Guests at breakfast. Guests at lunch. Guests at dinner. Repeat. For holiday hosts who love to feed family and friends morning, noon and night, chef Tom Valenti suggests a way to do it with aplomb: by preparing dishes that can be made well in advance.
Holiday Special: Breakfast
This cheesy frittata and cinnamon-glazed walnut cake are great for breakfast or brunch and also make a delicious late-night snack.
Superfast Breakfast Ideas
French Toast Sandwiches Sauté sliced bananas in butter and maple syrup. Layer between slices of French toast with crispy bacon.
Pecan Pancakes Stir chopped toasted pecans into pancake batter, as well as into warm maple syrup.
Sausage-and-Pepper Scramble Sauté sliced Italian sausage until browned. Add sliced bell pepper and red onion and cook until soft. Stir in beaten eggs and cubed pecorino. Serve with tortillas or toasted bread.
Stuffed Sticky Buns Remove the centers of sticky buns and stuff with sautéed apples or chunky applesauce. Sprinkle with granola and warm in the oven.
Holiday Special: Lunch
Valenti’s Italian soup-and-sandwich combo was inspired by dishes his Italian parents cooked during the holidays to use leftover ingredients.
Superfast Lunch Ideas
Frisée Salad with Prosciutto, Pears and Pomegranate Seeds Toss oven-crisped prosciutto with frisée, diced pears and a sherry vinaigrette. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
Toasted Turkey, Radicchio and Blue Cheese Sandwiches Mix blue cheese with mayonnaise and spread on sliced bread. Top with sliced turkey, radicchio and another slice of bread. Sauté the sandwiches in butter until the bread is golden on both sides.
Raw Beet Salad with Feta and Mint Julienne red and yellow beets and toss with orange sections and lemon vinaigrette. Sprinkle with feta, toasted walnuts and mint.
Holiday Special: Dinner
Valenti makes big batches of hearty baked pasta and spiced fruit compote ahead of time, so he always has a quick main course and dessert on hand.
Superfast Dinner Ideas
Carrot and Parsnip Mash Simmer chopped carrots and parsnips in chicken broth until soft. Mash and stir in softened butter and maple syrup.
Moroccan Lamb Chops Dust lamb chops with ground coriander and cumin. Sear on both sides and place over couscous with chopped dates and nuts. Serve with lemon wedges.
Broiled Salmon Mix prepared mayonnaise with chopped parsley, chopped dill and fresh lemon juice. Brush over salmon fillets and broil.
Peas with Pancetta Cook cubed pancetta until crispy and toss with blanched frozen peas. Sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and top with a squeeze of lemon.