Season's Eatings

Have yourself a tasty little tree-trimming party, Hanukkah celebration or Christmas brunch with our delicious family-style recipes tailored to each occasion.


Photos by Mike Garten

Cucumber, Roasted-Beet & Pistachio Salad

Prep | 30 min Total | 1 hr

  • 3 lbs. med. beets, trimmed, scrubbed and very thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lg. seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ½ c. roasted salted pistachios, shelled and chopped

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss beets with olive oil and ¼ tsp. salt; spread out in single layers on 2 lg. rimmed baking sheets. Roast 30 min. or until tender, switching pans on racks halfway through. Let cool.
  • Meanwhile, in med. bowl, toss cucumber with ¼ tsp. salt; transfer to colander to drain.
  • Toss cucumber with vinegar, sesame oil and ¼ tsp. black pepper until well coated; fold in beets. Transfer to serving platter. Top with pistachios.

Serves 8

About 155 cals, 4 g protein, 14 g carbs, 11 g fat (1 g sat), 4 g fiber, 270 mg sodium.

Hanukkah

Your family will want to eat our Asian-inspired feast for all eight days and nights!

Caramelized Brisket with Glazed Shiitakes

Prep | 30 min Total | 3 hrs 30 min

  • 3 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 beef brisket (about 4 lbs.), trimmed
  • 1 lg. onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ¾ c. lower-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ c. molasses
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. rice vinegar
  • 2 whole star anise
  • ½ tsp. five-spice powder
  • 1½ lbs. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • Finely chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Steamed white rice, for serving

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. In 7- to 9-qt. wide-bottomed Dutch oven or heavy saucepot, heat oil on med.-high until hot. Season brisket all over with 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper; add to pot. Cook 10 min. or until browned on both sides, turning over halfway through. Transfer to lg. plate.
  • To pot, add onion and garlic; cook 3 min., stirring. Add soy sauce, molasses, sugar, vinegar, star anise and five-spice powder, scraping up any browned bits. Return brisket to pot. Heat to boiling on high. Cover and bake 2 hrs.
  • Add shiitakes to pot. Cover and bake another 1 to 1½ hrs. or until brisket is very tender. Transfer brisket to cutting board. Transfer shiitakes to serving dish. Pour cooking liquid through fine-mesh strainer set over med. bowl or fat separator; discard solids and fat. Serve brisket with shiitakes and cooking liquid. Garnish with parsley. Serve with rice, if desired.

Serves 10

About 375 cals, 36 g protein, 25 g carbs, 14 g fat (4 g sat), 2 g fiber, 675 mg sodium.

Crispy Ginger-Scallion Latkes

Prep | 35 min Total | 1 hr

  • ⅓ c. matzo meal
  • 3 lg. eggs
  • 4 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 lbs. Idaho or russet potatoes
  • 1 qt. canola or vegetable oil
  • Applesauce, sour cream or Sriracha hot sauce, optional

  • In lg. bowl, combine matzo meal, eggs, ginger, green onions and ¾ tsp. salt; set aside. Peel and shred potatoes.
  • Wrap one-quarter of shredded potatoes in clean kitchen towel; firmly squeeze all liquid from potatoes into med. bowl. Place squeezed potatoes in bowl with matzo meal mixture. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
  • Pour off liquid from med. bowl. Scrape starch collected on bottom of bowl into bowl with potatoes. Toss potato-and-matzo-meal mixture until well combined. Place lg. wire rack over lg. sheet foil.
  • In 12-in. heavy skillet, heat oil on med.-high until shimmering and hot but not smoking. By packed ¼-cupfuls, scoop potato mixture and carefully scrape into hot oil to form mounds, pressing on tops to flatten slightly (do not crowd pan). Reduce heat to med. Fry 4 to 5 min. or until bottoms are golden brown. Turn latkes over and fry 4 to 5 min. or until other sides are golden brown. With slotted spoon, transfer latkes to wire rack to drain; sprinkle with pinch salt. Repeat scooping, frying and draining with remaining potato mixture. Serve hot or at room temperature with applesauce, sour cream or Sriracha.

Makes 16

Each about 135 cals, 4 g protein, 22 g carbs, 4 g fat (1 g sat), 2 g fiber, 215 mg sodium.

Tree Trimming

Throw a polenta party! It's as easy as pizza with flavorful fixin's to mix and match.

Garlicky Beans & Greens

Prep | 10 min Total | 20 min

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 lg. bunch (about 1 lb.) escarole, chopped
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) lower-sodium white cannellini beans (do not drain)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

  • In 6- to 7-qt. saucepot, heat oil on med. Add garlic, thyme and crushed red pepper. Cook 2 min. or until garlic is golden, stirring. Add escarole and ½ tsp. salt. Cook 2 min. or until escarole wilts, stirring occasionally. Gently stir in beans and sugar. Reduce heat to med.-low.
  • Cover and cook 10 min. or until greens are very tender. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice.

Serves 8

About 135 cals, 7 g protein, 20 g carbs, 4 g fat (1 g sat), 8 g fiber, 305 mg sodium.

Creamiest Cornmeal Polenta

Prep | 10 min Total | 1 hr

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 med. shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 2 c. yellow cornmeal
  • ½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 Tbsp. (½ stick) butter

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In 7- to 8-qt. saucepot, heat oil on med. Add shallots; cook 5 min. or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add broth and 5 c. water. Heat to boiling on high. Slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cover and bake 40 to 50 min. or until cornmeal is tender, stirring every 10 min.
  • To polenta, add Parmesan, butter and ¾ tsp. salt, stirring until butter melts. Serve immediately.

Serves 8

About 260 cals, 5 g protein, 33 g carbs, 12 g fat (5 g sat), 2 g fiber, 835 mg sodium.

Pork & Peppers Ragu

Prep | 45 min Total | 2 hrs 30 min

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder (about 3½ lbs.), trimmed well and cut into 4-in. chunks
  • 1 lg. red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 lg. green pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 lg. onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • ¾ c. dry red wine
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. In 6- to 8-qt. Dutch oven or heavy saucepot, heat oil on med.-high until hot but not smoking. Season pork all over with ¾ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper; add to pot. Cook 10 to 12 min. or until browned on most sides; transfer to lg. plate.
  • To same pot, add peppers, onion, garlic and ½ tsp. salt. Cook 5 min. or until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste; cook 1 min., stirring. Add wine. Heat to boiling on high; boil 2 min. or until reduced slightly. Add tomatoes and bay leaves; return pork to pot. Heat to boiling. Cover and cook 1½ to 2 hrs. or until pork is very tender.
  • Transfer pork to cutting board; with 2 forks, pull pork into bite-size pieces. Discard bay leaves. Return pork and any juices to pot with tomato sauce, stirring to coat.

Serves 10

About 260 cals, 25 g protein, 11 g carbs, 13 g fat (4 g sat), 3 g fiber, 535 mg sodium.

Savory Mushroom Medley with Thyme

Prep | 20 min Total | 40 min

  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 lg. shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 1-in.-thick slices
  • 8 oz. oyster mushrooms, cut in half if lg.
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish

  • In deep 12-in. skillet, heat butter on med.-high. Add shallots; cook, stirring, 1 min. Stir in mushrooms, garlic, thyme, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper; cook 12 to 15 min. or until mush-rooms are tender and browned and liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.

Serves 8

About 85 cals, 3 g protein, 7 g carbs, 6 g fat (4 g sat), 1 g fiber, 205 mg sodium.

Christmas Mmm... Morning

Our gift to you: make-ahead French toast! Now go focus on the fun stuff-like unwrapping presents.

Bacon French Toast Bake

Prep | 20 min Total | 1 hr 15 min, plus drying and soaking

  • 1 loaf (about 1 lb.) challah or brioche bread, cut into ½-in.-thick slices
  • 6 lg. eggs
  • 2 c. half-and-half
  • 2 c. grated Gruyère cheese (about 8 oz.)
  • ¼ c. plus 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped

  • Leave bread slices spread out on rack or platter at room temperature at least 2 hrs. or until slightly stale. Grease 3-qt. baking dish.
  • Arrange bread in prepared baking dish, slightly overlapping. In lg. bowl, whisk eggs, half-and-half, Gruyère, ¼ c. maple syrup, cinnamon and ½ tsp. each salt and pepper until combined. Pour all over bread in baking dish. With hands, press down on bread to submerge. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hrs. or up to 1 day.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove plastic. Sprinkle bacon all over top of bread mixture. Bake 45 to 50 min. or until golden brown and set. Drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp. maple syrup before serving.

Serves 10

About 410 cals, 18 g protein, 33 g carbs, 23 g fat (10 g sat), 655 mg sodium.

Pineapple-Pom Fruit Mélange

Prep | 20 min Total | 25 min

  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, slightly bruised with side of knife
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 lg. navel oranges
  • 1 lb. fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 lb. lg. seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 ½ c. pomegranate seeds

  • In sm. saucepan, combine sugar, rosemary, vanilla, salt and ¼ c. water. Heat on med.-high just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cool completely.
  • With sharp paring knife, cut off tops and bottoms of oranges, then cut off peel. Working over lg. bowl, cut segments out of oranges into bowl; discard membranes. To bowl with orange segments, add pineapple, grapes, pomegranate seeds and rosemary syrup, tossing until combined. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.

Serves 8

About 160 cals, 2 g protein, 40 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 310 mg sodium.

Food styling by Christine Albano. Prop styling by Cate Geiger.