Noche Buena Recipes: For One, For Two, or for a Few

To maintain safety protocols, we might have our Christmas dinners in smaller batches this year. But this doesn't mean we can't go all out for our holiday feasts. Whether you're spending Christmas alone, with a special someone, or at home with your closest family, you can still fill the yuletide evenings with gorgeous plates of wonders.

Take a look at this curated selection of decadent and must-try recipes for a cozy Noche Buena. In these meals, we'll be featuring the latest addition to our online shelves, Umbria Terra Di Tartufi's Italian white truffle oil.

Recipe for one: Roasted Salmon with truffle oil

If you're by yourself for the holidays, chances are you'll be tempted to order from your reliable food delivery app. Here are three reasons why you shouldn't:

  1. Delivery fees can skyrocket enough to tear your wallet
  2. You'll be hard pressed to find an available driver
  3. It's Christmas, and cooking up something special is just part of the holiday tradition.

So here's a better option. We've taken this lush recipe of roasted salmon with truffle oil from Discovery Cooking for a fantastic dinner for one.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Make sure to preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Combine the seasoning for your salmon steaks with 1 tsp. of white truffle oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the mushrooms and garlic with another teaspoon of truffle oil and drizzle enough olive oil to coat the mixture. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. On a prepped and greased baking dish, place the mushrooms and lay your salmon steaks on top.
  5. Roast at 400F for about 20 minutes or until the steaks are light pink and cooked through. To check, you can insert a knife and pry between the flesh.
  6. Serve on a dainty plate with a vegetable side dish.

Side dish #1: Grilled Truffled Asparagus

Now, feel free to choose any vegetable side dish for your roasted salmon but this personal recommendation would make a terrific pair. This lovely recipe from Enri Lemoine is a superb side dish with aromatic Tuscan herbs finished off with truffle oil. She also shared how you can make your Italian seasoning by simply combining equal parts of dry basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme.

Before grilling your spears of asparagus, let them marinate with the oil and herbs. Afterward, toss them on the grill for 4 to 5 minutes. She shares that asparagus only need a short time to grill so they remain deliciously tender.

Recipe for two: Ribeye with Garlic and Black Truffle Sauce

For those lucky enough to spend the season with their special someone, how about serving them a plate of this one-of-kind Ribeye recipe from Crush? It's a sensation of spices with the hint of coffee's intoxicating aroma, generously served with a lovely Truffle cream sauce. And don't worry, this recipe won't take much of your time either. It's a quick 10-minute meal that you can swiftly whip up for a romantic evening. For this recipe, get yourself two ribeye steaks, with the bone still intact, about 4 centimeters thick each.

Here's what you'll need for your spice rub:

For your herbs:

For your cream sauce:

Instructions for cooking the ribeye:

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the ingredients of your spice rub together. You'd want to marinate your steaks for about 30 minutes or a day before to let the flavor seep in.
  2. Get a large heavy-frying pan for your steaks, heat the butter and pour in olive oil to prevent the butter from burning. Allow your oil and butter to start bubbling on high heat before adding your steaks.
  3. Tie your herbs (your sprigs of rosemary and thyme) together with a kitchen string and add to the bubbling fat.
  4. Allow the steaks to brown for a minute or two until they begin to caramelize. Make sure to sear the fat on the sides of the steak.
  5. Reduce the stove to moderate heat and start turning over your steaks. As your steaks fry, use your herbs to brush over the meat to add flavor.
  6. Once you're satisfied with your steaks, remove them from the pan and allow to rest.

Instructions for your sauce:

  1. Add your sauce ingredients in the same frying pan and simmer until reduced by half.
  2. Pour in the fresh cream and gently simmer until the cream has thickened.
  3. Mix with a drizzle of truffle oil and allow to heat through for just a few seconds.
  4. Take it off the heat. At this point, there will be enough flavor with the spices and pan juices, so you can spare any additional seasoning but feel free to indulge.
  5. Plate your steaks with generous amounts of sauce.

Side dish #2: Parmesan Truffle Fries

Delicious crispy fries make a perfect combo with your juicy ribeye steak, and Sonja & Alex's Parmesan Truffle Fries from A Couple Cooks are the stuff to adore. They've revamped potato fries with Italian gourmet by adding a touch of truffle oil for an enveloping and earthy aroma.

Cut your fries into uniformed pieces, toss them together in olive oil and salt, and arrange them evenly on a baking sheet before popping them in a preheated oven. Let the potatoes bake for about 15 minutes before taking them out once more to flip over. And then, cook for another 10 minutes until they're a crisp golden brown. Before serving, sprinkle some parmesan cheese and truffle oil for a finishing touch.

Recipe for a few: Beef in Truffled Cream

This dish would make a splendid addition to the classic holiday spread for Noche Buena. Round up your humble crowd of friends and family for a decadent warm meal with Julia Frey's Beef in Truffled Cream Sauce. If this won't guarantee clean and licked-up plates, we don't know what will.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Use a broad and deep pan to heat the olive oil. Over low heat, sauté the chopped shallots for 5 minutes.
  2. Brown the beef on medium heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour in the white wine and scrape the bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
  3. Cook until the wine has mostly evaporated.
  4. Add in the mushrooms, thyme, and garlic for 2 minutes before adding in the beef stock. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover.
  5. Leave the pan covered and cook for 1 hour or until the beef is tender, and you'll know this if you can easily part the meat with a spoon or spatula.
  6. Add your cream and let the sauce reduce and thicken.
  7. Once it has reached your desired consistency, complete the dish with truffle oil and season with salt and pepper.

Side dish #3: Kale Salad with Parmesan Cheese

Match your savory Truffled beef with something light to balance the palate, such as Nicole Corbo's Kale salad from Mealthy. It's an easy 5-minute salad that will freshen your taste buds in between bites out of your main dish. In a large bowl, generously massage the kale leaves with a mix of olive and truffle oil until they soften and reduce the kale's bitter taste. After that, it's just a matter of topping your salad with parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Slide into culinary bliss for Noche Buena with these sumptuous selections. Whichever way you're going to spend the holidays, you should never become the Grinch that stole anyone (and even yourself) from a night of delectable splendor. Shop for Umbria's truffle offerings today and get ready for a winning holiday dinner. — (TGM)

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