Whether you’re hosting a lavish Christmas dinner or a festive New Year’s Eve get-together, you’ll want to elevate your entertaining efforts with tasty dishes that wow your friends and family. To help you become the ultimate hostess this holiday season, here are 8 gourmet holiday recipes from celebrity chefs and restaurateurs that’ll impress your guests.
Gourmet Holiday Recipes
From delicious appetizers and side dishes to spectacular main courses (and even a specialty cocktail to toast with!), here are some of the best gourmet holiday recipes we’ve learned from celebrity chefs and restaurateurs across the country. Plus, learn expert cooking tips and tricks (like how to perfect your prime rib!).
Holiday Cocktail Recipe: Moët Champagne O’Clock
Created by entertaining impresario Bronson van Wyck, this delightful holiday cocktail (which is available on-menu at Café Clover in NYC’s West Village through the holidays) blends champagne and cognac with an orange twist and finished with a spritz of clove atomizer. Ideal for the chilly season, this delicious and elegant cocktail is a great way to greet your holiday guests and toast to the season.
- 3.5 oz Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut
- 1 oz Hennessy Cognac
- Dash of bitters
- Garnish with an orange twist and a spritz of clove atomizer
Holiday Appetizer Recipe: Tuna Crudo with Preserved Lemon & Avocado Basil Mousse
Giuliano Matarese, the famed Chef known both for his time on Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay, as well as his work with beloved restaurants such as Arte Café and Mille Lire, has crafted an exquisite gourmet appetizer that goes way beyond crackers and cheese. This divine Tuna Crudo with Preserved Lemon uses fresh tuna and Bono Sicilian products, resulting in a light and refreshing appetizer that will get your guests’ mouths watering. This is one of the most flavorful holiday recipes you can kickstart your celebration with.
- 10 oz fresh sushi grade tuna
- 2 tablespoons Taggiasca or Kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 generous pinch salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Bono Sicilian Lemon Organic Marmalade
- 2 tablespoons Bono Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Val Di Mazara PDO Certified
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons toasted pistachio nuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
- 6 drops Tabasco sauce
- 4 (4 oz) round molds
- 2 ripe medium avocados, smashed with a fork
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Bono Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Val Di Mazara PDO Certified
- 1 pinch salt
- Dice tuna into ¼ inch cubes.
- Place in a large bowl and put aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon marmalade, lemon juice, and Tabasco.
- Pour mixture over the tuna and gently toss with a wooden spatula.
- Add basil, chopped olives and salt and gently toss to amalgamate all the ingredients.
- To prepare the mousse, in a medium bowl whisk vigorously smashed avocado, lime juice, olive oil, and salt until creamy.
- Add shallots and basil and combine well.
- Place a 4 oz round mold on a serving plate and layer ¼ avocado mousse and tuna tartare.
- Sprinkle ¼ toasted pistachios on top, drizzle with Bono Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and garnish with some small tender basil leaves. Repeat for each plate.
Chef Michael Pirolo, a James Beard Award Semifinalist and the Chef/Owner of Macchialina (Miami Beach), Pirolo’s Paninos (Los Angeles) and The Saint Austere (Brooklyn) is known for his soulful Italian cooking and artful presentation. To celebrate the holidays, one of his signature European-inspired holiday recipes is his famed Branzino all’Acqua Pazza, which, in Italian is known as “Bass in crazy water”. The term refers to a deceptively simple but elegant Neapolitan technique for poaching fish.
Holiday Entree Recipe: Branzino all’Acqua Pazza
- 1 whole Branzino scaled and gutted with the gills removed
- 3 garlic cloves with the skin on smashed
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 cups water
- 2 tbs chopped parsley
- Sea salt
- 15 red ripe grape tomatoes
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 10 Gaeta olives
- In a large enough pan to fit the Branzino heat the extra virgin olive oil and the garlic.
- Once the oil begins to pick up the flavor of the garlic add the red pepper flakes, parsley, cherry tomatoes, and black olives.
- The pan should be very hot almost frying the parsley, now add the seasoned Branzino and the water place the lid on the pan and place it in a 350-degree oven.
- Cook for about 15-20 minutes, remove the fish from the pan and place on a platter, discard the garlic and taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning.
- Pour the sauce over the Branzino and drizzle with olive oil.
Holiday Side Dish Recipe: Boursin Carrot Top
It’s all about presentation, and this side dish recipe from television star, celebrity chef, and cheese enthusiast, Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski, wants to inspire you to get creative with holiday recipes. Savory roasted carrots, bright pesto, and a stroke of Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs make for a work of art that will be an instant classic. This delicious side dish will have your guests raving.
- 1 Box of Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese
- 12 Carrot greens (stems)
- 12 medium carrots, washed
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 clove of garlic, peeled
- Pre-Heat oven to 420° F
- Wash carrots and remove green tops (set aside)
- Toss carrots in olive oil, salt, and pepper and place on baking sheet
- Roast in oven at 420° F until edges are browned and softened, 15-18 minutes
- In a food processor, combine carrot greens roughly chopped and two cloves of garlic
- Add salt, pine nuts, and pulse until combined
- Add olive oil and pulse until desired consistency
- On a serving plate, make a paintbrush motion of Boursin with the back end of a spoon
- Rest carrots on top
- Drizzle pesto on top and serve
Holiday Entree Recipe: Prime Rib with Whole Grain Mustard & Horseradish Sauce
As one of the best beef experts in the industry, Executive Chef Reagan Roach leads the team at the Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant in California’s Central Valley where they cook hundreds of cuts of beef every day. If you’re a fan of classic holiday recipes, then you’ll surely enjoy this delectable prime rib recipe.
- 10 to 12 lb. Harris Ranch USDA Choice rib roast (boneless or bone-in)
- 2 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
- 2 tbsp. crushed black pepper
- 1/2 cup coarse salt Kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped rosemary
Whole-Grain Mustard Horseradish Sauce:
- ½ cup whole-grain mustard
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 4 dashes Tabasco sauce
- juice from ½ lemon
- ½ cup prepared horseradish – be bold and use the full strength kind
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Mix above ingredients and coat top of prime rib evenly.
- Place beef roast (fat side up) on a roasting rack or shallow roasting pan to catch juices.
- Roast uncovered in oven approximately 12 minutes per pound or until the meat thermometer reads five degrees below the desired doneness; 135º for rare, 140º for medium rare, 155º for medium.
- Allow roast to stand for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. During standing time, the temperature will continue to rise (about 5º) and reach the desired doneness.
- Slice to desired thickness and serve au jus and horseradish.
- Remove the roast when your thermometer reads:
- 115º F for rare
- 120º F for medium rare
- 125º F to 130º F for medium
Let the roast stand for at least 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. Don’t worry about tenting it with foil. During standing time the temperature of the roast will continue to rise about 5º F – even uncovered.
Slice to your desired thickness and serve with whole-grain mustard horseradish.
Holiday Side Dish Recipe: Honey Balsamic Brussels
Whether you’re serving vegetarians or just enjoy a hearty dose of flavorful vegetables, you can’t go wrong with honey balsamic Brussels sprouts. Courtesy of Chef Nate Weir, the Director of Culinary at Modern Market Eatery (a restaurant chain with 30 locations across CO, MD, DC, TX, AZ), here’s an at-home version of their popular Brussels.
- 3 tbs Honey
- ½ tbs Balsamic Vinegar
- ½ cup Walnuts shelled
- 2 lbs Brussels Sprouts
- 1 tbs Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F. While oven is heating, fill a pot with 4 quarts water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Prepare sprouts by removing the woody stem end, then cutting in half. Discard any loose leaves. Rinse well in a colander and allow to drain.
- Spread walnuts on a baking tray in a single layer. Once the oven is hot, cook walnuts until they are golden brown and smell toasted, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove tray from oven and set aside to cool.
- Add cut and washed Brussels sprouts to boiling water. Cook for 4 minutes, then drain in the colander. Immediately spread out in a single layer on another baking tray, and allow them to cool to room temp, about 30 minutes. This step lets moisture steam away from the blanched sprouts, which will help them roast.
- While sprouts are cooling, roughly chop the toasted walnuts into smaller pieces. Whisk together honey and balsamic vinegar to make a thick, smooth glaze. At this point, all ingredients can be saved and cooked as much as 3 days later, if desired.
- When ready to serve, preheat oven broiler. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Toss sprouts with 1 TBS olive oil, then spread onto a tray in a single layer. Roast in a hot oven under the broiler, shaking the tray occasionally, until sprouts are fully hot, toasted, and starting to char. The sprouts should have some dark, almost burnt leaves.
- Remove roasted sprouts from the oven. Pour honey glaze over top, then toss to coat with glaze. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to a serving dish, and top with toasted walnuts.
Holiday Dessert Recipe: Cranberry Pecan Bread
If you want to serve a dessert that can also double as a morning treat, then you’ll enjoy this next recipe by Emmy award-winning chef, wellness-focused cookbook author and founder of ChristinaCooks.com, Christina Pirello. Her variation on a traditional New England bread is laced through with tart cranberries, richly toasted pecans, and savory caraway seeds. She says she likes “to serve this delicately sweet and spicy bread on a crisp autumn morning with a drizzle of brown rice syrup that I’ve seasoned with grated orange peel”.
Makes 1 standard pie plate, 8-10 servings
- Avocado oil and flour, for preparing the pie plate
- 3 ounces dried, unsweetened cranberries
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry or sprouted whole wheat flour
- ½ cup organic yellow cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 1/3 cup Suzanne’s Specialties brown rice syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1½ cups unsweetened almond, rice or soy milk
- ½ cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted
- Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly oil and flour a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate.
- Mix the dried cranberries and orange juice together in a small bowl and soak them for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain, discarding any excess juice.
- Whisk together flour, cornmeal, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and caraway seeds in a mixing bowl. Mix in the avocado oil, brown rice syrup, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Slowly add “ the milk” until you achieve a thick, spoonable batter, but do not over mix. Fold in the pecans and cranberries.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pie pan plate and bake for about 35 minutes, until the center of the bread springs back to the touch or a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the rim and slice the bread into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature. This bread will last 3-4 days, tightly wrapped or in a sealed container at room temperature. It also freezes quite well. Cook’s Tip: You can also bake this in an 8 x 8-inch square pan
For more inspiring recipes and tips, check out the Entertaining section on Inspirations & Celebrations.
[Header and first image via Pexels; Article images and recipes c/o featured chefs and restaurants.]