Main Course Alternatives to Holiday Turkey
In the relatively brief time it takes for the veal chunks to become fork-tender in a pressure cooker (25 minutes versus 2 hours of conventional cooking), the carrot, onions and sage melt into a heavenly sauce.
Spiced Coriander and Mustard-Crusted Rib Roast of Beef
A spice grinder is a key tool, because freshly ground spices have the most vibrant flavor. The spice crust on this roast is peppery, fragrant and so delicious you'll want to pick it off and eat it while the roast rests.
Spice-Rubbed Salmon with Herb-and-Pomegranate Raita
It’s worth a little bit of extra effort to toast and grind the spices for this salmon, because it adds so much additional flavor. The spice mix is also good on pork and beef.
Slow-Cooked Sweet-and-Sour Pork Shoulder with Pineapple
Inspired by the retro combination of ham and pineapple, Jean-Georges Vongerichten created this twist by mixing the pineapple with vinegar for a sweet-sour effect, and marinating pork shoulder with hot paprika and Sriracha chile sauce. “Chile is my condiment of choice: A little here, a little there, makes the food sing,” he says.
Beef Chuck Eye Roast with Paprika-Herb Rub
This simple, flavorful beef roast—rubbed with thyme, paprika and cumin—is made with chuck eye, a cut from the chuck portion of the rib-eye muscle.
Cannelloni with Walnuts and Fried Sage
For his outstanding cannelloni, chef Matthew Accarrino stuffs homemade pasta with tender braised beef and bakes it in a creamy sauce.
Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops with Manischewitz Glaze
The sweet wine glaze for these chops started as a joke. “Someone kiddingly told me to try Manischewitz, so I bought a bottle,” says Rich Torrisi. “I found out it was made from Concord grapes, which are my favorite. And the grapes are from New York state, so I love them even more.&rdquo At Torrisi, the wine-glazed lamb comes with fried Jerusalem artichokes, too.
Smoky Glazed Ham with Red Pepper Jelly
Chef 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.
Butter-Poached Lobster with Kimchi Butter Sauce
Chef Zak Pelaccio tops sweet lobster with a spicy butter sauce flavored with Korean kimchi.
Roast Chicken with Cranberry-Apple-Raisin Chutney
Cranberries may call the holidays to mind, but this combination tastes great any time of year. You can serve the chutney warm or at room temperature; if there's any left over, use it to light up a chicken, turkey, or ham sandwich.
Dry-Aged Duck Breasts with Golden Beet Panzanella
Chef Paul Kahan has a great trick for heightening the flavor of duck breasts: He ages them on the bone in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Boneless duck breasts can be aged using the same method, although the results won’t be as dramatic; if you're short on time, use unaged duck.
Roasted Capon with Fig-and-Prosciutto Stuffing
Capon is like chicken’s richer cousin. It's tender, flavorful and—most importantly—much more forgiving to cook than turkey.
Celery Root and Mushroom Lasagna
“In Marche, we only make lasagna for special occasions,” 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 ragú, fresh mozzarella and whole basil leaves.
Bacon-Wrapped Rack of Venison
There’s one rule for venison: It should be served rare and hot. The dish can also be made with a boneless loin; the roasting time will be slightly shorter. Regardless of what cut you use, the meat needs to marinate in garlic and olive oil overnight, so plan accordingly.
Curried Lamb Potpie
Matthew Accarrino’s unconventional potpie is filled with coconut-spiked curried lamb.
Judith's Dungeness Crab Cioppino
For a holiday dinner, Judith Tirado, Michael Mina’s late mother-in-law, always prepared cioppino—the San Francisco seafood stew that owes its origins to fishermen from Italy’s Ligurian coast. "She’d spend a whole day infusing the broth with basil and tomatoes," Mina recalls. Now he carries on the tradition by making her hearty, briny recipe, full of crab, shrimp and clams.
Honey-and-Lemon-Glazed Roast Chicken
Inspired by beautifully browned Peking duck, Piero Incisa della Rocchetta brushes chickens with a mixture of soy sauce and honey from the beehives in his Patagonia vineyards.
Zinfandel-Braised Lamb Chops with Dried Fruit
A jammy Zinfandel and dried fruit lend a ton of flavor to lamb-shoulder chops.
Stuffed Pork Tenderloins with Bacon and Apple-Riesling Sauce
Chef Debra Whiting mixes fresh goat cheese with apple, sausage and greens, then stuffs it inside a bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin. To balance the richness of the cheese, look for a wine with good acidity, like a dry or semi-dry New York Riesling.
Pasta with Roasted Squash, Sausage and Pecans
Emeril Lagasse tosses pasta with sausage, butternut squash, sage and pecans for a terrific, hearty dish.