What is on your menu for the holiday feast?
- Pamela Dec 16, 2006 06:58 PM
Just curious about what everyone is planning to prepare for their holiday feast. I am trying to keep my menu somewhat healthy this year, but may borrow from other people's ideas--either for this year or next...or for future meals.
My menu is as follows:
cauliflower cheddar gratin with horseradish crumbs
maple dill carrots
DESSERT: fresh berries with creme anglaise
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Hi, Pamela. My Xmas dinner plans changed as I learned some relatives I thought were coming aren't, so the original grand crown roast of pork with a bread/sausage stuffing is out as TOO LARGE. I'm looking for fallback ideas - we're having the crown roast later with a bigger crowd, prime rib later (same deal), and the small, select crew of guests I have are real chowhounds with high expectations for a major holiday. Sigh. I'm thinking of frenched rack of lamb with Greekish accompiaments, which may be the way we go....with a silky smoked-salmon appetizer and endive/gorgonzola/walnut salad, probably a fruit dessert....looking forward to other posts for more idears....
I don't relly have a recipe. I just bake several potatoes, hollow them out and leave them with about 1/4 nch of potatoe on the skin after cutting them in half lengthwise. While the potatoes are baking, I sautee the shallots and pancetta in some olive oil. Then, I mix it with the potato stuffing along with s bit of the creme fraiche. I then put them back in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes and serve them hot.
Three here also, and also thinking pork. And since Zuni is on my mind, seriously considering the Standing Rib Roast of Pork with her buttermilk mashed potatoes. Something with fuyu's for a starter (because they're here and looking gorgeous) and perhaps the Chocolate Caramel Tart from The Sweet Life. And I'm going to make the Parmesan Sables from Greenspan for a nibble with drinks. Looks like Cookbook of the Month has gotten to me. In a good way, of course.
Our menu is pretty tame and boring, but tradition wins out in our house. Making up for the sameness is the fact that I have to do the same menu twice for two different sides of the family! :)
Whole ham roast (with rind, scored and cloved)
Swedish potato sausage with lingonberries
Mashed potato casserole (with a bit of nutmeg and a bit of molasses, baked long and slow to get what the Finns call a "sweetening" of the dish)
Sweet and sour braised red cabbage
Cucumber and onion salad over fresh greens
Karelian pies with egg-butter
Relish tray with pickled mushrooms, cornichons, pickled onions
For dessert: Finnish whipped cranberry pudding with a drizzle of cream.
I do have a recipe ( which follows) but I will say this: it's sooooo much easier to buy it if you have a good sausage shop, Ours (Kramarczyk's in Minneapolis) makes wonderful potato sausage. Having grown up stuffing casings with a horn, I think I've had enough. But for them-that-wanna....
Here's the recipe:
First, make sure you have a meat grinder. I can't talk about food processors, as I've never used them for this.
1 part beef (medium lean)
1 part pork (butt is nice)
2 parts peeled potatoes, chunked to fit into your meat grinder)
1/2 onion (medium to large-ish) for every pound of meat
Salt (For 8 lbs total (potatoes/pork/beef) use about 2 1/2 Tbsp.)
Pepper to taste - I like mine on the peppery side and would say for 8 lbs to use a good Tbsp. Less if you don't like pepper.
For every lb. of meat, use 1/2 tsp ground allspice.
Make sure you keep the potatoes from browning - salt water or acidulated water.
Grind meats and onions with the meat grinder - quarter-inch grind.
Grind potatoes (same grind size) and drain/squeeze to remove excess liquid.
Mix meats/onions/potaoes with the seasonings.
Casing (here is where I can't help with size of casings and where to get them; see a butcher?):
Stuff into natural casings with a sausage horn (or, you may have a KA stuffer attachment). We always made rings from a sausage stuffed to about 20 to 24 inches. Tie off.
Boil for about 40 to 50 minutes, after pricking the casing on each sausage a few times.
It sounds a little icky, now that I read what I've written, but this is truly a Gestalt dish - greater than the sum of its parts. I love potato sausage for its simplicity and taste, plus, it's not a grease-laden wurst. Don't forget lingonberries with the sausage if you make it - the flavor combination is lovely. I put a little grated horseradish along as a condiment.
A Finnish rye-crusted savory pastry from Karelia, a rye-growing area in eastern Finland, now Russia.
We make them every Christmas, and as often as I can during the year (my daughter thinks we should have a permanent supply, ala Eggo waffles, in the freezer.
They are delicious, and like the potato sausage recipe I posted, have a Gestalt quality. It's really glue-wrapped-in-glue and baked, but wow, are they good. Healthy, too, as there is very little butter used for the pastry. Still...the egg-butter topping makes up for that!
Oven at 450 degrees
Make a porridge:
Cook one cup rice (regular medium or long grain), Add two cups of milk and cook until it's porridge-like.
Add 2 T. butter and salt to taste. Cool mixture, but keep an eye on the thickness; you may have to add more milk.
Make the pastry:
Combine one and one-half cups each all-purpose flour and rye flour. Mix one cup water, 2 T. melted butter and 2 t. salt in another bowl.
Add liquid to dry and mix. Knead on a floured surface(use rye flour) until smooth and elastic.
Divide kneaded dough into 16 pieces - use plastic wrap to keep unused dough from drying out.
Roll each 1/16 piece into a rough circle. Spread cooled rice porridge mixture down the center of the circle in a strip. Fold up the sides and ends of the circle, using a pleating technique- the finished product should like a bit like a moccasin.
Brush finished pastries with a mixture of 4 oz. butter and 4 oz milk, heated and blended together. Bake on a buttered sheet pan for 15 to 20 minutes (depending upon your oven), brushing with the butter/milk mixture once during baking.
Egg butter should top these: mix a pound of soft butter with 6 to 8 mashed hard-cooked eggs. Blend well and salt to taste