Holiday Recipes for the Time-Challenged Foodie I love to cook. I love to entertain. But between work, family, shopping, decorating and sleep, there’s precious little time left to play in the kitchen. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for recipes that are full of flavor, look impressive, but can be whipped up in a hurry, preferably with ingredients that are already hanging out in the pantry or freezer. Here are three appetizers, two entrees, three sides and one dessert. I call that a dinner party! How about you? Do you have any favorite recipes in your can’t miss file?
Provencal White Bean Dip
Thomas Keller recipes don’t come much simpler than this creamy combo of cannellini beans, roasted garlic, thyme, rosemary and olive oil. Serve with a fresh, crusty baguette (or eat by the spoonful when the guests aren’t watching). It will take an hour to roast the garlic, but after that, it comes together in seconds. Get the recipe.
You can recreate this tapas-bar staple in about 20 minutes. From Anya von Bremzen’s totally terrific cookbook, The New Spanish Table, trust me, this is destined to become one of your fall-back appetizers. Hint, use small carrots, but not the baby kind. Get the recipe.
Artichoke and Olive Crostini
How fast can you slice and toast a baguette, open jars of artichoke hearts and kalamata olives and shave some good parmesan cheese? That’s how fast you can put together this crostini from Real Simple.
Roast Pork Tenderloin
Hands down, one of the easiest, most delicious roasts can put on the table in under an hour, including prep time. This is a very lean cut, so the key to success is to use a meat thermometer. There a billion recipes for pork tenderloin on the web. This one is super simple, and not counting the 3-4 hour marinating time, it cooks in 30 minutes and includes an easy pan sauce. Get the recipe.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Got pasta? Got bacon? Got eggs and parmesan cheese? You’re just minutes away from pasta heaven. Oh, if you’re like me, you’ll also need fresh cracked pepper…lots of it! Get the recipe.
Roasted Green Beans with Sage Butter
Okay, you’re going to need fresh sage, but that’s pretty easy to find and even easier to grow. This will become your ultimate go-to dinner party veggie recipe, but it’s easy enough for an average Monday night family meal. Get the recipe.
Pear and Pomegranate Salad
A Christmas choir in your mouth. No, really! And all it takes is a bag of baby spinach, sliced pears, red onion, pomegranate seeds, pecans and glorious gorgonzola cheese. Dress it with a simple vinaigrette. Get the recipe.
Scalloped Hasselback Potatoes
Elevate the baked potato to OMG status. Yes, it’s rich. Yes, it’s fattening. Who cares? It’s Christmas. You have to make this. Get the recipe.
Start with this oh-so-simple basic recipe from my ab/fab fave baking website, King Arthur Flour, and improvise. It really is the fastest, easiest cheesecake recipe ever, you can make it ahead of time and it tastes like a million bucks. Get the recipe.