Classic vs. Modern Holiday Recipes
Satisfy all tastes with these time-tested traditional dishes and their contemporary counterparts.
Classic: Garlic and Herb Standing Rib Roast
A large beef roast is a holiday mainstay, and this recipe flavors the meat very simply―with only salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic―so its natural flavor can shine.
Modern: Coriander and Black Pepper-Crusted Rib Roast with Roasted Onions
This roast is seasoned with many more flavors than the
Classic: Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole
Rare is the Thanksgiving table that doesn't hold something very similar to this dish. The enduring combination of sweet potatoes mashed with butter and brown sugar and topped with toasted marshmallows is a taste everybody loves.
Modern: Brown Sugar-Glazed Sweet Potato Wedges
Though its flavors are very similar to
Classic: Pennsylvania Dutch Tea Rolls
These light and airy, poppy seed–topped sweet yeast rolls are an iconic part of the old-fashioned American supper table. They're simple and delicate, and will complement any hearty meal, especially if it involves roast chicken.
Modern: Olive and Asiago Rolls
Classic: Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée
This elegant and impressive dessert ends any dinner party with class. All the accent marks in its name might be intimidating, but the recipe itself is quite simple―it has only six ingredients. And you get to wield a blowtorch (though if you don't have one, we include another method) to give the dish its signature crackly topping.
Modern: Espresso Crème Brûlée
To the original's creamy custard, this dish adds the deep, complex flavor of dark-roast coffee. Steeping coffee beans in the milk barely changes the color of the final product, but it most definitely changes the taste. Keep the flavor a secret, and watch the joy spread over your guests' faces when they try this new version of the old favorite.
Classic: Simple Poached Pears
This recipe is all about the fresh fall taste of pear. The cooking liquid contains no extraneous spices or flavorings to distract from the soft and tender stars of the dish, and the sauce it is later cooked down to adds only pear liqueur for even more flavor.
Modern: Warm Caramelized Pears with Clove Zabaglione
Instead of poaching, these pears are baked with wine, honey, and warm winter spices, leaving them similarly tender but with complex, multifaceted flavor. They're then topped with a creamy sauce that adds another layer of texture and taste. Where Simple Poached Pears were all about purity of flavor, this dish is all about harmony.