An International Christmas Menu

New York restaurant chefs share some of their favorite classic European Christmas dishes.


We asked a series of New York City restaurant chefs to share some of their favorite Christmas dishes with us. From Italy to Great Britain, Sweden to France, these dishes will take you on a European tour, from the comfort of your own home.

 

Italy:

The Feast of the Seven Fishes, celebrated on Christmas Eve, has its origins in Southern Italy. Today, however, Italian-Americans, and other seafood-lovers, from around the world celebrate the holiday in their own way. You can, too, taking inspiration from these dishes.

 

Sardines in Saor

From The Daily Meal

This Venetian-inspired dish is a favorite of Union Square Café’s Carmen Quagliata, who serves it during the holiday season at the restaurant.

 

Seafood Salad

From The Daily Meal

This dish is a favorite of Ben Pollinger's, chef at Oceana Restaurant. Every Christmas, he serves this, along with many other seafood dishes, at his family gathering.

 

Seafood Chowder

From The Daily Meal

A variation on clam chowder from Executive Chef Jawn Chasteen of The Sea Grill in New York City.

 

Gravlax

From The Daily Meal

A simple but versatile holiday treat that can be used to make Ben Pollinger’s Smoked Salmon Appetizer with Mustard and Crème Fraîche Dressing, so served simply on its own. If you have leftovers, serve it with bagels and cream cheese or scrambled eggs the next morning for breakfast.

 

 

Great Britain:

Christmas puddings are a old British tradition. Similar to fruitcakes, these rich, fruity cakes  are started before the holiday, and left to age. They are steamed again, before serving, and often served with a boozy sauce.

 

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Brandy Butterscotch Sauce

From The Daily Meal

While the origins of this British steamed pudding are not known, Sticky Toffee Pudding is now loved well beyond the shores of the U.K. This recipe is pastry chef Rebecca Rather’s Texan interpretation of the classic.

 

 

Sweden:

In Sweden, the holiday season really begins with St. Lucia's Day, which falls on December 13th. However, these treats are eaten throughout the cold winter season.

 

Glögg

From The Daily Meal

A spiced mulled wine that is served throughout the holiday season in Sweden from Marcus Jernmark, the Executive Chef of Aquavit.

 

Pepparkakor

From The Daily Meal

A recipe for the Swedish cookie served during the holidays that is very similar to gingerbread, from Emma Bengtsson, the Pastry Chef at Aquavit. Best served with glögg.

 

 

France:

In France, typically a large, decadent meal, called le réveillion, is served late on Christmas Eve. A Christmas Goose and a Bûche de Noël would likely have a place at the table.

 

Christmas Goose

From The Daily Meal

From Dickensian-England, to Austria and France, the Christmas goose is a classic holiday main dish. Chef Luc Dimnet of Brasserie in New York City shares his Alsatian recipe with us for this favorite.

 

Bredele

From The Daily Meal

The Alsatian version of classic Christmas cookies. While each kind of bredele is made with flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and leavening, the kind of flavorings added distinguish one type of cookie from another. Luc makes these lemon-flavored ones with his children during the holidays.

 

Bûche de Noël

From The Daily Meal

Also known as the Yule Log, this is another holiday dessert that can also double as a centerpiece. This recipe comes from Jacques Torres, who makes at least two of these before Christmas.

 

 

Austria:

Christmas is one of the most important holidays in Austria. After an afternoon at the Christmas markets, warm up with a slice of this pastry and a hot drink.

 

Apple Strudel

From The Daily Meal

This classic Viennese pastry can be found throughout Europe. Michael Gabriel of The Sea Grill uses flaky-thin phyllo dough to make his apple-stuffed dessert.


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