If you spend twice as much time making your holiday meal as you do enjoying it, let’s upend that tradition. Our menu features a toil-free pork Wellington, quick and vibrant sides, and a chocolate dessert that doesn’t set foot in the oven. With this make-ahead strategy, you’ll be done before the doorbell rings.
Main Course: Pork Wellington with Prosciutto and Spinach-Mushroom Stuffing
Don't let beef have all the Wellington fun! Juicy pork tenderloin is just as delicious wrapped in flaky puff pastry. Cream multitasks here, lending richness to the mushroom-and-spinach filling and the mustard sauce served alongside.
MAKE AHEAD: Everything but the baking can be done in advance. The entrée can be refrigerated for up to one day, or frozen until firm, transferred to a freezer bag, and stored for up to a month.
Side: Peppery Greens with Meyer-Lemon Dressing
A couple spoonfuls of freshly squeezed Meyer-lemon juice make all the difference in a simple mustard vinaigrette. The lively dressing is the perfect partner for the slightly bitter, slightly spicy mix of watercress, arugula, and frisée.
MAKE AHEAD: The salad can be assembled up to eight hours in advance. Place clean, dry greens in a bowl on top of the dressing, cover, and refrigerate. Remove 20 minutes before serving and toss.
Side: Rutabaga-Sweet Potato Mash with Garlic and Sage
Two of our favorite root vegetables come together in this velvety mash: underrated rutabaga and crowd-pleasing sweet potato. Enriched with butter and cream and flavored with garlic and sage, it's poised to become your new go-to winter side dish.
MAKE AHEAD: The mash can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days. Reheat it in the microwave, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until hot.
Dessert: No-Bake Chocolate-Eggnog Crème Brûlée
A traditional crème brûlée is flavored with vanilla and requires a water bath and a turn in the oven. Our streamlined holiday version calls for dark chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brandy and is made from start to finish on the stovetop. Let the custards chill in the fridge until you're ready for the finishing touch: a crackly, caramelized crust achieved with sugar and a kitchen torch.
MAKE AHEAD: The custards (without the crust) can be refrigerated for up to two days. Sprinkle with sugar and torch just before serving.
To Drink: Sparkling Cider
Sparkling cider is a delicious counterpoint to pork. This dry one tastes like apples without being sweet and has a refreshing effervescence.
Isastegi Sagardo Basque Cider 2015, $9, astorwines.com.