Instead of being together in person, we’re on Zoom. Rather than lots of people gathered in mom’s or grandma’s or a friend’s kitchen, we’re eating and celebrating solo.
So, I decided to do something a bit different and create a holiday/celebration menu. We’ll start with zucchini carrot fritters. Then, rather than the usual links to recipes with similar ingredients, I’ve included options for the rest of a festive meal, from entrees to desserts.
Since we’re celebrating different holidays, with different rules and traditions, I’ve picked foods that are easy, elegant and delicious.
You can eat the fritters as an appetizer, or a main course. If they are the meal, start with some simple hors d’oeuvres, such as wine, cheese, olives, and fruit. For a festive, easy treat, add a bit of milk to some goat cheese, and roll it in chopped almonds.
If you celebrate Chanukah, it’s traditional to have fried foods, usually latkes (potato pancakes) or donuts to celebrate the miracle of one day’s worth of oil that lasted for eight. Instead of latkes, I thought I would go for something a bit different: zucchini carrot fritters. Rather than traditional sour cream or applesauce eaten with latkes, these are served with a yogurt and mint dip. Still fried though! Some things don’t change!*
*Yeah, I know. Chanukah is over as I type this, but my family never did it on time!
For Christmas or New Year’s, since a whole turkey or ham is too much for one, I’ve included a pork tenderloin, and some sides. If you do get a turkey breast or some smaller portion and have leftovers, make my turkey pot pie.
Dessert for Everyone!
Regardless of which you celebrate, everyone gets dessert: choice of pears with ice cream or chocolate pudding. Because who doesn’t like dessert?
And, to paraphrase what my grandma said about everyday eating, just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a party and delicious food.
Festive Holiday Recipes
Main Dishes (Christmas/New Year’s)
Tenderloin is quick, easy, and cooks in a few minutes. The sauce is rich and creamy, with the bite of Dijon mustard and the sweet/sour capers. The perfect sauce for pork.
Just right for one person, without creating even more extra food. If you don’t have extra turkey, get it pre-cooked from your local deli. Made with a rich, all-butter crust. Because why not?
Side Dishes (Christmas/New Year’s)
Creamy and sweet/savory all at once. Cooking the garlic with the potatoes mellows and softens the sharp flavor. This is a family favorite (especially with my sister-in-law, the mashed potato fiend).
The sweet carrots and savory mustard are a delightful combination. This pairs wonderfully with the pork, or a simple piece of roast chicken.
Desserts (any occasion!)
Easy, delicious, and really quite simple to prepare. Elegant enough for company, but a lot less fuss than you’d think.
Just one indulgent serving of rich, delicious pudding, with an extra double chocolate punch. Cook it more, you get pudding, a bit less and it’s super-thick European dark hot chocolate.