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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 hot....it just would not be Christmas without such a pudding. Steaming the pud is easy...my 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.

                    2. Crown roast of pork, cornbread and sausage stuffing, garlic and rosemary roasted potatoes, mushroom gravy, brussel sprouts with bacon and chestnuts and another veggie yet to be named. Nothing much here can be made ahead but on the other hand it is not that difficult a meal to prepare.

                      1. Christmas eve - a big Mexican fiesta with tequila-lime shrimp, tamales, cheese enchiladas, cochinata pibel, peruana beans, guacamole, several fresh salsa. For dessert sopapillas with Mexican honey and homemade dulce de leche ice cream and hot ponche.

                        Christmas Dinner - a rib eye roast cut off the bone, then tied back on for roasting, 2 sauces for the roast - gorgonzola and a tarragon pan sauce, hasselback (sp) potatoes, glazed carrots, creamed, roasted cippolini onions (if I can find them), butter lettuce salad, homemade rolls. For dessert pannetone bread pudding with rum sauce.

                        Then no food for a week.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Pampatz

                          Do you have a recipe for sopapillas? I've never made them but had them years ago in the Southwest and loved them.

                          1. re: NYCkaren

                            This is the recipe that I typically use.
                            2-2 1/2 cups flour
                            1/2 tsp salt
                            1/4 cup sugar
                            2 1/2 tsp baking powder
                            2 tbl vegetable shortening (original recipe called for lard)
                            3/4 cup warm water
                            oil for frying

                            Combine flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Cut in shortening until mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Add enough water to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead 3-4 minutes til smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
                            Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into 2" squares.
                            Heat 2" of oil in heavy, deep-sided skillet to 385 degrees. Drop 3-4 sopapillas into the oil and fry 30-60 seconds, turning several times. They should be golden brown and puffy. Drain on paper towels.
                            We like to bit a hole in a corner and drizzle honey on the inside. Or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

                        2. I've not decided what I'll do this year, but last year, I made a pork Wellington, as there were just 2 of us, and a large meal was just not appropriate. The sides were the usual sweet potato, rutabaga, potatoes, and some sort of dressing, ramekins of each were enough to feed the two of us. Well, other than dressing, of course...that was a small casserole sized pan!I also made a steamed Christmas Pudding....it was fabulous! My friend had never had or seen one before, and was completely delighted. I may do a turkey breast, with similar sides, as I am alone this year.


                          1. Christmas Eve--homemade tamales (pork/beef combo w/ red chile, vegetable, and sweet w/ mebrillo), rice, beans. And for dessert, bunelos and champurrado. Tamale-making started about a week ago and are now standing by in the deepfreeze!

                            Christmas Day is when we get fancy. In years past, we usually would have herb-crusted prime rib. But the last couple years we've tried to experiment with something new. Last year we made ciopinno (sp?) which turned out great; we basically studied about 4 recipies to see what the basic technique was and then improved to our liking.

                            This year for Christmas Day, we're planning to do a salmon en croute that I saw on the BBC website by Rick Stein (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/christmas/c...). Looks simple enough. But I'm not crazy about the suggested appetizers, sides, or dessert, so I'm checking the boards for good alternatives--like maybe a chocolate mousse or trifle for dessert. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: tachis

                              for some reason the link won't paste. so here's the main link to bbc. they have about 5 different chef's christmas menus to choose from, including nigella.


                            2. For Christmas Day, looks like it will be prime rib, a potato dish?) and a creamed spinach dish, as you can tell I am looking to Chowhound for inspiration.
                              And then for the Christmas Eve we'll have family and the seafood. Will do some traditional and some new...again looking here for ideas.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                Sounds like our menu. It's our first "standing" rib roast- we usually just do a boneless roast beef. I am going with Ina Garten's spinach gratin, which i heard about on this board but the potato dish is under discussion. Mashed is another soft food so baked stuffed are being considered. We have 2 ovens after years of only one so I'm looking for some ideas too. What do you serve as a sauce for the meat? Au jus? If I mash I need gravy.

                                1. re: ginnyhw

                                  I'm just going to sneak in here to say that when I was making standing rib roasts, Yorkshire pudding was the accompaniment. I baked it under the roast, not separately.

                                  1. re: ginnyhw

                                    Ginny, this may sound like heresy to some, but we love roasted potatoes with our standing rib. Parboil some uniform size red potatoes for about 8-10 min in salted water, drain very well. While the roast is resting, use half the drippings to make gravy or serve au jus. Leave other half drippings in pan, turn oven up to 425. Add well drained partially cooked potatoes, let them roast for about 20-30 min, turning several times. Yum, yum. You can add seasonings like rosemary, thyme, garlic, as well.

                                    1. re: ginnyhw

                                      Well I love horseradish so there will be a sauce of that. I'm leaning towards Ina's spinach too. Sauce will depend on the starch. I want something like a potato and onion layered tart. And I have considered the yorkshire pudding too...

                                      Now this one makes the house smell incredible!

                                      desserts I'm sort of stumped. I want to make pots au chocolat with a cream and then something else.

                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                        CC, never understood the difference between pots of chocolate and chocolate mousse? Is there one?

                                        1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                          Huge difference. Pots au Chocolat or Pot de Creme, is a rather thick & very rich dessert. Think of it as a much finer Chocolate Pudding sans any starch thickeners. Chocolate Mousse is much lighter in texture, but can still be very rich in flavor. It has air incorporated into it via whipped cream & whipped egg whites. It is often stabilized with gelatin.

                                          1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                            yes, The recipe is simple:
                                            I have misplaced my recipe, or messed it up with my cocoa zin! If wanted I will gladly find it. It is easy though, just a few ingredients. I use whole eggs not the whites, and it comes out just decadent. dang it.
                                            Mousse is lighter and fluffier isn't it? And in this I use the whole egg, not just whites only. I prefer it because I love the dense chocolate that is so rich in every bite. Sort of a lightened up truffle. And it is easier to make!

                                    2. We'll likely start with traditional Italian antipasti of cured meats, cheeses, olives, etc. Then we're doing some gorgeous osso buco served with saffron orzo. Another day that week we might make short ribs in tomato sauce which is really good made ahead. The ribs get more tender and the sauce more flavorful once heated the second time.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: lissy

                                        Yo, can I convert and come to NJ with you??? Sounds tasty!

                                        1. re: gini

                                          It will be quite tasty and conversion is not necessary. Heathermb may just join Team Lissy for Christmas and we are not requiring her to convert :)

                                        2. re: lissy

                                          Yum. making short ribs tonight so don't have time to let them sit a bit. But do you serve with polenta? I'm thinking of making this for tonights dinner..

                                        3. Since family is now far flung all over creation, this Christmas will be on the light side.
                                          Christmas Eve will be an appetizer of smoked trout on endive leaves and my fave salmon roe and creme fraiche on sesame crackers, then... stuffed quahogs, spaghetti with clam sauce, a simple fry of smelts or sardines whichever I can find, roasted broccoli, and a salad of mixed greens with a balsamic dressing. I haven't decided on a dessert yet...
                                          Christmas Day: Shrimp cocktail, then Antipasto to start, Frank JBN's Gala Goose recipe, savory baked stuffed apples, roasted Brussel sprouts and tiny potatoes, one more side, and for dessert a few various Italian pastries from a wonderful bakery nearby with espresso.

                                          I don't know what wine I'll serve for the Eve, but on The Day we'll have a champagne. That's a given.

                                          1. it'll be small this year, and most of us arent feeling anything too heavy or meaty...

                                            so i'll be foregoing my usual roast pork, rice, beans and yucca...

                                            in lieu of a nice bright paella, with a starter of garlic soup, and some salad greens....:)

                                            1. antipasti plate of Salumi salami, cheese, and pickled veggies
                                              pork loin roast stuffed with dried fruits
                                              mashed potatoes
                                              sweet and sour cippolini onions
                                              braised chestnuts
                                              roasted Brussels sprouts
                                              gingerbread w/whipped cream

                                              For wine I'm thinking of a fruity pinot noir and a not-too-sweet Gewurtztraminer, but I'd welcome other suggestions from anyone better at these pairings than I am (which is just about anybody with a clue about wine!)

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                I'm not an expert but my friends and I love Trimbach's Gewurtztraminer (I'm glad you had it all spelled out for me!) It's from Alsace and I like it really cold. Fruity w/out being too sweet, in my opinion. About $17 at BevMo.

                                              2. Well, I have a fourteen pound prime rib roast in the freezer I was planning on for Christmas dinner, but because of illness and other sundry reasons, distance travellers have had to cancel, leaving me with only four (or possibly six) to cook for. Fourteen pounds of prime rib? I don't think so...!

                                                Soooo... I've picked up a nice fat frozen duck (literally and figuratively) and I just happen to have a couple of small jars of Perigord (black, winter, French) truffles sitting on the pantry shelf screaming, "Eat me! Eat me!"

                                                I'm thinking of peeling back the fat and skin on the duck breast and legs and sliding in a bunch of sliced truffles, then roasting, and using the pan drippings and truffle peels to make a "sort of" Perigord sauce to serve with it. Maybe wild rice? I'd like to do green beans as a side, but my son has only eaten one green bean in his lifetime (when he was five) and swore NEVER to eat another, so I'm still thinking about a veggie.

                                                I've checked my most likely cookbooks (Escoffier, Larousse, Julia, etc.) for a similar duck recipe where you put the truffles under the skin, but could only find one on the web that did it with just the duck breasts, then used the legs for confit. I like whole roast duck! Especially for Christmas. Anyone ever had duck cooked in a similar fashion? Should I save my truffles and just do something like duck with olives or l'orange? Any thoughts?

                                                Or if I want to make my grandson *really* happy, I could just send out for pizza. '-)

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                  I was intrigued by duck with truffles and Googled it - here's a recipe for duck breasts, but I'm sure you could adapt it for a whole duck:

                                                  Here in Bermuda at my house it will be fresh, free range stuffed roast turkey, Nigella's roast potatoes and her Brussels sprouts with pancetta, whatever fresh vegetables look good at the farmers market the day before, and cassava pie (a dish that dates from Elizabethan times here with its mix of savoury and sweet).

                                                  There's always a bowl of Quality Street, wouldn't be Christmas without someone digging for the purple wrapped ones. And Christmas crackers with the silly hats and jokes in them.

                                                  I will start curing the salmon for gravlax next weekend and making the Irish brown bread to go with it to have before dinner with champagne.

                                                  The Christmas pudding and fruitcake were made last month. For the pudding I use an old Tate & Lyle recipe that uses butter instead of suet, and there are prunes in it so I guess that makes it plum pudding. It is also awash in rum and Guinness and spices. For the last few years I've been making Nigella's sauce - a semi-frozen slurry of cream, Gosling's amber rum and golden syrup. I have learnt to serve the pudding when everyone is lolling around in the living room because you really can't move much after that. At some point in the evening the port, stilton and walnuts make an appearance.

                                                  A note on rusks - they are hard, ladyfinger shaped biscuits, they used to be given to teething babies, not sure if that's done anymore.

                                                  1. re: Athena

                                                    Thanks, Athena. I did see that recipe, then looked closely at their photo and wasn't happy with the shallowness of how deeply they inserted the truffles into the breast. I've never tried it before, but I'm thinking of using (trying to use?) the semi-traditional method of seperating the skin of poultry from the body by working your hand up under it, then packing with flavored butter or whatever. My only reservation is how well it will work under that thick layer of duck fat!

                                                    I also thought they missed the boat a bit with their sauce. I'm THINKING about a more traditional Perigueux style sauce using some of the rendered duck fat. I'm just not fully clicking in with imagining the taste of duck with the madeira wine of traditional Periguex.

                                                    Yes, there are "rusk" baby buiscuits. Bought them for my kids when they were babies. But even older than that, rusks are sort of an English and western European version of biscotti, in that they are/were indeed "twice baked." Sometimes made with yeast, sometimes with quick levening, sometimes with nuts added, and sometimes even made with leftover cake which was then sliced and baked in a slow oven until brown and dried to a crisp.

                                                    For my old plum pudding recipe, you had to grate them. I just used dried out toasted dense white bakery bread, then crushed it in a brown paper bag by smashing it with a rolling pin, then added a bit more sugar to the recipe. I think that's called "lazy?" I couldn't buy rusks, all the biscotti I could find had anise in it, and I didn't want to bother making rusks from scratch. It worked. At least no one refused to eat the plum pudding! But maybe it was the booze content that made them happy? '-)

                                                2. Christmas will probably be a country ham and the traditional sides. I am looking forward to baking something tedious and special for dessert, but I haven't made a decision what it may be.

                                                  Christmas eve is usually something Italian, that is a bit lighter.

                                                  My daughters 21st birthday is tomorrow , but I am making a big dinner for her on Saturday or Sunday, as she is celebrating her birthday with friends at college.

                                                  I am getting together for a s Solstice (and birthday) celebration with my friends.

                                                  1. Was up in the middle of the night and finally made some decisions - there are just three of us, and my mother doesn't do much, if any cooking, any more, so she's generally happy with whatever I do.

                                                    Asparagus Fritters and Fried Sage Leaves with Provolone to nibble on.
                                                    Pasta with Pecorino Sardo and Bottarga
                                                    Porchetta Sarda with Cauliflower with Olives
                                                    Salad of arugula, Pears, Ricotta Salata and Walnuts

                                                    All but the porchetta are from that Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey I've been cooking from, and the porchetta is a Batali recipe I've made from his wine book. Haven't figured out dessert yet, so any suggestions welcome.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      A fig and honey tart would follow nicely. The olive oil and orange cake from Molto. Any kind of pound cake variation would work--I'd work with lightly toasted slices. Zabaglione, perhaps with tiny pignole cookies. If you have The Splendid Table, there's a recipe for Torta Baroli (flourless chocolate cake with ground almonds and coffee) that is lovely. From Dolce Italiano, there's a recipe for little spongecakes soaked in Grappa that would be great with your menu.

                                                      1. re: clepro

                                                        Thanks! The menu has altered somewhat - I've made a potato, fontina, black truffle gratin, with a gratuitous layer of carmelized onions on the bottom to go with the porchetta - needed to use up the truffles. Salad will be with figs instead of pears, as desert is Goin's Hazelnut cake which I adore - and just finished making (we're celebrating tomorrow night), along with carmelized pears. That grappa spongecake recipe looked wonderful, and I actually brought that cook book with me, but I didn't want to buy another set of mini bundt cake pans since I'm at my Mom's.

                                                    2. Dobos Torte Recipe:
                                                      This one is almost identical to the one I use. I don't put any coffee in the filling, though. http://www.europeancuisines.com/Hunga...
                                                      I also make mine a rectangle--much easier to put together. You can use a rectangular cake pan and cut the piece lengthwise to get two layers out of it. I suggest doubling the filling recipe. I do not put eggs--just butter and icing sugar (10x)--do not use granulated sugar.
                                                      Have fun!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: foodslut

                                                        Thanks! This looks like a great project for a wintry Jan/Feb day when I'm snowed in.

                                                      2. I am not cooking Christmas dinner (mom handles that), but I am cooking Christmas Eve for just DH and myself. We will start with a nice antipasti platter (required for NJ residents). Also will make filet mignon in merlot sauce (recipe from epicurous.com), homemade mashed potatoes with real cream and real butter, and plain steamed broccoli for dinner proper. I am not a big dessert eater, but he will probably eat the chocolate/peanut butter chip cookies I've been making for gifts and some plain vanilla ice cream. Happy Holidays :)

                                                        1. We've settled only on Christmas morning so far. Cranberry Cinnamon buns. Can prep them the night before, let them rise and bake while opening presents and enjoy. A double or triple batch will let us deliver ready to bake buns to the neighbors too.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: sflory

                                                            You've got me curious! Is this a cooked sweetened filling with cranberries in place or in addition to the cinnamon sugar rolled up in the dough? or do you add dried cranberries to the dough? Do tell!

                                                          2. I won't be with my family this year, but the past few years the Christmas meal has been BBQ with all the fixings. We typically have pulled pork, ribs, potato salad, macaroni salad, thunder and lightning, baked beans, green beans, corn on the cob, and rolls. A ham and a batch of Mammaw's from scratch chicken and dumplings are thrown in for good measure. Dessert typically consists of at least four varities of pie, more cookies than any family should ever have EVER, fruit salad, cheesecake, and if the baby jesus is smilin' on me, a chess cake. This is the meal my family in IN will more than likely be having on Christmas day. It isn't fancy, but it's good and always hits the spot.
                                                            I, myself will be en route to the Keys with my SO a good portion of Christmas Day. By the time we arrive, it will be late in the afternoon. Rather than trying to put together a traditional Christmas meal for just the two of us, my guy has said he will be in charge of the food. All I know for sure is we will be cooking and eating it on the beach. I imagine, and am hoping, it will be some kind of seafood, but I won't be disappointed with anything he turns out so long as I am not having to cook =)

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                              Wow, Christmas dinner on the beach in the Keys. Fabulous!

                                                              What is thunder and lightning?

                                                              1. re: fern

                                                                Thunder and Lightning is tomato, cucumber, and onion in either vinger and sugar ot italian dressing depending on who makes it. It's very Hoosier, haha =) I never much cared for it on the first day, but after about 24 hours it's divine.

                                                                1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                  Oh, delicious. We eat that all summer when the tomatoes are good but I never knew it had a name. And you are so right about it tasting great after time, I love it as leftovers for breakfast.

                                                            2. We'll be having a bonless pork loin with a kind of BBQ glaze; cheesey potatoes, spinach salad, green beans with olive oil and lemon juice and zest; apps of shrimp cocktail, cheese fondue and meatballs --very traditional. We follow that with a huge breakfast after opening presents on Christmas day. Always have slow scrambled eggs (made by berkleygary in double boiler, cooking low and slow for about 30 minutes per Nero Wolf), cinnamon rolls, two kinds of sausage, ham, tropical fruit salad, sparkling juice - and this year, baked french toast made with pannettone (the Italian holiday bread). Dinner has been leftovers, or even Chinese take-out. As we feast early in the day, dinner is kind of an afterthought--fun leftovers as we play with new toys or watch new DVDs. Always a great day with family!

                                                              1. I didn't roast a turkey at Thanksgiving this year, as I was out of town, visiting family, and we went out for turkey day. So, I'm thinking I'll brine and roast a turkey on Christmas day, and probably do some variation on the dressing, mashed potato or sweet potato, brussels sprouts, cranberry relish theme. We love that kind of food, and can't really get enough, love the leftovers, etc.

                                                                Christmas morning I can't quite decide between a french toast I can assemble the night before or some kind of Italian bread like pand'oro with eggs, bacon, etc. I'll probably go with the french toast because it's easier than getting up and dealing with shaping, rising, baking bread along with everything else that involves prep for dinner.

                                                                Christmas eve we are thinking of homemade cabbage pierogi and maybe lamb chops. I'd love to hear suggestions on side dishes for this meal?!? The pierogi filling has cream cheese, if that helps. I was thinking maybe beets in some form, and a salad with pears and blue cheese before or after the meal.

                                                                1. Probably Beef Wellington if I can find Dufour puff pastry in Burlington, VT. Can anyone recommend a place to look for it? I know it would not travel well from Indiana so I'm hoping to find it before heading across the lake.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Candy

                                                                    The Whole Foods here in Overland Park, Kansas carries it, as well as Dean and Deluca. Do you have either of those available to you in Burlington? If you can't find it retail (and I wouldn't recommend Pepperidge Farm which is widely available,) AND you don't want to make the long recipe, you could try the quick puff pastry recipe at Cook's Illustrated. It's really pretty decent, and much faster if you have a food processor.

                                                                    1. re: amyzan

                                                                      I can get it here in Bloomington, IN no problem, but we are going back east for Christmas and I know I won't find it in Plattsburgh, NY> We are flying into Burlington VT and I was hoping to find it there. I may have to schlep it along iin my luggage. I can make my own and have done so before but we are on a time crunch. Pepperidge Farms contains no butter and trans fats so i want my Dufour. Thanks anyway.

                                                                      1. re: Candy

                                                                        I think that if you put a some Dufour into a ziploc and along with a little Blue Ice (I have one you can use) and bury it in your suitcase, it should make the trip OK.

                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                            Yeah, that's a good idea. A chef I met on a plane told me about the trick of wrapping the frozen item in a towel with an ice pack, and putting it in the center of your packed luggage, amongst the clothes, etc. so it's got plenty of padding. I've had frozen foods come home rock hard after eight hours traveling this way. I hope TSA wouldn't unwrap it for some reason. They never have with me, but I'm not usually at the airport early!

                                                                    2. Is it at all possible to do a very small standing rib roast? For Christmas Eve it's just me, my mom, and my sister (the big family meal is the next day), and we are dying to make standing rib roast, but aren't sure if it's possible to do one small enough for just us. Any thoughts?

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: JasmineG

                                                                        My typical cut is 6 rib, but I see on the internet that there are 3 rib cuts.
                                                                        Call your butcher or the market's meat department, I'll bet it's not uncommon. Or get six, freeze 3 of them and have them later.

                                                                        1. re: JasmineG

                                                                          Yes! Call your butcher. Ask for a 3 rib roast off the small end. I did three ribs the day after Thanksgiving (cannot face turkey two days running!), but it was from the large end, so even with three adults and a little kid, I still have some in the freezer. If you have a "meat only" butcher shop nearby, there's a good chance they will be able to get their supplier to send them prime rib from a smaller animal. Super markets aim for uniformity of size in their sides of beef, but slaughter houses don't. Often the smaller steers are tastiest, but most difficult to find.

                                                                        2. It's just the two of us this year and we're deliberately having a quiet day. I'll make popovers in the morning while we unwrap presents, then make stuffed mushrooms from my husband's late father's recipe for a snack around noon with some prosecco. We'll eat our main meal mid-afternoon, and he's requested Beef Stroganoff, which I haven't made in years. I'll get some good tenderloin and mushrooms, and make homemade noodles to go with it, with maybe some sauteed spinach on the side and a little creme brulee for dessert. Some red wine for dinner, amaretto with our coffee. Maybe some spiced nuts for a nibble on the side.

                                                                          Like I said, a quiet day. But we do an open house for our friends on New Year's Day and that is when I'll go all out.

                                                                          1. Christmas Eve (Italian tradition with some modern twists)
                                                                            Antipasto - Insalata frutti di mare - a lemony and garlicky cold seafood salad, celery with anchovy filets, French cod and potato spread with crostini, crab cakes, aged parniggiano reggiano with organic Italian honey drizzled on it
                                                                            P.S. I need a good remoulade for them!

                                                                            Primo - Spaghetti with tuna sauce, spaghetti con sarde, spaghettini con le vongole (everyone has their favourites of the three so we do them all)
                                                                            Secondi - Plain cod with olive oil, garlic and parsley , salmon and lentils with a peppery yogurt sauce, fried smelts and anchovies, roasted european sea bass, drunken shrimp in a tomato sauce
                                                                            Sides - Broccoli rabe, salad, fennel and parmesan salad , "regular" salad with oil and vinegar, peas and mushrooms
                                                                            /Fruit Platter
                                                                            Dessert - Pandoro (panettone with the icing sugar on it) and homemade treats
                                                                            Espresso coffee and regular coffee
                                                                            Christmas Day -
                                                                            Antipasto Platter
                                                                            Brodo with Pastina (Homemade soup with little pasta balls)
                                                                            Homemade Lasagna, and Homemade Egg Noodles with tomato sauce
                                                                            Roast Turkey (no stuffing) and Roasted Lamb, roasted root vegetables, salad, broccoli, braised cauliflower
                                                                            Sicilian Cannoli and homemade cream puffs, homemade desserts, torrone, pandoro
                                                                            Fruit Platter
                                                                            Espresso Coffee and regular coffee

                                                                            Then, we eat soupy and light until New Year's Eve

                                                                            1. I'll be leaving the midwest to spend Christmas with my family back in SE Penna. Christmas Eve will be spent at my parents, with a turkey, plus my dad's fab filling (I've requested it, since I haven't had his filling since I moved to the midwest five years ago). Christmas morning will be spent at my sister's, eating ebelskivers. Then the two of us will work on Christmas dinner. We'll start out with pomegranate cosmopolitans and then make a fruit-stuffed roast pork loin, braised leeks, potato pancakes, and fresh apple pie with ice cream for dessert. Looking forward to it!

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                                What's filling? Stuffing, maybe? Please share the recipe.

                                                                                1. re: walker

                                                                                  You all have some great ideas! I followed this a bit and decided on a beef tenderloin rubbed with pepper/salt/rosemary and stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped with prosciutto and put on the rotisserie. We are also having home made beet soup (already made and it's wonderful!) carpaccio with salad and caramelized winter veggies. The veggies will be cut with small cookie cutters to get some fun shapes. This is all topped with the family fav of lime sherbert with cranberry juice. Once was a desert, but on demand is breakfast :) Cheers to all!

                                                                                  1. re: walker

                                                                                    I'll answer for nofunlatte, with a 99.9% chance that I'm right. Yes, filling is stuffing. We called it by both names in my family too. Perhaps it's a PA thing.

                                                                                    1. re: clepro

                                                                                      First I've heard of the "filling" nomenclature. We called it stuffing when cooked inside the bird, and dressing when cooked in a separate dish.

                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                        Sorry, I just got back into town yesterday, so this is a bit late. But clepro is correct--it's a PA thing (PA Dutch, I think). I grew up outside of Reading, PA, in PA Dutch country and filling is the terminology. What my dad makes is a bread stuffing that he stuffs in the bird and it cooks with the bird. We've always called it filling, I guess because it's what my great aunt called it (and it's her recipe). Standard ingredients--bread cubes, herbs, especially sage--but it's what I grew up with and that's probably part of the attraction, too.

                                                                                        BTW, the PA Dutch do make something called potato filling. A glorified potato casserole with a goodly amount of butter. Delicious, but it doesn't go into the bird.

                                                                                2. Pretty traditiona for us this year:
                                                                                  Prime Rib
                                                                                  Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
                                                                                  Sauteed onions Sauteed Mushrooms
                                                                                  Fresh Green Beans Homemade Dinner Rolls
                                                                                  Homemade Cranberry Relish
                                                                                  Sparkling Cider
                                                                                  Coconut Cake Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

                                                                                  1. Nothing too fancy because it's just my two kids, who aren't fussy, and my bf, who isn't either...a Trader Joe's spiral quarter ham, Rachel Ray's herb-roasted turkey breast with pan gravy, cornbread stuffing, Harvard beets, roast broccoli, pumpkin pie.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Chowpatty

                                                                                      christmas eve - city chicken, fresh kielbasa, potato salad, cranberry rellish, corn, green beans, and fresh fruit. cheesecake for desert. later we all have shots of canadian club to cap off the night.

                                                                                      christmas day - fresh and smoked kielbasa, ham - used to always be honey baked but this year it was dearborn torched glazed (because honey baked has become too expensive for my aunt), baked beans, cucumber salad, potato salad, potatoes deluxe, pasta salad. desert is chocolate cake, seven layer jello salad, and some fluffy pistachio salad that i never touch.

                                                                                      the weekend after x-mas, my wife's family gets together for a turkey, stuffing, mashed potato, gravy, corn, and yams dinner.

                                                                                    2. We had a fantastic lamb recipe - I think lamb may be our new Christmas tradition. This would be great for spring lamb as well I think. I served it with mashed potatoes, broccoli, and carrots tossed in Parmesan bread crumbs. See the details (and the recipe) here: