Suggestions for Xmas eve meal for 2 please

Ok, I know it is early but I’m currently a SAHM (on maternity leave) and I need something to occupy myself.

I need suggestions for a nice festive 3 course meal for two I can cook for irishfella and myself for Xmas eve diner and that are going to be relatively easy to shop and cook (Irishbaby will prevent very complex prepwork).

Xmas plans this year:
Xmas day with irishfella’s extended family at his sister’s house- I just have to bring a pudding and a side dish and can liaise with her on that nearer the time (I’m thinking a roast butternut squash and a trifle at the moment). It will be a turkey, ham and all the trimmings type affair.

Boxing day with my family- cold leftover turkey, ham and chipolatas for lunch and Turkey sundowner curry for dinner.

Xmas eve is our only real time for just the 3 of us, and irishbaby will be easy to cater for (she’s still nursing). I want a nice meal to celebrate our first Xmas as a family, but not one that is so OTT that I can’t enjoy the day with them toobecause I need to spend it in the kitchen.

So, I need non-turkey yet “special” food. I was thinking maybe duck, steak or a nice seafood dish for main, some sort of salad starter and a simple pudding like chocolate mousse.
Anyone got nice suggestions?

Well this is your chance to start a tradition.

I used to cook my wife scrambled eggs for breakfast every anniversary because I had gotten up early and cooked them first night I stayed over when we met.

Do you have any similar sentimental first Christmas attachments. Be honest - I know there is one you think makes you look silly.

Making a nice meal on Xmas eve is our tradition, but I do a different one each year. The years when I’ve worked Xmas day I’ve done a turkey/chicken meal, the other years I’ve done steak, and last year I had such bad morning sickness all I could eat was dry toast and ice lollies and * couldn’t* cook, so we’re not counting that one! I just fancied a change this year to mark it out as irishbaby’s first Xmas.

Our Christmas traditions as a couple involve when and where we open our gifts and drinks rather than food.

We do fondue for our NYs Eve meal, but it’d make a fun/interactive/special Christmas Eve meal, too.

I’m a big fan of cornish game hens. Sorta like individual sized turkeys :smiley: I haven’t done them in awhile, but they aren’t very expensive…think you can get two for $10 or so. Easy to cook, just rub with some butter/salt/pepper and roast in the oven.

I came into this thread to suggest Cornish game hens; they’re readily available, not very expensive, easy to prepare, but something about them screams “Special Occasion”. Especially good with a long-grain-and-wild-rice stuffing. I would go with the rice stuffing instead of a bread stuffing because there’s just about bound to be a bread stuffing at Christmas day dinner.
Oh, yeah, I would also rub the hens with some Herbs de Provence. But that’s just me.

Now, at our house, Christmas Eve is pizza (delivered) and DVDs. This is because I cook Christmas dinner, start prepping a week ahead, and need an evening off! :wink:

Let’s look at some Christmas Eve traditions:

Since Advent (no meat) rules are still in force, Italians serve a Feast of the 7 Fishes. As if lovely seafood were a sacrifice! There are links at the bottom of the article & Google offers many more choices.

In Quebec, Réveillon is the Christmas Eve feast. Lots of seafood; plus turkey & other meats–perhaps because the feast may run past midnight.* “Quality wine is usually consumed at such dinners, often with champagne or similar sparkling wines as a conclusion.”

Obviously, both traditions involve groaning boards. So–pick just a few tasty recipes to create your own tradition. Don’t forget that quality wine, if you choose to imbibe…

Advent does not have dietary restrictions for Catholics.

A couple of nice filet mignons, one for each of you. I gather they’re not that difficult to cook and they’re certainly a special-occasion type of meat.

I don’t cook them myself because a) too pricey for all 4 of us, and b) I do Very Bad Things to good cuts of meat.

Some nice baked potatoes (maybe the sort where you bake them, scoop out the innards and mix with cheese etc. and refill, then rebake just before serving).

Roasted asparagus is colossally easy. Wash and snap asparagus, lay on single layer in cooking tray, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and maybe some garlic, and bake for 20ish minutes.

Other roasted veggies are good too. I made some roasted carrots recently (when I was baking a chicken, just put them in the pan under the roasting rack) and they were… very, very good. I made my son try one “it looks BURNED” he whined - and he ate it, and dumped the rest of the bowlful onto his plate.

We used to follow the Polish tradition of Wigilia, except with meat (how can you have a Polish Christmas without kielbasa).

If you can get crab legs, they make a tasty treat and they’re easy to prepare. It’s our go-to meal when we want something special without a lot of hassle. They’re usually pre-cooked, so you only need boil/steam them for like 3 minutes.

A nice rack of lamb is a small roast that generously feeds two people. If you have a Costco, theirs are very high quality yet reasonably priced (as racks of lamb go). This is our Xmas dinner:

Make a paste of: 1 mashed garlic clove, couple of teaspoons of Dijon mustard, couple of tablespoons of olive oil, minced fresh rosemary, and salt and pepper. Shmear it over the fatty side of the rack, and roast the rack fat-side up at 425 for ten minutes and then at 320 for maybe twenty minutes more or until it’s about 145 degrees when tested with a thermometer. Let it rest for a few minutes, then carve between the bones into lovely, delicately pink lamb rib chops.

Sides: some sort of potatoes au gratin and fresh string beans are good choices.

I have a nice (British) recipe for roast pheasant if you are interested in that. Makes a very nice meal for two people and it’s easy to prepare - you roast it with apples, bread and bacon, which makes a nice stuffing-like accompaniment to the bird.

Chicken Marsala is very easy, and looks fancy with the rich sauce and capers. A creamy pasta dish on the side, and a green salad.

We always have lasagna at my mom’s house. Some prep, but then it goes in the oven and you don’t have to worry about it.

Lasagna is somewhat time-consuming, but not particularly difficult. One of the best things about it is, it’s as easy to make two as to make one. So you can eat one for dinner, and freeze another to nuke a night you don’t have time/energy/whatever to cook!

My parents always had steak and champagne after us kids went to bed Xmas Eve.

Ooh…rack of lamb!
That sounds fabulous.

Pheasant may also be a possibility, my dad has some friends who shoot (but we live in an apartment, so it’ll have to be hung somewhere else).
Dressed crab would be a nice starter, and oysters might also work out well as regards to prepwork.

So many ideas, of course I have to run them past irishfella (who, unfortunately is a typical Irish man- meat, potatoes and vegetables or it isn’t worth eating).

I did a wonderful prime rib last Christmas. Pretty hard to screw up, and it’s absolutely delicious.

We do fondue for Christmas now. It’s fun!

Tourtiere is apparently what my Nana would make for Christmas Eve when my Mom was a girl.

Like the feast of seven fishes, one relative’s family does an even dozen vegetarian/fish dishes on Christmas Eve (one for each of the Apostles… apparently it’s a Lithuanian tradition?)