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Sanity savers: 5 Christmas main dishes in an hour or less

By Hilary Meyer, December 21, 2010 - 2:00pm

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I feel like I’ve just recovered from cooking turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving and then—wham!—Christmas is nearly here and I have to think about another major cooking event. Of course I still want it to be delicious and festive, just easy. In an effort to maintain my sanity, I’m going to choose an elegant main-dish recipe with one caveat—it needs to be done, start to finish, in under an hour. Luckily for me, I have a lot of options.

Related Recipes:
Make-Ahead Christmas Recipes
Festive Holiday Main-Dish Recipes
Quick Holiday Side-Dish Recipes to Pair with Your Holiday Meal
Last-Minute Holiday Desserts
No-Cook Appetizers

Here are my top contenders for holiday main-dish recipes:

Pomegranate-Glazed Turkey with Roasted Fennel
Pair turkey cutlets with roasted fennel and a rich pomegranate pan sauce for a simple yet elegant dish. Garnish with jewel-like fresh pomegranate seeds if available—they are in season from September through January. Turkey scallopini (thinner and smaller than cutlets) will also work in this recipe, but will need to be cooked in batches. Make it a meal: Nutty-tasting bulgur is delicious with this.

Oyster Stew
This oyster stew can be transformed from a comforting one-pot meal to an elegant dish for guests when you top it with Caviar Toasts: Dollop toasted slices of baguette with 1 teaspoon sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon caviar and a sprinkle of herbs. Place each toast atop a steaming bowl of stew. Serve with a salad of butter lettuce, orange segments and red onion tossed with vinaigrette.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Chard & White Beans
Acorn squash’s natural shape makes it just right for stuffing. This filling has Mediterranean flair: olives, tomato paste, white beans and Parmesan cheese. Serve with: Mixed green salad with radicchio and red onion and crisp white wine, such as Pinot Grigio.

Filet Mignon with Madeira-Prune Sauce
If you’re in the mood to splurge, filet mignon is incomparably tender in this recipe. But don’t worry—our tasters loved it with sirloin just as well. Prunes and Madeira meld in this sweet and savory sauce that’s a snap to make—and it’s so tasty you may be tempted to lick your plate. Make it a meal: Serve with Yukon Gold & Sweet Potato MashandGarlicky Green Beans

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Grape Sauce
Here, we roast grapes to bring out their succulent sweetness, then combine them with thyme, mustard and Madeira in an easy, savory sauce for pork tenderloin. Serve with barley and steamed green beans.

By Hilary Meyer

EatingWell assistant editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

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TAGS: Hilary Meyer, Food Blog

Hilary Meyer
Hilary Meyer develops and tests healthy recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

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