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Christmas Dinner Ideas

Sherry
2 months ago

My family always cooked turkey and oyster dressing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was and is good, but a bit much turkey so close together. I would like something different for Christmas, BUT, I need something with NO dairy and NO nuts. I also need the meat cooked well done. My grandson is allergic to dairy and nuts and my husband does not eat meat that has any pink. Other than turkey, most of my "fancy" meals have dairy or are medium rare. We usually have ham on New Years and my husband does not like ham that much. Any ideas? I made spaghetti last Christmas and it was okay, but did not seem special.

Comments (49)

  • fawnridge (Ricky)
    2 months ago

    Fish?

    Sherry thanked fawnridge (Ricky)
  • party_music50
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    How about a beef bourguignon?


    eta: or, if you like German food, either rouladen or a sauerbraten dinner. If you like shrimp, maybe shrimp and lemon w/ linguine.

    Sherry thanked party_music50
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  • CA Kate z9
    2 months ago

    Give DH the more-done ends of a prime rib; you and others can eat the rest. There are a lot of recipes for dairy-free (DF). You can use all sorts of nondairy milks in place of cows milk... several of mine like the Oatybrand of oatmilk... no nuts. My family uses a lot of coconut milk for cooking.

    Sherry thanked CA Kate z9
  • plllog
    2 months ago

    I did a goose one year. I don't think it was worth the bother, but it's different.

    My own preference is also for cooked meat. This year I've been stuck eating medium or less several times. I’d think of Lindac saying how people were converts to med-rare in her house, and tried to enjoy it. Um. No. I tried. And, let me tell you, the over done ends of the tritip or prime rib send me off to potato-land. They're more edible than the red part, but pretty bad. If they were delicious, people would be begging for them, no matter the temperature.

    So, yes, stews like Bourguignon are excellent choices. So are braises. My family likes brisket. Cook it low and very slow, and it may retain some color (warn your husband that it really is cooked through), but it's succulent and flavorful. One time I did the Kenji three day sous vide chuck, but bison, finished in the oven with a splash of barbecue sauce. Magnificent. I haven't had the opportunity to repeat it, but will.

    How about braised lamb? My first lamb dish, I made in my teens, was a magazine recipe making the rounds. Good sized (toward the end of the growing year) butterflied leg of lamb, poked through with holes a couple of inches apart, on a shallow rack in a roaster, with a whole head of garlic, slivered, strewn around it, and a bottle or two of good red wine over it all. In a low oven, basted every 15 minutes for three hours. SO good!

    Sherry thanked plllog
  • colleenoz
    2 months ago

    Here's it's common to do a fresh pork roast, like a leg of pork, for Christmas. If you've managed to get the outside fat layer really crunchy (called "the crackling") it's especially prized.

    Sherry thanked colleenoz
  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    2 months ago

    What about roast duck? That's what I'm thinking about doing. I've done it before for holiday meals.

    And cranberry sauce goes well with duck too.

    Sherry thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • chloebud
    2 months ago

    “How about a beef bourguignon?”

    Great suggestion if that would work. It’s also better when made in advance so more convenient, too.

    Sherry thanked chloebud
  • lisaam
    2 months ago

    Beouf bourguignon has been our custom for the last 5-6 years. we don’t, but it can certainly be done in advance. noodles are easier than the yummier mashed potatoes and a pretty winter green salad rounds it out. add asparagus and bread as you like. im the vegetarian in the group so they usually give me a crabcake.. if you have a bunch of vegetarians musroom bourguignon is nice.c

    Sherry thanked lisaam
  • nekotish
    2 months ago

    Braised short ribs? My husband's favourite but he doesn't get them often as they are pretty expensive in these parts.


    Sherry thanked nekotish
  • Eileen
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Stuffed pork loin looks festive and is easy to do. I like that you can serve the traditional turkey side dishes with it.

    I don't have the recipe I've used but the filling wasn't a bread stuffing and had chopped dried apples in it. Here's a recipe that looks good. She also shows the right way to butterfly it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bSMhGkeBMc

    Sherry thanked Eileen
  • lizbeth-gardener
    2 months ago

    I would probably go with brisket. My family loves it and it would be one meat that isn't ruined by cooking well done and is also an easy oven meal. Or you could do shrimp, crab, lobster or fish.

    Sherry thanked lizbeth-gardener
  • Islay Corbel
    2 months ago

    If you want something really different, cook up a huge selection of Mezze. Delicious and always something for everyone.

    Sherry thanked Islay Corbel
  • HU-770220172
    2 months ago

    Try a pork crown roast. very festive looking.

    Sherry thanked HU-770220172
  • party_music50
    2 months ago

    I've only ever seen photos of a pork crown roast. My BF tells me the story of the time his SIL hosted a New Year Day party where she had a 12-rib crown roast and 13 people at the table. It was BF's brother who sacrificed himself and went without meat. lol!

    Sherry thanked party_music50
  • morz8 - Washington Coast
    2 months ago

    When we used to gather Christmas Eve with DH's huge family, we'd begun serving pork tenderloin. Back to back turkeys/hams (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) became too much for all of us. We were exhausted from the roasting, carving, all the sides, clean up. Twice ;)

    Now, we take it even easier and gather at a restaurant venue for lunch about a week prior to the holiday.

    But back to your question, with Covid and limiting numbers of guests, the last two years I've cooked the above mentioned Beef Bourguignon for Christmas Day dinner. Ina Garten's recipe works for me. A big hit and that's what I'm doing this year - and looking forward to it.

    Sherry thanked morz8 - Washington Coast
  • Sherry
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Beef Bourguignon is nice and I have cooked it and loved it, BUT it uses wine and hubby does not like wine.

    ETA: the restaurant sounds the best, lol.

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I think ham is a good choice. It is familiar. Lasagna is holiday festive but dairy cuts that out of the meal plan.

    We have had goose and duck years past but just the two of us. Meh. Good but never for family. We both love lamb but also never for family. Only dad likes it as much as us. We have a rack of lamb a few times a year but the prices are up to 25# Australian, 35# local.

    I rarely use any dairy in holiday meals. I did make an oyster dressing this past Thanksgiving, drool worthy, but has dairy.

    My family always does an 86/pass on ham being so salty. I do a 24hour soak in water, changing the water a few times, then the last water change i bring it up to a simmer for half an hour on the stovetop, then rubbed with an herb heavy compound butter and honey...then into the oven. (i've never made it for them since they never want ham---and don't believe me that the salt is cut by 30% or more). 🙄

    If you get bone-in, and have some left-overs, the bone can be frozen with a few slices for New Years day. Bone simmered with your black-eyed peas and collards if that is your Southern roots. Can't have NewYearsDay without.

    I think we have 15 at Christmas including x-mas eve. Weather depending with multiple flights having family all over.. We drive the 5-6 hours South but no way in a heavy snow storm. (we have the option to leave a few days early or delay a couple days...flights have less flexibility)

    I sent family choices Sunday. I feel like a wedding planner/caterer. 😂 Four vegetarians/pescatarians,--two gluten-free but not celiac. Dairy intolerant. (fine with seafood out in a restaurant or holidays---they just don't cook seafood in their homes).

    I suggested a small petite 8# turkey, (i have one in my freezer). A small ham and Salmon.

    Easy for a buffet style meal.



    Shrimp salad rolls Christmas eve with some apps and oyster stew...tradition.

    Then we settled on a crown roast and a whole stuffed salmon. With my usual roasted vegetables. Star of my holiday meals. Veg heavy family.



    So, pork crown roast it is, and a whole salmon stuffed and tied. I can french my own bone-in pork roast for a crownroast. (y-tube, Martha, etc.)

    Sherry thanked sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
  • Sherry
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    My oyster dressing has no milk, but I did that for Thanksgiving. Trying not to do the same thing Thanksgiving and Christmas like Dad did.

  • morz8 - Washington Coast
    2 months ago

    I readily admit I've never roasted a goose. But I looked at the selection when picking up some Thanksgiving ingredients and while I don't remember the price per pound, I do remember not finding a bird that was less than $100. That seemed like an expensive trial run for me and I lost interest (interest that was mild to begin with :)

    Sherry thanked morz8 - Washington Coast
  • Eileen
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I thought of doing a pork crown roast for Christmas Eve last year but it was really expensive. It's cheaper to do a small prime rib. We do prime rib for Christmas Day.

    I like to keep it simple on Christmas so you're not in the kitchen all day. I sometimes do a turkey dinner on New Year's Day to make it feel more festive, and by then I'm ready for turkey again.

    Maybe I'll do Cornish hens this year. I had to throw away a turkey leg today. Just could not eat anymore turkey even though it was only 9 pounds.

    Sherry thanked Eileen
  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    2 months ago

    I'd personally go with tamales with all the Mexican sides. Christmas tamales are a tradition in a lot of Latin American countries. We usually have them on New Year's day here. The bonus is all you have to do is pick some up at your local Mexican grocer and throw them in the steamer.

    Sherry thanked LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    We have goose. It’s very easy to roast. It is expensive but we only have it once a year. Since we don’t do Thanksgiving turkey wouldn't be a problem but we like goose better. Ours comes from a local farm. I’d be doubtful of quality from a supermarket.

    Sherry thanked floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
  • nancyjane_gardener
    2 months ago

    I would go with either pork tenderloin or, if available crab! Both of those can be hooked up with many different sides. I would ask the intolerant/allergic to bring a favorite side so you don't have to totally go with their allergies. Just a thought!

    Sherry thanked nancyjane_gardener
  • Sherry
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    My oldest grandson is the one allergic and it is no problem cooking almost anything non-dairy/nut free, except lasagna. I haven't found any non-dairy cheese that I like.

  • bbstx
    2 months ago

    I made this Apple-Cranberry Stuffed Pork Loin for Christmas one year. It was really good. Don’t be put-off by the ”double butterflying”. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Take your time and follow the pictures. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/apple_cranberry_stuffed_pork_roast/



    The only caveat is make sure you get a pork loin and not a pork tenderloin.

    Sherry thanked bbstx
  • Sherry
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    bbstx, Elise is one of my favorite bloggers. I started following her when it was just her on Simply Recipes. She has since sold it and their are lots of others. on there now.

  • bbstx
    2 months ago

    I didn’t realize she had sold but good for her! I had noticed that the content had changed a bit. The recipes seem less ”classic” now; they seem to use more ingredients that I do not have on hand. Nevertheless, it is still one of my go-to sites.

    Sherry thanked bbstx
  • Sherry
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    There are several friends that posted on her site before she sold and I usually like them. One was Nick and one was Hank. I really like her seafood and Tex Mex. I found the site when I was searching for popcorn, not the microwave crap. I pulled up Perfect Popcorn and was hooked.

    I wish it was possible to search by author, but that is not available.

    ETA: I click on a recipe and look at the arthor.

  • Lulu
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I saw Valerie Bertinelli do 2 crown roasts of pork, stuffed, for a family Christmas. She made extra dressing on the side. That looked great to me and very festive!

    Sherry thanked Lulu
  • colleenoz
    2 months ago

    Fish doesn't have to be fried. You could do a whole stuffed fish baked in the oven. Looks good on the table.

    Sherry thanked colleenoz
  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    2 months ago

    I would do fresh seafood like crab or shrimp scampi or brisket, that is special to me. But I also love pork roast.

    Sherry thanked Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
  • Eileen
    2 months ago

    Sherry, the recipe that bbstx posted is the one I mentioned in my post recommending stuffed pork loin. I remembered that there was vinegar in it in addition to dried apples. It is really easy to butterfly the loin.

    Years ago I bought fresh dungeness crab for Christmas Eve crab cakes. Never again! It took me a half hour to pick the meat out of one crab.

    Sherry thanked Eileen
  • Sherry
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    We can't even buy fresh crabs here. I do good to find the fresh containers of crab. My grandmother, from Grand Bay, AL (near Mobile), used to pick fresh blue crabs and make a lasagna pan full of stuffed crab. She had much more patience than I have.

    I am going to try several of y'all's recipes on Mr. Picky, aka my husband, but for Christmas, I am going to stay with the ham.

    Keep all the ideas coming, they all sound good. although Shrimp Scampi is a for me only, he will not touch it, lol.

  • plllog
    2 months ago

    Sherry, ham is as classic as turkey. Good choice! I couldn't quickly find a recipe that look any good, but there was a chestnut dressing that used to be served with ham that was really good. Let me know if you want me to try to find it.

    Sherry thanked plllog
  • Lulu
    2 months ago

    Last year for easter, I made a ham and served it with Ina Garten’s savoury gruyere pancetta bread pudding as a side. we really liked it.

    Sherry thanked Lulu
  • bbstx
    2 months ago

    You could put gruyere on bark and I’d eat it!! That bread pudding sounds delish!

    Sherry thanked bbstx
  • l pinkmountain
    last month

    I did a stuffed pork tenderloin one year for Thanksgiving. It was much more suitable for our small family. It was very well received. Another festive meal is stuffed cabbage rolls, which you can make well in advance and keep warm in a slow cooker or roaster. Both of those options less expensive then a beef roast. Not that a beef roast isn't lovely . . .

    Sherry thanked l pinkmountain
  • Sherry
    Original Author
    last month

    My husband is the roadblock on food. Everyone else eats most anything, even the GS allergic to dairy and nuts.

    The only roast hubby will eat is very well done pot roast. He would not even touch a cabbage roll. The only cabbage is mayonnaise slaw. Nothing cooked with wine. Nothing German except fried pork chops as long as I don't call it schnitzel, lol. It is, but I don't call it that. He does eat fried shrimp, which he had not had until after we married in 1970.

    Thanks for listening to me vent and all your dinners sound lovely.

  • l pinkmountain
    last month

    My dad is also a picky eater. I have stuffed a pork loin roast with plain stuffing. It's one of my dad's favorite dishes. He likes it most ways. Even sweet and sour, but then my husband is averse to anything sweet and sour, or with wine or lemon flavors . . . but only sometimes . . . he says it depends. So in other words, they both keep open the option of grousing about something no matter what I try . . . pft.

    Sherry thanked l pinkmountain
  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    last month

    I do think it is important to consider your close friends/family. Especially family. I have no issues making a holiday meal considering what everyone wants.

    A standing beef rib roast at 18-25$ a pound would be lost and not appreciated at all with my family. (served pink med rare or shoe leather if well done). A pork crown roast at 5-8$ a pound i know will be loved. Duck and lamb can be 'gamey'. Especially those that like white meat and never 'pink'. Or even med-rare. Best to not judge if a family member likes ketchup on their eggs. Or a steak well done.

    Five days i'll be cooking. Shrimp rolls and oyster stew Christmas eve. Both requested and tradition. I follow their lead and want feedback for favorites.

    DH still wants ham, 🙄. No problem as all can be accomadated in the oven with a bit of a kitchen dance.

    I would never meal plan duck, goose, or lamb for my family. Ever. Wasted time and effort. I made a complicated favorite desert once...dad said, "i don't get it, what is so special about it?". His favorite night out is Friendly's salad bar.


    Sherry thanked sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
  • Judi
    last month

    Sherry, I feel for you. Must be hard to find pleasure in cooking for someone so picky.

    Sherry thanked Judi
  • party_music50
    last month

    Omg, Sherry, I feel so sorry for you. Isn’t being such a picky eater grounds for divorce? if not, it should be. I had a good friend that would only eat meat as long as it was something that didn’t fly or swim, potatoes, and all desserts. lol!

    Sherry thanked party_music50
  • Sherry
    Original Author
    last month

    Well I did say for better or worse, lol. He HAS gotten worse. The older he gets, the more he goes back to only what his Mom cooked. He does eat fried shrimp, fried fish and oyster dressing, (but not oysters). She never probably even heard of that stuff. He will eat burritos or spaghetti if it is basic.

    Fried or boiled beef, pork, chicken. Pinto beans, potatoes, mayonnaise slaw, mac and cheese, canned corn, canned green beans. Biscuits, gravy, breakfast sausage, fried eggs. Salt and pepper the only seasoning.

  • nancyjane_gardener
    last month

    I try to make a variety of things, the main being (hopefully ) crab or lasagna, salad, crusty bread and whatever everyone wants to bring! I announce the menu ahead of time, and if someone doesn't like it, or is allergic, they can bring their own, or not come!

    I'm not going to be a chef for every real or imaginary (yes I've had several family members who have imaginary allergies!) whatever!

    Come or don't! Up to you!


    Sherry thanked nancyjane_gardener
  • plllog
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Sherry, if it's any consolation, I have one that's miles pickier! Truly. At family feasts, sometimes I'll make him something special. Sometimes, he has to make do with a potato or roll. Sometimes, he's allowed to bring in his own dinner. All these depending on what kind of occasion. But I don't have to live with him. The ham sounds good. It's a traditional Christmas food and should require little fuss for the cook.

    Sherry thanked plllog
  • l pinkmountain
    last month
    last modified: last month

    We had roast chicken one year, it was delicious and no one complained. Other than folks who just complain for a living. This year at Thanksgiving, even though he KNEW we were having turkey for dinner, right before we sat down Dad complained that he had just had chicken for lunch . . . I actually predicted that would be his complaint de jour. He has a mental disorder so it will always be something. He actually complimented me on the meal and said he realized it had been his choice to eat chicken for dinner. He just couldn't stop himself from saying something negative. Kind of like OCD . . . he has a compulsion to say something negative as he sits down to eat a meal. Usually it is "I'm not hungry, I have no appetite." But his other go-to is, "I just had . . . "X, insert the name of whatever food is being served . . . for "you name the previous meal." Or "I've been eating a lot of "X" lately . . . Another one is "What IS that??!! Doesn't look like any "X" I've ever seen before . . . "

    People who are like this are usually suffering the after-effects of some type of trauma. Sometimes it goes back to childhood, and re-emerges as folks get older and can't keep as busy to hold their demons at bay . . . Sometimes it is a combination of childhood trauma and adult grief and trauma. We try to keep a sense of humor about it and be compassionate. We gave up trying to please, because it can't be done, by design . . . just try to include him and if he just has to eat a roll and some leftover plain rice, so be it. He knows it is his issue, does not need to be ours.

    Sherry thanked l pinkmountain
  • neely
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Thanks for this thread Sherry, found it on page 2 and thought I’d add to it. Though probably not much help to you and what you will be having. Did you decidevto go with the ham?


    Feeling pleased as this afternoon I prepared the dressing to go with the turkey on Christmas Day and placed it in the freezer. It was my own made up recipe, though I ‘m sure someone somewhere has also made it similarly. I used ordinary bread crumbs, Panko crumbs, lightly fried very small chopped onion, pork mince lightly fried with the onion, refreshed/ soaked dried cranberries, plenty of dried sage, onion powder, salt, lots of white pepper for heat, moistened with a little chicken stock. I will top this with crushed large pieces of little toasts drizzled with melted butter on the day, before it goes in the oven.

    I also prepared and freezered some diced pork in soy sauce and Chinese spices to go in little pork buns as a starter/first course before the turkey. I will serve these with a small Asian salad.


    I am still undecided about making the gravy in advance... I would like to but DH likes to fuss over it and make it on the day, sort of a family tradition so as I write this I am deciding to leave it to him.


    Christmas Pudding is made for dessert, I will make mince pies another day, and I bought a small iced cake to have with cups of tea later in the afternoon.


    I must admit I do like the planning and prep before Christmas just don’t like cooking for too many people.

    Sherry thanked neely
  • claudia valentine
    last month

    I never could understand why folks turn around a few weeks later and make yet another turkey and all of that.

    There are so many other good things to eat.

    Why?

    I cooked one duck in my life and never again.

    Sherry thanked claudia valentine