Time for a new Tradition

lifestyle magazine online london

"Make over your holiday feast"

Boredom can ensue when you have the same holiday menu year after year: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, roasted squash, cranberry sauce. If this is your family’s year to mix things up, I have the most delicious holiday makeover.

The key to a balanced dinner is to consider the elements of the palate: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami, a pleasant savory taste. The protein is the centrepiece of the meal and is complemented by a single starch and variety of vegetables.

Makeover Menu: Brussels Sprouts Gratin, Black Pepper and Sea Salt Dinner Rolls, and Prime Rib Roast with Goose Fat Roasted Potatoes.

Preparing some elements of your meal in advance will make the day of the dinner more enjoyable and less stressful, but, in some cases, can actually improve the flavour of the food. The Brussels Sprouts Gratin is one such dish. Resting, then cooling and refrigerating brings all the flavours together, maturing the taste.

Another make-ahead dish is the Black Pepper and Sea Salt Dinner Rolls. Baking bread fills the house with the most incredible aroma. After baking, the rolls can be cooled on a rack then wrapped for the next day. Just make sure you bake enough, because freshly baked bread always runs out quickly!

The Prime Rib Roast should definitely not be overcooked. Most diners request rare to medium-rare, but whatever your preference the roast will hold extremely well. The key is to remove the roast five degrees before it has reached the desired doneness. As it rests covered with foil on a rack on the counter, it will continue to cook, finishing at the right internal temperature, and will hold for at least an hour. This will give you time to collect those amazing pan juices and allow the meat to rest.

The Goose Fat Roasted Potatoes will be crispy on the outside and flaky and tender on the inside. Removing them from the oven and covering them will turn them to mush. They are best held in the oven, which has been turned off.

The successful choreography of a Holiday Makeover can be easy if you follow these common sense suggestions. Remember that less is more in terms of complexity. Keep it simple: use just a few ingredients; prepare some dishes ahead of time; choose recipes that will hold. And don’t forget to have fun!