffing

Classic Bouillabaisse with Rouille-Topped Croutons Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Classic Bouillabaisse with Rouille-Topped Croutons

We use red snapper in this dish, but cod, haddock, halibut, or other fresh white fillets will work. Rouille (roo-EE) is traditionally spicy; add 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper, if you like.

View Recipe: Classic Bouillabaisse with Rouille-Topped Croutons

 

Braised Lamb Shanks with Parsley-Mint Gremolata Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Braised Lamb Shanks with Parsley-Mint Gremolata

Mint, a favored partner for lamb, fits nicely into the gremolata. Serve these tender shanks with polenta, mashed potatoes, or risotto and broccoli rabe.

View Recipe: Braised Lamb Shanks with Parsley-Mint Gremolata

 

Mixed Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin with Shallot-Port Reduction Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Mixed Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin with Shallot-Port Reduction

A variety of black, white, pink, and green peppercorns updates the standard au poivre coating. The deeply flavored, slightly sweet sauce balances the spice of the pepper. Serve with haricots verts and mashed potatoes.

View Recipe: Mixed Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin with Shallot-Port Reduction

 

Spice-Brined Turkey with Cider Pan Gravy Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Spice-Brined Turkey with Cider Pan Gravy

You can use a double layer of turkey brining bags, then keep the bagged turkey in a stockpot in the refrigerator to guard against punctures. Garnish the turkey with fresh herbs and apples, if desired. For more great variations on this roast turkey recipe try: Roast Turkey with Onion and Cranberry Chutney, Shallot and Sage-Roasted Turkey with Shallot Gravy.

View Recipe: Spice-Brined Turkey with Cider Pan Gravy

 

Homemade Turkey Broth Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Homemade Turkey Broth

Remove the turkey liver from the giblets so your broth won’t become bitter. Freeze any extra broth, and use it in soups, stews, and sauces. Rich, full-flavored, and worth the effort, homemade broth or stock makes a good dish great.

View Recipe: Homemade Turkey Broth

Spicy Maple Turkey Breast with Quick Pan Sauce

Photo: José Picayo

Spicy Maple Turkey Breast with Quick Pan Sauce

If you don’t want to spend your entire Turkey Day in the kitchen, this is the entrée for you. A bold spice rub gives the meat big flavor and gorgeous color.

View Recipe: Spicy Maple Turkey Breast with Quick Pan Sauce

Roast Turkey with Sage Pan Gravy

Photo: José Picayo

Roast Turkey with Sage Pan Gravy

This classic bird and its rich gravy can easily anchor any traditional holiday feast.

View Recipe: Roast Turkey with Sage Pan Gravy

Oil-Basted Parmesan Turkey with Walnut Gravy

Photo: Johnny Miller

Oil-Basted Parmesan Turkey with Walnut Gravy

Nine ingredients (not counting salt, pepper, and cooking spray) come together for a grand holiday centerpiece with deep nutty essence from toasted walnut oil and chopped nuts. Let your turkey come to room temperature before it goes in the oven; it will cook more evenly and more quickly.

View Recipe: Oil-Basted Parmesan Turkey with Walnut Gravy

Foolproof Brined Turkey

Photo: Johnny Miller

Foolproof Brined Turkey

Brining a turkey is well worth the day-ahead time investment. It removes all guesswork, producing an incredibly moist bird that's more forgiving of being slightly overcooked. If you can't find an organic turkey, look for a fresh one without "added solution."

View Recipe: Foolproof Brined Turkey

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