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Plantes Vertes

Christmas cooking 2013

43 posts in this topic

Seemed like time to kick this off.

What will you cook this year to celebrate Christmas? How many will you be? What are your traditions, and what will you do new?

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I have strict orders to maintain the Thanksgiving menu, and thus change up the Christmas meal each year. For 2013, the meal will be centered around an Edwards country ham that's en route from Virginia to Rhode Island. Sides will likely include a mixture of southern favorites without much attention to regional specificity. Still figuring that out....

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Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I have Christmas Eve figured out. We are having King crab legs with drawn butter and lemon. My step-daughters sent 8 pounds and there are only three of us this year so we'll eat half and save the other half for New Year's Eve.

Christmas is a redux of Thanksgiving or a ham if my dad decides to send us one this year.

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Christmas Eve for us Poles is meatless, so whatever fish/seafood looks best in the store(s) when I shop will be the main.....pierogies (ahem), of course. For Christmas Eve, the potato/cheese and the sauerkraut/mushroom fillings. Boiled, and then sauteed in butter with onions until the butter browns....a green veg of some sort, probably asparagus if it still looks nice, or brussels sprouts. Possibly additional sauerkraut as a side.....sometimes I feel that, sometimes not, we'll se what develops. Cucumber salad (thin-sliced cukes in a sour cream/vinegar dressing, with chopped scallions, fresh dill and chopped HB egg) is a must...a MUST. Haven't decided on dessert yet, but there's cookies involved at some point too. And, not only is Christmas Eve a meatless day, in the Old Country (back in the day), it was a fast day, so nothing was eaten until dinner. I may not adhere to that.....

Christmas Day will be a small rib roast, possibly either Yorkshire puddings/popovers or a potato dauphinoise (or both, since I fasted on the 24th, right?), and a green veg....maybe haricot verts, or whatever I didn't use for Christmas Eve. Possibly a pierogi or two, or three.....egg nog, Dessert is up in the air for Christmas, also.

But that's what's sketching out in my mind at the moment.

Mostly, I'm just so, so happy that I feel well enough to actually cook (AND SHOP) for the first time in 3 years ! The planning and the thought of the process is making me a very happy girl.


Edited by Pierogi (log)
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--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I have Christmas Eve figured out. We are having King crab legs with drawn butter and lemon. My step-daughters sent 8 pounds and there are only three of us this year so we'll eat half and save the other half for New Year's Eve.

Christmas is a redux of Thanksgiving or a ham if my dad decides to send us one this year.

Can I come to yours for Christmas Eve? I adore KIng Crab- where did you get them from? That along with a fondue appetizer would make a nice cozy meal for my husband and I. I'm sick of making lasagna!

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I've already started doing test runs. Here are some fixed things and possibilities. I'm still chewing on ideas for vegetables to go with the main course. I want something that's essentially prepared in advance (a couple of last minute steps are okay but nothing involving, say, deep-frying or anything I need to pay super close attention to for an extended period of time), filling but suited to Australian conditions (Christmas Day might be 20C but it could also be 40C).

Entree: Pig's feet (Keller's Bouchon w/ sauce gribiche and some sort of salad. I'm thinking something as simple as parsley, shallots, capers and maybe a bit of shaved fennel.

Main: Pork belly (the Sunday pork roast from Modernist Cuisine with apple sauce terrine and ... something vegetable-based. I'm open to suggestions. A couple of different salads? Maybe the potato salad from Modernist Cuisine? Has anyone made that? I'm leaning heavily towards a couple of satisfying salads. Things that are easy to knock together in advance and serve as a nice foil to two fairly robust cuts of pork. My sous vide rig will be tied up for a little while reheating the pork (altho' in a pinch I could re-heat that in a water bath using my induction cook top). The skin will be cooked on its own, Blumenthal at Home style.

Dessert: Pudding w/ rum & raisin icecream and creme anglaise... something else. Open to suggestions here. Something crunchy. A praline? A crumble of some kind? Shortbread, say?


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Ours will be pretty laid back this year - my dad is 95 and doesn't really leave the house anymore. It would be too exhausting for him to attend a dinner at one of our homes.

So the plan is that I make dad's steamed pudding (a molasses pudding with cranberries with a cream and butter sauce) - we assemble at his place for a short while and enjoy it. Then we all head home.

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I'd like to make the Simplified Jus Gras for our rib roast, but I feel that I should use something other than chicken stock. Any ideas?

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I should have mentioned that I do know I could use beef stock to replace the chicken stock. I'm just hoping for some different ideas.

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My Prime Rib attempts are always tragic affairs. I can't help.

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Thanks! I spent big on the last one I bought and no one was impressed.

I thought it was pretty good, so maybe it's my audience. I'll bet that's it. :wink:

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We don't do anything special for Christmas dinner, we do Christmas breakfast instead. We used to do both but it turned the day into an endless stream of work that took most of the fun out of it so I finally decided that it was going to be one or the other. The voters went with breakfast. Makes it easier for everybody because some have other places they go that day. As for tradition, there isn't really much of that involved with the breakfast other than the gf likes to have eggs benedict so I do that along with a few things others like. I'm thinking of changing it up a bit this year but I haven't really planned exactly what I'm going to do yet.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I'm not going to do the very traditional italian Christmas Eve, maybe if I get organized I'll make some baccala' fritters that everybody loves.

For Italians lunch is always more important than dinner but sometimes I do what is easier for my parents in laws. Also this means that I usually cook some Italian food

that my Chinese parents in law would like. So, tortellini in brodo, although it's not tradition of my own family, maybe a goose or a duck with vegetables.

With small children I don't have time for complicated thinks like panettone or pandoro but I'll make a couple of traditional sweets from my area: cartellate and purcidd also know as sannacchiuder

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That sounds lovely, Franci. I love baccala.

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We don't do anything special for Christmas dinner, we do Christmas breakfast instead. We used to do both but it turned the day into an endless stream of work that took most of the fun out of it so I finally decided that it was going to be one or the other. The voters went with breakfast. Makes it easier for everybody because some have other places they go that day. As for tradition, there isn't really much of that involved with the breakfast other than the gf likes to have eggs benedict so I do that along with a few things others like. I'm thinking of changing it up a bit this year but I haven't really planned exactly what I'm going to do yet.

Now that's one of the smartest ideas yet!

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I will have three Christmasses this year :cool: We all like cooking so we'll share it.

Christmas 1: Mezze - 12 friends

Cut raw vegetables

Cucumber-yogurt sauce - Cacik

Walnut sauce

Lentil soup - Mercimek

Fried stuffed pastries - Borek

Aubergines stuffed with tomato - Imam byaldi

Vine leaves stuffed with rice - Dolma

Aubergine in tahini sauce

Flatbread - Lavash

Bulgur pilaf

Pickles - Turshu

Honey-pistachio pastry - Baklava

Tahini sweets - Helva

Christmas 2: Christmas day meal with my mother

Mushroom strudel

Spinach sauteed with garlic

Braised leeks

Fondant potatoes

Pavlova

Christmas 3: Family meal in Paris with my mother, my brother and his girlfriend

Minestrone

Spinach rotolo

Rosemary and lemon roast potatoes

Courgettes grilled with garlic and oil

Pears poached in wine with orange mascarpone

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Xmas Eve with our own family: 10 - Our traditional menu: 7-rib prime roast (this year in the Char-Broil Big Easy) with Yorkshire pudding, brussel sprouts, cardamom carrots, oven roasted potatoes, apple-walnut salad, green salad, gravy, trifle, an assortment of Xmas baking (shortbread, butter pecan tarts, mince meat pie, gingerbread...) Got a huge package of beef fat from the meat guy, so I'll need to render that a couple of days ahead for the Yorkies, gravy, and potatoes.

Xmas Day: Dim-sum brunch: congee, long donuts, har gow, siu mai, sticky rice in lotus leaves, cha siu boas, chicken feet, a steamed vegetable , most likely, gai lan, mango pudding

Evening meal will probably be leftovers from the roast beef dinner as I'm sure there WILL be, even with 4 meat-loving men!

Boxing Day: with my brother and his family: 25 people. I am cooking a 16-lb turkey, brined, then in the Big Easy. I will also do an "unadulterated" bone-in turkey breast - about 6 lbs, in the oven for one of the niece's husbands who is very picky. My s-i-l will be doing Alaskan King Crab claws and the sides. I'll be doing some kind of creme brulee for dessert along with whatever my s-i-l makes.

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Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Our Christmas meal is very simple: traditional roasted turkey with stuffing and gravy, cranberry sauce (for me only), Brussels Sprouts (for me only), mashed potatoes, peas and carrots. Salad, rolls. And for dessert which only Ed and I will eat, Margarita Pie, a departure from the norm. I do the Christmas dessert and DH takes primary care of the rest with me working as sous-chef. Oh, Tortiere too made by DH.

Then daughter's BF, from Grenada, will cook us some wonderful Grenadian dishes which we'll have. He always cooks when he comes. He's a born cook. And amazing to watch. He cooks every day for the homeless Caribbean men where he lives.

Then on the 27th, friends from South Africa will come for a meal. Daughter and Dad. He's 98 and loves to come to the farm. There will be 4 people and 4 dogs. (Oops.) Margarita pie for sure...she adores it and gets to take home the rest of it, supposedly sharing it with Dad (although I know for a fact, she ate it all last time). Dinner will probably be lasagna and Tortiere.


Edited by Darienne (log)
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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Franci, I am making cartellate too! Are you using vincotto or honey?


Edited by ambra (log)

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. . . I'm thinking of changing it up a bit this year but I haven't really planned exactly what I'm going to do yet.

Maybe check out the pain perdu recipes in Keller's Under Pressure? It's two layers of custard-soaked brioche with a savory layer in between. He does one with tomato marmalade (part of a lobster-centric dish) and another with beef tongue, but you can put almost anything in that savory layer. For example, we've done it with deviled ham, and we're working on a version with caramelized onions and roasted red peppers for a sous vide class we're teaching in February The first we topped with a poached egg and Creole Hollandaise -- kind of a turn on Eggs Benedict.

The nice thing about it as a Christmas breakfast dish is that it's assembled and baked ahead of time (it's also fun to put together), then portioned and quickly fried to finish whenever you want it.

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Dave Scantland
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Eat more chicken skin.

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I like that idea. Something different with the added bonus of being a Christmas morning time-saver. Thanks for the suggestion.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I will prepare main courses, my family is in charge of the rest. Common starters are iberian ham and "croquetas", and desserts are always store-bought "turrones" and "mantecados".

Christmas eve dinner:

Duck consommé with "manzanilla pasada" (a kind of sherry) and foie (cooked 10 min / 60ºC, frozen in pieces, then grilled straight from frozen)

Sea bream with vegetables in "escabeche" (Spanish sauce made with 2 parts EVOO, 1 part vinegar usually sherry, 1 part wine usually sherry, and aromatics, boiled)

Milk-fed lamb legs (sous-vide 24 h / 60ºC with garlic, thyme and rosemary, then grilled) and chops (w ith the same aromatics, roasted), lamb demi-glace, glazed pearl onions and carrots

Christmas day lunch:

"Cocido madrileño" (a local version of pot-au-feu) consommé

Duck salad (magret and home-made confit) with passion fruit vinaigrette

Poularde galantine. Stuffed with a farce of duck magret, heavy cream and orange peel, with pine nuts and pieces of cooked & smoked ham.

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Then daughter's BF, from Grenada, will cook us some wonderful Grenadian dishes which we'll have. He always cooks when he comes. He's a born cook. And amazing to watch. He cooks every day for the homeless Caribbean men where he lives.

I wanna hear about the Grenadian dishes. Spent a couple weeks there a long time ago and loved it -- what a beautiful place. Had lots of good food, too. Mmmmmmm.

We're driving down to the States for Christmas with MIL. She no longer cooks and her kitchen is tiny and, because she doesn't cook, things are hard to find or just not there. But there's a great market nearby that has wonderful prime rib, so probably we'll have that, since it's easy, and roasted veg alongside, since that's easy. Simple salad and plenty of wine. Christmas cake and lotsa cookies which I'm bringing down from Canada. If I can convince everyone else, we'll have my favorite Christmas Eve meal, which is spaghetti with white clam sauce -- so easy. SIL has a new boyfriend, whom we haven't met yet, and I know he's quite a cook -- so maybe he'll change things up from my simple ideas.

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