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Dec 11, 2007 07:04 PM

What's on your Christmas menu?

Any old favorites? New experiments? Any great recipes the can be prepared on the 23rd and can be finished on the 24th and 25th? Thanks

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  1. unfortunately it all has to be done at the time. we do christmas eve dinner with prime dry aged small end rib roast with popovers, roasted root vegetables(beets,carrots, potatoes turnips, parsnips, pearl onions and chestnuts.0 and sauteed spinach with garlic, pignoles and sultannas. We start with paneed oysters and champagne. dessert is a fresh raspberry souffle. then we die of clogged arteries, but happy

    1. We do a very traditional Thanksgiving, turkey and the trimmings, but after that, all bets are off. :)

      We generally have a Solstice celebration on the Sunday nearest the Solstice, and we have friends over (normally our gaming group, this year it'll be some others, so no gaming that day :/ ). For this celebration we try to do a "theme". Last year was Medieval Recipes and we did a seven course feast that was fantastic and unusual. This year we're going with Southern Holiday and everyone is doing a recipe that's southern. I usually provide the meat and we're going to do a southern style braised brisket (from local brisket).

      Christmas Eve my husband cooks some special Italian dish (he's 100% Italian-American), and this year he's doing braciole. OM NOM NOM.

      Christmas day I always want to have something expensive that we've never had before. This year I've ordered Turducken, which is sorta in keeping with the Southern theme we have for Solstice the Sunday before. I have no idea what else I might make. Possibly we'll just eat leftovers from Sunday with it. :)

      For New Year's Eve, my husband again does one of his Italian recipes, and this year he's doing stromboli for us. Again, OM NOM NOM. ;D

      That's our holiday meal traditions! :)

      1. I am thinking a little retro this year: Apps to include Swiss Cheese Fondue, Shrimp Quesadillas, and Chicken Moussilline with Morels; Main: Chicken Kiev (I find it impossible to serve a roast as I prefer medium rare and my wife likes well done); Sides: Au Gratin Potatoes and Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese; Dessert: French Apple Pie.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bakerboyz

          Roast suckling pig, cabbage rolls, assorted salads and Hungarian Dobos torte for dessert. A million calories, but very yummy!

          1. re: foodslut

            Foodslut, have always wanted to try my hand at dobos torte. Do you make it yourself? Can you share the recipe and baking tips? Thanks!

            1. re: Diane in Bexley

              Diane in Bexley--I haven't checked chowhound with all the craziness. I'll try to dig out my recipe in the next few days and will post it here. It's not too hard. I use rectangular pans and get two layers out of each pan at a time, so it goes pretty quickly.

        2. We'll be having the usual very traditional (and, frankly, very boring) Christmas lunch - turkey, roast spuds, carrots, sprouts, bread sauce, sage & onion stuffing, followed by Christmas Pudding.

          The only difference this year is we are going to family, rather than family coming to us.

          Can't wait for it all to be over!

          6 Replies
          1. re: Brit on a Trip

            Thank you everyone! I'm drooling! Silly question....what's Christmas pudding?

            1. re: MIss G

              Christmas Pudding, for me, is a steamed fruit pudding, sometimes called a suet pudding, but I've not used suet in it in years. Instead, I've made a carrot pudding, which tastes just as rich, but is far less so, with the same proportions of fruits. The tradition is to wrap a small favor and place it into the pudding just before steaming. The person who finds the favor in their dish will have good luck for the coming year, or something....LOL. I have never done that, but I think my mother would thoroughly clean a coin, wrap it, and put it in the pud. There's nothing like the steamed pudding, presented at table, aflame, with a hot brown sugar or rum sauce, and a small dollop of hard sauce. The hard sauce would be shaped into little balls, and decorated with slivers of one thing or another, such as candied orange peel, or shredded lemon zest, and placed on a serving of the pudding, with the hot rum sauce poured over, or over the hot sauce, for it to melt over the dessert. My stomach is complaining already! Very rich....a small serving goes a long way. This is what your grandmothers' pudding bowls and pudding molds were used for.


              1. re: MIss G

                Without doubt, THE most common steamed pudding eaten in Britain. It'll be on most lunch tables Christmas Day. It is just as Annie indicates. Here's a recipe from Delia Smith (if you don't know her - think of her as the Brit Julia Child - exceptionally influential on a generation of home cooks)


                That said, mine is very good quality one from the supermarket (organic fruit and nuts) - and takes a few minutes in the microwave rather than several hours steaming. Even though we are going out, I've bought a small one for the days following.

                We eat it with rum or brandy sauce (which is a sweet white sauce heavily flavoured with the booze). In my region, Cumberland rum butter is also traditional - mix together rum, butter & sugar. Is this what AnnieG means by "hard sauce"?

                My mother also used to follow the tradition of putting a small silver coin in the pudding - the person finding it was bestowed with good fortune for the coming year - unless of course, it got stuck in their throat and had to be rushed to hospital before they choked..


                1. re: Brit on a Trip

                  LOL, you got it John...yes, the hard sauce is the boozy butter and powdered sugar, and served very cold. The other sauce is served just would not be Christmas without such a pudding. Steaming the pud is mother does hers weeks in advance and reheats it in the m/w


                  1. re: violabratsche

                    We serve hard sauce with mincemeat pie - which is a staple and has to be doctored up with Old Overholt Rye, since my paternal grandmother always talked about being related to the Overholts, "but not the whiskey Overholts", but my maternal grandmother (also related - no, we are not inbred) always included it.

                    As for the rest of the menu - I have no idea at this point, and I'm in charge of cooking, but it will just be my mother, my husband and me. I've given up on the lechon idea, though have promised my husband that I'll try it in the new year in my kitchen, rather than my mother's. Guess I need to get planning.

                2. re: MIss G

                  Christmas pudding aka "plum pudding," but there are NO plums in it! I haven't made one from scratch in many many many years because they are a lot of work! But I still have the mold I boiled them in.

                  If I recall correctly (without looking up my old recipe) it involves seedless raisins, currants, candied citrus peels, the best beef kidney suet you can find, dried bread crumbs (my very old recipe called for "grated rusks," which I translated as dried bread crumbs), and eggs. I don't remember if any spices were in it or not. Anyway, you mix and mix and mix, then butter the mold -- or a bowl can be used or it can even be boiled tied in a cloth -- and pack (yes! pack!) the pudding into it making sure you fill out all of the fancy indents of the mold, then tie it in a clean cloth and boil it for FIVE HOURS!

                  Then you hang it by the cloth over the pot or a plate until it stops dripping, when you can store it. No refrigeration required. hmmm... Booze is added somewhere along the way. Brandy.

                  Then on Christmas Day, you boil it for ANOTHER hour before serving with a sprig of holly stuck in the top and brandy set alight surrounding it in the serving plate. And of course, the lights are turned out when you bring it into the dining room. My family's tradition was to top it with a custard-like sauce flavored with brandy. It is sooooooooooooooooo much easier to buy one in a can from a good English importer!

                  The plum pudding comes at one end of a traditional English Christmas dinner and Christmas crackers at the beginning. Christmas crackers are not something you spread pate on. They are round cardboard tubes (about the size of a toilet paper tube) that has a paper hat, a small toy, and sometimes other things inside, then the tube is wrapped in very fancy paper several inches longer than the tube and "twisted" at each end, then the center of the tube decorated with fancy foil paper lace and/or pictures of Santa. Inside the paper at one end is a strip of very heavy paper you yank on and it makes a popping noise like a small firecracker. When I was a kid, the Christmases my English grandparents did manage to get crackers from "the old country," we were required to wear the silly paper hats all during dinner! But fancy as they were, the hats were only made of tissue paper, so once we were old enough to puff with dignity, we could easily manage to "accidentally" tear the hat beyond wearability.

                  Plum pudding -- even store bought plum pudding -- is delicious! Moist and rich. Or it may have been the company that made it taste so good... '-)

              2. Our Christmas & typically New Years Eve Dinner Tradition:

                Surf and turf

                Some dry aged prime T-Bone steaks from my butcher, and steamed King Crab Legs.

                Sometimes we do a Prime Rib if we are having company for either night

                4 Replies
                1. re: swsidejim

                  I think I'll do a turkey this year. I did a goose last year and roast beef the year before, so I'm due for a turkey. Is it worth it to spring for an expensive heritage one? Any thoughts?

                  1. re: NYCkaren

                    I have never had a Heritage bird. This year was actually the first year I purchased a fresh, local turkey, and was quite impressed with the taste vs, the frozen birds of years past.

                    I say go for it.

                    1. re: NYCkaren

                      I got a deisel heritage turkey for thanksgivng and it was so yummy, so juicey, soooo worth it! Best turkey I've ever had. Just put onions, lemons, carrots, garlic inside for flavor and stuffed salty sage butter under and on top of skin. Perfection.

                      1. re: NYCkaren

                        NYCkaren, why not then try "Murray's Chicken" - a NY supplier who offers up both Chicken and Turkey. The have have a website (just google murray's chicken) and their whole bird turkeys are available in NYC at Fairway. You can also order online but I am not sure if they ship everywhere. While maybe not Heritage, they are raised in Pennsylvania as free roaming, with no antibiotics, no hormones and no preservatives added. They even have brined Turkeys for about $15 extra. I've bought their brined Turkey several times in the past and it has proved to be a most flavorful, moist bird.