This year, holiday gatherings just look different. Even with a vaccine on the horizon, it will be some months before we can go back to big family gatherings and the accompanying feasts. If you’re used to serving twenty with a tried-and-true set of recipes, it’s time to start thinking about adapting your menu. And what better year than 2020 to try new things for the holidays?
Covid Holiday Dinner Tips: Keep it Safe, Small, and Spaced
Dining with those in your household is best; but if you have guests, keep the list small. To help prevent the spread of germs, consider foregoing the buffet in favor of plating individually. These recipes are easy to prepare for a small group; and they are easy to dish up with minimal contact. You may also consider eco-friendly disposable plates and disposable condiments for each guest.
One 2020 Holiday Recipe Rule: Try New Things
With a small guest list, there’s lots of room for creativity! If a beautiful place setting seemed too time-consuming or expensive for your usual party, why not test it out on this small soiree? Or, try mini serving ideas like individual charcuterie boards or snack bowls at each setting. Test out dishes you’ve always wanted to try - but couldn’t because Aunt Gretta insisted on the menu she grew up with.
Explore New Flavors
With the usual crowd dispersed you can try anything this year. Of course, we’re always going to favor beef recipes. Many families traditionally serve tenderloin or prime rib for the holidays. But with a smaller group, ground beef is an economic, comfort food option.
Some of these dishes may be familiar to you and some may be new. But with these fantastic flavors, you may want to fight for a few menu changes next year (Aunt Gretta will get over it).
2020 Holiday Recipes
These holiday recipes are perfect for a small group. Each listing has a short description and some menu pairing ideas, and in some cases, Covid-safe serving suggestions. Bon appétit!
Ground Beef Latkes: Traditionally, latkes are a potato-centered side dish. This beef latke recipe comes from a Syrian Jewish tradition. They’ll hold their own as a main course - served with plenty of roasted winter root vegetables.
Ground Beef Tortas: These tortas are the ultimate comfort food -perfect for a late night dinner after a present-wrapping marathon. Serve with salad and a light vinaigrette. We recommend Blue Dog for tasty bread and Kenny’s Cheese chipotle colby or smoked gouda.
Festive Christmas Lasagna: This hearty dish will delight a small party with layers of rich red sauce and pesto ricotta. Add red and green bell peppers to the top for a cute garnish. Just remember to serve this to your guests rather than pass the plate around. And grab disposable parmesan and hot pepper flakes. Finish with these mini tiramisu cheesecakes.
Old School Meatloaf: Is there a more comforting winter meal than meatloaf? For a fun, truly old-fashioned twist, make your meatloaf this year in a bundt pan. Or, take it one step further and make mini meatloafs for each guest! Just be sure to adjust your cooking time down for the reduced size. Meatloaf should cook to 160℉. Serve with classic mash and Brussels sprouts.
Guyanese Beef Patty: From mouthwatering foodie blog Jehan Can Cook, serve this Guyanese version of the patty - with spices and beef packed into a buttery crust. Try them with spiced rice pilaf, roasted carrots, and curried cabbage. For a gluten-free version, substitute this pastry recipe.
Ground Beef Strata: This is a great, lazy casserole that will satisfy picky little ones. You can make the dish as suggested, or for a festive twist, add chopped roasted tomato or use holiday cookie cutters for the bread à la Meredith Morton in The Family Stone. As with the lasagna above, serve your guests to reduce passing dishes. Individual vegetable antipasti bowls or salads are fun side dish options.
Whatever you serve - from all of us at Foxhollow, we wish you a happy, healthy and safe holiday meal filled with love and comfort.