Intimate Christmas Dinner
Zinfandel-Braised Lamb Chops with Dried Fruit
A jammy Zinfandel and dried fruit lend a ton of flavor to lamb-shoulder chops.
White-Bean and Prosciutto Bruschetta
Strips of prosciutto top each toast and are topped in turn with a mound of creamy white beans and sprinkling of crisp red onion.
Roasted Beets and Celery Root with Goat Butter
Goat butter (sold at specialty-food stores; use regular butter if unavailable) is white, smooth and creamy. Chef Tyler Brown likes using it in this riff on the classic pairing of roasted beets and goat cheese.
Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Pine Nuts
This speedy side dish is made in less than 45 minutes.
No need to roast fresh pumpkin for this dish (although you certainly could); using canned unseasoned pumpkin puree is much quicker, and it works just fine. Like most lasagnes, this one is easier to cut if left to set for ten minutes or so before serving.
Baked Polenta with Mushrooms
This homemade layered polenta dish is a terrific side dish or vegetarian main course.
Roasted Rack of Veal with Root Vegetables
This veal dish is particularly good with slightly tannic “orange” wines like Gravner’s Ribolla Gialla.
Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Thyme
Chef Nuno Mendes separates brussels sprout leaves by hand before sautéing them, an extremely time-consuming task. Thinly slicing the sprouts vertically—by hand or with a food processor fitted with a slicing blade—gets similar results in a fraction of the time.
Riesling Gelée with Strawberry Conserve
Holiday Make-Ahead Tip: The gelée can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Baked Custard with Allspice
Classic and homey baked custard benefits from a dusting of allspice instead of the usual nutmeg. Custards don’t get much quicker to prepare than this one.