Supper Club

Lazy-Fancy Christmas Dinner

I’m a believer in the family chef actually being able to enjoy the meal with everyone they invited for dinner. This menu is designed to be made ahead and easily warmed or finished off during cocktail hour with your guests. The texture of kale gets better when it’s dressed up to three hours hours before serving, plus the crunch of fennel holds up just as well, save the cheese until right before serving. The Cioppino which was always my mom’s way of doing “feast of seven fish’s” this is a make-ahead dish that I’ll make earlier in the day to allow the flavors to deepen, and it’s makes feeding pescatarian guests easy. Finally, my families favorite Beef Tenderloin – even my non-meat eating parents both enjoy a slice. The beef just needs about 6 minutes of browning the edges on the stovetop before roasting in the oven. It’s a foolproof recipes that always impresses.



all units: U.S. Imperial

  • 2 bunches of Lactino kale, de-stemmed
  • 1 fennel bulb 
  • 2 bunches green onions/scallions
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1/4 c castelvetrano olives, pitted & chopped
  • 1/4 c toasted nuts: pine nuts, almonds or hazelnuts
  • 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • Flaky salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste 

Make the dressing: chop the white parts of the scallions on the bias. Heat the olive oil in a small pan and fry the scallions until golden brown, be careful not to burn. Remove from the heat, and strain out the scallions, reserving the oil. Place the fried scallions on a paper towel to dry out. In a small bowl, whisk together the champagne vinegar, honey, sea salt and microplane the garlic into the mixture. Slowly whisk in the scallion oil. Set aside.

Rinse and de-stem the kale, and chop into fine ribbons and place into a large salad bowl. Shave the fennel bulb into the salad. Add the chopped olives.

Toast the nuts with a touch of olive oil and sea salt. Toss the salad with the dressing and garnish with shaved ricotta salata cheese, toasted nuts and fried scallions.

serves 4-6


all units: U.S. Imperial

  • 1 lb skinless halibut filet
  • .5 lb black mussels (cleaned & rinsed)
  • .5 lb lb clams (cleaned & rinsed)
  • .5 lb squid: tubes & tentacles
  • 4-6 lobster claws
  • 1lb uncooked shrimp
  • 16 oz seafood stock
  • 1 can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp toasted fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • For serving: chopped flat leaf parsley & good quality, crusty bread

Finley chop the onion, shallot, garlic and fennel. Heat a large pot with a glug of olive oil, sweat the onion, shallot, garlic, and fennel with a big pinch of sea salt. In a small frying pan, toast the fennel and coriander seeds, remove from the heat and crush into a coarse powder. Stir in the spice mix, with a pinch of chili flakes, until the onion and fennel mix is translucent.

Pour in the wine and wait for the alcohol to burn off, about 2-3 minutes, then add the seafood stock and saffron threads and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes and reduce heat to a medium-high heat. Check the seasoning (depending on what type of seafood stock, it may already be quite salty).

Chop the halibut into 1 inch cubes, slice the squid tubes into 1/2 inch ribbons. Add all the seafood to the pot and cover. Reduce the heat, and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until all the flavors have deepened. Serve warm with freshly chopped parsley and crusty bread.

*A note on seafood stock, homemade is best (but who’s got time) so I always hunt down the “homemade” ones at my local fishmonger. Most gourmet markets or seafood shops will make their own stock and it’s superior in flavor than the boxed stock on the shelf. If that’s all you can find, it works in a pinch and I promise your stew will be t-a-s-t-y. 

serves 4-6


all units: U.S. Imperial

  • 4-6 lbs Beef Tenderloin - center cut, tied off
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ c extra virgin olive oil for marinade
  • Sea salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste

Horseradish Crème Fraîche

  • 8 oz crème fraîche
  • ¼ c prepared horseradish 
  • 1 lemon zest
  • Sea salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 275º

Tie the tenderloin off with kitchen twine (the butcher will do this for you by request)

Make a paste from the garlic in a mortar & pestle or with a knife and place in a small bowl. Finely chop the rosemary leaves into the garlic paste, add the cumin, sea salt & freshly cracked pepper and combine. Then mix in the olive oil. Slather the beef tenderloin with the garlic & herb paste, allow beef to rest at room temperature for at least 20 min. You can marinade the beef for up to 8 hrs earlier. 

Sear all sides of the beef in a pan (I like to use cast-iron skillet) on the stove top to seal in flavor & juices. Once browned on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the tenderloin to the oven and roast for 25-40 minutes. Pull the beef out when the meat thermometer reads 120º (I check at 25 mins). 

While the beef is cooking, make the horseradish crème fraîche. Place the crème fraîche in a small bowl, whisk in the lemon zest and season with salt & freshly cracked pepper. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. This can be made up to 8 hrs in advance.

Allow the beef to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing, and serve with horseradish crème fraîche.

PRO TIPS: beef tenderloin is also delicious at room temperature, you can make up to one day ahead and serve at room temperature. If making a day ahead, wait to slice until serving.

serves 6-8