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What is on your menu for the holiday feast?

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:

prime rib
wild rice
cauliflower cheddar gratin with horseradish crumbs
maple dill carrots
sauteed zuchinni

DESSERT: fresh berries with creme anglaise

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  1. 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....

    1. Prime Rib Roast
      Twice baked potatoes with gruyere, Pancetta,shallots and creme fraiche
      Creamed Spinach
      Creamed Onions

      Kick a@@ Egg nog
      Holiday cookies and desserts

      3 Replies
      1. re: SweetPhyl

        Care to share your recipe for Twice baked potatoes with gruyere, Pancetta,shallots and creme fraiche. Sounds real good.

        1. re: angelo04

          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.

          1. re: SweetPhyl

            Actually, my kind of recipe, some exact measurmeents just some good judgement. I will try this. Sounds real good. Why didn't I think of this?

      2. We're just going to be three - thinking of doing pork for a change - but haven't gotten farther than that.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MMRuth

          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.

        2. 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.

          7 Replies
          1. re: cayjohan

            Doesn't sound tame and boring at all - sounds great!

            1. re: cayjohan

              What is Swedish potato sausage - sounds interesting - do you have a recipe that you'd care to share?

              1. re: MMRuth

                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.

                Grind together:

                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.

                1. re: kittyfood

                  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

                  1. re: ZoeZ

                    See post directly above for the recipe.

                2. App: Shrimp wrapped in Bacon

                  Main: Texas Brisket
                  Roasted Green Beans with Carmelized Onion
                  Roasted Potatoes

                  Dessert: Chocolate Souffles with Creme Anglaise

                  1. Just two of us--I will boil potatoes and onions with beer and Old Bay for seasoning, then throw in smoked sausage, corn on the cob chunks, and shrimp, and call it dinner! Quite nice!

                    Appetizers and dessert? There's cheese and chocolate everywhere I look...

                    I envy those with *many* to cook for, and love reading about it!

                    1 Reply
                    1. I'm not sure about the entire menu, but it'll definitely include:

                      Turkey, brined and herb-rubbed
                      Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan-Streusel Topping
                      Artichoke and Spinach Lasagna
                      Stuffing, of the rosemary-mushroom-celery variety

                      Dessert: Earl Grey Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles. I've been obsessed with truffle-making lately.

                      1. well,i'm not making this for the holidays, but i am going to be making a glazed ham... anyone got any good ideas on how to do that, or for side dishes?

                        1. Well for Christmas Day our tradition is "thanksgiving" again; but for christmas eve we are doing a luxurious seafood stew with the recently way-over discussed bread to dip in it--
                          I think something along these lines---


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: DGresh

                            Ooooh...sounds good. We always do our Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve due to dual households with my kids, but prior to the Eve I always make a salmon chowder with potatoes and dill. I might have to try the "way-over-discussed" bread with it!

                            It seems to me that fish dishes/chowders are a tradition in more than a few cultures for Christmas Eve.

                            1. re: DGresh

                              This cioppino recipe sounds great! I'm going to have to make this very soon, likely before Christmas.

                              So many recipes, so little time.

                            2. foie gras pate
                              torta of gorgonzola and marscapone
                              duck with armangac pate
                              goat cheese
                              shrimp cocktail

                              prime rib roast
                              mushroom gravy
                              roasted potatoes
                              candied sweet potatoes
                              asparagus wrapped with proscuitto
                              Greek Christmas Bread (with figs, raisins and walnuts)
                              yorkshire pudding

                              apple pie and pumpkin pie with ice cream

                              1. There will we 25 of us. Sraight and gay; white, Asian, black; Christian, Jewish and atheist, ages 2 to 82 and all one big mostly happy family. I wish our food were as interesting. It'll be cheese and crackers before, green salad, poached salmon, ham, asparagas, homemade bread and, for desert, too many pies and a boozy pudding we ignite. Last year grandma set the table decorations on fire. Ho ho ho.

                                1 Reply
                                1. I'll probably be making a roast and starting with a light salad. I'm planning to use beet and blood oranges because they're both my favorite and I think the oranges go with meat. Here's a photo and recipe of my golden beet and blood orange salad (it's also a very pretty and elegant dish to bring to the table, very festive for the holidays). http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200...

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: singleguychef

                                    Everyone's dinner plans sound wonderful!

                                    I looked at your blog, singleguychef, and marvel at the photos and recipes. I plan to make some of the dishes you have posted, including the blood orange and roasted beet salad, as well as the mango chicken and sweet potato curry. Thanks for the tips!

                                    1. re: singleguychef

                                      I took a look at your blog and recipes as well. WOW your dishes look just delicious. The salad is right up our alley we love meat salads for dinners. Great ideas!

                                      1. re: singleguychef

                                        Tonight I made the beet and blood orange salad. The stores didn't have golden beets, so I used regular red beets. I served the salad with the beets still warm, and it was positively divine. What's great is that it was so simple to make! I never use beets when I cook, but I plan to do so more often how, especially if it is roasted. Thanks again for the tip, singleguychef!

                                        1. re: Pamela

                                          I'm glad it worked out for you Pamela. I'm all about the easy recipes! ;-)

                                      2. I haven't made a final decision, but deciding between a Crown roast of Pork or a turkey. It depends upon how many we will be.
                                        I've never made the pork, but two good cooking friends do it all the time and can talk me through it!

                                        I'd love recipes for the asparagus wrapped in proscuitto and for the roasted green beans with carmelized onions, please!!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: compucook

                                          Can you share the CROWN ROAST OF PORK recipe you are thinking of? I have a delemma this year.... I'm sick of turkey and my inlaws like their meat too well done for me to even serve. So I have to make something that everyone will like and I was thinking of an elagant pork dish but don't have any recipes......

                                          1. re: Susanbnyc

                                            Sorry it took so long for me to see this--

                                            Herb Crusted Rack of Pork
                                            Here is one of our favourite autumn dishes. Juicy, tasty, elegant and easy! (says my friend, I've not made it, but those who have, just rave)
                                            Get the butcher to French the bones for a nice presentation...although these days a rack of pork, with the bones already frenched, is readily available in most meat departments.

                                            (serves 4)

                                            4 pound rack of pork
                                            3 TBSP olive oil
                                            1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
                                            4 garlic cloves, minced
                                            1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
                                            1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme
                                            1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
                                            1 TBSP coarse ground pepper
                                            1/4 cup butter cut up
                                            1/3 cup flour
                                            2 cups chicken broth (more or less)
                                            1 TBSP tomato paste
                                            2 TBSP chopped fresh sage
                                            salt and pepper to taste
                                            fresh thyme or rosemary sprigs for garnish

                                            Rub pork with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Combine the garlic and
                                            next 4 ingredients and press into the pork. Place pork on a rack in a
                                            roaster or broiler pan , cover the bone tips with foil so they don't

                                            Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 1 hour and 115 minutes or until
                                            internal temperature reaches 160 degrees...don't over cook.

                                            Transfer pork to a serving dish. Pour pan drippings into a skillet. Add
                                            butter and cook over medium heat until butter melts. Whisk in flour
                                            until smooth. Cook whisking constantly until it is a rich caramel
                                            colour. Gradually add the broth and next three ingredients, cook over
                                            medium heat until for 2 or 3 minutes until thick and bubbly.

                                            Slice the pork between the bones and serve with the sauce. Use the
                                            thyme or rosemary sprigs for garnish.

                                            1. re: compucook

                                              Looks like a great recipe, I don't think a lot of people realize all of the wonderful things you can do with pork loins and pork tenderloins.

                                        2. Antipasto and veggie sushi for appetizers

                                          Roast Turkey
                                          cornbread stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce
                                          Beef Curry
                                          Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
                                          Roasted Fennel and Carrots
                                          Green Beans with almonds, etc.
                                          Green Salad

                                          Gingerbread biscotti
                                          Peppermint Oreo cheesecake

                                          1. Rib roast
                                            Mushroom Gravy
                                            Creamed Spinach
                                            and I don't know if either of us will want anything else.

                                            1. I usually do prime rib but this year we have only 6 for Christmas including two kids so I'm thinking of something else and not real sure of what to do--beef tenderloin maybe. We are having our big family dinner on New Years Eve and I'm having fondue and crab. I did this night a couple weeks ago and it was really tasty--pork tenderloin on top of mashed potatoes with sauted chard with garlic and currants finished with a balsamic reduction made from the drippings.

                                              1. Christmas Eve:

                                                Extra extra large Shrimp Cocktail
                                                Baked Clams Oreganota

                                                Italian Antipasti - Thibk good salad with olive oil and balasalmic with plenty of italian meats and cheese

                                                Main Course - Shrimp, Calamari, and Lobster in a spicy red sause over Angel Hair

                                                Dessert - Something chocalate.

                                                Plenty of good wine, champagne and home made egg nog.

                                                Chirstmas Day - Country Ham. App's, sides, and desseert to be determined

                                                1. Menu is still in flux but I'm thinking of the following (just 2 of us - I refused absolutely to go to SIL's after a ghastly Thanksgiving dinner):

                                                  Cambodian duck soup
                                                  Rack of lamb
                                                  Bulghur pilaf
                                                  Kaddo bowrani (Afghan pumpkin with garlic yogurt sauce)
                                                  Salad of some kind - thinking of arugula with poached pears or roast beets

                                                  Dessert will be selected from lemon mascarpone cheesecake, macarons, and Recchiuti truffles and fleur de sel caramels. Unless Dh gets his way and we have pie.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: cheryl_h

                                                    Sounds like a very eclectic and delicious meal! Kinda sad we won't be hearing a SIL story. :-)

                                                    I'm in charge of the entire meal for about 10 of us and I don't even know what I'm making yet!! Did prime rib roast last year, and I'm in the mood for something like Coulibiac (sp?) or Beef Wellington this year. I'm hoping I'll be more inspired after I finish reading this thread!

                                                    1. re: Carb Lover

                                                      Oooh, do the coulibiac. I used to spend New Year's Eve with Russian friends when I lived in the Midwest and this was the highlight of the feast. I've never tried it, just reading the recipe made me feel tired. You could do an entire Russian/Slavic-inspired meal which would be stunning.

                                                      My menu is sorta Asian. I told DH it follows the Silk Road until you get to salad and dessert when you jump across to Western Europe and the Americas.

                                                      I love my SIL but she's a terrible cook. One excruciating meal is enough.

                                                  2. This was the menu for a family gathering this past weekend:
                                                    (everything was prepared the day before)

                                                    butternut squash/pumpkin soup
                                                    dinner rolls
                                                    southern sweet potato salad
                                                    macaroni salad
                                                    cole slaw
                                                    morrocan green beans

                                                    dessert- disaster trifle (I made a choco-peppermint cake. My cat decided to jump on the counter when I was truning it out the pan and I dropped in onto the counter. Had tasty cake pieces. So I whipped up some vanilla pudding & whipped cream and layered it in a glass dish. no one was any wiser <grin>)

                                                    Not the most exciting menu but I was dealing with older not-very-adventurous guests. The out of norm stuff (butternut soup, sweet potato salad and morrocan green beans) wound up being the hits of the party and garnered the most recipe requests.
                                                    Go figure-- from a bunch that thinks Denny's is Gor-may

                                                    1. Husband & I have this as our 'traditional' Christmas Eve dinner by the fire:

                                                      3 lb rib-eye roast - we love leftovers!!

                                                      Au gratin potatoes made with Yukon Golds

                                                      Green beans - although this year I plan to embellish this otherwise boring dish by including onions sauteed with garlic, anchovies and chopped olives

                                                      Merry Christmas to all my foodie friends!!!!!

                                                      1. Okay, here goes nothing!

                                                        Christmas #1: at my husband's aunt's house will be a Mexican Christmas where we will be having enchiladas, refried beans, etc., etc. I was going to contribute a main dish or app. of some sort and a dessert, but am wimping out and will probably do a couple of desserts since I'm comfortable with that. There are two desserts in "The Art of Mexican Cooking" that I'm considering and the mexican chocolate streusel cake from Rick Bayless.

                                                        Christmas #2: crappy, I'm sure storebought, appetizers, etc. I will contribute an appetizer (something good!) and some cookies.

                                                        Christmas #3: is always dinner at my great aunt's house with the whole extended family- is always chili and vegetable soup with appetizers, etc. I'm probably going to contribute a dip of some sort, maybe the hot artichoke crab dip from Epicurious and cookies again!

                                                        Christmas #4: always brunch at my grandma's house- my favorite part of Christmas! I'm helping my grandma cook all the usuals on Friday before, but my husband is in charge of something new this year- biscuits and gravy! I will have to make some kind of a lemon cookie for grandma as well!

                                                        Christmas #5: brunch food, yet again, because my other grandma has heard us talk about how much we love my other grandma's brunch food on Christmas morning, which is fine, but why oh why does it have to be just an hour after we have brunch at my first grandma's?!? The usual suspects here too!

                                                        Christmas #6, that's right, I said #6!: hopefully a relaxing dinner in my p.j.'s at the in-laws!

                                                        Can I go away to a cabin in the woods in the middle of the Canadian wilderness next year?! Please, pretty please... I've been real good this year Santa! ;-)

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Katie Nell

                                                          We can reserve an igloo for you for next year whenever you want, Katie!;)
                                                          Seriously, enjoy, everything you describe sounds nice, &I'm sure everyone will enjoy your terrific homemade cookies!

                                                        2. Hello-
                                                          New to boards here. Everyone's menus sound amazing! Me and my mom are doing Christmas dinner for 17 this year. It's been a bit of a battle between her somewhat conservative tastes and my more eccentric ones, but here's what we've come up with:

                                                          -Mixed cheeses with crackers and veggies

                                                          -Lamb with a red currant and mint sauce
                                                          -Roasted root veggies (parsnips, carrots, rutabegas, onions) with a roasted garlic dressing
                                                          -Potato gratin
                                                          -Peas with mint (hmmm... too much mint?)
                                                          -Dinner rolls

                                                          -Baba au Rhum (The Barefoot Contessa's recipe, has anyone tried it? Might be a little over-ambitious, but if I completely wreck it there's always the backup cookies)
                                                          -Pecan bars dipped in chocolate
                                                          -Cream cheese lemon cookies
                                                          -Hazlenut-jam thumbprint cookies
                                                          -Spicy ginger-molasses cookies

                                                          Whew! All this has reminded me of all the work I still have to do! Happy Holidays and Seasons Eatings everyone. 3:o)

                                                          1. We are doing a Maryland themed Christmas, but since our family is pretty lackadaisical when it comes to themes there will be a few departures:

                                                            smoked trout from local smokery on granny smith apples
                                                            spiced nuts
                                                            cream cheese with homemade spicy red pepper jelly

                                                            First course
                                                            broiled crab balls on a salad mix of some kind

                                                            Main course
                                                            MD stuffed ham
                                                            scalloped potatoes (taters from neighbor's garden-- yum!)
                                                            sauteed carrots, mushrooms and peppers
                                                            sweet potato biscuits
                                                            regular biscuits
                                                            maybe some honey butter or herbed butter

                                                            Lady Baltimore cake

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Procrastibaker

                                                              Smoked trout, broiled crab balls, mmmmm. But what is Maryland stuffed ham?

                                                              1. re: Glencora

                                                                It's a smoked ham stuffed with greens. You basically make deep slices longwise down the ham and stuff it with cooked greens then bake. Some say it started with English settlers in So. Maryland, but I had always heard it was an adaptation of a slave dish. Slaves were apparently given the hog's head for holiday meals and they stuffed it with a yummy mix of greens. I've actually never had a stuffed ham, though I'm a Marylander. It's very regional-- only Southern MD as far as I'm aware. Sounds like you are going to have a lively crowd-- I think every party should aspire to setting the table decore aflame!

                                                            2. Pamela, how do you make your maple dill carrots? (I know it probably is so easy and I am asking for the recipe!!)


                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Angelina

                                                                Hi, Angelina. I've not made this dish before. I searched for a bunch of vegetable side dishes on both epicurious.com and allrecipes.com, to see what is out there. Here is the link to the recipe for maple dill carrots. The recipe looks really easy.


                                                                1. re: Pamela

                                                                  Thanks for posting this recipe! I've been looking for a couple festive but easy side dishes and this one is perfect!

                                                              2. Menu:
                                                                Roasted Cauliflower Soup
                                                                Prime Rib Roast
                                                                Yorkshire Pudding
                                                                Sauteed Green beans w/ Mushroom, Red Pepper and Onion
                                                                Glazed roasted carrots
                                                                Baked Potato
                                                                English Trifle
                                                                Chocolate Flourless Cake with Raspberry Coulis

                                                                1. We'll have a private Christmas Eve dinner for just the two of us. Christmas Night we'll be at his mom's for the goose dinner with chestnut stuffing. For the two of us:

                                                                  Mixed greens with candied walnuts, blue cheese and apple cider vinaigrette

                                                                  Duck breasts with Blackberry conac sauce
                                                                  Mashed sweet potatoes with nutmeg
                                                                  Roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta
                                                                  Buttermilk rolls

                                                                  and for dessert, I'm making Chocolate Coconut rum tartlets

                                                                  1. Christmas Day:
                                                                    Cream of Cilantro Soup Shots
                                                                    Sparkling Hard Cider

                                                                    Roast Turkey
                                                                    Sausage Stuffing
                                                                    Mexican Boneless 'Filled' Turkey w/Olives, Almonds, JalapeƱo Chiles, Cherries, and Prunes
                                                                    Carrots in Ginger Cream
                                                                    Green Vegetable (a guest is bringing it)
                                                                    Mashed Potatoes
                                                                    Giblet Gravy
                                                                    Cranberry Sauce
                                                                    Rolls Stuffed with Cream Cheese

                                                                    Dragani Montepulciano 2003

                                                                    Tarte Tatin
                                                                    Rosemary Shortbread
                                                                    Orange/Almond Flourless Cake
                                                                    Candied Almonds
                                                                    Sparkling Hard Cider

                                                                    Alka Seltzer

                                                                    1. we are celebrating in a relaxed way here-veggie lasagna-cobb salad-garlic bread-the feast will be week-long-so---meatball parmigana heros-chicken soup with rice-and a roast turkey with chestnut stuffing-side dish rice and carrots-something chocolate for dessert and capirniahs--and of course--cappacino

                                                                      1. Christmas eve we do light low-key.

                                                                        Christmas day, served in courses:

                                                                        Arepas?? maybe spinach and goat cheese
                                                                        Chiles en nogada and fresh tortillas
                                                                        Jicama, grapefruit, avocado salad
                                                                        Chestnut crepes with roasted persimmon ricotta

                                                                        1. app:
                                                                          crabcakes over microgreens

                                                                          mustard-herb crusted rack of lamb
                                                                          creamy polenta
                                                                          honey-butter roasted carrots

                                                                          prob something easy, like a bread pudding with cherries and chocolate.

                                                                          1. Just the two of us for a relaxing weekend and food-filled private celebration (before we get together with the family in Vegas next month for more eating!)

                                                                            Christmas Eve:

                                                                            Tom and Jerry's

                                                                            Butter lettuce salad with Satsuma mandarins, avocado, and shallot vinaigrette (getting a jump start on January's CH cookbook with "Zuni")
                                                                            Jumbo stone crab claws shipped from Florida with two sauces - lemon mayo (Zuni again), and Dijon mustard sauce
                                                                            Florida Pie with key lime juice and coconut (from this month's CH book - Dorie Greenspan's "Baking").

                                                                            Christmas Day Brunch:

                                                                            Billecarte-Salmon Rose champagne
                                                                            Our traditonal Lobster Melts (from Jasper White's "Lobster at Home"). Going to butter the bread with white truffle butter from D'Artagnan this year. heh heh

                                                                            No dinner planned for later, we're always too full. Hmmmm....maybe just multiple glasses of eggnog with healthy shots of Blanton's. ;)

                                                                            1. I am doing three small meals, one on Saturday for a friend, one Sunday night for my sister and her daughter, and one on Monday for another friend.
                                                                              Saturday : start with
                                                                              spicy sausage meat patties and chipotle hummus,

                                                                              mains grilled tuna with a salty-sweet glaze and a ginger-miso sauce (from epicurious) with a Japanese potato salad

                                                                              and Christmas pudding with rum butter;


                                                                              a cold pickled tongue with salads (we are in hot Africa) and homemade Christmas cake and true vanilla ice cream


                                                                              chilled peach soup
                                                                              grilled matured rumpsteaks with harissa & green beans with lemon - Nigella & oven-baked carrots with sherry and black pepper
                                                                              Christmas tiramisu (made with Christmas cake crumbled and triple sec)

                                                                              I will be cooking like a madman, but it will be fun!

                                                                              1. I will make main dishes and dessert, guests will bring the starters and sides.

                                                                                To start, antipasti and garlic bread

                                                                                Two lasagne: one with roasted butternut squash, mixed mushrooms, spinach, and ricotta; the other a variation on traditional lasagne bolognese with bechamel, with duck ragu instead of bolognese.

                                                                                Green salad and another vegetable dish on the side.

                                                                                For dessert, bittersweet pear fudge pie and a dollop of barely sweetened whipped cream.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                  Any chance you could share the pie recipe? I have been looking for a pear-chocolate pie or cake and haven't found a good one yet. Bittersweet pear fudge pie sounds great.

                                                                                    1. re: Procrastibaker

                                                                                      Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you with this recipe. I developed this knowing the texture I wanted, and experimented with various combinations/amounts until I got it. The filling is rich and fudgy tasting, but not like actual fudge, or cake- or brownie-like. It's soft but firm enough to slice nicely. I know there have been a lot of negative posts about corn syrup here, and it's not somehing I use often, but it's essential to the texture of the filling, which is neither goopy nor oversweet. Karo dark corn syrup does not contain HFCS, by the way, if that's a concern.

                                                                                      Pear Fudge Pie

                                                                                      3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
                                                                                      1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
                                                                                      2 Tbsp. butter
                                                                                      1/2 cup dark corn syrup
                                                                                      1/2 cup sugar
                                                                                      4 large eggs
                                                                                      2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. all purpose flour
                                                                                      2 Tbsp. brandy
                                                                                      1 tsp. vanilla
                                                                                      2 medium-large ripe pears, peeled, cored, cut in large chunks
                                                                                      Single crust for 9-inch pie, partially blind baked

                                                                                      Preheat oven to 350F. Melt both chocolates and butter; allow to cool slightly. Whisk in corn syrup and sugar, then beat in eggs thoroughly. Whisk in flour, brandy, and vanilla. Scatter pears in bottom of pie pan and pour filling mixture over. Bake 50 minutes (cover edges of crust to avoid overbrowning, if necessary), until top appears set. Filling will jiggle underneath, but it will set up as the pie cools. Cool completely on a rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled; keep leftovers in refrigerater.

                                                                                  1. Roasted Ham
                                                                                    Rice Pilaf
                                                                                    Sauteed Green Beans
                                                                                    Collard Greens

                                                                                    1. yum... everyone's menus have me hungry!

                                                                                      This year, as a gift to my mother, step-father & husband, I am cooking a meat dish - I've been a vegetarian for a VERY long time, so this is big!

                                                                                      mixed plate: smoked mussels, olives, pickles, bread
                                                                                      the short ribs recipe from the CH boards that are braised in ale & then covered with a maple/rosemary glaze (looks amazing!)
                                                                                      mashed turnips & carrots w/ horseradish & some maple to tie in with the ribs
                                                                                      braised greens (hoping I can find black Kale) w/ TONS of garlic
                                                                                      two free-form crostadas - one apple with ginger, the other pear w/ chocolate... and Ben & Jerry's vanilla ice cream, of course!

                                                                                      also planning a pre-xmas 'tea' on Sunday, but haven't fully formed the menu... thinking a Cauliflower Soup, smoked salmon tea sandwiches, a dark wheat fruit/nut bread and lots of cookies, chocolates, nuts, etc.

                                                                                      1. Prime rib roast (my first)
                                                                                        Horseradish sauce (Contessa recipe)
                                                                                        Whipped sweet potatoes with cream and nutmeg
                                                                                        roasted potatoes
                                                                                        Popovers (my first - I'm using the Contessa's recipe)
                                                                                        Probably green beans (I don't have any wow but easy green dishes)

                                                                                        Red wine (undecided) with dinner
                                                                                        Veuve Clicquot with desserts (undecided)

                                                                                        1. It's looking more and more like it will be just me and Mr. DeeDee for the big day. If that is indeed the case, we will have little meals throughout the day.

                                                                                          While opening presents, coffee and popovers, with some blueberry syrup made by a friend.

                                                                                          a couple of hours later, his father's recipe for stuffed mushrooms, with sausage and cornbread. Prosecco.

                                                                                          If I can find some nice big lobsters, I'll fix them early afternoon, steamed, with butter and some braised spinach. Otherwise, some giant shrimp cocktail or scampi with a little salad. some white wine.

                                                                                          Around suppertime, some homemade cream of mushroom soup, with garlic toast. maybe a dark beer.

                                                                                          We'll probably visit a local shrine with a huge light display and walk around a little. Hot cider, maybe a little quiche and some cookies when we get back. a little brandy.

                                                                                          1. Great reading everyone's menus. Our Christmas Eve is a traditional American-Italian seafood feast that's changed little over three generations. Big table: 25 adults, 10 children, a 5-hour meal. Everyone brings a few dishes, so preparations vary, but main items are:

                                                                                            Antipasti: shrimp, crabcakes, clams oreganato, seafood salad, arancini (rice balls), anchovy filets, various bean, olive, and tomato bruschetta

                                                                                            Pasta: Linguini with a choice of sauce: marinara, garlic & oil, or Calamari in Marinara

                                                                                            Dinner: sea bass, scallops, stuffed flounder, shrimp, lobster tails, bacala

                                                                                            Veggies: roasted winter veggies, mushrooms, broccoli rabe, salad

                                                                                            Dessert: traditional pies and pastry

                                                                                            Wine: yes

                                                                                            Yule Log on TV: if available

                                                                                            Gin rummy: until 3 or 4am

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: garlicbreath

                                                                                                OMG!! Garlicbreath, I had no idea the Yule Log had been resurrected! Talk about a childhood memory I really really missed. Too bad it will be on way too early on WGN. . .


                                                                                                1. re: Covert Ops

                                                                                                  Yes, the Yule Log is back! Awesome tradition, brings back a lot of memories of Christmas in NY in the 60s and 70s. Last year or the year before, local Channel 11 (WPIX, same station that had Rizzuto, Messer and White calling Yankee games for a generation) starting broadcasting the original Yule Log show for a few hours on Christmas morning. I don't think they do the whole overnight broadcast the way they used to, just a few hours. It would be great if they made a dvd of that show and everyone could watch it on their tv.

                                                                                              2. Buffet for 15:

                                                                                                Smoked ham
                                                                                                Smoked turkey
                                                                                                Assortment of tamales from Hot Damn Tamales (being shipped from Fort Worth--you can take the girl outa Texas, but you can't take Texas outa the girl. . . .)
                                                                                                cheese board
                                                                                                crab dip and crackers
                                                                                                cranberry-pecan slaw
                                                                                                Camembert mashed potatoes
                                                                                                green beans with Dijon mustard sauce
                                                                                                rolls and butter
                                                                                                cranberry chutney
                                                                                                Assorted European Christmas cookies (from local German bakery)
                                                                                                Yule Log (from local German bakery)
                                                                                                Assorted candies and nuts
                                                                                                Riesling, Beaujolais Nouveau, beer, and sparkling cranberry cider for non-drinkers

                                                                                                1. Christmas Eve: "light" (ha!) supper for 8...following my husband's family's tradition of clam chowder and little sandwiches on Christmas Eve...

                                                                                                  Clam Chowder
                                                                                                  Deli meats, cheeses and small rolls
                                                                                                  Veggie platter
                                                                                                  Nigella's Chocolate-Cherry Trifle
                                                                                                  A 2nd non-chocolate dessert to be brought by friends
                                                                                                  Glogg (nonalcholic)
                                                                                                  Sparkling cider

                                                                                                  Christmas Day -- for "just us" -- family of 4:

                                                                                                  Prime Rib (Suzanne Goin's recipe)
                                                                                                  Yorkshire Pudding
                                                                                                  Ina Garten's Spinach Gratin
                                                                                                  Roasted Green Beans w/Lemon, Pine Nuts and Parmigiano (from Fine Cooking)
                                                                                                  Coffee-Macadamia Creme Brulee