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Christmas Eve, what's on the menu?

Curious to hear what everyone is making for Christmas Eve. Traditionally we have some sort of a pasta (usually lobster raviolis), but might try something new this year.

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  1. Bbq ribs, homemade baked bean's, coleslaw, corn bread, roasted Brussel sprouts. Apple crisp w sweet cream ice cream.

    1. Apéritif :
      Good quality chips with some kind of simple marinated fish/seafood in small spoons.

      1st course: Foie gras and all the trimmings.

      2nd course: Classic roasted meat (not yet certain lamb or beef) with vegetables.

      3rd course: 1 cheese (will see what is available) with nuts/fruits

      4th course : small patisseries

      All that served with Champagne and good wines.


      1. We're taking a page from your book this year and doing pasta - two types. Fresh pappardelle with a lobster-tarragon pink sauce and dry torchio with a sausage and white bean sauce. I have a variety of cured meats and cheeses and will make some vegetable antipasti to comprise a first course. It will be my first time cooking lobsters so I'm pretty excited!

        1. Prime rib, crab cakes, grilled romaine salad, mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach.

          1. Christmas Eve is usually a very busy evening at my house...Last minute preparations for the big meal on Christmas Day, visiting and making merry etc. So the past few years it has been Shrimp Po-Boys... Causal, easy, simple, quick and sooooo delicious. ~~ Gonna pick up some big, fresh, head-on Gulf Shrimp tomorrow to butter-fly along with some fresh Leidenheimer Po-Boy bread ~~ I would imagine the Christmas candies will be trotted out too. ~~~ There will be Fresh Gulf Oysters for those who care to partake as well.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Uncle Bob

              Wish I could come to your house, Uncle Bob! ;)

              1. re: ChefJune

                Me too!! ((((((((((((((((Chef June))))))))))))))))))))

                1. re: Uncle Bob

                  I'm beginning to think, uncle bob, that you are a cajun. Or at least on the gulf coast somewhere. I grew up on the coast and I can tell you we never had turkey and dressing for thanksgiving and never prime rib for christmas. Not that those things are bad, mind you. I enjoy them.

                  This year for christmas eve I decided to do fried shrimp. My mom said, "well you're going back to your roots." We always had cajun things for holidays. Etouffee, gumbo, rice dressing, oysters, shrimp, boudain, etc.

                  After moving around for a few decades I still find regional differences fascinating.

              2. re: Uncle Bob

                "fresh Leidenheimer Po-Boy bread"

                One of the things I miss most about home!

              3. Scalloped oysters, green salad, .... and Foggy Ridge cider.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ellabee

                  Further thoughts (thanks for this thread as a chance to think out loud)...
                  Salad w tangerine segments, citrus vinaigrette.
                  Wilted spinach as a side to the oysters.

                  Christmas night dinner: salad w pear and blue cheese, duck breast w port-cherry sauce, and mashed potatoes. Chocolate chestnut torte (made by local chestnut grower).

                  1. re: ellabee

                    The scalloped oysters were an outstanding recovered taste memory; made from the same recipe I know my mother used (1953 Joy of Cooking), and the first time I've had them in at least forty years. So good. Exactly (and just barely) fits into a 20cm gratin.

                    Added a soup, roasted red pepper and tomato, garnished with chopped roasted red pepper and a dab of creme fraiche.

                    Great menu, one that I hope to repeat.

                  2. Getting ready for a big dinner on Tuesday, so dinner will be some kind of pizza. This year maybe spinach and sweet italian sausage and fresh mozzarella.

                      1. Our hostess requested that we each go to our favorite Chinese restaurant and order 2 of our favorite dishes to go. We are taking them to her house for Chinese buffet.
                        No cooking, just Chinese and wine!!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Gail

                          We're doing takeout Chinese as well!!

                        2. We do the Feast of the Seven Fishes. This year we will be having (among other things)...

                          Shrimp Cocktail
                          Fried Calamari
                          Clams Casino
                          Clams Oreganata
                          Baccala Salad
                          Fried Smelts
                          Shrimp and Scallop Scampi (I know, I know, shrimp are scampi...)

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Philly Ray

                            OMGoodness, SMELT! I haven't heard/thought about them in years and now twice in 24 hours. (They were mentioned on American Pickers last night. I was so thrilled that I stopped to watch and let a couple of trays of cookies burn ... sigh.) Heading out in the middle of the night with my family to 'go smelting' when they were running is one of my favorite childhood memories!

                            Christmas Eve is our biggie rather than the Day. We had to drop seafood a couple of years ago because someone has allergies. So we're doing Cream of Asparagus soup, de-boned Cornish Hens w/wild rice & dried cranberry stuffing, and a salad and a veggie that will be known when they show up. Ice cream cake and lots of Christmas Cookies for dessert. :)

                            Love the all-seafood feast. Enjoy!!!

                            1. re: AnneM5

                              De-Boned Cornish Hens?? Seriously? Do tell! I've never managed to make them very well much less de-bone them!

                              Christmas Eve dinner is going to be pull out what's leftover and no, we / I don't have a plan. . . yet.

                              1. re: JerryMe

                                It is a great dish because the work is all in the prep! And the presentation is very elegant when they're plated.

                                It really isn't that hard but my fingers get cold since it is easier to get closer to the bone when the hens are still partially frozen. I keep the drummies bone-in but take off the wings (they'll go into the stock pot with the other bones to make a stock on Wednesday once I've got a moment to breathe).

                                Anyway, once they're de-boned, with the rice mixture is cooked ahead of time, I can stuff them right before baking and then not worry about it. It takes about a cup or 1 1/2 cups to stuff them so they're nice and plump. Admittedly, I'm not very fast at the de-boning, it takes me anywhere from 6-10 minutes per hen depending on interruptions, but the presentation is sooo lovely. I serve them on a bed of wilted spinach and it is a pretty contrast.

                                Just heard that our veggie will be a carrot souffle, and our other desserts will be passion fruit cake and chocolate mousse cake.

                                In our family it is all about WWCE -- What Will the Children Eat -- and chicken with ~two drumsticks per child (more if they can con a grown-up out of their little drummies) certainly fits that bill. :)

                          2. Our tradition is appetizers, fruit, charcuterie, olives, cheese and crackers with lots of wine.

                            1. Other peoples food! We have two open houses to go to. One known for amazing food and the other, well lets just say, the company and the bar are both wonderful.

                              1. Hubby & I go all out!! Our traditional Xmas Eve "menu" for decades now has always been. Wait for it. . . . TAKEOUT PIZZA! Lol!!!

                                We've always done this (we do it Thanksgiving Eve as well), because I spend the majority of the following day turning out a real feast.

                                For Xmas Day this year, that means roasting a 13.34-pound goose via Julia Child's "Steam-Roasted Goose with Port Wine Gravy", Czech Bread Dumplings with Sauerkraut, Boursin Potato Gratin, Butter-Braised Brussel Sprouts, & another green veggie yet to be determined. But it all takes time to do up right, & I'd rather relax the night before & not have a lot of dishes to deal with.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                  Tonight's Xmas Eve takeout pizza was a plain cheese that we spruced up at home with extra mozzarella & parmesan - then half turkey pepperoni (for hubby) & half anchovies & onions (for me).

                                  Now it's time to continue decorating the tree, & hopefully getting a head start on tomorrow's Czech Bread Dumplings.

                                2. Clams casino
                                  Bacon wrapped scallops
                                  Low country boil
                                  Fried shrimp for the little
                                  She crab soup

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: LaLa

                                    >>>She crab soup<<<

                                    I'd like to know what this is, please.

                                      1. re: enbell

                                        Ah, thanks enbell. Should have checked the internet myself. Lived in GA for awhile...never heard of it.

                                  2. Smoked salmon, capers, lemon juice

                                    Baked gammon, baked potato, red cabbage, mustard sauce

                                    Bought dessert (whatever looks good on the supermarket patisserie counter - probably tarte au citron)

                                    1. Ill be doing my big meal on christmas eve and then take the easy way out and just do a roast leg of lamb on christmas day

                                      My christmas eve menu is

                                      1. Shrimp Mousse stuffed Squash blossoms, tempura, yuzu
                                      2. Foie gras, mango, brioche
                                      3. Hamachi, orange, thai chili
                                      4. Caramelized carrot soup
                                      5 Mussels, taragon, paparadelle
                                      6. Duck confit, duck breast, crispy duck skin, endive, candied citrus
                                      7. Pork belly, fava beans, brussel sprout leaves, bacon jus
                                      8. Sous vide short rib, pommes puree, Kale
                                      9. Cheese board
                                      10 Dessert (to be prepared by someone other than me thank goodness!).

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: twyst

                                        thank goodness thats over :P

                                        Everything was great but that was a LOT of work.

                                        1. re: twyst

                                          it looks like a lot of work! Glad it came out well. :)

                                          1. re: twyst

                                            That is unbelievable. For how many people were you cooking? I hope you had a sous-chef.

                                        2. Ha, for me Christmas Eve is tonight, as I will travel on monday and tuesday. We will have:

                                          Creamed salt cod in piquillo peppers, parsley oil
                                          Savoy cabbage rolls with porcini (and a heart of goose liver paté)
                                          Roast lamb shoulder on autumn vegetables, Romesco sauce
                                          Cheese and nuts, figs and pears
                                          Tarte Tatin with quince and whipped cream

                                          The cod is creamed, the cabbage blanched, the quince compote and the dough for the tarte are ready. Romesco sauce sitting in the fridge. Baked bread as well, as if this weren't enough...

                                          1. We are staying home for the first time this Christmas Eve..finally told the parents we are grownups and are demanding time for ourselves this holiday, not traipsing around to everyone else's houses for two straight days (and eating boiled-dry meat, meat, meat and more meat, too, and no alcohol at all).

                                            So we are thinking of a beautiful veggie platter with endive, radicchio, cherry tomatoes and other lovely things; shrimp and cocktail sauce; cheeses; french bread and dipping oil;rosemary sea salt almonds; olives; certainly wine, beer and eggnog...and dessert. Hmmm....not sure what that will be yet. Perhaps salted chocolate-dipped clementine sections.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: bettyfable

                                              For years it has been Julia Child's tournedos Rossini, but this year I feel like something lighter - it will be halibut topped with a mix of ground walnuts, parsley, lemon zest and panko crumbs mixed with a little olive oil, peas in creme fraiche and roasted fingerling potatoes. Maybe a little toasted almond gelato to finish.

                                              1. re: Athena

                                                I'm making steak au poivre, stuffed tomatoes, creamed spinach and mashed root veg. Finishing it all off with some icream filled profiteroles and chocolate sauce.

                                            2. 1 Stuffed calamari over spaghetti marinara
                                              2 Bacala salad
                                              Bacala stew
                                              3 Fried smelts
                                              4 Breaded baked shrimp
                                              5 Fried flounder
                                              6 Eel
                                              7 King crab legs

                                              1. Feast of the Many Fishes:

                                                Seafood Salad
                                                Cocktail Shrimp
                                                Clams on the Half Shell
                                                Fried Seafood - Scallops, Shrimp, Calamari, Bacala, Smelts
                                                Sauteed Cod with Mustard/Panko breading
                                                Angel Hair Pasta with Anchovies, Garlic & bread crumbs
                                                Amanda Hesser's Almond Cake
                                                Italian Pastries

                                                & lots of champagne!

                                                {would love to sneak some Clams Casino in there too after reading it pop up on some many others' menu here.}

                                                1. It's a simple family meal. For the last few years I've been doing pork (tenderloin or chops) with sour cherry sauce made from the cherries I pit while watching Wimbledon and freeze. Roast potatoes, some greens.

                                                  1. French onion soup and escargots.

                                                    1. Since I'm only cooking for two this year , it's hard to squeeze in 7 fishes. So I'm cheating with all shellfish cioppino: Dungeness crab, shrimp, clams, and scallops.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. Roasted leg of lamb with dijon mustard marinade and thrice-cooked garlic sauce

                                                        Ham with honey, molasses ginger glaze

                                                        Brussel sprouts with bacon and caramelized shallots

                                                        Green beans almandine

                                                        Mashed potatoes with gravy

                                                        Baby bellas with tarragon

                                                        Buttermilk biscuits

                                                        Jamaican rum cake

                                                          1. Always homemade chicken noodle soup and biscuits. I started when kids were young and we went to an early Christmas Eve Mass. Everyone was hungry as soon as we walked back in the door. Easy to do ahead. Now kids are in their 20's and there is no early mass but not allowed to change the tradition. Oh and nanaimo bars for dessert.

                                                            1. So, we usually do appetizers on Christmas Eve; this year it's mini pigs in a blanket, bbq meatballs, butternut squash shooters, shrimp stuffed with smoked gouda & wrapped in bacon (which I only make at Christmas)...we're also having a beef lasagna. I'm thinking that I'll do a salad of mixed greens, citrus (perhaps pink grapefruit & tangelos) with red onion and candied walnuts and a ancho citrus vinaigrette and I'm not sure what else. There will be homemade candies and cookies.

                                                              1. Tortellini in broth, cold cuts and cheeses, sausages, rye bread and baguette, cold pickles and veg and a big plate of baked goodies to nosh on. It's a Euromash of Christmas foods.

                                                                1. Pan fried duck breasts.
                                                                  Blackberry sauce
                                                                  Wild rice pilaf with carrots, onions and parsley from our garden.

                                                                  Pretty simple and easy fare, but tasty - and the duck makes it special.

                                                                  1. Anger and loathing, spending the holiday with family.

                                                                    1. Homemade seafood soup. Just finished chopping veggies!

                                                                      1. Tomorrow is our day to have guests, so for Christmas Eve, I'm cleaning out the fridge to make a chicken curry. Here's what's going in it;
                                                                        Leftover roast chicken
                                                                        leftover steamed new Yukon Gold potatoes
                                                                        leftover curried Hubbard squash soup
                                                                        leftover coconut milk
                                                                        fresh snow peas
                                                                        fresh oyster mushrooms
                                                                        fresh spinach
                                                                        half an onion
                                                                        a little fish sauce
                                                                        a little peanut butter
                                                                        Served over Louisiana Jazzmen aromatic rice.

                                                                        1. The feast of many fishes has been winnowed down to one: lobster. As we have had for many years, Christmas Eve dinner is lobster stew followed by endive, Roquefort and walnut salad with a dijon mustard vinaigrette. Champagne to drink with it. Simple, luxurious, and delicious!

                                                                          1. Hosting our first Christmas eve dinner:
                                                                            cheese and crackers
                                                                            ginger glazed ham
                                                                            roasted potatoes
                                                                            butternut squash puree
                                                                            black eyed peas
                                                                            garlic green beans
                                                                            pumpkin pie
                                                                            peanut butter butterscotch rice krispie treats
                                                                            dark chocolate and mint meringues
                                                                            Trader Joe's extravagantly enrobed Joe Joes

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                              Sounds like a wonderful dinner, and enjoy the novelty of it being the first time. With a menu like that, you'll be pressed into service on an annual basis!

                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                it was a blast! I love entertaining, and these friends are so fun, we will probably make it an annual tradition. :)

                                                                                oh, but you should know... I only cooked about half the menu! they brought the garlic green beans, black eyed peas, pumpkin pie and rice krispie treats. :)

                                                                            2. Beef Bourguignon (Ina Garten's recipe). First time making it today, and it certainly won't be my last!

                                                                              1. Tortilla rolls (in spinach wraps, and shaped like Christmas trees) and salsa
                                                                                Honeybaked turkey, homemade dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy
                                                                                Chicken Tamales
                                                                                Green Salad (?? my kids are making)
                                                                                Strawberries dipped in white chocolate with coarse green sugar on tips
                                                                                Pumpkin Pie w/whipped cream and ice cream

                                                                                1. I'm going with pasta too, Ziti Alla Carbonara with Ham-Stuffed Parmesan chicken and maybe some baked salmon in a cheese sauce.

                                                                                  1. Christmas Eve. . .
                                                                                    Tossed green salad
                                                                                    and far too much homemade candy!

                                                                                    1. Irish themed feast for 20:

                                                                                      Emeril's watercress salad on smoked salmon
                                                                                      Roast goose with chestnuts and foie-stuffed prunes
                                                                                      Red cabbage with bacon and onions
                                                                                      Glazed turnips
                                                                                      Irish Christmas fruitcake

                                                                                      Actually, the colcannon didn't come together. I had to serve the potatoes and the cabbage separately. The green savoy cabbage cooked lightly in butter turned out to be a big hit.

                                                                                      1. For Christmas eve, we had Brie en croute with mushroom filling, spinach salad with cranberries almonds and citrus dressing followed by seafood gumbo. For dessert we had assorted cookies, stollen and eggnog tiramisu. It was very good!

                                                                                        1. Family tradition is a soup supper for Christmas Eve, since the flexible timing for that works well with whenever evening church service is scheduled. Midwestern Chili - the kind that makes Texans laugh - (ground beef / kidney beans / chopped tomatoes, onions/green pepper, simmered for hours). And cornbread muffins. Growing up, in addition to the chili we'd also have homemade French Onion soup, and parents had Oyster Stew. It was also the only time of year we'd have oyster crackers with our soup rather than ordinary saltines.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                            capon on the rotisserie outside (lots of garlic/herb butter rubbed under the skin and lots of parboiled root vegetables and garlic cloves roasted under the capon), duck fat potatoes, many greens (including boston lettuce, parsley, radicchio) salad with citrus vinaigrette, gingerbread with whipped cream for desert, Bellinis to start, and great pinot noir with the main. Yum!