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Christmas 2010 Menus


Chris Amirault
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Chufi, how are you going to serve that confit?

Heat them in the oven, covered with foil and then crisp the skin briefly under the grill.

This is the first time that for a dinner like this, I will serve something I bought ready made. Yes, I am a little bit ashamed. But my poultry guy does such great confit, and I'm so busy with work right now that I decided on this shortcut...

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ETA: Wolfert's salmon rillettes is excellent....

I served those rillettes with the herb rubbed bread and the black olive stuff the way she she describes it in the book for a big dinner last year, and the combination of the rillettes and the black olive stuff is amazing.

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I served those rillettes with the herb rubbed bread and the black olive stuff the way she she describes it in the book for a big dinner last year, and the combination of the rillettes and the black olive stuff is amazing.

Is the black olive stuff a tapenade? Sounds like a good combination. And everything can be prepared in advance.

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With a good ham, real pineapple and a few Luxardo cherries... I dunno about you but that sounds tasty to me.

Had to look up those cherries. Now I am wondering if I can make a retro dinner complete with jello mold and such. Anyone have some ideas for 70s style dishes for Christmas? I was a bit young then and threw out all my old books with that kind of vintage stuff.

Edited by Doodad (log)
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can i come to any of your houses?

at casa de in-laws we have to do something about mid-day on the 25th since my sister-in-law is on the 3-11 shift on both the 24th and 25th. it is going to be white trash heaven.

my mother-in-law #1 wanted to buy a ham (though she doesn't like ham but everyone else does and she will eat it), buy tinned baked beans, tinned yams and premade rolls.

the final version isn't that much better but it will be:

stuffed eggs - not deviled since i don't use mustard

pre-cooked frozen shrimp that one brother-in-law will provide. we will keep one sauce for the regular folks and let that bil load up a small glass with horseradish so he can't taste or feel anything else.

sweet and sour hotdogs - grape jelly and chili sauce with mini franks

swedish meatballs - mil #1 will buy premade meatballs and heinz brown gravy

savorings - brother-in-law likes these so he will be bringing them

cold cuts - sister-in-law is buying black forest ham, turkey and finlandia heavenly light. i will provide homemade portugese sweet bread and brown bread.

please....please....help me, help me.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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:laugh: That was pretty much my Thanksgiving this year. My mom cooked because I had three papers due and was already throwing a 50th anniv party for my parents that weekend. It will be back to me for xmas but am not going to even think about what to make until I am done on the 20th.
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I haven't yet sorted the details -- that's a project for this weekend -- but here's the general direction. I wanted something that felt festive, was reasonably fun and accessible, that balanced the needs of a couple of fussy guests, and that was not not not my family's traditional Xmas meal (a replay of Thanksgiving dinner, with turkey and et cetera.)

A goose, by request. Perhaps braised with chestnut and sausage stuffing, as per Julia Child;

Côtes de boeuf, done Ducasse's way in a not-too-hot pan, with bearnaise;

Something that is not mashed potatoes (a gratin Dauphinois has been requested, though I'm not sure it's quite the right thing -- I generally make the "Madame Laracine" variant from Patricia Wells' "Bistro Cooking", going rather heavier on the gruyère than she does);

Chestnuts and onions braised with stock and Madeira;

Something green -- braised escarole, perhaps.

Dessert, soup, wine, yet to be determined.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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Chris, your menu looks wonderful, but what about a cheese course? You wouldn't have to offer more than 3 or 4, and I think with the right wine that would really make your menu even more special.

I'm also going with French themes this year, but rather than one big main dinner on Christmas Day, I'll be cooking a series of French style menus on weekends throughout the Holidays. Tommorrow night will be a Braised Pheasant with Calvados and served with a cream sauce.

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I'm in dire straits for preparation this year.

Once again, I'm playing hostess to a crew of 20-or so - mostly young, expatriate Brits, along with some more from Canada, Israel, Pakistan, the Philippines and Kenya. So - a diverse group.

Pork is okay, everyone having made their peace with it already.

I don't have the 24th off, so I basically have the weekend before and Christmas morning to prep. I have no functional helpers, except for my husband, who requires heavy direction in the kitchen.

I've decided to hew as close as possible to a traditional British-style menu, since it seems to have the chance of pleasing the most.

On the table:

Cranberry sauce

pickled cauliflower (Harumi's recipe)

gherkins/onions

Warming sesame-miso soup on the stove for the non-drinkers

Some sort of chutney for the tourtiere - help?

Mains:

*Turkey (pending availability - rolled pork belly roast as plan B)

*Bacon-wrapped sausages

*Roast potatoes

*Simple onion stuffing (To simplify prep)

*Roast broccoli with garlic, lemon and balsamic (in place of brussel sprouts - unavailable)

*Pureed pumpkin with chili, Chinkiang vinegar (Nod to locale)

*Mince pies

*Christmas cake

*Shortbread

Silly hats from M&S luxury cracker selection

Canadian touches:

*Tourtiere

*Nanaimo bars (the only thing that I really want to eat)

*Lemon squares (for my husband)

How will I manage to get it all together? I'm pretty sure I can get all of the baking done the previous weekend and freeze it, save the nanaimo bars - can you freeze nanaimo bars, I wonder?

The tourtiere I can also make ahead.

What worries me is getting the turkey done, which I can do in the morning, but also the roast potatoes; roast broccoli; AND the stuffing prepped.

International potluck contributions so far volunteered:

*Adobo (yay!)

*Hummus (double yay!)

Everyone else will no doubt bring beer/wine. I have several Gluhwein infuser packets for the inevitable bottles of Great Wall Cabernet.

I'm also going to ask people to bring mandarins and fresh-roast nuts, because they're easily acquirable. One or two hardy souls might be counted on to find a bit of cheese somewhere to bring along.

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Two main meals this year on Xmas for two separate groups. How'd I get into this?

LUNCH- Sous vide turkey breast, gravy, potatoes(layered sweet and yukon gold) au gratin, greens (kale), braised red cabbage, dressing, pumpkin pie.

Dinner- Beef tenderloin, gratin of brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, asparagus with roasted cherry tomatoes (looks festive as heck), fried turnip and sweet potato matchsticks, steamed persimmon pudding.

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can i come to any of your houses?

at casa de in-laws we have to do something about mid-day on the 25th since my sister-in-law is on the 3-11 shift on both the 24th and 25th. it is going to be white trash heaven.

my mother-in-law #1 wanted to buy a ham (though she doesn't like ham but everyone else does and she will eat it), buy tinned baked beans, tinned yams and premade rolls.

the final version isn't that much better but it will be:

stuffed eggs - not deviled since i don't use mustard

pre-cooked frozen shrimp that one brother-in-law will provide. we will keep one sauce for the regular folks and let that bil load up a small glass with horseradish so he can't taste or feel anything else.

sweet and sour hotdogs - grape jelly and chili sauce with mini franks

swedish meatballs - mil #1 will buy premade meatballs and heinz brown gravy

savorings - brother-in-law likes these so he will be bringing them

cold cuts - sister-in-law is buying black forest ham, turkey and finlandia heavenly light. i will provide homemade portugese sweet bread and brown bread.

please....please....help me, help me.

Sounds, uh, interesting. At least you won't eat too much.

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I'll enjoy Christmas dinner with my best friend from college, who is my children's godmother, while the kids all hie off to their respective father/inlaws events. She's the cook, I sous-chef for her and will probably contribute a dessert, some apps, or whatever else she tells me.

I do day-after-Christmas brunch for my throng, which includes one gluten-intolerant eater who will also be about 8 months pregnant at that point. I'm thinking:

-- Ouefs en cocotte, made with medium or small eggs, in muffin tins, with a "crust" of corn tortillas and a bottom layer of cheese grits.

-- While I'm about it, since the gluten-intolerant one loves grits, a cheese grits casserole with caramelized onion. Maybe even with shrimp on the side.

-- Andouille or chorizo tortilla.

-- Fruit salad -- just cut-up, fresh fruit, whatever's available and looks good, with sweetened creme fraiche as a dressing on the side.

-- Ham "sliders" on dinner rolls. Or I might get ambitious and make mini-Cubanos.

-- Roasted asparagus with hollandaise.

-- French toast casserole -- cubed bread, custard made of eggs, cream and maple syrup poured over, baked, served with a berry sauce of some kind (Strawberry jam heated and thinned a bit with simple syrup works well, if I don't take time to make something from scratch).

-- Cranberry salad, because two of the three girls would rise up in rebellion if I did not have it.

-- And I'm thinking about adding Scotch eggs this year, because I made them for the first time last night (with homemade chicken apple sausage), and they were Pretty Good!

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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What worries me is getting the turkey done, which I can do in the morning, but also the roast potatoes; roast broccoli; AND the stuffing prepped.

That's an ambitious (and delicious) menu. It does seem to me, though, that you have a lot happening in your oven all at once, which could be problematic for getting everything on the table at the same time. Maybe don't roast the broccoli and move it to the top of the stove? As for prep, you should be able to get the stuffing ingredients and the broccoli prepped the night before. Only the potatoes would need to be cut up last minute.


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can you freeze nanaimo bars, I wonder?

.

Most definitely. (They're good frozen!)

I absolutely love Nanaimo bars. I am fortunate to have a co-worker who hails from Calgary who makes two huge batches every Holiday Season. Delicious. And yes, I've frozen them and they are actually quite good when eaten before they fully thaw!

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What're you planning to serve?

I was kinda hoping for an invite to Rhode Island to dine at your place. Your menu sounds fantastic. :smile:

But I suppose it will be oysters on the halfshell, steamed dungeness crab, grilled flatiron steak au poivre, and several servings of cheeses, pâtés, rillettes and salumis for before, during and after the Christmas brunch.

Served with all manner of Napa wines -- we're celebrating the holiday in Napa again this year. I'm also looking to try some really good Imperial IPA. So I'll scout around for some Pliny the Elder and Hip Hop.

Edited by ScoopKW (log)

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Scoop, that sounds wonderful to me. If I had the cash to spring for a series of wines to go with some really terrific artisanal charcuterie and cheese, I'd do it. (There's your "cheese course" answer, David! :wink:)

Got the prunes macerating in the armagnac this weekend. Hoping to get the battle plan laid out sometime this week.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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This is my favourite day of the year

Its going to look a little something like this on the 25th as theres the 2 of us.

Breakfast (9ish)

Champagne

Full English Breakfast, with Fried bread, Black Pudding

More Champagne

Dinner (2 ish)

Champagne

Turkey 2 ways I am going to poach a breast and finish in a frying pan with butter, I will bone out legs and thighs and roll with stuffing chestnuts/pork/saus and cook it slower and longer.

Creamed Sprouts

Roast Potatoes

Manchester Tart

Cheese lots of Lancashire cheeses

Rolling buffet later (when we wake up ;) pork pies/more cheese maybe a salad leaf or 2.. and more Champagne

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Reform Judaism + Secular Christianity + a multitude of food allergies has lead to a Christmas day tradition of Christmas movies, family games and a steady stream of homemade Chinese-American food.

We'll start the day with rice porridge, topped with soft egg, pork of some persuasion (likely stir-fried with chilis, cloud ear, garlic, ginger, scallion, and chili-bean paste), and bok choy/other green.

Mid-day nibbles of gingery chicken wings, salt and pepper shrimp and another vegetable or two TBD, possibly a quick pickle.

Then dry fried string beans, a noodle dish TBD, bean sprouts with cilantro, maybe kung pao or sichuan chicken.

Much ultimately depends on what good-looking vegetables we find at the market in the few days before the 25th, as well as when we exceed the capacity of our bellies.

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I think I'm dropping the lemon bars, as lemon are too pricey right now. I'll put zest into the shortbread to satisfy the lemon urge.

I'm wondering, should I freeze my tourtiere unbaked or already baked?

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Getting the shopping list going tonight. Anyone tweaking their menus?

Yes. Apparently we're having turkey instead of Prime Rib. another break with tradition.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Is that a happy break, Marlene?

Nanaimo bars are scratched too: there's not a nilla wafer or a graham cracker to be had. I've replaced them on the menu with World Peace Cookies. I baked them last year, but they didn't seem to work, since everybody is still at war. Oh well. At least they taste good, and can be frozen ahead.

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