A No-Stress Christmas Dinner Menu from Giada De Laurentiis
“This is no time to be tending a turkey for hours and turning out a smorgasbord of side dishes—we’ve all got new devices to play with, holiday movies to watch, and naps to take,” she tells PEOPLE.
So don’t fret if you still don’t have a plan for Christmas dinner. In the spirit of easy, elegant entertaining, the celebrity chef shared three of her favorite holiday recipes from her magazine Giada Weekly (along with a free download code just for PEOPLE readers).
The first is a shrimp cocktail with a delightful twist: Instead of putting out the usual pile of chilled seafood (which, let’s be honest, starts to get less appealing as the day wears on), De Laurentiis prefers to first sauté hers in olive oil and herbs before pairing it with a tangy maple-mustard dipping sauce.
“The best appetizers are easy ones that you can prep ahead of time and enjoy with everyone else, and I’m a big fan of one- to two-biters. To make sure I’m not stuck in the kitchen all night I serve just one or two hot apps and the rest are warm or at room temperature,” she says. She adds at this shrimp cocktail dish can be served either warm or cool, and that she usually pairs it with a few types of crostini, pickled vegetables, or olives.
Her peas with pancetta side dish and beef tenderloin entrée were inspired by the “time-honored menu of roast beef, potatoes, and peas” but the chef says that her version is “even simpler to make and five times as tasty.” What hostess could argue with that kind of logic?
Sautéed Shrimp Cocktail
Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled tail-on, deveined
1 tbsp. herbes de Provence
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ¼ cups plain yogurt
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. whole grain mustard
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
1 tsp. turmeric
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and herbes de Provence. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about three minutes each side.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, maple syrup, turmeric, and basil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place the yogurt mixture in a dipping bowl and serve with the cooked shrimp.
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Peas, Pancetta, and Prosecco
4 oz. bacon, chopped
1 (10.8 oz.) bag frozen peas, thawed
⅓ cup mint leaves, chopped
½ cup freshly grated pecorino
¼ tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. prosecco
1. Place the bacon in a large skillet and warm over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the bacon is crispy and fat has rendered out, about 5 minutes. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
2. Add the shallots and cook for about 2 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the peas. Cook the peas for another 4 minutes or until they are heated through.
3. When the peas are hot, turn up the heat to medium high. Add the chopped mint, pecorino, and salt. Toss gently to combine. Add the prosecco and remove from the heat. Stir until everything is evenly combined and coated in the sauce.
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Rosemary Garlic–Rubbed Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine-Rosemary Butter
1 cup dry red wine
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus 1 tbsp.
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
One 3-lb. center cut beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
1. Place the wine and the rosemary sprig in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the wine to a boil and then simmer until the wine has reduced to a syrup and measures approximately 2 tablespoons, about 20 minutes. Allow the wine to cool to room temperature.
2. Place the butter and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the wine and process the butter until smooth, about 1 minute.
3. Scrape the butter into a line on a large sheet of parchment paper. Fold the parchment over the butter and drag a clean spatula down along the line of butter to push it into a log. Twist both ends of the parchment to seal the ends and refrigerate the butter until ready to use, at least 1 hour.
4. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, garlic, rosemary, and pepper and rub all over the tenderloin.
5. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the tenderloin on all sides until browned, about 3 minutes per side.
6. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 125°F, for medium rare.
7. Remove from the oven and transfer the meat to a cutting board. Cover the roast loosely with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes. To serve, slice the meat into quarter-inch-thick slices and arrange on a platter. Slice the butter into one-eighth-inch-thick rounds and arrange across the warm meat slices.
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