Your Christmas Dinner, Ready in Two Hours!

The Boston Salad, with clementines and Cambozola cheese. Just the beginning of this three-course meal.

If you want to avoid the hassle of a big turkey dinner this year or are only have a small number of guests for dinner this holiday, this Christmas dinner from the The Rosseau, A JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Muskoka might be the perfect match for you.  With the proper prep work, this 3-course meal can be easily prepared in 2 hours or less.

Rosseau Sous Chef Sheena Dunn shares her tips on how to pull off this impressive salad without a hitch. Make sure the day before serving, “Clean your clementines, wash your lettuce, get everything together in separate containers. So, on the day of, you are just putting the dressing on and building the salad, which will take a max of 3 minutes.”

Boston Salad Recipe


• 1 head Boston bib lettuce – washed
• 5 Macadamia nuts roasted and chopped
(May substitute roasted chestnuts, cashews or other nuts)
• 2 oz Cambozola cheese in small wedges
(May substitute any soft cheese such as Brie or Camembert)
• Clementine segments from one fresh clementine
(May substituted canned mandarin oranges)
• 10-12 pieces dried cranberries
• 5 leaves arugula -optional
• Fennel fronds (green leaves of the fennel bulb) – optional
• Kosher salt & black pepper

Clementine Vinaigrette

• Juice of 6 clementines (should yield 1 cup juice)
• ¼ cup white wine vinegar
• 1 cup canola oil
• Salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• Place leaves of Boston lettuce onto a plate
• Top with nuts, cheese, arugula, clementines and cranberries
• In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for vinaigrette
• Whisk until mixed and drizzle over salad
• Season salad with kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper

Cooking Tips:
– You may replace the dry cranberries with dried cherries or dried fruit
– Vinaigrette may be made the day before
– Renee’s Tangerine + Lime salad dressing is a good substitute for homemade

To avoid spending a majority of your day in the kitchen preparing the main course, Dunn says,”Prepare the vegetables the day before, the celery, carrot, onion, the corn, the bread. As well as the butternut squash and beans- everything can be done the day before. Then the day of, you are just cooking everything you prepared.”

Dunn also says that butternut squash are on her list of most underrated side dishes. “It’s something some people wouldn’t think to use during Christmas time. But it is readily available and easy to cook, you can mash it, pan-fry it or roast it.”

Bacon is not commonly looked at as a common Christmas ingredient. Dunn explains why they chose this fatty favourite, “ The fat from the bacon insures that the turkey is going to be moist.  You can change the type of bacon if you don’t eat pork and use turkey bacon or chicken bacon.”

Bacon-wrapped Turkey Tournedos with
Applejack Jus


• 1 boneless turkey breast
• 6 slices bacon
• 1 butternut squash or sweet potato (cut into ¾ inch dice)
• 5-6 French beans per person
• 4 oz Jack Daniels Whiskey
• 2 cups apple cider
• Salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
• 1 tbsp butter
• 4 cups low sodium chicken or turkey broth
• 1 tsp cornstarch (diluted in 4 tsp cold water)


1. Cut the turkey into 5 loins including the tenderloin.
2. Cut the turkey loins into 2-inch medallions (diameter) 1.25 inches thick (approx 3 oz).
3. Once you have the turkey portioned, wrap medallions with bacon and secure with a tooth pick on the seam.
4. Place two frying pans on the stove, one for your turkey and one for your stuffing (see stuffing recipe). Also place one pot of boiling salted water on the stove to cook beans.
5. In a hot frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil; brown both sides of the tournedos.
6. Place tournedos on baking sheet and cook in a pre-heated oven at 375 F for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F
7. Start to cook your stuffing (recipe below)
8. Roast butternut squash in the oven for approx 15 minutes or until soft
9. While meat is cooking, take pan away from heat, add Jack Daniels and return to flame very carefully – it will flame high
10. Add apple cider and reduce by half
11. Add chicken or turkey broth (low sodium)
12. Bring to a boil and stir in cornstarch. Bring to boil (ready to serve); sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
13. Cook beans in boiling water for about 1 minute (serve slightly crunchy)
14. Toss with butter, salt and pepper
15. Assemble plates. Place stuffing in the centre of the plate, place French beans and squash around the stuffing (as per picture), then top with two turkey tournedos, sauce around plate with approx 3-4 oz of sauce

Bon appetite
The Rosseau Executive Chef Mark Marchment

Cooking Tip: Method 1-3 can be done by your local butcher or be completed the day prior and refrigerated.

A portion of meat, taken from the tenderest part of the animal and formed into a round steak. As a term that is most often applied to cuts of beef, the tournedos is the cut taken from the small end of the tenderloin. It is sliced so the cut ranges in thickness from 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches, is 2 inches or slightly larger in diameter, and weighs approximately 5 ounces. Because tournedos are so lean, they may be wrapped in bacon to keep them tender while cooking. Beef tournedos are usually broiled in a shallow pan or grilled.

Tournedos may be cut from turkey, pork, veal, fish and other foods which use the term somewhat loosely in order to create a food item that is tender in texture, round in shape, possibly held together with string to keep the rounded shape.

Pan stuffing is a nice way to get that big bird feeling without cooking a big bird. “It’s going to give you a really good flavour as well as texture.” Don’t worry if you don’t have cornbread, says Dunn. “You can use rye bread or white bread depending on what you have available.”

Corn and Sausage Pan Stuffing


• 3 sweet Italian sausages out of casing (fresh, not frozen)
• 3 Tbs butter
• 1 medium carrot, diced
• 4 ribs celery, diced
• 1 large onion, diced
• 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
• 2 Tbs chopped sage
• 1 loaf corn bread large diced (1 inch squares) (can be cut the day before)
• 2 cups corn kernels
• 1 cup chicken stock (low sodium)
• salt and pepper
• 2 Tbs olive oil
• Sun-dried cranberries (optional)


1. In a large sauté pan, brown the sausage meat (at the same time as you are pan-frying your turkey tournedos)
2. Add the butter and olive oil
3. Add celery, carrot, onion, thyme leaves, sage salt and pepper
4. Sauté until tender, then add the corn kernels, bread and stock
5. Cook for about 5 minutes, tossing frequently until it reaches desired texture. Taste and adjust seasoning

Bon appetite
The Rosseau Executive Chef Mark Marchment

Cooking Tip: you may replace the corn bread with any of your favorite breads

Cooking Tip: vegetables and bread may be cut a day ahead of tim

Dunn can’t stress enough how important it is to make this the day before.

Pumpkin Crème Brulée

Note: Steps 1-6 should be completed a day ahead.


• 6 egg yolks
• 6 Tbsp white sugar, divided
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 2.5 cups whipping cream (35%)
• 2 Tbsp brown sugar
• 4 Tbsp pumpkin puree


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F ( 150 degrees C).
2. Beat egg yolks, 4 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy.
3. Pour cream and pumpkin puree into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to a boil. Remove the cream from heat immediately. Slowly add the pumpkin cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, beating until combined.
4. Transfer to double boiler*. Stir over simmering water until the mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon; approx 3 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and pour into a shallow ovenproof dish.
5. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
6. Refrigerate until set, 2 hours or overnight.
7. Preheat oven to Broil.
8. In a small bowl, combine remaining white and brown sugars. Sift this mixture evenly over the custard. Place dish under broiler until sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Watch very carefully so it doesn’t burn.
9. Return to fridge until the dish is cool.

* If you don’t have a double boiler pot, you can use a small pot with water and a stainless steel bowl on top (be careful, it is hot)!

5 Servings