During the holiday season, gathering delicious, festive recipes for the annual round of holiday entertaining becomes a pleasurable pastime. On this page, you'll find some of my favorite traditional dishes for sharing with friends, from perfect sugar cookies to the most luscious eggnog. Also included are my tips for some main courses (including standing roast beef and lasagna) to grace your dinner table.
Indulge in one of the Yuletide's greatest pleasure, and make a batch of this heady, creamy, from-scratch eggnog. I can't imagine one of my Christmas parties without a big bowl of nog--and, according to the evidence, neither can my friends.
This has an even creamier texture than the old-fashioned kind made with heavy cream. The cooked egg yolks make this the nog of choice for cooks who prefer to avoid raw eggs.
Marinated, roasted beef tenderloin is one of the most versatile dishes in a cook's repertoire. Served hot, it can be the main course of a holiday sit-down dinner. Cooled, and thinly sliced, is is often the centerpiece of an open-house buffet.
My perfect roast beef has a tasty, crisply browned crust and a juicy interior. For rib roast of any size, follow this roasting time estimate.
Roast goose isn't a typical American holiday tradition, but it does evoke warm and toasty Dickens-like emotions, thanks to the Crachit's dinner in A Christmas Carol. I have roasted many a goose for various Christmas articles and books.
One of my favorite holiday meals is duck--especially for New Year's Eve. But it isn't a very friendly dish to make for a crowd. Here's my way of doing it--saute the breasts and roast the legs.
I've been making this one with both red and white sauces and a light chicken-spinach filling for years. In fact, it gave me one of my first moments of pride as a young chef when I served it at a catered dinner for one of my university professors. He told me, "This is the best lasagna I've had since I left Rome...and I am not kidding!"
You can keep your caviar. When New Year's Eve rolls around, give me crab cioppino. In San Francisco, where I grew up, winter is Dungeness crab season, so cooks are always looking for ways to serve it before it disappears until next year.
My Christmas cookies are done! I come from a long line of Christmas cookie bakers, and they took the job very seriously. My great aunts taught me to make an annual list of my cookies, and to take notes on the yields, adjustments to make next year, and other details.
Bûche de Noël is one of my first choices for the Christmas dinner dessert. It has a traditional feel, and looks seasonal, and everyone at the table loves it.