It’s just a few days until Christmas, are you ready for all the festivities? With a new superspreader variant of the Covid virus around 77 countries, some of you may have decided to stay low-key this Holiday Season but that should not stop you from feasting on this Christmas Dinner Recipe. It is a great meal either with your partner or if you choose to, just by yourself.
So light up your tree, play your favorite Holiday tunes, pop a bottle of wine, and whip up this Tuscan-inspired Christmas Eve dinner with your partner. I suggest you make the dessert first then continue with the rest of the meal.
APPETIZER – CAPRESE CROSTINI
- ¼ cup fresh Mozzarella pearls
- ½ cup halved Tomatoes
- 8-10 leaves fresh Basil, cut into thin strips
- Balsamic Glaze
- Olive Oil
- Salt & pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Dried oregano
- slices of baguette or any crusty bread
To make the balsamic glaze (reduction), take 2 cups of good quality balsamic vinegar and cook it down with a sweetener, perhaps sugar, honey, or molasses until you reach this thick, deep rich color syrup. I always keep this much-loved condiment in my refrigerator to drizzle on any regular dish to turn it into something extraordinary with intense flavor!
To make garlic crostinis, take the slices of bread and drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and toast in a 475-degree oven for about 5-7 minutes or until the edges are golden. You can make just 4-6 slices or toast extras to pair with your pasta later.
In the meantime, toss fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, dried oregano, and a teaspoon of the balsamic glaze. Keep this caprese salad in your fridge until the garlic crostini are toasted and cooled off.
Top the crostini with the salad and drizzle with more balsamic glaze.
MAIN DISH – TUSCAN CHICKEN WITH FAFALLE
This easy-to-make light dish is a sure-fire pleaser. The farfalle pasta reminds me of ribbons on Christmas presents and is great for picking up sauces. Using boneless sliced chicken works because it will cook evenly and quickly. Adding both sundried and fresh tomatoes will add texture and intense flavors while the basil will give that fresh finish. This dish is done in 15 minutes.
- 100-150g farfalle or bow-tie pasta
- 2-3 pieces of dried bay leaf
- 1 piece Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp dried Italian Seasoning herbs
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup Heavy or all purpose cream
- 4-6 pieces of sundried tomato sliced into small pieces
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, whole
- 2 cups packed fresh spinach
- 6-8 leaves of fresh basil
Boil the pasta with lots of water, add salt and a few pieces of bay leaf while boiling for flavor. Cook slightly underdone and leave in the pasta water while you’re cooking the sauce.
Saute garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Make sure you don’t let it develop color so your dish won’t be bitter. Add the chicken and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Add the tomatoes and cook until the chicken is opaque and the cherry tomatoes are slightly blistered. Add stock and cream and bring to a boil. Add pasta and simmer until cooked al-dente. Turn off the heat and add spinach and basil. The residual heat will be enough to wilt the vegetables while keeping it fresh. Serve Immediately.
DESSERT – TIRAMISU TRIFLE
Generally making tiramisu is a long arduous process that may intimidate even experienced home cooks. This quick and easy version delivers the same luxurious dessert in just a few minutes.
- ¼ cup mascarpone or cream cheese
- 1 cup heavy whipping or all purpose cream
- 1 cup neutral cookies such as Pacencia Cookies or cut up Ladyfingers
- 3 tablespoons Instant Coffee Powder
- ¼ cup Sugar
- 1 shot of coffee liqueur or Kahlua
- Cocoa Powder or Grated Chocolate
Make a very concentrated coffee soak by mixing 2 tbsp instant coffee, 2 tbsp sugar, and a cup of hot water. Let this cool while you make the tiramisu cream.
In a bowl, combine room temperature mascarpone (or regular cream cheese), cream, Kahlua, sugar, and 1 tbsp instant coffee. Using an electric or stand mixer, slowly whip to a soft peak. You may also ask your partner to help you whisk this together and reward them with a big giant kiss! 🙂
Soak your cookies in the coffee mix for 5-10 seconds and let the excess coffee drip and place in the bottom of 2 separate cups or a larger bowl to share. Spoon some tiramisu cream making sure the cookies are covered and keep repeating the process until beautiful layers are created. Refrigerate to let all the flavors marry. Dust with cocoa powder on top before serving.
And there you have it, a three-course Christmas Dinner recipe for you and your loved one this Christmas! I highly encourage lots of giggles, dancing, and perhaps kissing in your kitchen to keep the celebration going. Remember, choosing to go low-key should not be lonely.
Have a Merry Christmas everyone!