Entertaining can be stressful, entertaining during the holidays can be downright overwhelming. We’re all so busy this time of year but getting together with friends and family is our chance to decompress and reconnect. As someone who has been a chef for 20 years I have learned that the trick is planning ahead, prepping in advance and leaning on short-cuts where you can.
This year for Christmas, I’ll be attending brunch at my in-laws house and then hosting dinner for 15 at my house. How can I pull it off? Plan, plan, plan. Here’s how I am going to do it, with my menu and timeline, I will have ample time to enjoy myself while hosting friends and family.
Beef Bourguignon is a classic French beef stew, slow cooked for hours, what makes it so rich is the amount of red wine it’s cooked with. It is sure to impress. I am cooking the stew while I am at brunch, but it can definitely be cooked a day or 2 in advance then reheated to serve. Linvilla has a great selections of sides and trays to take some of the weight off of you as the host. My guests are each bringing a dessert. Pro-tip: pick up an extra loaf of crusty bread, one to serve with the butter board but you’ll definitely want more to dip in the stew.
Below you will find my menu and timeline – but you can easily plug in your families favorite dishes and adapt the schedule to work for you!
Grilled Vegetable Platter
Lemon-tomato butter board with crusty bread
12/22 Shop for all ingredients, plus alcohol. Polish silver, stemware, and label all serving plates/bowls and utensils. Labeling what you are going to use for what dish is key if you don’t have much time before your meal to prep, that way when you come home you know exactly what is going where – no scrambling for a potato plate while your guests are arriving.
12/23 Kitchen prep! Prep crab cake mix, pre-sear the cakes, poach the potatoes, cut and chill. Chop herbs.
12/24 Pick up pre-ordered items: veggie platter, butter board, bread, dessert, GET ICE.
Set up the beef stew. Poach the shrimp (or buy pre-cooked) and arrange on platter with sauce
12/25 Chill wine, beer, soda, water, in tub outside with ice.
Put the stew on low low low heat. Remove butter board from fridge, Leave for brunch @ 11:30