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Dec 20, 2006 12:05 AM

Coulibiac and WHAT for Christmas?

Scenario: 12 adults-6 kids. Buffet, w/space to sit down at a table.
Husband wants coulibiac, father wants swedish meat balls. Must do both. Am thinking I should offer something else as well. Maybe roast pork?
Will round out w/ buttered egg noodles (for meatballs), goat-cheese scalloped potatoes, sauteed green beans w/ shallots, brussel sprouts, green salad. Yes to the pork, or maybe something else? The recipe I use for Coulibiac comes from Carol Peck's Cookbook, and she pairs it w/ sun-dried tomato pesto poussins. How does that sound? any help appreciated by this stressed-out host.

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  1. Can i ask what Carol Peck's Coulibiac entails? I know the dish as the Russian koulibiaka, which has rice and fish in it... seems a bit excessive to pair that with poussins!

    1 Reply
    1. re: frenetica

      Carole Peck's coulibiac is her take on Russian koulibiaka-except she uses kasha and barley instead of rice, and the whole side of salmon is cooked in home-made puff pastry. (If you live on the East coast, her restaurant in CT is awesome!!) I cheat and use Dufour puff pastry. I also use a dill sauce from Epicurious.( Salmon in Puff pastry recipe) My family is used to a large buffet w/ a variety of items...growing up my mother would do a ham, a turkey, swedish meatballs and about 10 sides. I feel I am not excessive enough!

    2. Coulebiac of Salmon is beautiful and festive. Because it has a pastry crust, you wouldn't want another starch served with it. I would serve it with something light like a sauteed spinach. Anything with sun dried tomatoes or pesto doesn't really go with a luxurious dish like Coulebiac.

      1. Perhaps upgrade the buttered noodles for the meatballs to spaezle?

        2 Replies
        1. re: JudiAU

          Interesting idea. Egg noodles are tradition for us, but w/spaetzle could lose the potatoes. Can speatzle be made in advance??

          1. re: aberoo

            Yes-- dumplings go directly into boiling water and are cooked. Before serving you let them warm in a little butter until they are browned in a few spots. We usually add some mushrooms at the same title. I love them.

        2. Perhaps punch up the piquancy of some side dishes. The coulibiac and Swedish meatballs are rich and can benefit from a little acid in the accompaniments. Your menu seems European-regional - try some of the Scandinavian approaches to sweet-and-sour vegetables, esp. cabbage. A mushroom sauce made with sherry or Madeira could also be good. And a cool, acidic salad would taste good. Another poster mentioned spinach - very nice as a side. Then too, is the relish tray - you can be "excessive" with pickled items, continuing with the acid-with-rich idea. Pickled beets, pickled cucumbers, pickled mushrooms, pickled herrings. On and on. And most of the items for the relish tray can be purchased: you open the jar and arrange!

          1. I did a Scandinavian smorgasboard for Christmas two years ago with a coulibiac and a baked ham as the main dishes. The other dishes were:
            Swedish meatballs
            shrimp cocktail
            herring,potato and beet salad on pumpernickle
            cucumbers stuffed with anchovy cream
            onion allspice tart with sour cream and caviar
            swedish hasselback potatoes (roasted with paprika)
            cauliflower in shrimp sauce
            beets in horseradish cream
            celeriac salad with green beans
            kohlrabi in dilled cream sauce
            (the beet,celeraic and kohlrabi recipes were from Greene on Greens)
            raspberry marzipan torte with chocoalte glaze

            2 Replies
            1. re: CathleenH

              Cathleen, your menu sounds wonderful! The herring,potato and beet salad on rye makes my mouth water!

              Curious about the hasselback potatoes - just roasted with a sprinkle of paprika? Can you share a recipe/technique?

              1. re: cayjohan

                The potatoes are decoratively scored before roasting and topped with crumbs (and in some cases paprika) at the end of roasting.

                The recipe I used was from a library book. Of those I found online, these seem the most similar to the one I used:

                (The recipe here calls for "white potatoes" but I think they mean russets as pictured.