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Christmas 2010 Menus


Chris Amirault
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Hosting the “Vigilia” (Christmas eve) for 16 Italianos.

Smoked Salmon Terrine (Sounds fancier than it is. It’s really just smoked salmon with anchovy butter.)

Fried Cod Brandade

Primo:

Risotto all’aragosta

OR

Riso, Patate e Cozze. (rice, potatoes, and mussels baked together with tomatoes, percorino, wine and garlic)

OR

Pasta with Shrimp and Cognac

Can’t decide between the three. Really want to do the tiella of riso, patate e cozze, but I need to taste the mussels first. . It’s going to depend on the freshness and availability of the fish.

Secondo:

Baked and Stuffed Calamari

Baked Whole Fish alla Ligure (whatever is fresh and recommended by the fishmonger, but probably a branzino or orata)

Sides:

Potatoes baked with Calamari

Fennel, Arugula, Apple, Walnut Orange and Pomegranite Salad (sounds like a lot of ingredients, but I swear it’s AWESOME)

I’m a little freaked out because I was supposed to “test” some of these items this weekend but we are snowed in and can’t get to the fish market.  I haven’t made everything on this menu before so without that test…let’s just say I’m hoping for no disasters. OR hoping the snow melts by tomorrow and we get to actually test some stuff.

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I am gearing and getting ready.

Fresh smoked ham with the cloves, pineapple rings and cherries at Dad's request. But, I am doing a coke/pom molasses glaze and pineapple gastrique spheres for plating to liven things up.

acorn squash stuffed with wild rice/cranberries/walnuts topped with parmesan tuilles.

greens of some kind topped with bacon jam

asparagus and mushrooms with tarragon butter and mushroom powder.

That should keep me busy. Mom and Dad are doing bread, wine and dessert.

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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.

Egad. And a sad one it is, too.

I know. I still have time to convince my husband though,that turkey is just wrong on Christmas for us. lol

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

Is it because someone really wants turkey or because someone doesn't want beef? I'm so over turkey for another 11 months, but other poultry is respectable, no? You could roast a different kind of bird. We do Coq au Vin for xmas dinner every year, and the rest of the menu is simple, because we have to transport a main dish for Xmas eve and don't get back til midnight. Our traditional dessert after Coq au Vin is a Tarte Tatin, but this year I'm thinking something easier, perhaps a creme citron (lemon wine mouse) with raspberries, served with some chocolate cookies I can make ahead. I was going to ask for a kitchen torch for a present, but then I forgot. Otherwise I might be making creme caramel.

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

Is it because someone really wants turkey or because someone doesn't want beef? I'm so over turkey for another 11 months, but other poultry is respectable, no? You could roast a different kind of bird. We do Coq au Vin for xmas dinner every year, and the rest of the menu is simple, because we have to transport a main dish for Xmas eve and don't get back til midnight. Our traditional dessert after Coq au Vin is a Tarte Tatin, but this year I'm thinking something easier, perhaps a creme citron (lemon wine mouse) with raspberries, served with some chocolate cookies I can make ahead. I was going to ask for a kitchen torch for a present, but then I forgot. Otherwise I might be making creme caramel.

It's my husband, which surprised me, because he is the ultimate beef carnivore. My mistake was in offering him a choice. And you can easily do creme caramel without a torch. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever used a torch for creme caramel. Make the caramel, put in the bottom of dish, let harden. Make custard, pour over top of caramel. Bake, Chill, unmold.

Marlene, maybe you could offer to make a turkey for New Year's Day.

Although turkey with cabbage and black eyed peas doesn't sound that great. :blink:

Lol, Dana. I could. But if I don't do Prime Rib for Christmas Day that is not Christmas Day this year, I'll do it for New Years' Day.

Edited by Marlene (log)

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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I am doing the Christmas Eve dinner for friends, and going to their house for Christmas Brunch.

Christmas Eve for the Poles is the big holiday, called Wiglia, and I will be doing a semi-traditional meal. Pierogies, of course, but only the ones stuffed with mushrooms and sauerkraut. I'll make some stuffed with hamburger and 'kraut and potatoes and bacon, but they won't get eaten until after Wiglia, which for the Catholic Poles is a meat-free fast day.

So.....

Appetizers, probably crostini with sundried tomato jam and goat cheese and maybe a baked brie or something else meat-free...

Roast salmon with herbs

Potato gratin of some sort (possibly Bourdain's Gratin a'la Dauphenoise)

Pierogies (meat free), with caramelized onions and toasted bread crumbs

Vegetables of some ilk (maybe roasted asparagus or roasted Brussels sprouts)

Cranberries

Christmas cookies for dessert.

For the brunch, I am thinking of bringing either homemade cinnamon rolls or a Swedish Twist.

For my own Christmas dinner, after the big brunch, I'll probably just do apps and bubbly. At some point during the holiday week, I'll bake a small, 1/4-ham for me, maybe with roasted potatoes or sweets. And I have a lovely beef rib roast tucked away in the freezer for maybe NY Eve. It was on sale locally a couple of weeks ago, and I snapped one up.

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We also do Wigilia and my brother and I make the pierogi; yes, mushroom and saurkraut but we've added potato over the years for the "picky" eaters. Do you use the imported Polish dried mushrooms?

The rest of our menu is similar to the Italian fishes - gravlox, shrimp, sledzie (marinated herring - I call it Polish sushi), borscht (meatless of course, made with beets and mushrooms) fried smelts, fried flounder, beet salad, cabbage salad...all washed down with copious amounts of sparkling wine.

I also made the compote this year: dried cherries, apricots, pears, cranberries, peaches, currants and figs, simmered in OJ with orange peel, cinnamon, clove and allspice, honey, maple syrup and sugar. Preserved with a generous pour of brandy. And my duaghter makes a rustic Polish honey cake made with buckwheat honey and almonds.

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My Christmas DAY menu so far:

Pork Paté with French Mustard and Toasts

NV Domaine Fabrice Gasnier La Cravantine

Wild Mushroom Soup Drizzled with Truffle Oil and Crème Fraiche

2009 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Azaya Ranch Vineyard Marin County

Scalloped Oysters

2007 Domaine Andre Bonhomme Vire-Clesse

Salad of Endive, Blood Orange and Pomegranate

2002 Ratzenberger Bacharacher Posten Riesling Spatlese Halbtrocken

Prime Rib with Au Jus

Cauliflower Potato Gratin

Green Beans Sautéed in Brown Butter

2003 Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT

Cheese Course (TBD)

Wine TBD

~~~~~~~

English Trifle

Cake and Christmas Jam, Layered with Custard, Fresh Berries and Crème

2009 G.D. Vajra Moscato D'Asti

There will be several additions/replacements to the wines as my guests choose from cellars of their own. Mine end up just being place holders at this point.

Can't wait!

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The paté is actually leftover from an event here at work, where our chefs did a whole pig - a hoof to tail kind of thing. I'm not sure of the recipe but I remember it having pistachio nuts.

One less thing I have to make, and it goes really nice with the sparkling cab franc I have planned.

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Hello everyone. First post on the forum! My goals in cooking is to keep things simple, and tasty, while accentuating regional and local cuisine from my area (the Niagara Region in Ontario Canada). My menu for this Christmas reflects that.

Leak Tarts in a Spiced Pastry

Lamb Sausage and Apple Bread Pudding

Roast Turkey with Orange Pecan Stuffing and a Cranberry Salsa

Roast Potatoes and Mushroom with Stilton Cheese

Apple Cider Glazed Turnips with Cranberries and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

Roasted Niagara vegetables in a grape crust.

Coconut Ginger Gelee

Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Cream and Berries

Pineapple Compote with a Ginger Icewine Foam.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Alex

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These menus are sounding more and more delicious.

Alex, how is the pastry for your leek tarts spiced?

We have made some minor modifications to our original plan.

We had wanted to do a small whole fish on the weber in banana leaves for Christmas lunch, but I'm having trouble sourcing banana leaves and storms are predicted and I don't have a suitable undercover space for grilling, so I might steam some fish inside instead, still served with coconut rice and a cucumber salad.

I am still making the rockmelon (cantaloupe) icecream for dessert, but instead of studding it with candied ginger, I'm going to sugar some pistachios. I picked up some pistachio Persian fairy floss yesterday and will try to incorporate that somehow as well.

It turns out we're doing some visiting too, so I have promised to bring some grissini and thyme crispbreads to a friend's house for her family lunch on Boxing Day, and will probably bring along a cake salé as well. We're going to my inlaws for Boxing Day and I'm bringing dessert: currently thinking it will be a rhubarb semifreddo on a sponge or shortbread base with lime zest and strawberries in syrup, decorated with rose & pistachio persian fairly floss.

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Hello Heidi! Of course I can. I get some nice dry grapevines, as well as grape skins probably around October. I let both dry out, but not ferment using salts.Its almost like a confit of grape skins, if you can imagine that. From there I take the skins, and pound it down into a powder. I then take the veggies, dipped into a mixture of honey and a touch of dijon mustard and lemon juice. Then I roast them, with the dry grapevines underneath them, so the vines create smoke. You really get the essence of the earth and between the two ingredients, adds a beautiful earthy, slightly fruity vegetable, that just leaps off the plate. Its subtle enough not to destroy the vegetables taste, but instead lifts it up into an amazing dish.

Hope that helps!

Alex

Edited by Alex Parker (log)
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Christmas breakfast:

Cinnamon pancakes

with either cream cheese frozen yogurt

or cream cheese drizzle.

Christmas late lunch:

Our tradition is Mexican inspired food. Our kids are attached to it!

First course: jicama, citrus, crab salad in a lime dressing.

Main course: We have a leg of lamb we will do something with - I think long braised or sous vide with guajillo chili reduction. Some root veggies roasted, or maybe something fancier. My husband is working through the main course.

Dessert: Yule Log Entrement, Gingerbread sponge, eggnog mousse, chocolate feuillete, white chocolate ginger ganache and glaze.

Sheryl Davies

www.breakingbreadblog.com

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Entranced & inspired by all your menus. Thank you for sharing!

Two questions for specific members, with much appreciation in advance--

angevin: Please can you tell me more about this sparkling Cabernet Franc you are serving? A favorite varietal of mine!

Katie Meadow: I would love to hear more about the creme citron. It sounds like just what we need!

My mother is hosting the holiday, but I am helping her plan and execute the menu. (Why yes, I do work for Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars in New York's beautiful Finger Lakes!) Sides still in flux, but more or less--

Christmas Eve

Piggery Pate (Trumansburg, NY)

Assorted pickles, cheeses and olives

Prunes wrapped in bacon (Traditional)

Fishhouse Punch (feat. Peach Brandy, Finger Lakes Distillery)

Prime rib with horseradish cream sauce

German onion tart (For vegetarians in the mix)

Cod & Potato bake (Veg)

Green bean & mushroom salad (Paris cookbook, Patricia Wells)

Spinach salad (maybe with roasted pear and/or blue cheese)

Yorkshire puddings

2008 Lamoreaux Landing 76 West (Bordeaux style blend)

2009 Lamoreaux Landing Dry Riesling

Assorted Traditional desserts-- Fruitcake, plum pudding, minced meat pies and Christmas cookies.

Christmas Day

Roasted Butternut Squash soup (so many possibilities)

Finger Lakes Gewürztraminer, TBD

Lemony Leg of Lamb (grass fed from farm in Burdett, NY-- James Martin recipe)

Raw Kale Salad (Possibly my favorite recipe of the year, 101 Cookbooks)

Amazing mashed potatoes (my brother's specialty)

Lamoreaux Landing 2009 Yellow Dog Vineyard Riesling

Lamoreaux Landning 2007 Merlot

Looking for a lighter dessert here.

Merry Christmas to all! x

Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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Impressive! What's the cod & potato bake?

That's sweet of you to say, Chris. I will follow your prep with interest!

The cod & potato bake is something my aunt is bring for our vegetarian cousins. I suspect it's an Italian/Feast of the Fishes thing.

Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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