BUILDING A HOLIDAY FEAST
The menu starts with a simple, elegant seafood hors d’oeuvre. For these oysters, the classic mignonette sauce is made modern by freezing it into an icy raspberry-spiked granité.
A light first course out of an Edith Wharton novel might have been consommé or aspic, but for us it’s Roasted Chicken Broth with Scallops and Chives: rich, nuanced flavors simply presented.
For the showpiece, a classic standing beef rib roast, Roy simplified the cooking and carving by removing the meat from the bones before roasting; so as not to lose flavor, we use the whole bone piece as a rack.
We wanted simple vegetable sides, but we’re tired of the usual suspects. Roy replaced mashed potatoes with an earthy-sweet Turnip and Pear Purée. And our Brussels sprouts are sliced thinly and crisped up in a pretty sauté, dotted with briny, crunchy fried capers.
A retro steamed pudding requires midmeal kitchen time for the host. For our special and unexpected dessert, Roy chose a classic Monte Bianco, a purée of sweetened chestnuts and chocolate that can be made a day ahead, then riced onto a platter right before serving and topped with whipped cream to resemble the eponymous snow-capped mountain.
While it’s a modern menu, it is somewhat ambitious. Key to success: Make a game plan and stick to it. Order your roast well in advance, and start the chicken broth at least two days prior to the big night. Tradition, after all, takes a little work.