It seems there are few occasions these days that bring everyone together around the dining room table. While most family dinners and holiday gatherings have moved to more casual venues, Christmas is one holiday that can always find its place around a thoughtfully decorated table. This year, break out the fine china and celebrate Christmas the classic way with these traditional holiday recipes from The Vintage Press.

Dungeness Crab Cakes with Cre?ole Mayonnaise


    Crab Cakes
  • 1 lb crabmeat, picked over to remove any shell and cartilage
  • 1?4 C celery, finely chopped
  • 1?4 C green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1?4 C scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1?4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1?4 C heavy cream
  • 3?4 C seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • Cre?ole Mayonnaise
  • 2 T scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1?2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small lime, squeezed
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1?4 C creole mustard
  • 3?4 C mayonnaise


For the Crab Cakes

Combine the first six ingredients thoroughly. Add the eggs and the heavy cream in a large bowl and stir until well mixed. Fold in the breadcrumbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Form the crab mixture by hand into small balls. Flatten the balls into cakes and place on wax or parchment paper. Melt the butter in a large skillet and cook the crab cakes over medium heat until golden brown and heated through, about 4-6 minutes

per side. Serve immediately with cre?ole mayonnaise (recipe below).

For the Cre?ole Mayonnaise

In a stainless steel bowl, combine all of the ingredients and blend thoroughly with a whisk. Cover and chill the dressing before serving.

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts


  • 11?2 lbs Brussels sprouts
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3?4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1?4 tsp black pepper
  • 1?4 tsp crushed red chili
  • 1 T Parmesan cheese


Trim Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Mix in bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, and crushed red chili. Place on sheet pan and roast for 35- 40 minutes until crisp on outside and tender inside. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Butternut Squash Soup


  • 2 butternut squash, cut in half
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled & diced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 5 C vegetable stock
  • 6 T sour cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375°F. Place squash cut side down on oiled baking sheet. Bake until squash is very soft, about 45 minutes. Let cool and remove peel from squash. Cut up squash. Heat oil in a large pan. Add onion and saute? until soft. Add apple, ginger, and garlic. Add squash and vegetable stock. Simmer for 20 minutes. Puree mixture in blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with sour cream.

Chocolate Napoleon


    Vanilla Pastry Cream
  • 2 C milk
  • 1?2 vanilla bean
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 4 T Flour
  • Chocolate Mousse
  • 5 1?2 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 6 1?2 T butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites
  • 5 tsp sugar
  • Other Ingredients
  • Puff Pastry
  • 1 1?2 C heavy cream, whipped and lightly sweetened with sugar
  • 1 C toasted, sliced almonds
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


Vanilla Pastry Cream

Heat the milk with the vanilla bean and bring to a boil. Beat the sugar and egg yolks together with a wire whisk until the mixture forms a ribbon, then stir the flour into the egg mixture. Take out the vanilla bean and pour the hot milk into the egg and sugar mixture. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook for about one minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool.

Chocolate Mousse

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Remove from heat and add the butter. Allow the mixture to cool. Whisk in the egg yolks. Beat the egg whites until very stiff. Add the sugar to the whites half way through. Fold the chocolate mixture into the beaten egg whites. Chill.


To assemble, place one piece of puff pastry on a clean surface. Spread a layer of pastry cream evenly onto the pastry. Spread a layer of chocolate mousse (recipe below) on top of the pastry cream. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Place a second layer of pastry on top of the mousse. Spread another layer of chocolate mousse onto the pastry and then a layer of whipped cream. Sprinkle again with toasted almonds. Top with the third layer of puff pastry. Dust the top with powdered sugar. Using a serrated knife cut the napoleon into slices.

Beef Wellington with Cabernet Sauce


  • 1 lb puff pastry, rolled out 12" x 15"
  • 4 lbs center cut beef tenderloin
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 1 T peanut oil
  • 6 oz duck pate
  • 1 C mushroom duxelles (recipe below)
  • 1 tsp chopped, fresh tarragon
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • Cabernet Sauce
  • 2 C cabernet
  • 1 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • Salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 sprig tarragon
  • 2 C veal stock
  • Mushroom Duxelles
  • 1 lbs mushrooms, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 oz unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Season the beef tenderloin with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy pan and quickly sear the tenderloin on all sides. Refrigerate until well chilled. Place the chilled tenderloin in the center of the puff pastry. Slice the pate into thin slices and place in along the top of the tenderloin. Spread the mushroom duxelles onto the pate. Sprinkle with the chopped tarragon. Fold the ends of the pastry in and then fold in the sides so the meat is covered with the pastry. Seal the ends with the beaten egg yolk. Refrigerate until well chilled. Place the wellington on a baking sheet and brush the pastry with the remaining egg yolk. Place

it in a pre-heated 375° F oven for approximately 30 minutes for medium-rare. Remove the wellington from the oven and let it rest for ten minutes before slicing. Slice the wellington into six slices. Place on warm plates and serve with the cabernet sauce.

Cabernet Sauce

In a saucepan combine the Cabernet, shallots, garlic, and tarragon. Reduce by half over medium heat. Add the veal stock and bring to a boil. Reduce again by one- half, until the sauce thickens slightly. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Whisk in the unsalted butter. Discard the garlic clove and tarragon sprig. Serve the sauce over the meat or on the side.

Mushroom Duxelles

Saute? the mushrooms and onion in the butter until all the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms are very well cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.