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Comments on my Christmas dinner menu please!

I'm trying to refine my menu. I'm getting meat from our local coop, and am really dying to get the persimmons and asian pear from them as well. Also, since it is crab season in SF, I need to use some fresh crab somewhere. So, here's what I'm thinking. There will be 9 of us.

Apple - Celeriac Remoulade with Crab
Persimmon and Asian Pear Salad with Chevre
Roast Leg of Lamb with Juniper and Rosemary
Yukon Gold Potato Gratin with Horseradish and Parmesan
Sauteed Green Beans with Carmelized Shallots
Pear Frangipane Tart with Chocolate Drizzle

Also, regarding the remoulade. I'm planning on using this recipe:


Anyone have an idea as to how many it serves? Either I'm blind, or it isn't there. I'm assuming 4, but would appreciate other thoughts.


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  1. It sounds yummy. However, I find the first two dishes to be somewhat similar--both cold, both crunchy (to me Asian pear and apple are very similar in texture and taste too) I would switch out the Remoulade for maybe a celariac soup with crab, followed by the salad and the rest. What do you think?

    2 Replies
    1. re: escondido123

      That could work. I was originally going to use the crab on Xmas eve for a soup, but decided that I wanted the crab to really be the focus of the dish. Perhaps I could get rid of the asian pear from the salad and add some crisped prosciutto. While it will still be cold, it might set it apart more.

      But, I will look for a celariac soup as well - that does sound good.

      1. re: kws123

        I also think crab has a fuller flavor warm and it would be pretty set into the soup.

    2. Doesn't your menu sound lovely and fresh. I have made that very serious eats recipe and it is really good.

      What lucky guests,

      What are you serving drinks wise?

      1. So I posted and then got to thinking about how to work in persimmons to your menu if you lose the salad. There are these lovely persimmon breads you could make in mini loaves, wrap them up and send them home with guests. It is a David Lebovitz recipe but I will send you to http://joythebaker.com/2008/11/persim... to get the recipe. So so good, easy and a thoughtful alternative to holiday themed cookies.

        1. I think it looks tasty, and agree with escondido123's suggestion of having a warm soup or another warm appetizer to start with. Perhaps a crab bisque or or mini crab cakes as a starter? I like the sound of the salad so I would keep that.

          My only other suggestion is that the juniper with the lamb and the horseradish with the potatoes may compete with each other, and aren't really complementary, to me. I would switch out either the juniper for garlic on the lamb, or swap the horseradish out for a stronger flavored cheese like Gorgonzola, or some roasted garlic instead. Just a thought!

          1. Just a thought, move the persimmon and asian pear salad with chevre after the main course - like it is the cheese course. Oh, maybe not because then you have a pear tart.

            1. I think it sounds great together and it would be a very nice dinner as is. If you are up for changes, I agree w/ escondido that the first two are similar. You could combine them, add persimmons to the remoulade/crab--I love crab salad w/ persimmons and it would be a pretty color layered in that salad. Then you could do a soup, maybe a butternut squash if it's not too heavy w/ creme fraiche. Or, keeping w/ your same elements, asian pear, prosciutto, chevre bites (appetizers?).

              3 Replies
              1. re: chowser

                Interesting. I never thought to put the persimmon and crab together, but that does sound good. Butternut squash soup is out - the husband is not a fan (sad, really), but I could definitely work around that.

                Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Much appreciated.

                1. re: kws123

                  I would never have thought of persimmons w/ crab either until I had it, maybe back in the 90's, at a restaurant in the Bay area. This looks like it might be it, though the date is more recent. I can't remember more than that the crab salad was mouthwatering.


                  1. re: chowser

                    Oooh, that does look good! I do love the Ritz Dining Room.

                    I'm getting worried about crab though - the fishermen are on strike still, which means no crab (shudder!). It is entirely possible that I'll be out of luck. So my alternative, I guess, will be to serve a chestnut soup followed by the salad, as planned.