Luxe Holiday Recipes
Harissa-Crusted Pork Crown Roast
For the regal pork crown roast, Melissa Rubel Jacobson replaced the run-of-the-mill garlic-herb coating with a smoky harissa version. “I love the way it turns from a paste to a crispy crust,” she says.
Chocolate Truffle Layer Cake
This outrageous chocolate cake was born from a lucky mistake. Pastry chef Kimberly Sklar was baking a crème fraîche-spiked chocolate cake and, by accident, took the pan out of the oven early. Discovering that the cake was superfudgy, she layered it with dark chocolate and white chocolate ganache, then covered it in dark chocolate frosting.
This smooth and creamy chicken liver pâté is flavored with onions, fresh herbs and Marsala, then blended with crème fraîche.
Chantilly Potatoes with a Parmesan Crust
Maria Guarnaschelli likes to joke that when you cook French food on a regular basis, you need a cow in the backyard to provide enough butter and cream. This dairy-rich recipe calls for whipped cream and cheese.
Salmon Trout Tartare with Pressed Caviar and Tomatoes
Salmon trout has a mild, delicate taste, but regular salmon is also delicious in this bright-flavored tartare.
Creamy Parmesan Custards
Years ago Rachel Klein worked in a fish store in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, that sold a smoked salmon-Parmesan quiche. The combination was clunky; Klein refines it for this silky custard, which she bakes in elegant egg cups, instead of a quiche crust, and tops with gravlax and peppery arugula.
Vidalia Onion Soufflés
Vidalia onion soufflé was a fixture at Thanksgiving and Christmas meals when City Grit’s Sarah Simmons was growing up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This version—lighter and airier than the one her mother makes—can be prepared in individual gratin dishes or in one big baking dish. Feel free to use any sweet onion you can get, such as Vidalia, Walla Walla or Oso Sweet.
Seven-Layer Dobos Torte
This version of the classic Hungarian dessert is made with layers of moist sponge cake and silky chocolate buttercream, then topped with toasted meringue.
According to legend, the dish was named in honor of John D. Rockefeller, at that time one of the world’s richest men, because of the sauce’s intense richness. The following recipe is the old Delmonico restaurant’s take on the dish, with the Rockefeller sauce base used not only to make the Oysters Rockefeller appetizer, but also used as a spread on toast to create canapés.
Pasta with Robiola and Truffles
This indulgent first course marries three of Italy’s best ingredients: egg pasta, winter truffles and Robiola Rocchetta, a creamy cheese from northern Italy, which forms the base for an incredibly rich sauce.
Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Michael Symon’s four-ingredient potatoes get plenty of flavor from browned butter and crème fraîche. Reserve a little browned butter to drizzle on the potatoes just before serving.
Foie Gras-Steamed Clams
Jonathon Sawyer uses a little bit of foie gras to create a luscious sauce for clams. “It's such a simple recipe,” he says. “I just put the clams, foie gras and vinegar in a pot and just let them get to know each other for a while.”
Serve these mushrooms as an hors d’oeuvre or as an accompaniment to a beef or veal roast.
For Anna Zepaltas’s rillettes, inspired by a similar dish at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon bistro in the Napa town of Yountville, Zepaltas blends fresh salmon and butter with hot-smoked salmon to give the rich spread extra-rich flavor. You can pour melted butter over the top—as Keller does—to seal in freshness.
Celery Root and Mushroom Lasagna
“In Marche, we only make lasagna for special occasions like Christmas,” Fabio Trabocchi says. For this streamlined version of his luxe lasagna in bianco (white lasagna), he layers flat noodles with a supremely rich sauce, along with a root-vegetable ragù, fresh mozzarella and whole basil leaves.
Mini Blini Napoleons
Pinch Food Design chef Bob Spiegel loves to rethink classic combinations, like this architectural take on blini and caviar. This recipe makes more blini than you’ll need, but extras are great with smoked salmon.
This crowd-pleasing pork roast, made from brined, seasoned pork belly, has crisp, crackling skin and tender meat flavored with rosemary, garlic and fennel.
Overstuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes
These potatoes are so large and filling that Emeril Lagasse has customers who order this as their entrée. The reason Lagasse calls them overstuffed is that he adds an extra baked potato to the stuffing mixture, but if these seem too large for you, then bake and mash only four (instead of the five used here), or use smaller potatoes.
This is the ultimate comfort food: tender noodles mixed with potatoes and cabbage, then baked with cheese and a crispy bread-crumb topping.
Creamy Scalloped Potatoes with Monterey Jack and Chipotle
Chipotles in adobo have a rich and toasty heat that flavors the creamy sauce for this luscious gratin.
Crispy Potato Galette with Dill Cream, Smoked Salmon and Sturgeon and Osetra Caviar
To make sure her soufflés rise, Gail Simmons folds lots of fluffy whipped egg whites into a Roquefort- and-Parmigiano-Reggiano base.
Ligurian Seafood Soup
This gorgeous dish of layered shellfish and seafood is based on a recipe that sommelier Richard Betts found in a 1995 issue of F&W. Betts freely adapts the recipe to whatever looks best at the market, but he always follows the same formula: fish on the bottom, shellfish on the top. “It’s so impressive,” he says. “When you pull it out of the oven, people freak.”
Sweet Potato Soufflé with Molasses Sauce
This dish is a French take on an American classic. You can serve it without the molasses sauce for a lighter and less sweet version.