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What's for Holiday dinner 2011?

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!

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

    2 Replies
      1. re: wattacetti

        I bow to the master. That's hardcore.

      2. "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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

                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

                  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

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

                    1. re: Terrie H.

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

                      Salad:
                      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

                      Dressing:
                      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!

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

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

                    1. 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.