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Christmas Lunch Planning


sarah w
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So no chapon de Bresse from Dove & Son, Butchers. I'll ask at Harrods next time I am there.

Ask all you like, the only way to get a capon this side of the border is to have sex with a farmers daughter, trust me on that one. And anyway they aren't all they are cracked up to be.

If you can get a friendly farmer, and a friendly vet, then it's entirely possible to get a Capon for Christmas here in the UK, as is a bulls penis. I stuffed mine, it was a farce.

Edited by JasonCampbell (log)
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Doves import duck breasts and guinea fowl from France, but not chickens. Harrods and Harvey Nichols, according to posters elsewhere on this thread, import Bresse chickens from France. My query was whether they would import a real capon from Bresse.

If these shops won't import capons (and they are good, but mythical ortolans they aren't) and you are really desperate to try one, then it's a quick trip to Paris or Nice and a cold pack to bring one home. Do the easyjet rules prohibit poultry in checked luggage?

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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Do the easyjet rules prohibit poultry in checked luggage?

It's the customs questions that I'm worried about.

"Excuse me sir, is that a castrated chicken, or are you just visiting?"

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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A castrated chicken from Basingstoke or Dusseldorf or Madrid might raise concerns, but if you tell the customs official that it's French, they will understand and forgive instantly.

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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We have nearly decided the christmas menu, nothing that different but we are treating ourselves to a pricey turkey

Bronze Turkey

Glazed carrots

Moby P's "brussells"

caramalized shallots

Fine french beans

Roast Potatoes & Parsnips

Sausages and bacon etc

We are going to some sort of fruit tart for dessert

Boxing day:

a whole or Half a gammon cooked "pot a feu" style with chunky root veg in the pot.T hen the ham will be glazed and roasted

Peas

Parsley sauce

It is going to mates day where people can just pop by and chomp on some ham

Anyone else decided their menus?

sarah x

Edited by sarah w (log)
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I feel honoured to have made the cut.

I'm still struggling with a possible thanksgiving menu. The problem is - too many non-gourmand palets to try anything fancy. So I was considering maybe traditional Northern Italian -

- some torta to start - pear, pecorino, chard, maybe.

- tortellini in brodo

- an excruciatingly slow-roasted large shoulder of Ginger Pig Gloucester Old Spot, rubbed with a fennel spice rub of my own devising. (Although someone mentioned doing a pasticcio - a tortellini pie with meatballs, ragu, and a great pie crust - sort of a Desperate Dan affair - feeds the ten thousand, but it takes 3-4 people to make. I did it alone once, and it took me three days. I need a number for rent-an-Italian-Mama tortellini folding service.)

- Maybe sprouts.

- Italian style gratin of potatoes

- Probably need another veg - any ideas? I only have one oven.

Not sure about desert. A semi-fredo and something with a slice of thingymajig, and a dash of you-know-what.

The only thing I have for xmas that I definitely want to try is a terrine of foie gras and duck confit - there's a Ramsey recipe that looks fairly simple, and you can do it a day or two before. Or foie gras and artichoke heart. (Also, I found a v. reasonable place for fg at borough - the poultry shop. It's pretty good.) I always have some confit in my fridge, and the prep doesn't look too difficult.

If I had less people, I'd definitely go for a couple of stuffed capons. Stuffed with dastardly things, a la Jonathan. The problem is I think I have at least 16 - and I've never cooked for that many before. Anything but turkey - too much work for too little returns. A great four-rib roast?

Okay - I'm turning the tables. Given the foie gras terrine as a starter - what do I feed 16 people - all age ranges and taste buds?

The Anything but Turkey xmas lunch.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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  • 1 year later...

I'm looking for suggestions for a Christmas lunch. The 3 principals (me and two others who cook), will be preparing a lunch for the staffs of our combined buildings, about 70 people who eat in at least 3 shifts. I'm looking for main dish ideas. The other two principals are Italian, so they have made Italian dishes in the past: baked mostaccoli and lasagne. They usually cook on a Saturday, freeze it, and reheat on Friday. The staff provides side dishes.

It doesn't have to be Italian, but we need an option for vegetarians. We have a full home arts room available to use - 5 ranges, large frig. etc. Cooking everything that day isn't really an option, as we still have schools to run, and it's the day before Christmas break!

Suggestions, please.

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Well, if the other two are going to make manicotti or something similar, you have your veggie options most likely covered...

When my school does pot-luck lunches I often turn to the crockpot, just set everything into it the night before, turn up the heat, and grab the stonewear liner out with the food inside the next morning. A pork shoulder or two, several cans of saurkraut, carraway seed, bay leaf, some keibalsa, a couple onions, and various other herbs and spices turns into a rich, tangy, delectable substance to be scooped onto plates and devoured with great relish.

Our last several Home-Ec teachers have been rather worthless in the kitchen aside from preparing desserts (which are apparently wonderful) so the rest of the staff covers the main courses. One of the best was when one of our janitors brought in a fry-daddy, some catfish, and corn mean and just did a fish fry as people came in. Lots of traditional casseroles also make appearances, and there is usually a deli/cheese/veggie tray laying around.

Are the labs going to be in use the day of the luncheon? If not I would lean towards to slow-braised style dishes, they work great for the time of year, and easy to set up, just do the prep-work the night before, pop it into the oven before classes start, and pull it out when the hungry teachers arrive.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Well, if the other two are going to make manicotti or something similar, you have your veggie options most likely covered...

When my school does pot-luck lunches I often turn to the crockpot, just set everything into it the night before, turn up the heat, and grab the stonewear liner out with the food inside the next morning.  A pork shoulder or two, several cans of saurkraut, carraway seed, bay leaf, some keibalsa, a couple onions, and various other herbs and spices turns into a rich, tangy, delectable substance to be scooped onto plates and devoured with great relish.

Our last several Home-Ec teachers have been rather worthless in the kitchen aside from preparing desserts (which are apparently wonderful) so the rest of the staff covers the main courses.  One of the best was when one of our janitors brought in a fry-daddy, some catfish, and corn mean and just did a fish fry as people came in.  Lots of traditional casseroles also make appearances, and there is usually a deli/cheese/veggie tray laying around. 

Are the labs going to be in use the day of the luncheon?  If not I would lean towards to slow-braised style dishes, they work great for the time of year, and easy to set up, just do the prep-work the night before, pop it into the oven before classes start, and pull it out when the hungry teachers arrive.

NulloModo,

They shouldn't be cooking that day since it's the last day before break. The teachers have been real slackers in the past about bringing side dishes. :angry: We will all decide on something together - they haven't decided on Italian and left me hanging, it's just what they have done in the past. I'll suggest the pork shoulder to them. It sure sounds good to me.

I should know this, I think, but what do you teach? I was 6th gr. language arts, but am the A.P. this year.

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I teach 5/6/7/8 Music, Dance, Drama, Band, and Chorus.

I guess I am fairly lucky with the cooking at my school, we have a lot of older teachers in my building (I am the youngest) and most of them have been cooking their entire lives, and enjoy doing it. We also realize that the take-out and delivery items around the school are slim pickins, so if we want anything decent on inservice days or faculty luncheons we have to bring it in ourselves.

Noting that you are in chicago why not do like an Italian Beef station? Get a big pot of the beef simmering (do you simmer the beef for Italian beef? I've always assumed that it was a wet au jus style prep, but I could be wrong), and just set up bowls of the pepper mix, veggies, rolls, etc alongside.

Big pots of meatballs also tend to make frequent appearances now that I think about it.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I like the Italian beef idea for your lunch also. Whether you do the roast and au jus or the long simmering pot both can be done ahead if necessary and reheated at school. The pork with sauerkraut is great, and easy also. A big ham. Leg of lamb, roasted with garlic and basil or rosemary -- and lamb is often a deal during Dec.

If you have vegetarians that are still egg/dairy eaters, not vegans, the options are much greater. I do an Italian spinach pie -- much more cheese than a quiche and very satisfying. Easy -- 1-1/2 lbs of good mozz and provolone (grated), cut spinach (fresh and cooked or cut frozen if need be), four eggs, crushed red pepper, garlic, oregano, thyme -- mix all together, bake in crust in deep dish 10" pie plate for about an hour. With a lot of other food around you can cut this in 8-12 slices for portions.

Big pans of winter squash gratin, eggplant Parmesan en casserole, or orange-flesh squashes like butternut sliced and layered with a savory and fruited dressing -- dried apples, dried apricots, golden raisins. Vegetable stew with sweet potatoes, black beans, onion, and corn, for vegetarians use a veg or mushroom stock base, season with salt, red pepper, thyme, basil.

Edited by lovebenton0 (log)

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Brisket: you can cook it a couple of days before and then reheat. Mashed potatoes. Green beans or carrots. Get a few big bags of field greens from your produce manager and a couple bottles of vinaigrette. Of acorn squash halves, twice baked: bake once, fill with some kind of streusel and rebake when you reheat.

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Vegetarian options:

Spanakopita (easy to make trayfuls)

Chilaquile Casserole (think "Mexi-lasagne with tortillas instead of noodles," with refried beans, veggies, easily adaptable and delicious). It's easy to make, and it's easy to reheat (or serve room temp). If you chop the tortillas into 1" pieces, it's much quicker than tearing them. With a little mis en place, you could kick out a few 11"x14" pans easily. Note: in that recipe, I always add beans and onions, and I usually add zucchini as well. You could glam it up, too.

Vegetarian lasagne, for that matter.

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