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Christmas dinner recommendations for 17

I've never hosted Christmas for this many, but the family is expanding! Actually we will be having 15 adults, 2 kids, and 3 babies. I am not a big fan of ham on Christmas eve. In the past I have served either a casserole or prime rib. I'm worried that prime rib for that many will not only break the bank, but I don't know if it will serve everyone adequately.

Also, as much as I want to have the perfectly set table and beautiful menu, I also don't want to be too separated from the family. My sister and bil will be here all of Christmas eve day and she has twin 6 month olds and a 3 1/2 year old.

So I guess my wish list is a bit tricky:
Somewhat elegant
Not too hands-on (time to hold babies)
Will feed 17
Not terribly expensive, although I don't mind splurging a bit for the holiday.

If you have any ideas, they are greatly appreciated

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  1. Two cook-the-day-before entrees: short ribs or beef bourguignon.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gail

      Lasagna-you can go as fancy or casual as you want depending on what you put in it. You can also make it ahead and then have it ready to bake the day of.

    2. Just want to say that your list:

      "Somewhat elegant
      Not too hands-on (time to hold babies)
      Will feed {X number of people]
      Not terribly expensive, although I don't mind splurging a bit for the holiday."

      ...is exactly what everybody's list should be -- perfect plan & priorities!

      1. Pork loin is inexpensive and you can stuff making it seem elegant (a million different variations on stuffing), sear and have it all set to finish in the oven the day before.

        I'm not recommending this recipe but this is just an EXAMPLE of something you can do.
        http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201...

        1 Reply
        1. re: RetiredChef

          I feel like a broken record because I keep recommending the same thing to inquiries like these. Butterfly a pork loin roast, layer with spinach, dried cranberries and gorgonzola (goat and feta is nice too). Roll up and tie. You can do this the day before too. Sear and then roast low and slow. Leave it alone and hang with the babies until medium/ med well. Take out and let rest. When you slice it is gorgeous and festive looking. Serve with any kind of starch-wild rice is nice and very forgiving so you can make ahead of time too. Add some rolls and veggie and you are all set.

          Depending on how big your pork loin roast is you might be able to get away with one but two might be safer. Even easier is to have the butcher butterfly it for you.

          Enjoy your holiday!

        2. It would probably help if you stated your budget for this meal....

          With that said, Prime Rib is pretty much being offered for $4.99/lb at about every major supermarket this week for the holidays.....that extends to $70-80 for a complete 7-Rib Prime rib roast. In lieu of that, you could purchase a Whole Top Butt Sirloin , 7-8 pounds for under $40. whole Top Butt Sirloin is known as " The Poor Man's Prime Rib "....nut it does make for a wonderful Roast Beef.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fourunder

            I don't know where that is, but I typically only buy my rib roast at the butcher and it was a whopping $230 for 11.

          2. Even less expensive are pork tenderloins. You could marinate them in bourbon, soy sauce and brown sugar. Sear them in a cast iron skillet and then finish them in the oven. You could make a pan sauce of port, shallots, and chicken stock. They make a beautiful presentation cut into medallions with the sauce. Sides can include - sauteed green beans, roasted carrots, mashed potatoes, polenta (would could make the firm kind ahead of time and heat in the oven), and a great winter salad.