This holiday season, gather around the table to celebrate and share a memorable and delicious meal with family and friends. Fill up your plate with some incredible main dishes and sides to pair with such a special occasion.
Herb-Crusted Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding with Red Wine JusHave your butcher cut the ribs from the roast and tie them back on. Use muffin tins if you don't have popover pans. Preheating the pans makes the popover batter start cooking and fluffing the second you pour it in.
Potatoes DauphinoiseThis rich gratin uses a combination of milk and half-and-half instead of the traditional heavy cream to slash saturated fat. We find the texture of Kerrygold reduced-fat cheese more like full-fat cheese than other brands.
Duck à l'OrangeDuck breast is best when cooked to medium-rare or medium--it develops livery flavor when cooked longer.
Roasted Balsamic Radicchio with Pancetta and WalnutsRadicchio--that bitter, crunchy, scarlet and white vegetable Italians adore, becomes entirely different when roasted. Its color deepens and the flavor turns mellow and nutty, with just a hint of bitterness remaining. Serve it alongside roast pork, chicken, or beef. Or, to turn it into a main course, chop and toss with hot cooked pasta.
Creamiest Mashed PotatoesFor extremely creamy and decadent mashed potatoes, look for xanthan gum with the gluten-free baking mixes and flours; it's available in most supermarkets these days. You can get semiclose results with cornstarch, but the spuds won't be quite as creamy.
Smoky Glazed Ham with Red Pepper JellyChef Jonathon Sawyer's secret to a successful holiday feast is doing most of his preparation ahead of time, for what he calls "easy game-day execution." He makes the sauce that becomes a sweet-sticky glaze and the spicy pepper jelly a few days in advance; then, on Christmas day, all he has to do is bake the ham.
Spinach and Mushroom StrataThis cheesy, meatless casserole is best served straight out of the oven, golden and bubbly.
Mini Cheese BallsAlmond milk cream cheese is delicately nutty, with a buttery-rich texture and zero grams of sat fat. Find it at Whole Foods stores nationwide. You can substitute 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, which adds 1.6g sat fat to each serving.
Cranberry-Goat Cheese White Bean and Kale SaladGreat as a side salad for a variety of main dishes, this hearty kale and goat cheese salad features the sweetness of cranberries which lends it a festive flavor.
Honey-Roasted Butternut SquashThis side is simple and fabulous. The cooking is mostly hands-off, and the prep is easy. Serve the tender butternut squash in large pieces to catch every last bit of the honey butter drizzle.
Honey Mead-Brined Canada Goose with Cabbage, Currants, and Brûléed PearsAn elegant dinner of mead-brined goose breast with cabbage and brûléed pears is guaranteed to impress holiday guests.
Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Brussels SproutsThe only thing better than sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts is when they're served together and caramelized to perfection. The perfect holiday side!
Slow-roasted Patuxent MallardImpress your guests with a beautifully-presented, slow-roasted Patuxent Mallard for an elegant dinner this holiday season.
Christmas SaladA warm vinaigrette will soften these sturdy greens, but their structure will hold up for up to an hour or two on a holiday buffet. Prep all the ingredients ahead of time, and store in individual zip-top plastic freezer bags in your refrigerator until ready to toss with warm vinaigrette. We love Chiogia beets, with their candy-striped interiors, for this recipe.
Veal Chops Milanese with Lemon and HerbsServe veal chops as an impressive holiday main dish. Ask your butcher to "french" the chops for you so you take home clean meat that's ready to prep.
Fontina-Chive Yorkshire PuddingsDon't skip the first step: For the fluffiest, puffiest puddings, make sure the muffin pan is super hot. You can also make these in popover pans.
Green Beans with Chanterelles and CipolliniChanterelle mushrooms and cipollini onions are worth the splurge, but you can substitute halved cremini mushrooms and frozen pearl onions and the results will still be very tasty.
Classic Roasted Duck with Orange-Bourbon-Molasses GlazeThe secret to crispy skin is a dry duck. Pat ducks with a paper towel before, during, and after refrigerating. Store uncovered in the back, coldest part of your fridge for up to two days ahead.
Dirty Rice RisottoAdding hot broth slowly to the mixture helps release the starch from the rice, giving the risotto its characteristic creamy texture.
Grilled Cornish Hens with Herb BrineIf you don't own kitchen shears, that's ok--a pair of heavy-duty scissors will work just as well to prep these cornish hens.
Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan CreamFor the most tender Brussels sprouts, look in your produce section for sprouts sold on the stalk. Then cut off the sprouts, and store in a zip-top plastic freezer bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
Spice-Rubbed Tenderloin with Mustard-Cream SauceSince beef tenderloin doesn't have much fat, it can easily become dry and overcooked. For tender slices, don't cook past a meat thermometer registering 130° in the center.
Broccolini with Pecans and Cane Syrup VinaigretteEasy, in-a-pinch substitutions: Use molasses for cane syrup and broccoli florets in place of fresh Broccolini. Pomegranate seeds add a festive touch.
Cheese Grit-and-Chive MuffinsThese little muffins are a hearty substitute for the standard dinner roll, and they also bring a bit of Southern flair to the table.