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Planning Christmas Dinner Menus: 2012


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#1 HowardLi

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:04 PM

Here's my menu for Christmas. Suggestions would be well-received.

Caramelized carrot soup (ciabatta on the side)
SV salmon with lemon-dill sauce and caper-olive relish, garnish of deep-fried salmon skin
Pan-seared SV turkey breast and confit of turkey leg, with jus gras and green salad with romaine dressing (MCaHx4)
Deep-fried SV ribeye steak with creamed spinach and deep-fried brussels sprouts
Chilled vichyssoise (MCaH)
Modernist white cheddar mac and cheese, garnish of crumbled bacon
Punch a la Romaine in cocktail glasses
Braised short ribs over pomme purée (not sure of sauce yet)
Apple pie and cheesecake

Still need to figure out portioning. Since this meal is going to take a while (3 hours?) I figure it should be OK to serve 20-24oz of meat altogether.

#2 Twyst

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:33 AM

Your menu looks fantastic, your guests are very lucky! The only tiny issue I see is I feel the ribeye and short rib may be a little redundant. I would personally remove the ribeye and do a 72 hour sous vide shortrib as the beef element of my meal. The red wine glaze from MC would be a nice accompaniment and you could serve it with your pommes puree and creamed spinach.


I started planning a couple of days ago as well and see we have a few dishes in common! Ill also be doing short rib, caramelized soup from MC, Im looking at doing 7 plated courses for 7 people, so its going to be a lot of work!


Heres my menu so far, always looking for suggestions, especially for first course!

1. ???? Foie maybe?
2. Caramelized Butternut Squash soup
3. Mussels, tarragon, cream, paparadelle
4. SV duck breast, duck confit, crispy duck cracklin. Grilled endive, persimmon vinagrette, candied persimmon
5. SV short rib, cippolini glaze, pommes puree, kale
6. Cheese Board
7. Desssert ????

Edited by Twyst, 27 November 2012 - 06:38 AM.


#3 HowardLi

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:04 AM

Many of my guests have not had an opportunity to enjoy short rib done right, and I am hoping that the mid-meal cocktail will freshen them up for another beef course.

#4 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:06 PM

Early days, yeah--it's only the first of December--but I assume I'm not the only one already preparing food for Christmas dinner. In my case, it's not that far off. Have the family coming over in two weeks so I want to get as much out the way as I can.

At the moment my menu is very close to complete. I'd prefer to be cooking goose or even pork but my mother thinks Christmas isn't Christmas unless there's turkey involved. And ham, too. There has to be ham. Not content with just roasting a turkey I'm opting for the following ...
  • Sous vide breast. Yet to settle on a time and temp. Was unhappy with 60C/3 hours. Have a breast brining at the moment I'll try at a different temperature. The brine is essentially the same one Thomas Keller uses for his roast chicken in the Bouchon book.
  • Turkey and pork boerwors. A nod to my partner's heritage and, with the speck content, a way of kind of sort of almost ticking off the ham requirement. Too, sausage ... stuffing ... yeah. I finished these only a few minutes ago. I'm keeping some in the fridge but I'll obviously be freezing the batch that's intended to be served at the dinner. Tempted to sous vide them and then freeze them.
  • Fried turkey. Going to scrape the meat down the length of a wingette (forming a little drumstick--kind of), sous vide it and then deep fry it.
  • The various bones, off-cuts and etc I've collected along the way are currently sitting in the pressure cooker. The stock will be reduced to serve as a gravy.
I've already made the Christmas pudding. It'll be supported by a creme anglaise jacked w/ brandy and some rum and raisin icecream. Tempted to fuck around with agar and make a date gel. Mostly as an excuse to use agar. We'll see.

Won't be doing anything terribly exciting with the vegetables, I'm afraid. Roast potatoes and sous vide carrots are a must but beyond that? I guess it'll depend on the weather.

What is everyone else doing/prepping this year?

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#5 radtek

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:53 PM

I think it's gonna be "mooch off my relatives" this year. :raz:

Barring that I'm gonna try for duck and maybe a terrine.

#6 HowardLi

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:27 AM

Early days, yeah--it's only the first of December--but I assume I'm not the only one already preparing food for Christmas dinner. In my case, it's not that far off. Have the family coming over in two weeks so I want to get as much out the way as I can.

At the moment my menu is very close to complete. I'd prefer to be cooking goose or even pork but my mother thinks Christmas isn't Christmas unless there's turkey involved. And ham, too. There has to be ham. Not content with just roasting a turkey I'm opting for the following ...

  • Sous vide breast. Yet to settle on a time and temp. Was unhappy with 60C/3 hours. Have a breast brining at the moment I'll try at a different temperature. The brine is essentially the same one Thomas Keller uses for his roast chicken in the Bouchon book.
  • Turkey and pork boerwors. A nod to my partner's heritage and, with the speck content, a way of kind of sort of almost ticking off the ham requirement. Too, sausage ... stuffing ... yeah. I finished these only a few minutes ago. I'm keeping some in the fridge but I'll obviously be freezing the batch that's intended to be served at the dinner. Tempted to sous vide them and then freeze them.
  • Fried turkey. Going to scrape the meat down the length of a wingette (forming a little drumstick--kind of), sous vide it and then deep fry it.
  • The various bones, off-cuts and etc I've collected along the way are currently sitting in the pressure cooker. The stock will be reduced to serve as a gravy.
I've already made the Christmas pudding. It'll be supported by a creme anglaise jacked w/ brandy and some rum and raisin icecream. Tempted to fuck around with agar and make a date gel. Mostly as an excuse to use agar. We'll see.

Won't be doing anything terribly exciting with the vegetables, I'm afraid. Roast potatoes and sous vide carrots are a must but beyond that? I guess it'll depend on the weather.

What is everyone else doing/prepping this year?

Little drumstick as in a lollipop?

#7 HowardLi

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:19 PM

Alright, so I think I've decided how I'm going to cook the turkey breast to get perfect temp as well as ultra-crisp skin.

1) Get a fresh or thawed turkey
2) Bone it out galantine-style
3) Separate the breasts (the legs get confit treatment) while keeping the skin attached
3.5) Separate the skin from the breasts at regular intervals (not fully) along the "slope" to assist the egress of rendered fat
4) Apply a solution of maltose/soy sauce/salt/baking powder to the skin of the breast
5) Salt the underside of the breast to hopefully hit a salinity of 1.5% w/w
6) Allow the turkey to sit uncovered in the fridge up to 36 hours
7) Blanch the skin repeatedly per MCaH instructions for roast chicken
8) Bake the breasts in the oven on a rack at 200 F until 140F
9) Allow to cool (i.e. wait for plating time) and blast at 550F until perfect
10) ???
11) Profit

Does anyone know if the skin will shrink to a useless size if it is blanched on a breast-only rather than a whole bird?

Edited by HowardLi, 03 December 2012 - 06:20 PM.


#8 HowardLi

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:49 PM

Well, since I'm planning on shredding the turkey confit anyway, I can remove the thigh meat and leave the skin on the legs attached to the breasts so hopefully the skin doesn't pull away from the outskirts of the breasts.

#9 David Ross

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:24 AM

Today I'm starting to plan the menu for Christmas dinner. I've only gotten as far as two courses-a Leek and Stilton Soup with Port, and a British Christmas Cake wrapped in marzipan and frosted with buttercream. I'm still searching for a garnish for the soup, maybe fried leeks? Anyway, what are you planning for Christmas dinner this year? Are you planning on poultry, say goose, or a prime rib?

#10 lancastermike

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:01 PM

Going to have crown roast of pork with rice stuffing. Rest of menu is still up in the air.

#11 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

What I ended up serving

Turkey breast - brined w/ the Momofuku fried chicken brine for six hours, rinsed, sv for 4 hours at 63*C. Air dried in the fridge overnight (well, for ~24 hours). Taken out of the fridge maybe a half hour before the cooking time. Deep-fried in 190*C until the skin was crisp.

Turkey wings - following the recipe from Modernist Cuisine. Protip: follow the bloody instructions and remove the ends of the wings prior to cooking them. I didn't the first time round and ended up making such a mess of things that I had to start again.

Turkey sausage - well, turkey, pork and speck sausages. Meat blend, with turkey standing in for beef, and spice mix was essentially old school boerwors. Cooked sous vide then browned in deep fryer.

Home jus gras - thickened w/ xantham gum and emulsified w/ liquid lecithin. I used goose fat in place of the pressure-rendered chicken fat. This recipe came from Modernist Cuisine at Home. The stock itself was a brown turkey stock based on a brown chicken stock.

Various root vegetables - using the 'best bets for sous vide vegetables' table in Modernist Cuisine as a guide.

Roast potatoes - self-explanatory enough, I guess.

Christimas pudding - from a restaurant a friend worked at.

Rum and raisin icecream - from David Everitt-Matthias' Dessert

Vanilla and saffron creme anglaise - from Modernist Cuisine at Home.

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#12 eldereno

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

Chris, how was it all received? Sounds delicious!!!!
Donna

#13 Brown Hornet

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:19 PM

Those are some pretty spectacular Christmas dinners!

We have a relatively standard Christmas dinner menu that we tweak a little each year. That said, it makes things a bit easier to have a somewhat standardized game plan. The 2012 menu is still coming together, but right now is:

1. Salad w/ braised leek, roasted beets, goat cheese, bacon, vinaigrette.

1.a. Probably will whip up some gruyere gougeres to go between salad and soup.

2. Soup will be caramelized carrot w/ curry or cauliflower/sunchoke.

3. SV lobster tails with beurre blanc. I'm not sure what I want to serve this with but I was thinking of making a beurre blanc with something citrus and some saffron. I don't have a specific idea in mind but that combo sounded good. Would love any suggestions!

4. Standing Rib Roast w/ traditional jus and horseradish sauce. For fixins I'll probably do roasted brussels sprouts. For potatoes, there's a french potato dish I like to make (but can't remember the name) where you layer thin potato slices like a gratin but instead of layering with cheese and/or cream you layer with stock, caramelized onions, shallots, thyme and butter. Anyway, it's yummy.

5. Desert is completely up in the air but my wife makes a great coffee/rum ice cream so something with that. Maybe an apple tart to go with the ice cream.

Any suggestions would be awesome!

#14 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:30 PM

Down here, we're going traditional all the way.

Creme des carottes for the starter, with an assortment of sharp cheeses,
Roast turkey with pumpernickel-sage-mushroom stuffing done the traditional way, in the oven with plenty of basting
Papas puré, using probably Atahualpa or Oro Morado potatoes, plenty of butter, and a bit of gouda
Whatever green veggies look yummy at the market on Monday, steamed lightly
Green salad with baby strawberry tomatoes and cape gooseberries
Gravy of the jus, as is fitting and correct
Aged Nova Scotia Black Fruitcake, with fine high-altitude barrel aged domestic rum of the same vintage the cake was aged in
Bourbon Vanilla ice cream
An assortment of cookies
Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

#15 Baselerd

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:35 PM

Caramelized carrot soup (ciabatta on the side)
SV salmon with lemon-dill sauce and caper-olive relish, garnish of deep-fried salmon skin
Pan-seared SV turkey breast and confit of turkey leg, with jus gras and green salad with romaine dressing (MCaHx4)
Deep-fried SV ribeye steak with creamed spinach and deep-fried brussels sprouts
Chilled vichyssoise (MCaH)
Modernist white cheddar mac and cheese, garnish of crumbled bacon
Punch a la Romaine in cocktail glasses
Braised short ribs over pomme purée (not sure of sauce yet)
Apple pie and cheesecake


I want to eat at your place for Christmas...

#16 nickrey

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:07 PM

So far I'm considering:

Shrimp consomme from the new Astrance cookbook served with sous-vide cooked prawn meat and some julienned spring onion. The consomme is made by putting all the prawns in a food processor, making a paste, adding vegetals and spices then cooking and straining. Looking forward to trying new 100 micron superbag with this.
Home-cured hickory smoked ham.
Turkey Breast injected and cured with apple juice and milk (I'm going to use home-made buttermilk for this) from MC @ Home recipe. Cooked sous vide. Accompanied by poultry gravy of some sort or another and a redcurrant preparation (details of both yet to be decided)
Sous-vide carrots, Duck-fat roasted potatoes, and garlic-buttered French Beans.
Dessert still a work in progress.

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Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
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#17 gingerpeachy

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:44 PM

, and a British Christmas Cake wrapped in marzipan and frosted with buttercream. I'm still searching for a garnish for the soup, maybe fried leeks?


No British Christmas cake would be iced with buttercream - it's usually royal icing over the marzipan.

My cake was baked early November- Delia's- and I've been topping up the cognac weekly. Just marzipaned it and will ice it at the weekend. The Christmas pudding was made at the same time and awaits a second lengthy steaming on Christmas Day, to be served with rum butter.

I am planning to make Heston Blumenthal's slow roasted rib of beef with bone marrow sauce. Butcher is dry aging for me. Wondering if anyone's tried his recipe and has any comments/tips?

#18 Alex Parker

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:03 AM

So far I have

Turkey with a Cornbread stuffing.

Sous Vide root Veggies,

Potatoes done in duck fat

Going to do a fish course, definitely sous vide and grilled off at the end.

May do something with beef. No clue yet though.

I need a soup. Still not sure what Im doing yet, but may do a mushroom consomme.

Cranberry and Apple Chutney.

Fairly traditional as I have my sister coming who isnt very adventurous with food at all. Keeping it relatively old school!

Christmas Eve is smoked moose meat, and various cheeses and whatnot. Prosciutto wrapped bocincinni with some fresh sage pesto, Pulled Pork, lots of good wine and beer, and chocolate! A lot more laid back!


Alex

Edited by Alex Parker, 19 December 2012 - 06:05 AM.


#19 David Ross

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:36 AM


, and a British Christmas Cake wrapped in marzipan and frosted with buttercream. I'm still searching for a garnish for the soup, maybe fried leeks?


No British Christmas cake would be iced with buttercream - it's usually royal icing over the marzipan.

My cake was baked early November- Delia's- and I've been topping up the cognac weekly. Just marzipaned it and will ice it at the weekend. The Christmas pudding was made at the same time and awaits a second lengthy steaming on Christmas Day, to be served with rum butter.

I am planning to make Heston Blumenthal's slow roasted rib of beef with bone marrow sauce. Butcher is dry aging for me. Wondering if anyone's tried his recipe and has any comments/tips?

Thanks for the note on the cake. I found the recipe in an old edition of BBC Food Magazine, so I assumed that buttercream over the marzipan was traditional. Do you think the buttercream would be too sweet and rich for the cake?

#20 gingerpeachy

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:09 AM



, and a British Christmas Cake wrapped in marzipan and frosted with buttercream. I'm still searching for a garnish for the soup, maybe fried leeks?


No British Christmas cake would be iced with buttercream - it's usually royal icing over the marzipan.

Thanks for the note on the cake. I found the recipe in an old edition of BBC Food Magazine, so I assumed that buttercream over the marzipan was traditional. Do you think the buttercream would be too sweet and rich for the cake?


I do. Also, part of the pleasure of a Christmas cake is the contrast of textures - the hard, sweet icing, next to the yielding marzipan and then the rich, boozy fruit.

There would also be preservation issues - Christmas cake is so rich and eaten in such small portions, that it's often still being eaten through January.

Royal icing is easy to make - icing sugar and glycerine- and you don't have to worry about making it smooth, as a snow scene is entirely traditional - with some kind of Xmas decoration added. Alternatively, you can use the pre-made ready to roll fondant icing, but that looks too darn classy for my taste.

#21 David Ross

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 04:07 PM



, and a British Christmas Cake wrapped in marzipan and frosted with buttercream. I'm still searching for a garnish for the soup, maybe fried leeks?


No British Christmas cake would be iced with buttercream - it's usually royal icing over the marzipan.

My cake was baked early November- Delia's- and I've been topping up the cognac weekly. Just marzipaned it and will ice it at the weekend. The Christmas pudding was made at the same time and awaits a second lengthy steaming on Christmas Day, to be served with rum butter.

I am planning to make Heston Blumenthal's slow roasted rib of beef with bone marrow sauce. Butcher is dry aging for me. Wondering if anyone's tried his recipe and has any comments/tips?

Thanks for the note on the cake. I found the recipe in an old edition of BBC Food Magazine, so I assumed that buttercream over the marzipan was traditional. Do you think the buttercream would be too sweet and rich for the cake?

Thanks, this helps a lot with the cake. Now I just have to get the rest of the menu together.

#22 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:57 PM

Down here, we're going traditional all the way.

Creme des carottes for the starter, with an assortment of sharp cheeses,
Roast turkey with pumpernickel-sage-mushroom stuffing done the traditional way, in the oven with plenty of basting
Papas puré, using probably Atahualpa or Oro Morado potatoes, plenty of butter, and a bit of gouda
Whatever green veggies look yummy at the market on Monday, steamed lightly
Green salad with baby strawberry tomatoes and cape gooseberries
Gravy of the jus, as is fitting and correct
Aged Nova Scotia Black Fruitcake, with fine high-altitude barrel aged domestic rum of the same vintage the cake was aged in
Bourbon Vanilla ice cream
An assortment of cookies


Sounds yummy! I'm interested in the N.S. fruitcake -- would love to know about it.

#23 Bojana

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 03:11 AM

I am helping my mother in law, who is one of the worse cooks you could encounter, not go through Xmas cooking stress this year. Her kitchen is way less equipped so I am making lots of shortcuts while taking some of my portable tools with me. Menu is a compromise between how much work each of us would like to put in the prep. We will have:

Starter: Scallop and foie grass on the bed of caramelised apple puree and morcilla (adapted from the book Fire)
Main:Beef Wellington (from serious eats) and a bunch of condiments traditional for the netherlands - cranberry sauce, poached pears, chestnuts, brussel sprouts (may deepfry some as I love that method from MC)
Dessert:Toffee shortbread topped with caramel foam, sweet bitter orange sauce and orange segments in jelly

#24 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:14 AM


Down here, we're going traditional all the way.

Creme des carottes for the starter, with an assortment of sharp cheeses,
Roast turkey with pumpernickel-sage-mushroom stuffing done the traditional way, in the oven with plenty of basting
Papas puré, using probably Atahualpa or Oro Morado potatoes, plenty of butter, and a bit of gouda
Whatever green veggies look yummy at the market on Monday, steamed lightly
Green salad with baby strawberry tomatoes and cape gooseberries
Gravy of the jus, as is fitting and correct
Aged Nova Scotia Black Fruitcake, with fine high-altitude barrel aged domestic rum of the same vintage the cake was aged in
Bourbon Vanilla ice cream
An assortment of cookies


Sounds yummy! I'm interested in the N.S. fruitcake -- would love to know about it.


We discussed it a bit in the Traditional Foods of Nova Scotia thread. This is what mine looks like (and that's bourbon vanilla ice cream there with it.) This year's cakes are aged in Ron 2300, which comes from a small distillery in Cuenca. 2300 is the altitude in meters of the ageing caves; it's fabulous and more similar in character to a slightly sweet brandy than it is to a rum.

Posted Image
Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
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#25 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 07:04 AM



Down here, we're going traditional all the way.

Creme des carottes for the starter, with an assortment of sharp cheeses,
Roast turkey with pumpernickel-sage-mushroom stuffing done the traditional way, in the oven with plenty of basting
Papas puré, using probably Atahualpa or Oro Morado potatoes, plenty of butter, and a bit of gouda
Whatever green veggies look yummy at the market on Monday, steamed lightly
Green salad with baby strawberry tomatoes and cape gooseberries
Gravy of the jus, as is fitting and correct
Aged Nova Scotia Black Fruitcake, with fine high-altitude barrel aged domestic rum of the same vintage the cake was aged in
Bourbon Vanilla ice cream
An assortment of cookies


Sounds yummy! I'm interested in the N.S. fruitcake -- would love to know about it.


We discussed it a bit in the Traditional Foods of Nova Scotia thread. This is what mine looks like (and that's bourbon vanilla ice cream there with it.) This year's cakes are aged in Ron 2300, which comes from a small distillery in Cuenca. 2300 is the altitude in meters of the ageing caves; it's fabulous and more similar in character to a slightly sweet brandy than it is to a rum.

Posted Image


Beautiful picture, delicious sounding recipe -- and the thread is tantalizing. Can't wait until I have some time to really look through it. Thanks!

#26 robirdstx

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 03:53 AM

Just the two of us this year, so keeping the menu simple: pan-seared duck breast, sweet potato mash and asparagus. Pre-dinner snacks will include deviled eggs, cream cheese stuffed celery sticks and a black bean and corn salsa with tortilla chips.

#27 David Ross

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 05:15 PM

Last-minute change of plans this morning and I'll be travelling to visit family over Christmas so my menu will have to wait. It was turning out to be a generic sort of Holiday meal so I'll save it for New Year's Eve dinner.