Christmas Dinner for Two in Less Than an Hour

With Christmas just a short four days away, we’re sure you’ll be ready for some quiet time once New Year’s Eve rolls around. If you’re not into large crowds during this hectic holiday season, may we suggest recreating a restaurant style dinner at home instead? We are pulling out our list of 5 Items to Keep on Hand for Entertaining from last week to do just that. 

The star of the menu? A juicy pork tenderloin stuffed with sautéed shallots, white wine poached pears, and blue cheese for the main course. To simplify the rest of the meal, we kept the appetizer and dessert simple. Breadsticks wrapped with prosciutto couldn’t be easier, and also looks great displayed on the table. And, crowd favorite affogato ice cream polishes off the meal on a sweet note.

Simple details such as accenting a simple white bouquet with sprigs of rosemary and glass sparkling water bottles will help create a romantic ambiance without being too fancy. For Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, your significant other will appreciate the time you’ve put into this dinner, but we won’t tell that it took you less than an hour! 

THE STARTER

Prosciutto Wrapped Breadsticks
Total time: 5 minutes | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
Thin breadsticks (also called Grissini)
Thinly sliced prosciutto

Directions:
This can be done up to 20 minutes before dinner, if you let the prosciutto wrapped breadsticks sit longer than that the prosciutto will soften the crunchy breadsticks.
1. Slice each piece of prosciutto in half lengthwise. 
2. Wrap the prosciutto around the breadsticks at an angle. Use 2 cut pieces of prosciutto per breadstick.

 

THE MAIN COURSE

Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Shallots, Poached Pears, and Blue Cheese
Total time: 45 minutes | Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:
1.5 pounds pork tenderloin
2 Bosc pears (2 cups once diced)
2 medium shallots (1 cup once sliced)
1 tbsp Salted Butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups white wine 
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
3 sprigs of rosemary
2 1/2 feet of butcher’s twine
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 c. chicken broth

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Dice pears into small 1/4 inch squares. Thinly slice the shallot. 
2. Melt butter in a Dutch oven or an oven-safe pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and 1/4 teaspoon Salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the pear and the white wine. Let steadily simmer until the liquid has absorbed and the pears are translucent for about 12 minutes.
3. While the pears simmer, slice the pork tenderloin horizontally down the center. Slice almost all the way through the tenderloin, and then lay it flat.
4. Once the pears and shallots are done simmering, generously pile the mixture into the center of the tenderloin.
5. Pile the crumbled blue cheese on top of the shallots and poached pears. Cut the butcher’s twine into 6 inch pieces. Then, press the shallots, pears, and blue cheese down and pull the tenderloin together, top with the rosemary, and tie with the butcher’s twine. The easiest technique is to slide the butcher’s twine underneath the pork and then pull the pork together and tie it closed. Cut the excess twine after tying it. Top the pork with the remaining salt and pepper.
6. Heat olive oil in the same Dutch oven or pan (no need to wash it) over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the pork tenderloin and sear for 2-3 minutes until it has browned. Rotate the tenderloin in the pan 2-3 times letting all sides brown.
7. Place a lid on the pot, and put the tenderloin in the oven to bake. Let the tenderloin bake for 12 minutes, or until it reaches 145 degrees with a meat thermometer.
8. Remove the tenderloin from the pot and place it on a cutting board to rest. The tenderloin needs to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it. This keeps the juices in the meat making it tender.
9. Pour the chicken broth into the pot used to cook the tenderloin. Simmer over medium heat, scrapping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Let reduce and thicken for 5 minutes creating a sauce.
10. Slice the tenderloin, removing the butcher’s twine as you go. Serve with the sauce poured over the meat.

 

THE DESSERT

Affogato
Total time: 5 minutes | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
Vanilla ice cream
1 cup dip coffee or 2 shots espresso
Raspberries

Directions:
1. Before dinner, prepare the coffee or espresso. Let coffee cool to room temperature.
2. After dinner, scoop vanilla ice cream into bowls, pour the coffee over, and add raspberries on top. Serve immediately.

  • jamie clare

    *dessert!

  • Sounds like a hearty meal! As a pre-beginner cook, I don’t think I’d attempt to tackle this quite yet, but sounds like a dream for someone less afraid to cook haha.

    Catherine | the latest on TheSingleDiaries.com

    • Donna O

      You can do this! Pork tenderloin is the easiest meat to cook. She gave great instructions. I know a 15 year old who just made Thanksgiving dinner for her family–Whole roasted turkey, butternut squash with goat cheese and homemade cranberry relish, bacon wrapped green beans, mashed potatoes with rosemary, and a blueberry pie with a lattice crust! She just followed the instructions on Youtube videos and Pinterest. You can do this!

  • Agata Hydrysiewicz

    Dessert looks like a dream! I want to make this myself on christmas eve 🙂 merry christmas to you 😉 prezentacjanieruchomosci.com.pl

  • Pear + blue cheese + pork. Sounds AMAZING!

  • Sarah

    I just made the pork tenderloin dish – SO GOOD! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  • diannew

    The stuffed pork tenderloin recipe has some problems. It looks very messy, not elegant. You really need to flatten the tenderloin here with a meat mallet to an even thickness, than spread the filling over the resulting rectangle of pork than roll and tie it up, so that the stuffing stays inside the pork roll/roulade instead of falling out all over as soon as it is cut. Additionally, the stuffing needs some coarse bread crumbs or small croutons in it to soak up the meat juices and the blue cheese as it melts from the heat of the oven as well as to serve as a binder for the other ingredients. These steps would greatly improve the recipe. A dish shouldn’t just look pretty in a picture, it should really taste great and come out properly in real life.

    • Christine-Hélène Huysentruyt

      adding bread crumbs/croutons would make the delicate flavour of the pears and the cheese totally disappear; this is not a turkey sausage stuffing !

      • diannew

        With all due respect, I beg to differ. I’m a trained chef with over 20 years experience working in fine restaurants and the dish looks quite messy on the plate. And from my experience, I think it would taste better also with some type of binder for the filling. Most fillings for meat roulades of all kinds,(not just turkey) use some type of binder to hold and bring everything together. You wouldn’t lose the flavor of the pears, and it would take more than breadcrumbs to dampen the flavor of blue cheese since it has quite a strong flavor profile. Just a suggestion. I wish you well.

        • Christine-Hélène Huysentruyt

          I was not referring to the presentation of the dish which is a matter of taste and fashion maybe : nowadays, people don’t stick to the traditional all the time; and anyway, I don’t believe this is a site meant for professionals. Blue cheese has not such a strong flavour, at least in the opinion of a European, that it would overpower pork. I used a “Bleu d’Auvergne” instead of “Roquefort”; next time I will try with Roquefort. The cheese is there to flavour the meat, not to produce a mass of anything. I made the dish, but I used a different cut of meat (on the advice of the butcher) that was cut “en portefeuille” (butterflied); filling and tying with string was no problem and I got a nice presentation.

  • The Wellness Soldier

    Oh my that stuffed pork tenderloin looks mouth watering! This is going to be added to the menu this week asap 🙂 The poached pears sounds amazing and can’t wait to try it!

    http://thewellnesssoldier.com/

  • Christy

    I’m about to put this in the oven but I can honestly say this pork tenderloin must be flattened out with a meat mallet before you try to stuff it. Which I wish I had figured out before stuffing the thing. There is NO way in the world that this much filling would EVER fit in a pork tenderloin of this size. I have a ton leftover! And good luck moving this around the pan 2-3 times to brown all sides- ALL the filling will fall out! I’m browning the bottom and that’s it. I’m sure it will be tasty but it definitely doesn’t look as nice and neat as the photo. Unless you use like 3 T of the filling!

  • Christy

    I also want to say we just ate this and it was delicious. The flavors were great- pork, with sweet pears and blue cheese with the hint of rosemary. It really is delicious! Definitley pound the pork with a mallet. I also feel like you could just prepare the “stuffing” on the side and just serve it on the side. Just a thought. The flavors are great!

  • Christina S. Wall

    We make the pork. but do the filling instead as a topping on pork chops that were seared in ground rosemary salt and pepper, and I add some corn starch to thicken the sauce at the end.