Christmas dinner for 2?
By an unusual set of circumstances, my mother and I are alone for Christmas this year. Not wanting it to turn into 'just any other evening at home', I offered to cook X-mas dinner.
The problem is every X-menu posted online tends to be for huge gatherings, i.e. lots of dishes and courses.
I am looking specifically for a main course and a dessert (not a plethora of dishes). Ideally a bird and a warming fruit based dessert.
Any novel dishes out there that don't require master chef skills?
If you really wanted to do a bird you could roast a brined turkey breast with a small/individual apple pie in ramekins?
Here is a fried apple recipe that my granddaughter sent to me. I have not tried it; however, it appears to be easy, not time consuming, and has some flexibility in the serving.
Makes 2 to 3 servings
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 to 4 apples peeled (I don’t peel them), cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoons cognac (optional)
Melt the butter in a heavy large frying pan over high heat, stirring until the butter foams and becomes golden, about 2 minutes. Toss the apples slices, sugar, and cinnamon in a lmedium bowl to coat. Immediately add the apple mixture to the hot butter. Stir the apples to coat with the butter. Simmer until the juices evaporate and the apples become caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Make sure that the apples are caramelized. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the caramelized apples back to the large bowl.
If using cognac, stir it into the caramelized apples. Spoon apples into individualized serving bowls.
You can also add 1/8 cup of raisins and 1/8 cup of chopped toasted walnuts, pecans, or almonds into the caramelized apples. The key is to serve the apples warm. You can layer the caramelized apples between sheets of baked puffed pastry or phyllo dough for a wonderful apple napoleon. They are fabulous as a topping for pancakes and waffles or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you'll think you've died and gone to heaven!
Since you are two this year, why not cook 2 Rock Cornish Game hens? I hesitate to serve these to company since you have to get in with both hands to truly enjoy them. But, since it's just you and your mom, why not? There are tons of recipes on the net, most very easy. The hens, stuffing, cranberries and a quick gravy sounds like a great and easy Christmas dinner to me.
Cornish hens are fun when cooking for two. Here are a couple of tasty recipes:
Another possibility is duck. You could do the 5 hour duck if you're going to be around to deal with it every hour, it's amazingly easy and gratifyingly good, it just needs pricking and flipping every hour. And it really does need all that pricking, especially in the "armpits". I also flip it once during the last hour, ending with it breat up the last 30 minutes. Bonus is all the rendered duck fat for future use!
Following on the duck idea...we really love Jaques Pepin's recipe for skillet duck. Leftovers are very tasty and you still get all the lovely duck fat:
A non-bird option would be rack of lamb. We got one in our meat CSA this month and I'm planning to have it with my hubby for our Christmas dinner (I might share with the kids if they've been very, very good!).