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What's for Holiday dinner 2011?

SouthToTheLeft Nov 27, 2011 09:21 PM

Hey everyone,

As I'm starting to assemble my menu for my holiday dinners this year, I was wondering what you were thinking of putting on your plates. Any special family traditions? What are you excited about making this holiday season?

I'm really looking forward to roasting Brussels sprouts with a honey-dijon sauce. I love the combination of the bitter sprouts and the sweet sauce. Also very excited to play around with duck. It's such a luxurious meat!

  1. linguafood Dec 24, 2011 09:14 AM

    Too bad this thread isn't consolidated together with the ongoing WFD thread -- The Xmas Holiday edition.

    CH team?

    1. l
      laliz Dec 23, 2011 01:40 PM

      two celebrations:
      Cherry/Brie green salad w/poppy seed dressing
      Italian sausage soup
      Spiced Oranges

      then for second one;
      I'm not sure yet, but it involves homemade tomato soup and broiled cheese bread

      1. s
        SouthToTheLeft Dec 23, 2011 12:32 PM

        I suppose it's time for me to reply to my original post now that I know what I'm cooking:

        1) The main entrée will be canard au vin. Going to get the four duck legs this afternoon and keep it in a bag with rosemary, some salt, and bay leaves until it's time to cook tomorrow. Will wash the salt off, then follow a standard coq au vin recipe, but will add 1 oz chocolate into the sauce at the end to thicken it.

        2) Caramelized Brussels sprouts made in cast iron.

        3) Wild rice with raisins and chopped walnuts.

        4) Apple pie with a double thick crust.

        I am excited!

        1. m
          Maximilien Dec 23, 2011 07:44 AM

          Things are still not set in stone, I will decide when I see what I can find at the fishmonger tomorrow morning and at the farmer's market. after that.

          But it will probably look like this :
          Foie gras canapées and other nibbles
          Fresh Scallops (in the shell in I can find) with mushroom tarte.
          Prime Rib roast with veggies (and a truffle madeaira sauce if I can find fresh ones or a simple herb butter)
          Vacherin Cheese (dried fruits and nuts)
          Dessert (probably fruit oriented)

          1. t
            TigerLLO Dec 23, 2011 07:34 AM

            Lobster bisque, arugula salad, mashed potatoes, amaretto cranberries, sauteed mushrooms, beef tenderloin and chocolate covered strawberries. :) I'm hungry now!

            1. Njchicaa Dec 23, 2011 04:54 AM

              We're having Chridtmas Eve here at home. Shrimp cocktail, cheese/crackers, and puff pastry pinwheels (with prosciutto, sage, and mozz) for appetizers. Standing rib roast, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and grilled romaine salad for dinner.

              1. r
                Redstickchef Dec 23, 2011 04:23 AM

                This Christmas my family and I are doing two feasts one fr Christmas eve and then of course one on Christmas Day. Christmas Eve my brother is makin Crawfish etouffe for the main. We will be having a nice salad to start and then cold cuts with pumpernickel as a side. For dessert we will be having assorted homemade Christmas cookies, stollen and a white chocolate cranberry bread pudding with an eggnog cream sauce. For christmas day, we will be having again a salad, roasted beef tenderloin with a port wine sauce, salmon, twice baked potatoes, morrocan carrot salad, red cabbage, sweet potato casserole, cornbread stuffing, and Brussel sprouts with bacon, currants and raisins. For dessert I made pecan pie, chocolate cheesecake, frankfurter kranz and maybe a rum cake. We will all be gaining about 5 lbs in two days, lol!

                1. Peg Dec 23, 2011 02:53 AM

                  I will be visiting my father for Christmas. He will be cooking something for everyone else involving dead birds; I will be scavenging around for an alternative to cook for myself. Previous years have resulted in prawn curry, griddled scallops and vegetable risotto. This year I think he has a Dover sole stashed in the freezer, so I plan to have that poached in white wine and garlic.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Peg
                    Harters Dec 23, 2011 05:13 AM

                    Peg - Lorraine Pascale did a really good looking nut & cranberry pie in her Xmas special TV programme. With a hot water crust, it's like a vegetarian pork pie! Definitely one I'm going to try soon.


                    1. re: Harters
                      Peg Dec 23, 2011 05:19 AM

                      Thanks Harters!
                      That looks like a fun kitchen challenge. I may give that a go when I get back home - subbing chestnuts or squash for the mushrooms.

                      I doubt I'll have much access to the oven on Christmas day - but at least I don't have to endure an M&S ready meal, which is what my mother used to provide me with for Christmas lunch!

                      1. re: Peg
                        Harters Dec 23, 2011 05:33 AM

                        Over the years, members of the family have been vegetarian for periods. If that's co-incided with us preparing Xmas lunch, we've always done an old Delia Smith recipe for a roulade - a savoury swiss roll, you will.


                        It works well particularly as it's fine with the traditional accompaniments to the meat-eaters turkey. I actually prefer it to the turkey - a meat of which I'm not at all fond.

                        1. re: Harters
                          sandylc Dec 23, 2011 02:34 PM

                          That roulade looks really good!

                  2. Berheenia Dec 22, 2011 04:48 AM

                    Christmas eve is getting complicated as it is the first gathering of the tribe in a while thanks to Christmas being on a Sunday - I think they should make it a law actually. So the 6 of us will go to church early and return to lots of drinking and cross talking while we try to eat a decent meal. It was going to be chili, but that got scratched so now we're back to lasagna- one with a bechamel sauce and lots of veggies, crusty bread and a salad. Yesterday I found some wild Mexican shrimp so now roasted shrimp with Romesco sauce will be the starter. (Hopefully this will work out as I have never made this dish but we fell in love with it on our vacation to Key West and there are some decent recipes on line- I'm using Tyler Florence's.) There will be no desert other than eggnog and candy.
                    Christmas Day is easier as I have lots of time to cook the roast and veg and another family member will come with desert.
                    Boxing Day more tribe members will arrive for a festive brunch.
                    Tomorrow will be an early trip to Trader Joe's for appetizers and ingredients for savory cookies and everything I forgot about but have to have. .

                    1. a
                      apg13 Dec 22, 2011 02:24 AM

                      Xmas eve: I am going to serve braised beef stew over roasted carrots and potatoes with cider rum poached apples with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
                      Xmas: buttermilk pancakes!

                      1. peppermint_sky Dec 21, 2011 09:27 PM

                        Excited about the menu, still polishing the final draft. I would welcome any additional suggestions for side dishes.

                        *roast chicken (one guest doesn't eat red meat)
                        *mashed potatoes
                        *artichoke parmesan stuffing that was recommended here on one of the Thanksgiving threads
                        *parsnip-carrot gratin with blue cheese.
                        *maybe a salad or green beans dressed in some snazzy way

                        At Thanksgiving I discovered and made a dazzling a squash-rosemary gratin (epicurious) if anyone is interested.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: peppermint_sky
                          SouthToTheLeft Dec 21, 2011 11:05 PM

                          Squash-rosemary gratin sounds AMAZING! Please share the recipe!

                          1. re: peppermint_sky
                            peppermint_sky Dec 22, 2011 07:47 PM

                            Here it is, South! If you have homemade broth, this is really a great place to use it. I was soooo happy that I could dip into my stash of homemade broth for this. Even before baking the gratin, the caramelized onions and squash added to the broth almost smelled like French onion soup. I was really surprised by the pop! of just that combination - broth, squash, onion.

                            A few suggestions: I made the squash mixture the day before, which saved lots of time/energy on the holiday. I skipped the sugar. Also, I toasted rosemary bread in cubes for about 10 minutes (cookie sheet) and used those toasted cubes as my bread crumbs.

                            Total keeper.


                          2. Chocolatechipkt Dec 21, 2011 08:04 PM

                            So far ... we have nothing planned except dessert (gingerbread-cran layer cake w/cream cheese frosting). There will be four of us, two of whom are, um, somewhat selective vegetarians. I baked a lasagna the other day, so that's out (and has been done many times before). I did want to try making roasted potato stacks, so we could do some kind of roast (chicken, beef etc) with that ... but now I'm thinking of seafood. Something not too involved, for all that I love cooking.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                              Chocolatechipkt Dec 23, 2011 06:09 AM

                              Ok, so we now have scampi for us, roasted potato stacks, roasted butternut squash and carrots with a drizzle of maple, and green beans. I'm not sure about a vegetarian protein yet, but I'll figure something out and we'll have lots of good food.

                              I found the potato stacks via Pinterest here: http://gourmandrecipes.com/roasted-po...

                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                peppermint_sky Dec 23, 2011 07:02 AM

                                How are you going to prepare the green beans, Chocolatechip? I want simple, as my other sides are intricate. So, I am probably going to steam mine and toss with herb butter (shallots, parsley, tarragon, lemon juice and zest). In the summer I toss with a Dijon vinaigrette and toasted almonds, and often keep a bowl in the fridge, but I wanted something different for the holiday dinner. Or, I might do the green bean salad with hazelnuts, but that's also a mustard dressing.

                                The one I make frequently for everyday enjoyment (adding toasted nuts, doubling the dressing, keeping a batch in the fridge)--

                                the possible contenders for Christmas:

                                1. re: peppermint_sky
                                  Chocolatechipkt Dec 23, 2011 08:18 AM

                                  Given the, er, selectivity of some of my family members, I'm pretty sure they'll be very simply steamed or boiled and tossed with a little butter. I might add a few toasted pecans, too.

                            2. drongo Dec 21, 2011 04:50 AM

                              For Christmas, I am doing a spatchcocked roast duck following Alton Brown's recipe (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/roast-duck-with-oyster-dressing-recipe/index.html) but without Alton's dressing, and I'm serving it with the cherry chutney from the Obama Inaugural Lunch menu (http://inaugural.senate.gov/documents...).

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: drongo
                                agoodbite Dec 21, 2011 05:58 AM

                                Sounds lovely. I'm not doing a duck on Christmas, but I am roasting one a couple days later as requested by my mother. She just saw the Bourdain No Reservations Christmas special and wants roasted the way April Bloomfield did on the show. I found the recipe on Martha Stewart's website:


                                I'll be serving it without the accompanying roasted parsnips. Only roasted carrots for my mother. The starch is to be determined, but I'm expecting to make either a wild rice pilaf with dried cherries and toasted nuts or a potato gratin with gruyere. Should be fun.

                                1. re: agoodbite
                                  SouthToTheLeft Dec 21, 2011 10:46 AM

                                  I'm also going to be doing a duck, but going to do a duck au vin instead of the traditional roast duck. I love coq au vin, and I love duck, so I thought I'd be creative and combine the two!

                              2. tsfirefly Dec 20, 2011 04:10 PM

                                This year we're ditching the entire extended family, grabbing our four kids and heading to the mountains for three days...snowshoeing into a tiny one room cabin without a bathroom or kitchen or even electricity (outhouse 20 yards away outdoors, huge stone fireplace for cooking), creating our own "Christmas tree" in the forest, etc...we'll take a 2-burner backpacking stove, but otherwise everything will be cooked inside the fireplace. We've done this before, but never with the kids...

                                Menu so far will be:

                                Six string-roasted game hens (which hang from the ceiling down in front of the fireplace and twirl for a couple hours)

                                Arugula, fig, ricotta, prosciutto and smoked marzipan salad

                                Shaved root vegetable gratin

                                Cranberries with figs and cabernet

                                Chestnuts (yes, roasted on an open fire...too corny not to do it)

                                Not sure yet about dessert. Definitely lots of very good wine, whatever we can carry. Probably a soup beforehand, and some hors d'oeuvres.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: tsfirefly
                                  mebby Dec 21, 2011 11:22 AM

                                  Wow! Sounds like an incredible family memory in the making, not to mention a mighty fine menu, off the grid or not.

                                  1. re: tsfirefly
                                    mcel215 Dec 22, 2011 03:32 AM

                                    Would you mind sharing the shaved root vegetable gratin recipe? Thanks.

                                  2. steve h. Dec 20, 2011 03:52 PM

                                    Christmas Eve is pretty much a fish thing for us:

                                    • Caviar (Caspian sourced), blini (house-made), creme fraiche. Sparkling wine to wash it down.

                                    • Salad with roasted pear and walnuts.

                                    • Lobster Thermidor. The recipe is Jasper White's. There will be a white Burgundy to wash things down.

                                    • Son Chris, an accomplished cook, will surprise us with dessert.

                                    Christmas Day starts with sparkling wine (California). There will be baked clams (a house specialty) to nosh. Supper proper will be a standing rib roast preceded by a smoked salmon salad. There will be chive carrots and potatoes roasted in duck fat on the side. Horseradish sauce and some bleu cheese popovers to round things out. Maybe some of Deb's cookies to finish the meal.

                                    Happy Holidays!

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: steve h.
                                      weezieduzzit Dec 22, 2011 08:19 PM

                                      Oh, that sounds sooooooooo much better than what I'm being subjected to.


                                      I'm glad my honey is willing to start new traditions for just the two of us. New Years Eve is seafood/ fish for us.

                                      1. re: weezieduzzit
                                        steve h. Dec 24, 2011 11:43 AM

                                        Seafood/fish just seems right for the holidays. You're going to love your new tradition.

                                      2. re: steve h.
                                        TheHuntress Dec 22, 2011 11:58 PM

                                        Oh wow! I wish I was at your place for Christmas!

                                        1. re: TheHuntress
                                          steve h. Dec 24, 2011 11:44 AM

                                          We can always set another plate.

                                          Merry Christmas!

                                      3. g
                                        gourmanda Dec 20, 2011 11:29 AM

                                        We'll be having a crowd in for a delayed Christmas. In the past I've done the full turkey dinner. This year, added to the crowd, we have a dog that will eat anything off of the counter or out of the sink the minute you've turned your back. (Oh, but he's sooo adorable!) So, to save on the stress level of cooking and serving while allowing me to enjoy the day with minimum time in the kitchen I'll be making a big pan of paella. That way too we'll have something for land-meat eaters and seafood eaters; much prep can be done in advance; makes plenty for the big eaters and the only other serving dish I'll need for dinner is a platter for a side of broccoli with gremolata.

                                        1. BananaBirkLarsen Dec 20, 2011 10:46 AM

                                          My boyfriend has requested chicken mole tamales, like his sister in law used to make. Beyond that, the menu is still in progress. There was talk of a ham at some point, but nothing definite. Since Christmas is less than a week away, I guess I should get my ass in gear.

                                          1. b
                                            Breezychow Dec 20, 2011 10:21 AM

                                            Crab & Goat Cheese Nachos served over Red & Green Tortilla chips along with Margaritas; Roast Goose with Port Wine Gravy, Czech Bread Dumplings with Sauerkraut, Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Garlic & Breadcrumbs, Potato Gratin with Boursin Cheese, big green salad, rolls, yadayadayada.

                                            1. s
                                              shaebones Dec 19, 2011 11:18 PM

                                              Braised short ribs w porter ale maple glaze, brussels w dijon cream sauce, mashed and sweet potato casserole, salted caramel cheesecake for dessert.

                                              1. r
                                                rasputina Dec 19, 2011 06:34 PM

                                                We are smoking a prime rib, but I haven't decided on the sides yet. I'm one of those, last minute what sounds good people.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: rasputina
                                                  JerryMe Dec 19, 2011 06:46 PM

                                                  I dunno - smoking a prime rib does NOT sound last minute to me. Any sides would be great - I'm thinking some potato anna and / or roasted brussels and some cranberry sauce.

                                                  We're invited out for the meal so it's a menu outside of my control however, I've been tasked w/ appetizers . . Have been struggling with that.

                                                  1. re: JerryMe
                                                    rasputina Dec 19, 2011 08:29 PM

                                                    Obviously the prime rib isn't last minute, since it's already decided. What I said in my post was that the sides would be decided at the last minute. IE the last time I go to the store before the holiday.

                                                2. rabaja Dec 19, 2011 02:56 PM

                                                  For the first time ever I am leaving my family at Christmas time and heading east to meet the parents. At first I was promised spaghetti and meatballs on Xmas Eve, a family recipe one of the brothers has been perfecting. Ok, I was on board with that. It's not crab as I've become accustomed to on Xmas Eve, but there was the mention of lobster during our stay and a definite promise of snow - being a West Coast girl, a white Christmas seemed lovely and charming, and I know I can eat crab all of January if I wanted. The plan for Xmas was traditional Turkey dinner, something I only think of during Thanksgiving, so again, I was content, maybe even excited.

                                                  Things have changed however, and we are now having Turkey dinner on Christmas Eve, with all of the trimmings, and for Christmas...leftovers.

                                                  Apparently they thought this would be more relaxing and we could enjoy the day with movies by the fire and hot chocolate, yada yada yada. And you know, with all that snow, won't it be cozy.

                                                  Except. There's no snow!

                                                  So while I imagine it will be tasty and festive the first night, Christmas dinner may seem a little anti-climactic. I am NOT telling my Mother.

                                                  Did I mention we will be the only drinkers? Totally hitting a state liquor store when we land and I am bringing a flask. Oh, and Dunkin' Doughnuts too!

                                                  Not to sound too ungrateful, I am sure it will be a lovely holiday.

                                                  Happy Christmas everyone!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: rabaja
                                                    mcel215 Dec 19, 2011 03:05 PM

                                                    Sounds like you are coming right near me, rabaja. AND 'we' are happy that there is no snow. :)

                                                    1. re: rabaja
                                                      mariacarmen Dec 19, 2011 09:24 PM

                                                      oh rabaja, sorry about the no booze future inlaws! good thing they live far enough away to not impact your style too often. I'm sure you'll still have a lovely time.... but thank god for flasks and conspiratorial lovers....

                                                    2. e
                                                      ellaf Dec 19, 2011 12:39 PM

                                                      Well, as a Jew married to an athiest, our traditional (hah!) Christmas dinner is spaghetti and meatballs. When we visit my husband's family we make that for Christmas eve. I'm thinking maybe beef wellington for New Year's Eve.

                                                      1. biondanonima Dec 19, 2011 11:50 AM

                                                        We do something different every year - this year it will be red wine-braised short ribs, a caramelized onion and potato gratin, roasted vegetables and chocolate bread pudding. I'm also making some cream cheese cinnamon rolls for breakfast the morning of Christmas. I was hoping for duck this year, but my family doesn't seem to care for it. Nut jobs, all of them!

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: biondanonima
                                                          mebby Dec 19, 2011 01:22 PM

                                                          Yum! I'm doing short ribs as well and would love to hear more details about your gratin and your chocolate bread pudding if you don't mind. TIA.

                                                          1. re: mebby
                                                            biondanonima Dec 19, 2011 06:33 PM

                                                            Sure! The potato gratin is based on this recipe from Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Potato-Gratin-with-Mushrooms-and-Gruyere-361811

                                                            I just leave out the leek/mushroom mixture and replace it with caramelized onions and lots of fresh thyme. I also double the cheese!

                                                            The chocolate bread pudding is from Martha Stewart: http://www.marthastewart.com/340336/c... I haven't made it before, but the recipe just looks so fantastic, I thought it would be a perfect holiday dessert.

                                                            1. re: biondanonima
                                                              mebby Dec 20, 2011 10:17 AM

                                                              Wow, those both look great and seriously decadent -- thank you!

                                                              1. re: biondanonima
                                                                saching Dec 23, 2011 05:44 AM

                                                                Really sounds yummy .. A full turkey dinner for us.

                                                            2. re: biondanonima
                                                              rasputina Dec 19, 2011 06:37 PM

                                                              That sounds fabulous!

                                                            3. k
                                                              KateBChi Dec 19, 2011 11:16 AM

                                                              Sister planned the menu this year. Sometimes it's just easier to not upset the apple cart.

                                                              Christmas Eve: Crusted beef tenderloin, duck fat roasted potatoes, roasted beet & poached apple salad with curry vinaigrette (my addition) and bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce.

                                                              Christmas Day: Chicken liver mousse with crostini, baked ham, gnocchi gratin with gorgonzola cream, bagna cauda with crudites and bread (all day) and I have forgotten what she wants for dessert.

                                                              The Kumamoto vichyssoise will have to await another holiday.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: KateBChi
                                                                nomadchowwoman Dec 21, 2011 08:34 PM

                                                                I'd love to be a guest at your table.

                                                              2. h
                                                                hto44 Dec 5, 2011 06:16 PM

                                                                We started staying home a few years ago. The boys love staying in their jammies all day and playing with the new toys that Santa brought them. We started a prime rib tradition....my mouth is watering just thinking about it! My menu pretty much stays they same every year. We start with cocktail shrimp. Next up is caesar salad. Sides include baked stuffed potato and roasted asparagus with hollandaise. Dessert is birthday cake in honor of baby Jesus.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: hto44
                                                                  Bliss149 Dec 15, 2011 05:03 PM

                                                                  Prime rib and similar sides but Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert.

                                                                2. s
                                                                  sunflwrsdh Dec 5, 2011 05:57 PM

                                                                  As yet undecided; we typically have beef, which has often been a standing rib roast in the past, but several of us are trying to eat healthier, and rib roast is more fatty than we like, so possibly a low and slow roasted sirloin, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, carrots, a green salad, and either cheesecake or chocolate mousse for dessert. Possibly onion soup as well.

                                                                  1. RAGHOUND Dec 5, 2011 01:02 PM

                                                                    We'd been eating turkey for Christmas for my entire life - I'm retired! Last year I made brisket. This year I'm looking for something else. Thinking about roast pork or maybe a ham, but not all that thrilled with the idea of a ham. Prime rib is not an option in this family -we're not steak eaters. Part of the problem is picky grandchildren (and a picky grown child). Goose will not fly (pun intended) with this gaggle! Any ideas from the CH crew?

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: RAGHOUND
                                                                      SouthToTheLeft Dec 5, 2011 05:27 PM

                                                                      I am going with duck, I think. I'm experimenting with the idea of duck au vin, but not sure yet if it'd be too heavy.

                                                                      1. re: RAGHOUND
                                                                        mhcpita Dec 15, 2011 03:40 PM

                                                                        How about the ham that you "brine" for a few days in advance. It isabsolutely delicious...really easy - just need to plan ahead and so many wonderful side dishes go with it! Kids love it if they try it. We never have leftovers - and if we do, there are bidding wars to take them home. I can certainly provide the recipe.

                                                                        1. re: mhcpita
                                                                          RAGHOUND Dec 19, 2011 10:38 AM

                                                                          Family voted for ham, so I've got a 10 lb. smoked shank in the frig. They also voted for "baked". Now looking for some good sides. Suggestions from the CHs out there?

                                                                          1. re: RAGHOUND
                                                                            rasputina Dec 19, 2011 06:36 PM

                                                                            Well biscuits are a requirement anytime ham is served at our house LOL

                                                                          2. re: mhcpita
                                                                            jlnick Dec 19, 2011 06:20 PM

                                                                            I'd like the ham recipe, please! I'm thinking of doing one for Christmas Eve, but as half my husband's family went vegetarian this year I want something easy. Thanks!

                                                                          3. re: RAGHOUND
                                                                            Berheenia Dec 22, 2011 04:15 AM

                                                                            For the 2nd year in a row we are having a crown roast of pork from the new butcher shop in town, It's elegant, more forgiving to cook than beef and makes a ton of gravy- a prerequisite in this family. Easy carving as well as delicious. Sides are various roasted potatoes and veg- we are blessed with 2 ovens!. I have tried floating the turkey idea since we no longer do Thanksgiving but was not successful- has to be a roast beast. Ham is for New Years and Easter.

                                                                          4. v
                                                                            vafarmwife Dec 3, 2011 09:18 AM

                                                                            Going to do a herb roasted beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner along with roasted potatoes, asparagus, and popovers. Also planning an eggnog cake.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: vafarmwife
                                                                              peppermint_sky Dec 21, 2011 09:04 PM


                                                                              Could you share the recipe for the eggnog cake, please? Thanks!

                                                                            2. DuchessNukem Nov 30, 2011 09:55 PM

                                                                              Our friends are hosting this year, we always bring food also. (And they're moving it to Friday before since I work all weekend -- they're keepers!)

                                                                              I'm planning a rare chimichurri-style sliced beef, heavy on the garlic, and some roasted asparagus. Goat cheese, shallot, basil, and tomato tarts to start off.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: DuchessNukem
                                                                                SouthToTheLeft Dec 2, 2011 10:50 PM

                                                                                Yum, goat cheese!

                                                                              2. MrsCheese Nov 30, 2011 09:10 PM

                                                                                Beef tenderloin with cognac sauce. It's tradition!

                                                                                1. agoodbite Nov 29, 2011 04:55 AM

                                                                                  Christmas Eve almost always involves tamales, northern Mexico style - pork cooked w/ reconstituted and pureed red chiles. Some of the pork broth is used in the masa. They're wrapped in softened corn husks. I like the tamales small and the layer of masa is neither too thick nor fluffy. I've never attempted making them because I'm well aware of the steep learning curve involved. It takes years and years and years to get them right. I'm hoping to get my hands on some from my husband's cousin. She makes the best I've ever had. Getting them usually involves my in-laws driving 4 hours to a halfway point to pick them up. I'll be unspeakably happy if we get any this year. I don't need anything else on Christmas Eve is the tamales are as good as H's cousin's.

                                                                                  I don't know how many people I'll be cooking for on Christmas day the the menu is far from set. It might just be my mother, my husband and me. It that's the case, I'll probably roast or grill a whole beef tenderloin. If I'm cooking for more, I'm sure I'll be roasting a prime rib of beef. For sides, I'd like to do scalloped potatoes and a roasted veg like brussels sprouts or perhaps broccolini. We'll have some olives, cheese and bought pate for ahead-of-time nibbles.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: agoodbite
                                                                                    JerryMe Nov 30, 2011 06:35 PM

                                                                                    MMM . . .Tamales.

                                                                                    1. re: agoodbite
                                                                                      sandylc Nov 30, 2011 07:56 PM

                                                                                      We make tamales sometimes. Our very favorite is cheese and roasted poblano ones. the meat tamales don't go over as well these days!

                                                                                    2. f
                                                                                      FromMyCabinDoor Nov 28, 2011 05:51 PM

                                                                                      Christmas Eve in El Paso was always one pot of chili and one pot of oyster stew. Family and adopted family! This year we will volunteer at our local mercantile selling pies and homemade bread and some grilled steaks when we get home. Then a week with the grandkids. What could be better.

                                                                                      1. Dansky Nov 28, 2011 04:28 PM

                                                                                        I'm going with "Roast Duck with Orange Sauce." Not sure of my side dishes yet.

                                                                                        1. weezieduzzit Nov 28, 2011 03:04 PM

                                                                                          Unfortunately, the in laws tradition dictates honey baked ham for Christmas. Fortunately, no one has ever noticed that I never eat any.

                                                                                          1. h
                                                                                            Harters Nov 28, 2011 06:10 AM

                                                                                            "What are you excited about making this holiday season?"

                                                                                            Absolutely nothing. It will be the same boring turkey based meal that tradition demands.

                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                              roxlet Nov 28, 2011 06:13 AM

                                                                                              You're funny, Harters!

                                                                                              1. re: Harters
                                                                                                wyogal Nov 28, 2011 06:14 AM

                                                                                                Tradition is what YOU make it. We quit having turkey or ham years ago and decided to start a new tradition of prime rib. Cheesy potatoes (the casserole with hash browns, sour cream, etc). Cheesecake for dessert.
                                                                                                We always have Swedish meatballs for Christmas Eve.
                                                                                                Run your life, don't let life run YOU.

                                                                                                1. re: wyogal
                                                                                                  Athena Nov 28, 2011 08:26 AM

                                                                                                  Ha! I tried floating the idea of the prime rib a few years ago, it did not go at all well. I'm not American so at least I'm not dealing with two turkey dinners a month apart.

                                                                                                  That said, I love making Christmas dinner. I look forward to the potatoes roasted in goose fat, Nigella's brussels sprouts with chestnuts, Patricia Wells' cauiiflower gratin. And gravy. Gallons of gravy.

                                                                                                  1. re: Athena
                                                                                                    Procrastibaker Dec 20, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                                                                    So excited because my FIL finally gave up on turkey for Christmas (he's English) so we're having prime rib. The insurrection has been slow but
                                                                                                    successful... keep trying!

                                                                                                    1. re: Athena
                                                                                                      Isolda Dec 26, 2011 06:00 AM

                                                                                                      Hey! Lots of us Americans do NOT have turkey for both holidays. When I'm hosting, it's ham for t-day and lamb for Christmas. Except for this year, when my ILs sent us a turducken roll.

                                                                                                  2. re: Harters
                                                                                                    TheHuntress Dec 22, 2011 11:55 PM

                                                                                                    I put my foot down and refused to bow to the turkey tradition this year. It's crazy, considering how Christmas is usually one of the hottest days of the year in my parts and no one actually wants an oven on for hours, or to eat a full roast dinner. So this year it is a 'traditional Australian' Christmas at my house. There is going to be a veal rack, scotch fillet on the rotisserie and cold seafood. There will be aoli garni, fantastic salads (including a great roasted parsnip and pear number with gooey camembert through it) and to allow my mum some tradition I am letting her bring a cold glazed ham. I have also requested my mum bring her mince pies and Christmas cake (because despite her look of kitchen prowess she really does make the most excellent mince pies in the whole world!) and my husbands stepmother is kindly providing some nibbly things and a pavlova. There will be lots of good Australian wine (very traditional!) and hopefully much merriment :)

                                                                                                    1. re: TheHuntress
                                                                                                      SouthToTheLeft Dec 23, 2011 12:26 PM

                                                                                                      My partner is a former Antipodean and remains bewildered by the heavy, sauce-rich Northern Hemisphere food that I crave around Christmastime.

                                                                                                      1. re: TheHuntress
                                                                                                        Terrie H. Dec 23, 2011 02:45 PM

                                                                                                        I'm intrigued by your parsnip, pear and Camembert salad. Do you have a recipe that you could share?

                                                                                                        1. re: Terrie H.
                                                                                                          TheHuntress Dec 24, 2011 04:52 AM

                                                                                                          Absolutely! It's a Jamie Oliver recipe (just to give credit where it's due)

                                                                                                          4 parsnips, peeled and halved (quartered if they're large)
                                                                                                          4 pears, peeled, cored and quartered
                                                                                                          200gm frozen chestnuts, thawed and roughly chopped
                                                                                                          3 cloves of garlic
                                                                                                          olive oil
                                                                                                          a small ciabatta
                                                                                                          100gm (2/3 cup) hazelnuts, skins removed
                                                                                                          2 tbs honey
                                                                                                          250gm camembert
                                                                                                          2 sprigs of rosemary
                                                                                                          2 small romain lettuces, leaves separated

                                                                                                          1 small eschalot, finely chopped
                                                                                                          1 tbs red wine vinegar
                                                                                                          1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

                                                                                                          Preheat oven to 200c (390f). Place parsnip in pan of boiling, salted water for 5 minutes and drain. Place parsnips, pears, chestnuts and 2 crushed cloves of garlic in a large roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, arrange as a single layer in the pan and roast in oven for 20 minutes. Tear the ciabatta into bite size pieces then add to roasting pan and return to oven for 15 minutes. Add hazlenuts to roasting pan, drizzle everything with honey and return to oven for 5 minutes. Slice the top off the camembert, poke through the rosemary sprigs, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil, place in small roasting dish and put in oven for 10 minutes. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper and set aside. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter and scatter the (now caramalised) tray bake. Spoon over the dressing and serve with the camembert on the side for your guests to drizzle over their portion at their leisure :) Enjoy!

                                                                                                          1. re: TheHuntress
                                                                                                            Terrie H. Dec 24, 2011 07:45 AM

                                                                                                            Thank you so much!

                                                                                                    2. w
                                                                                                      wattacetti Nov 28, 2011 05:23 AM

                                                                                                      I'm going to debone and reassemble a goose. Also have a porchetta planned.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: wattacetti
                                                                                                        SouthToTheLeft Nov 28, 2011 02:19 PM

                                                                                                        How does one reassemble a goose?

                                                                                                        1. re: wattacetti
                                                                                                          Dcfoodblog Nov 28, 2011 03:12 PM

                                                                                                          I bow to the master. That's hardcore.

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