Christmas Dinners

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falvegas
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Christmas Dinners

Post by falvegas » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:02 am

At Christmas we traditionally serve Fish. It’s Turkey & Duck for Thanksgiving, Fish for Christmas and a full Prime Rib Buffet for New years. Our family occasions are festive and Expensive but no one pays the burden, we all chip in.

The first two are posted following the list, the others are ideas for those in this Post.
** Maine Lobster Dinner with Vermouth Butter, Corn & Fettuccini (recipe below)
** Macaroni & Cheese with Lobster ‘Au gratin’ (recipe below)
** Fettuccini with Artichoke Pesto (recipe later in here)
** Pork Tenderloin with a Cranberry Chipotle Sauce (recipe later in here)
** Roast Capon with Black Olives & Chestnuts (recipe later in here)
** Lamb with Black Olives and Braised Sage Carrots (recipe later in here)
** Christmas Goose with Goose-Fat Roasted Potatoes (recipe later in here)
** Potatoes with Slab Bacon and Baby Onions---Brussels Sprouts with Slab bacon (recipe later in here)
** Roast Quail w/ Pine Nut & Swiss Chard Stuffing [In a Wine/Thyme Reduction] recipe later in here)
** Pan Cooked Quail, Served on Salad Greens with Pears and Bacon (recipe later in here)
** Pixie’s Appetizers: Sizzling Garlic Shrimp, Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms, Meatballs in Red Wine, Spanakopita Triangles, Three Cheese Phyllo Triangles, Blue Cheese/Caramelized-Onion Squares, Cheese Fondue, Spiced Pecans, Spicy Cashews (recipes later in here)
** Antipasto Platter (recipe later in here)
** Leeks Au Gratin (recipe later in here)
** Warm Potato Salad with Almonds and Avocado (recipe later in here)
** Raspberries & Whipped Cream with Chambord (recipe later in here)
** Salmon, Wasabi Mashed Potatoes, and Spicy Cucumber
** Ham & Bourbon/Molasses/Pecan Glaze and Ham & Molasses/Pepper Glazed
** Shrimp & Chile-Cilantro, Walnut Stuffed Salmon and Spitfire Shrimp
** pâte à choux, several Sweet and Savory recipes

Maine Lobster Diner

Ingredients
Lobsters (one per person)
Corn (one ear per person)
3-TBS Wine Vinegar
Lemons (1 or 2 per lobster)
Unsalted Butter (clarify 1-lb in a jar for 4 or more people)
Vermouth (1/2-cup, reduced in a sauce pan slightly)
Kale, one or two bunches (For dressing the serving platter)
Champaign
French bread
Shell fish Crackers (to crack the lobsters, one per 2 or 3 people)
2-Bowls (one Large, 16 to 18 inches diameter (like a pasta bowl), the other a Soup Bowl)

Procedure
A. Corn: Cook Ears of Corn, set aside, and keep warm
B. lemon/Vermouth/Butter: Add Squeeze of ½-lemon into Clarified Butter
Stir about 3 to 4 TBS reduced Vermouth into Clarified Butter.
C. Lobsters: In a large stock pot add a cut lemon, 3 Bay Leafs, 4 or 5 peppercorns, 3-TBS wine Vinegar, and lots of Salt (should be like Sea Water). Boil rapidly.

Note: One Lobster per person is boiled (always insert Lobsters head first in rapidly boiling water one at a time). Bring to a boil before inserting 2nd Lobster. No more than 2 in the stock pot. Repeat as necessary. Usually 9 to 12 minutes for a Chicken Lobster 1 to 1 ½ lbs.

Remove Lobster and place under ‘cold’ running water. Lay them against a cutting board. Slit the tail cover (underside) down the middle lengthwise and drain out the liquid into the sink, squeezing the tail with your hands. Crack the Claws.

D. SERVING: Pour a few quarts of the (very hot) liquid from the Lobster Pot (C.) through a fine Sieve into a large container. Keep this Hot.

Visualize the following, carefully.
* Pour the Hot Lobster Liquid (D.) into the Large Bowl a few inches from the top.
ADD Butter/Vermouth Mix (B) into Smaller Bowl, Insert the smaller Bowl into the Large one.
Note: The purpose is (at the table) each person swishes lobster pieces in the HOT Liquid to heat and clean, then dip pieces in the hot Butter to eat. The Hot Liquid will keep the Butter warm. So this bowl ensemble will be at the center of the table.
E. PRESENTATION:
Place Kale leaves around a very large serving platter, lay Lobsters on top of the Kale, and surround with wedges of fresh Lemon.
Place the Corn in large Serving Bowl, brush w/butter.
Bring everything to the table and uncork the Champagne.
This can be served with French Bread or/and with a platter of Fettuccine with a simple Butter/Oil/Parsley Sauce.
Notes: Cover the Table fully with newspapers. Spread several Lobster Crackers around for guests to crack the lobster, and Large Bowls or double Paper Bags at the table corners to throw the cracked Lobster shells in(on the floor).

This is an elegant meal but guests are in a semi-messy country-style setting. It is a lot of fun. I remove the Tomalley and dark green Coral from the Lobster and save it. I ‘Save the Lobster Shells’ & make a stock with them. Freeze it for use with like ‘Lobster Bisque’.

Macaroni & Cheese with Lobster ‘Au gratin’(For 4)

Ingredients
8-Oz Elbow Macaroni or small pasta shells
3 to 4 TBS fresh grated Cheddar Cheese
4-Maine Lobsters, live. (Can consider Spinney Lobster Tails, and frozen) See NOTE.
S & P to taste, preferably white pepper
1/3-Cup Shallots, minced
1/4-Cup Carrots, fine diced
1/4-Cup Celery, fine diced
1-TBS Cognac or Brandy
2-TBS Port Wine
1 1/2-Cup Cream or half & half plus 3 TBS Cream
1-Bouquet Garni (Tie together 4-5 parsley sprigs, 1 Thyme sprig, and a bay leaf)
3-Egg Yolks
Preparation
** Cook Macaroni until al Dente and reserve (~10 minutes)
** Boil Lobsters for 3- minutes per the ‘Lobster Dinner Recipe’ [previous recipe, item C]
** Remove the Tail and Claw meat, season with S & P
** Remove the strip of Tomalley and the Coral and ‘reserve’
** Heat Butter in a large skillet and sauté Lobster Meat on Medium for 1 to 2 minutes
** Let Lobster cool, cut into 1/3 inch pieces, and reserve
** In same skillet, sweat Shallots, Carrots, and Celery for 3 minutes on medium
** ADD Brandy, Port, 1 ½-Cups Cream, Bouquet Garni, and S&P. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Cover Skillet, remove from heat and set aside.
** Whisk the 3-TBS remaining cream in a bowl until thick. Fold in Egg Yolks and refrigerate.
Pre-heat the Broiler
** Return Sauce to Low heat and simmer gently. Whisk the reserved Tomalley/coral (optional) into the sauce, and stir in the Lobster meat, Cheese, and Macaroni. Bring to a boil and adjust seasonings.
** Divide equally into gratin or oven proof serving dishes
** Pour cream/egg mixture over dishes and broil until golden brown on top.

NOTE: Maine Lobsters are out of season by the end of December unless there are Tank Supplies near you. Spinney Lobsters just start their season in December.
Last edited by falvegas on Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:43 pm, edited 17 times in total.

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Re: Christmas Eve Dinner

Post by Pixie » Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:01 am

Oh, your lobster dinner sounds much like our crab boils!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!!!!!!!!!!

:highfive:

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Re: Christmas Eve Dinner

Post by Pixie » Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:04 am

Every year on Christmas Eve my sister hosts a party at her house for some of the members of her church... usually 35 or 40 people. It's appetizers and desserts only. We don't do a Christmas Eve dinner as a family tradition.

As soon as we have our menu together I'll post it with the recipes.

On Christmas Day it's always lamb in our house!!!!!!!!!! As soon as we have that menu together I'll do the same (post it with the recipes)!!!!!!!!!!

:wave: :wave: :wave: :wave:

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falvegas
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Re: Christmas Eve Dinner

Post by falvegas » Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:11 am

It was requested I bring California Artichokes to New England for Christmas. I ordered Coachella Valley Artichokes, and decided to make a few of them into a Artichoke Pesto to serve with the Lobster dinner (previous).

Artichoke Pesto
(Rather than a commercial artichoke pasta with no artichoke flavor, use a Artichoke Pesto)

1/4 Cup XVirgin Olive Oil or own cooking oil
1/2 Cup Pine Nuts or Walnuts (chopped) (I use Pepitas or Pumpkin Seeds)
2-Cups fresh Artichoke Hearts, cooked, diced
1/2 Cup grated Romano Cheese (can use Parmesan)
5 Garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Blend in a Processor or Blender until nearly smooth. with refrigerate for 3 days, or freeze 2 to 3 months in small air-tight containers.

So instead of using an Artichoke Fettuccini, I'll serve it with the Pesto, parsley and grape tomato garnish and a side dish of the remaning Artichokes with a lemon mayonaise dip.

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falvegas
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Re: Christmas Eve Dinner

Post by falvegas » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:43 am

Pork Tenderloin with a Cranberry Chipotle Sauce
(I’ve served this Pork Tenderloin before at Thanksgiving, and at Christmas. It’s quite simple)
Ingredients
1-TBS Butter, unsalted
1-TBS Olive Oil
2-Lb Pork Tenderloin
S & P to taste
Cranberry Chipotle Sauce
2-TBS Shallots, minced
2-Garlic Cloves, minced
2-Cups Cranberries, fresh or frozen
3-TBS Sugar
2-Cups Red Wine, dry like Merlot or Cabernet
2 ½ -Cups Chicken Stock
1-Canned Chipotle (from a can in Adobo Sauce), pureed. (Optional, use what you like)
1-tsp Sage, fresh, minced (1/2 tsp crumbled, dry)
3-TBS Butter, unsalted at room temperature

Procedure
Preheat oven to 375 F Degrees
** Melt Butter & Olive Oil in a heavy skillet on medium
** Season Pork with S & P and brown on all sides
** Set Pork on rack in a Roast Pan. Cook to 160 F Degrees Internal (~45 minutes). This will rise to 165 to 168 F Deg. during resting. Reserve the Skillet & Pan Drippings.
** Sauce: Sauté Shallots & Garlic in the reserved Drippings for about a minute. Add Cranberries and Sugar, and cook, stirring another minute. Add Wine scraping up pan bits. Boil over high heat to about 3/4 –Cup of liquid remains. Add Chicken Stock, Chipotle Puree, and Sage. Boil until about 2-Cups remain. Strain mixture into a Saucepan, bring to a boil, and Whisk in the Butter and S & P. Keep warm.
Pork: Remove Pork from oven, cover with Foil, and let sit 15 minutes.
** Cut Pork into 1-inch slices. Fan slices on serving platter and pour Cranberry Sauce to the side.

Serve with roasted small red potato halves, and a green leafy vegetable sautéed in olive oil and garlic like Spinach with Citrus, Arugula...whatever.

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Re: Christmas Eve Dinner

Post by falvegas » Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:47 am

ROAST CAPON WITH BLACK OLIVES & CHESTNUTS
(If can’t find a Capon, use two 3 to 4 pound chickens)

Ingredients
5 ½ to 6 pound Capon
1-Lb Chestnuts, skinned and reserved (See NOTE)
2 Cups pitted Black Olives, drained, coated lightly with oil and dusted lightly with Rosemary, reserved in Frig
3 Slices Bacon
3 TBS Butter for the roasting pan
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
½ Cup warm Water
Preparation
Heat oven to 450 F Degrees
** Stuff Capon with black Olives and sew or close up the bird.
** Place Bacon over Capon breast in a cross pattern, secure with a few toothpicks
** Sprinkle Capon with Salt & pepper all over, place in a well Buttered Roasting Pan
** Roast 1 ½ Hours (~17 minutes/pound) Baste after 15 minutes and every 15 minutes
** Check for doneness with thermometer, turn off oven and leave in oven for 10 more minutes before serving.
To Serve: Remove Capon to a Platter. Remove Olives to a Bowl. Save pan juices
** Add Butter and Warm Water to roasting pan on Medium High, add the Chestnuts, and sauté for10 minutes, shaking pan frequently.
** Remove Chestnuts with slotted spoon and place around Capon in platter.
** Bring Sauce in Roast Pan to a boil season with S & P and whisk constantly. Pour into a bowl or sauce boat.
** Scatter Black Olives around Capon with the Chestnuts and serve.
Serve with roasted red potato wedges and green beans or Potato and green vegetable of choice.

NOTE: Clean Chestnuts and put a slit in the outer skin and peel off. Boil chestnuts in salted water, covered about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and leave Chestnuts in the Water. Remove Chestnuts 2 or 3 at a time with slotted spoon and rub off thin outer skin using a clean cloth. Do this while nuts are hot. Let cool in a container

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Re: Christmas Eve Dinner

Post by falvegas » Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:22 am

LAMB WITH BLACK OLIVES & BRAISED SAGE CARROTS
(This Lamb is done stovetop. It’s not a set-and-forget recipe. The cook will actually have to cook it)

Start the Preparation the night before or one day ahead.
Ingredients
You’ll need a 6 quart heavy pot large enough to hold the Leg of Lamb
Leaves from 2 fresh Rosemary sprigs, or 3 Tsp dry Rosemary
2- Garlic Cloves
6 to 7 Lb leg of Lamb. Trimmed of fat, and Sirloin end (thickest part) removed and saved for other use. Have Butcher crack the shank bone. (about 5 lbs total when done)
½ Tsp Black Pepper
2 Tsp Kosher Salt
2 TBS xVirgin Olive Oil
¾ Cup Red Onion, chopped
½ Cup whole Tomatoes, canned, drained (about 3)
1 Cup Dry Red Wine
½ Cup Black Nicoise Olives (can be left pitted)

Preparation
** Mince Rosemary and Garlic into a Paste (use mortar or knife)
** Pat lamb Dry & make several slits in lamb with a paring knife and rub in the Garlic/Rosemary paste.
** Sprinkle Lamb with Pepper, cover and marinate in refrigerator overnight or 24 hours
** Sprinkle Lamb with Salt
** Heat Oil in Pot on moderate until hot but not smoking. Add lamb to pot and slowly cook, turning occasionally until brown and crusty all over (~1 hour)
** Add Onion, and stir onion, turning Lamb once until onion is browned (~10 minutes)
** Add Tomatoes and 2/3 Cup of the Wine. Adjust heat to a bare simmer, cover with Foil, turning Lamb every 20 minutes for another 2 hours.
** Stir in Olives and remaining Wine and simmer uncovered until Meat Thermometer in the thickest part of lamb is 140 F Degrees (should be 15 minutes more or so)
** Remove Lamb to cutting board and let stand 20 to 30 minutes.
** Skim fat from sauce and pour into a small bowl to serve with lamb.
Serve with Braised Carrots (see recipe below) and some of the black Nicoise Olives.

Braise Carrots with Crisp Sage
Ingredients
3 TBS XVirgin Olive Oil
20 fresh Sage Leaves
2 Lb carrots, cut diagonally (~1 ½ inch long slices)
1-Cup Chicken Stock
1-Cup Water
¼ Cup Onion. Minced
¾ Tsp Kosher Salt
¼ Tsp Black Pepper
Preparation
** Heat Oil in a 12 inch heavy skillet, on moderate and Fry leaves, stirring until just crisp. Drain on towels and reserve.
** Add Carrots to skillet, and cook stirring occasionally, until begin to brown (~8 -10 minutes)
** Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer, covered until barely tender (~10 -15 min)
** Remove lid and Boil, stirring, until liquid is reduced to a glaze. (~10 min)
** Season with S & P and serve sprinkled with Sage leaves

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Re: Christmas Eve Dinner

Post by falvegas » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:36 pm

Stopped making Goose for a crowd awhile back because of 'Value', expensive for the yield you get. But for those of you who love Goose, here's a pretty good recipe, and you can use the stuffing of your choice but I recommend you don't stuff the goose with the stuffing you'll serve. There's a lot of fat in the goose. Goes well with a sweet fruit in the stuffing.

Christmas Goose
The Day before:
** 1 (12 to 15-pound) Goose
** 1/4 cup sea salt, water for brining
Prepare Goose: Remove all innards and Neck, reserve in refrigerator. Trim excess fat from the tail. Rinse Goose and Place in Boiling Water for 1 minute, dry with towels.
Brine Goose: Place the Goose in a large pot. Add cold water to cover and stir in the sea salt. Refrigerate overnight (~6 to 8 hours)
Ingredients
1 Lemon, halved
1 Apple, cut into chunks
1 Potato, cut into chunks
1 orange, sliced
1 cup chopped celery
Stuffing, recipe follows
Serving Sauce, recipe follows
Basting Syrup:
1/4 cup each corn syrup, cane syrup, and melted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
¼ Cup Water
2 tablespoons brandy
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
** Remove goose from water, drain and dry well. Rub inside cavity with Lemon Juice. Pierce goose skin (not meat) all over with fork. Place the Apple, Potato, Orange and Celery inside the body cavity. Truss the bird like a turkey.
** Place the goose in the preheated 450 degree F oven and roast for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Cook 20 to 25 minutes per pound. Baste the goose every half hour with the basting syrup.
Stuffing:
3 cups whole Chestnuts, roasted, peeled of inner skin
1 (14-ounce) bag Stuffing Mix
1 cup Raisins or Pitted Prunes
1/2 cup chopped Celery
1/4 cup diced Apple
1/4 cup diced Onion
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
3 cups chicken Stock
3/4 cup melted Butter
1/4 cup heavy Cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
** Coarsely chop the Chestnuts and put in a large bowl. Add the Stuffing mix, Raisins or Prunes, Celery, Apple, onion and Salt and Pepper. Toss to combine.
** Pour in the chicken Stock, Butter and Cream and mix until evenly moistened.
** Transfer to a baking dish and bake until the top is browned and crisp, about 1 hour.
Gravy Alternative:
Sauté Goose Neck and Innards in oil and butter until well browned. Add to a saucepan with a bouquet-garni, mirapois, salt and pepper. Cover with water to 2 inches over and very slowly simmer until goose is finished cooking. Strain and reserve.
Serving Sauce:
1 1/2 cups Beef Stock
3/4 cup Port Wine
3/4 cup red Wine Vinegar
3 Shallots, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon crushed black Peppercorns
3 Oranges, juiced
In a saucepan, combine the Sock, Port, Vinegar, Shallots, Peppercorns and Orange Juice. Bring to a boil, cook until reduced by 2/3, about 25 minutes. Strain and set aside for serving or Refrigerate.

Goose is done when meat in the thickest part of the Goose is 165 F. Deg. Remove the Goose to a platter and let rest for 30 minutes. Pour off the Goose Fat, and reserve for making Roast Potatoes (next Recipe). Make a roux and add to remaining pan drippings, stir well. Strain ‘Gravy Alternative Stock’ (previous) into pan and simmer to make Gravy.

Serve Goose with Stuffing and Sauce and/or Gravy, and Roasted Potatoes (next recipe)

Goose Fat Roasted Potatoes
Ingredients
4 russet (baking) potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup rendered goose fat
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves (preferably flat-leafed)
Preparation
Preheat oven to 325°F.
** Ready a bowl of cold water.
** Peel potatoes. With a 3/4-inch melon-ball cutter cut out potato balls, dropping into water as cut. Drain potatoes in a colander and transfer them to several layers of paper towels, patting very dry.
** In a 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet heat Goose Fat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add Potatoes, stirring to coat with fat, and roast in middle of oven, turning potatoes every 15 minutes, until crisp and golden, about 45 minutes.
** In a small saucepan cook Garlic in Butter over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
** With a slotted spoon transfer potatoes to a large bowl and stir in garlic butter, parsley, and salt to taste.
Last edited by falvegas on Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by falvegas » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:48 pm

Potatoes with Slab Bacon and Baby Onions
(Excellent with Roast Lamb, Beef)

Ingredients
12 Oz Slab bacon or Salt Pork, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
½ Lb baby onions, peeled or Small Onions in 1 inch Cubes
2 Cups Beef Stock or rich chicken Stock
2 ¼ Lbs Potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes or baby potatoes
Bouquet Garni (Thyme, Bay Leaf, Parsley tied together)
1 Garlic clove, peeled & chopped
Nutmeg for grating
Salt & pepper
5 TBS Butter, broken into pieces, softened
Preparation
** Cook Bacon in a heavy skillet over low heat until just browned and some fat is rendered
** Add Onions and cook 5 minutes (don’t let burn)
** Add Stock, Potatoes, Bouquet Garni, and Garlic. Liquid should come 2/3 the way up the potatoes.
** Bring to a Boil, season with S&P and Nutmeg, cover, lower heat, simmer 15 minutes.
** Stir pot again, cover and cook another 15 minutes until Potatoes are tender. Liquid should be 1/3 way up potatoes, if not, reduce.
** Remove pot from heat and add the butter, Cover and sit 10 minutes.
** Shake pat to combine ingresients and pour in a serving bowl.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Ingredients
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 ounces paper-thin slices pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
Directions
** Partially cook the Brussels sprouts in a large pot of boiling salted water, about 4 minutes. Drain.
** Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until beginning to crisp, about 3 minutes.
** Add the garlic and saute until pale golden, about 2 minutes.
** Add the Brussels sprouts to the same skillet and sauté until heated through and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
** Add the broth and simmer until the broth reduces just enough to coat the Brussels sprouts, about 3 minutes. Serve.

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:54 pm

I have ALWAYS wanted to make a Christmas Goose!!!!!!!!!!! One day I'll get up the courage!!!!!!!!! :shock: :embarrassed: :shock:

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by falvegas » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:42 pm

Pixie wrote:I have ALWAYS wanted to make a Christmas Goose!!!!!!!!!!! One day I'll get up the courage!!!!!!!!! :shock: :embarrassed: :shock:
I won't attempt to discourage you. Cooked many of them in the past but not in the last several years mainly because they are so low in yield for the cost which is twice that of a Duck with the same yield. They're also a pain in the butt to cook. So much fat (up to a quart per bird), have to be careful how you stuff them because of that, and one has to limit the smoking, removing it often during roasting. But the Goose Fat is great for cooking. You should try those Potato Balls cooked in Goose Fat.

I really do prefer Duck, and Pheasant but that's me. And then there's the Confit which can lead to some wonderful dishes. Cholesterol...well. we all should be concerned about it. I abandoned that concern a long time ago. Live fast, die young, and make a good looking corpse...... :zoom:

Seriously, I've researched nutrition for so many years, and become well aware of why the French are so much healthier than Americans, yet they dine on so many of the foods our nutritionists warn us against. Well back to work.

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:49 pm

I've never cooked Pheasant or Duck either and I'd like to cook them all! :clap2: :clap2:

I will! :)

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:53 pm

Christmas Eve Appetizer Party – 2008

Appetizers
Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce
Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
Spanakopita
Three Cheese Phyllo Triangles
Peppered Shrimp served with Crusty Bread
Sizzling Garlic Shrimp served with Crusty Bread
Antipasto Plate & a Few Dips (like Spinach Dip) from a Deli Shop
Blue Cheese & Caramelized Onion Squares
Classic Cheese Fondue
Greek Feta Spread (Kopanisti) served with crusty bread
Parmesan Crisps
Cheese Straws
Cajun Spiced Pecans
Sweet & Spicy Cashews

Beverages
Non Alcoholic Egg Nog
Hot Mulled Cider
Pop
Sparkling Water
Coffee/Tea

Desserts
A variety of cookies (always taken from the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies)
Brownies
Sweet Potato Pie with Homemade Whipping Cream
Pecan Pie
Apple Pie w/Homemade Cinnamon Ice Cream Courtesy of my Brother-in-Law
Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake
Assorted Chocolates and Truffles (Store bought)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Every Christmas Eve, for the last 20, my sister and I have hosted a party for 30 to 40 members of her church on Christmas Eve after the 10:00pm Service!

Above is this years menu. It doesn't change too much each year!

:pixie: :pixie: :pixie:

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by falvegas » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:45 pm

My goodness. pixie, your ambition just has no bounds. You're doing as much at Christmas as we did at Thanksgiving. I definitely want your recipes for Sizzling Garlic Shrimp and Crab Stuffed Mushrooms.

For what it's worth, we are going to cook but we want to minimize our time doing it. There is going to be so much going on, people coming in-n-out at Christmas. We make it festive but minimize our time in the kitchen. So it looks like this is pretty much what we’ll be doing (the best laid plans).

Christmas Eve Day - Breakfast
* Hang Town Fry (request by my Brother)
* Mushroom-Tarragon Omelets & Cheese Omelets with Alder Smoked Bacon
* Pecan Muffins
* Coffee, Swiss Cocoa, and an assortment of fresh fruits

Christmas Eve Day-Lunch (people are running in and out)
* Platter of Mini Burgers Stuffed with Cheese (Recipe posted in here)
* Platter of mini Pepper Steak Sandwiches (recipe posted in here)
* Mounds of French Fries and Onion Rings with various dips
* Buckets of iced Beer, Wine, and Soft Drinks
* A pile of Standard Christmas Cookies on the Dining Room Table

Christmas Eve – Dinner (no more than 1 ½ hours in the kitchen)
* Lobster Dinner for 12 (recipe posted in here)
Boiled Lobsters with Vermouth Butter, Fresh Corn, Artichoke Pesto Fettuccini
* Blue Crab Cakes with Avocado Corn Salsa
* Lots of French Bread
* Champaign and fruit Sparkling Waters
* Chocolate Mousse for desert

Christmas Day – Breakfast (so many are up early, that means me)
* Strawberry Crepes (recipe posted in here)
* Pecan Sourdough Waffles with Pecan Butter (recipe posted in here)
* Alder Smoked Bacon

Christmas Day-Lunch (grab-and-run food all made in advance)
* 3 very large platters of Antipasto including:
Provolone-Asiago-Prosciutto Cheeses, Capicola, Salami, Soprasata, Mortadella, Italian Tuna, Olive Medley, Roasted Peppers, Pickled Peppers, Artichokes, Onions. Tomatoes, Italian Dressing (Recipe posted in here)
* Tons of Italian Bread and Rolls (Bruschettas with Spreds) (Recipe posted in here)
* A few Salsas, Salsa Verde, Pumpkin Seed/Corn Salsa & a mound of Corn Chips (Nieces & nephews request)
* Several wines, Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Por Do Sol (a desert wine)

Christmas Day – Dinner
* Shrimp Scampi(Recipe posted in here)
* Wine-Growers Steak (Recipe posted in here)
* Warm Potato Salad with Almonds and Avocado and Watercress (Recipe posted in here)
* Leeks au Gratin (Recipe posted in here)
* Salmon with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and Spicy Cucumbers (for my Niece)
Desert: Wine Glasses filled with; Whipped Cream & Chambord filled with fresh Raspberries, topped with Chambord. (Recipe posted in here)
* A variety of wines, Merlot, Cabernet and Chardonnay, some sparling drinks
* A variety of my Sister’s Cakes
* Irish Coffee with Cream, Kahlua, and caramelized Orange

New Years Dinner
This will be back at my house with a Crusted Prime Rib dinner, including a Horseradish Muslin Sauce, au jous, Yorkshire Pudding, Potatoes Barboton, caramelized Green Beans, Caesar Salad, and Crème Brule with Raspberries
Last edited by falvegas on Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:11 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by falvegas » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:38 am

Pheasant, Quail and Duck are my favorite birds, and few ever have them for the Holidays so I thought I'd add in a Quail recipe or two just for others to consider. Why? because they're quite delicious, they can be pan or oven cooked in 15 minutes, they can be easily made hiliday decorative on individual plates, and they're fun.

Pan Cooked Quail
Served on Salad Greens with Pears and Bacon

Consider for a meal you’ll need 2 quail per person. This recipe is for 2 people.
Ingredients
4 farm-raised Jumbo Quail, semi-boneless
2-3 pears, cored and sliced
6 Bacon strips, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 TBS Cider Jelly (see note)
¼ cup Sherry Vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
4 oz Mixed Greens or Arugula
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Procedure
** Season the quail with salt and pepper.
** Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high with 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil.
** Place Quail, breast side down, and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Once browned on both sides remove from the pan and place on a plate to rest.
** In the same pan, add bacon and cook until lightly browned. Add Pears and Green Onions and cook for 2 minutes.
** Add Cider Jelly and Sherry Vinegar to the pear/bacon mix, cook until pears are just soft and there is still liquid in the pan. Turn off heat.
** Place salad green in bowl toss with olive oil and place on serving platter.
** Spoon pear mixture over greens and rest Quail on top and serve.
Note: If not available, you can make your own Cider Jelly by cooking apple cider, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and liquid pectin. There are recipes on the web and suppliers.

Roast Quail w/ Pine Nut & Swiss Chard Stuffing
[In a Wine/Thyme Reduction]

Consider for a meal you’ll need 2 quail per person. This recipe is for 2 people.
Stuffing Ingredients
2 TBS Currants, soaked in water 15 minutes, drained and set aside
2 slices Bacon, good quality, chopped into ¼ Inch strips
4 TBS Onion, minced
1 Garlic Clove, fine minced
1 ½ Lb Swiss Chard, young, leafy preferred. Stalks removed, cut in ½ inch wide strips
S & P to taste
1 TBS Pine Nuts
Main Ingredients
4 large Quail, semi boneless
1 Tsp Creme de Cassis and 1 TBS X-Virgin Olive Oil mixed
S & P to taste
16 small baby Carrots, sliced
1 Lb pearl Onions
Wine/Thyme Reduction Ingredients
½ Cup Red Wine, Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir
2 Sprigs fresh Thyme
1 ½ Cups Brown Chicken Stock (prefer a reduced home-made Stock to a dark brown)
1 bunch Thyme, fresh for Garnish

Procedure
Pre Heat oven to 375 F Degrees
** Sauté Bacon in a large Skillet until crisp, drain on towels. Drain all but 1 TBS fat from the pan. Save drained fat for later.
** Add Onion and sauté about 3 minutes until translucent
** Add Garlic, increase heat to High.
** Add the Swiss Chard, and season with Salt & Pepper. Sauté 5 to 6 minutes until leaves wilt (but Green) and liquid is evaporated.
** Remove from heat, let cool, and stir in the Bacon, Pine Nuts and Currants. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Place in a Bowl for stuffing later.
** Add remaining Reserved Fat to the skillet and sauté the Carrots and Pearl Onions until almost tender, still firm. Drain Veggies and reserve in a Bowl.
** Brown Quail in the same pan for 3 minutes per side, starting with breast side down (to seal in juices and prevent them from steaming when in the oven). Let cool slightly.
Roast Quail
** Stuff each Quail (stuff loosely)
** Whisk the Creme de cassis and Olive Oil to emulsify and rub the Quail with this
** Place Quail in Roasting Pan, on their Sides (promotes even cooking and color) Leave space between them so they won’t steam.
** Arrange the Carrot and Onions around the Quail in the pan
** Roast Quail for 6 minutes, turn Quail to Other Side Up, and roast 6 minutes longer. To tell when quail is done, look at the little drumsticks. When the bare leg bone just starts to show, the birds are done. (Should be 15 minutes max)
** Remove Quail & Veggies to an oven proof container
** Cover Quail and Veggies with Aluminum Foil and keep warm in oven
Make Reduction: Drain off excess fat from roasting pan and place pan on the stove
** On medium High, deglaze the pan with the Red Wine.
** Add the Thyme and bring to a boil
** Reduce the mixture. Add the Brown Stock, and simmer 5 to 6 minutes
** Adjust seasonings and strain through a sieve into a gravy boat, serve with Quail
** Arrange Quails on a platter surrounded with the Veggies and garnish with Thyme Sprigs

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:45 pm

Sizzling Garlic Shrimp

You’ll want to have plenty of bread on hand to capture the delicious pan juices from these garlicky crustaceans.

Ingredients:
• 4 to 5 Tbs. olive oil
• 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
• 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp. sweet paprika
• 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 to 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
• 1 to 2 Tbs. dry sherry
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:
In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Increase the heat to high, add the shrimp, lemon juice and sherry, stir well, and sauté until the shrimp turn pink and are opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Spain & Portugal, by Joyce Goldstein (Time-Life Books, 2000).
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
These are sooooo good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I promise you will love this recipe!!!!!!!

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:50 pm

Appetizer Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms
Tasty crab stuffed mushrooms with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese make a great party snack.

Ingredients:
• 1 pound large mushrooms
• 6 tablespoons butter
• 3 green onions, minced
• 3 to 4 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
• 4 ounces crab meat
• 1 cup fresh fine bread crumbs
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning blend
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Preparation:
Wash and trim the end of stems from mushrooms. Pop remaining stem out. Chop stems and set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons butter; brush over mushrooms. Spray a shallow baking dish (about 8-inch square, or one which will fit mushrooms in one layer) with butter-flavored spray or grease with butter.
Melt remaining butter in skillet; add reserved chopped stems, minced green onions and red bell pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender. Combine cooked ingredients with bread crumbs, crab meat, and seasonings. Fill each mushrooms, piling up. Sprinkle each mushroom with a little Parmesan cheese, if desired. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes, until hot and mushroom caps are tender.

Makes 16 to 20 stuffed mushroom appetizers.
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I do realize that our menu for this is ambition but it doesn't change much from Christmas Eve to Christmas Eve so we have our schedule down pat. Plus it's for my sister's church so it's very important to us that it be the best!!!!!!!!!

:) :) :)

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:52 pm

I'm going to show my sister your menus!!!!!!!!!! I told her about all of our threads but I didn't pull up the site and show her! Tomorrow when I see her I'm going to have her take a look at all of our threads!!!!!

:pixie: :pixie: :pixie:

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:55 pm

Appetizer Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce
This recipe for appetizer meatballs is made with a tangy red wine sauce.

Ingredients:
• 1 pound lean ground beef (chuck or round)
• 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs, plain
• 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
• 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
• dash ground allspice
• 1 egg, beaten
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1/4 cup chili sauce
• 1/2 cup evaporated milk
• 1 teaspoon salt

Sauce:
• 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 cups stock or equivalent base
• 3/4 cup dry red wine
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preparation:
Combine all meatball ingredients. Mix well and shape into 1-inch meatballs. Place in a large shallow baking dish; bake at 400° for 10 to 15 minutes.

Prepare sauce. Combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan; cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened. Combine meatballs and sauce in a chafing dish or crockery cooker; keep warm.

Makes about 36 appetizer meatballs.

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:58 pm

Spanakopita Triangles
Common all over Greece, stuffed filo pastries make a memorable meze, or appetizer. These small triangles are stuffed with feta and spinach. You might also see them stuffed with feta and herbs, or with lamb and spices and rolled into cigar shapes or tied like knots. Serve these pastries with a glass of ouzo over ice.

Ingredients:
• 1 1/2 lb. spinach, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped
• 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
• 1/2 cup grated kefalotiri, Parmigiano- Reggiano or pecorino cheese
• 4 eggs, lightly beaten
• 2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
• 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
• Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 1/2 lb. filo dough (20 sheets), thawed if frozen
• 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions:
Heat a large fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the spinach with only the rinsing water clinging to the leaves, cover and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Drain well on paper towels, then squeeze out as much of the remaining liquid as possible. Place in a large bowl and add the feta cheese, kefalotiri cheese, eggs, mint, and nutmeg. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Lightly butter a baking sheet. Cut the stack of filo sheets lengthwise into 3 equal strips. Remove 1 strip and cover the remaining filo with a slightly dampened kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out. Place the strip on a work surface and brush lightly with melted butter. Place another strip on top. Brush the second strip lightly with melted butter. Place a heaping teaspoonful of the filling about 1 inch in from the bottom of the strip. Fold the uncovered end over the filling on the diagonal to form a triangular shape. Bring the bottom of the triangle up against the straight edge. Continue folding in this manner until the tip of the strip is reached, forming a triangular pastry. Brush lightly with melted butter. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining filo and filling.

Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a platter. Serve immediately, warm or at room temperature.

Makes 30 triangles; serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Small Plates, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1998).

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:04 pm

Three Cheese Phyllo Triangles
Phyllo is a paper-thin pastry of Greek origin, similar to other pastries used throughout the eastern Mediterranean. It is available in the freezer section of many well-stocked food stores and in Greek and Middle Eastern markets. Most 1-lb. boxes contain about 20 sheets, each one measuring 14 by 18 inches.

For best results, let the pastry thaw very slowly, in the refrigerator if time allows. When working with Phyllo, be sure to keep the unused sheets covered with a barely damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out and becoming brittle.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
• 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
• 6 oz. smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4 - inch cubes
• 2 shallots, minced
• 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• Generous 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
• 7 sheets frozen Phyllo dough, thawed
• 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, feta, mozzarella, shallots, parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Using 2 forks or your hands, toss thoroughly until all the filling ingredients are uniformly combined.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly oil 1 or 2 baking sheets.

Cut the whole stack of thawed Phyllo lengthwise into quarters. Each strip will be about 3 1/2 inches wide. Working with 1 filo strip at a time and keeping the others covered with a barely damp towel, place the Phyllo strip on a dry work surface. Brush it lightly but thoroughly with the melted butter.

Place about 1 Tbs. of the filling 1 inch from the bottom edge. Fold the lower right corner of the pastry up and over the filling, forming a triangle. Roll the triangle straight forward, then again on a diagonal. Continue folding, forming a triangle each time, until you reach the end of the strip. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet and brush the top of the triangle with a little more butter. Use the remaining Phyllo and filling to make the remaining triangles, placing them on the baking sheet(s).

Bake the triangles until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes (the filling will be very hot), then serve. Makes 28 warm bites.

Make-Ahead Tip: The unbaked triangles can be frozen for up to 1 week in airtight containers, separated by layers of parchment or waxed paper. When you are ready to serve them, bake them straight from the freezer, adding 5 minutes or so to the baking time.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Hors d'Oeuvre, by Brigit L. Binns (Simon & Schuster, 2001).

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:08 pm

Blue Cheese and Caramelized-Onion Squares
Bon Appétit

Sweet caramelized onions and pungent blue cheese make a good pair in this simply elegant appetizer.
Makes 42 squares.

Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Topping
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large onions (about 2 pounds), halved, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) crumbled blue cheese

For crust:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Make well in center of dry ingredients. Whisk milk, olive oil, and melted butter in liquid measuring cup to blend. Slowly pour milk mixture into well in dry ingredients, stirring until just blended and smooth. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 10x13-inch rectangle. Transfer dough to rimmed baking sheet. Re-form dough into 10x13-inch rectangle (dough will shrink when moved). Pierce dough all over with fork. Let dough rest while preparing topping.

For topping:
Melt butter with oil in large skillet over high heat. Add onions. Cook until onions are soft and beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add rosemary, sugar, and salt. Season onions to taste with pepper. Reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook until onions are soft and dark brown, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes; cool.

Spread onion mixture evenly over dough. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until crust is golden and cheese is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let cool. Cut into squares and serve.

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:15 pm

Classic Cheese Fondue
Cheeses have different fat and moisture contents and therefore react differently to heat. When making fondue, select cheeses that melt well and yield a smooth, creamy consistency.

Ingredients:
• 1 garlic clove, halved
• 2/3 cup dry white wine
• 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
• 10 oz. Emmentaler cheese, grated
• 10 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated
• 1 Tbs. cornstarch
• 3 Tbs. kirsch
• Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
• Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
• Pinch of paprika
• 1-lb. loaf French bread, cubed

Directions:
Rub the inside of a saucepan with the garlic halves; discard the garlic. Pour the wine and lemon juice into the pan, set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Gradually add the cheeses, stirring in a figure-eight motion, until the cheeses are combined, 3 to 4 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and kirsch until blended. As soon as the cheese mixture begins to bubble, add the cornstarch mixture. Continue to cook gently, 2 to 3 minutes more, then stir in the white pepper, nutmeg and paprika. Reduce the heat to low and keep the fondue warm, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, assemble the fondue pot, add the cheese fondue to the pot and keep warm according to the manufacturer's instructions. Set the fondue on the table and serve with bread cubes and individually marked fondue forks for dipping.
Serves 6.

Adapted from The Fondue Cookbook (Hamlyn, 1999).

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:22 pm

Cajun Spiced Pecans
Make and give as gifts of good taste; pack these tasty pecans into pretty jars and decorate with festive bows. Scroll down to see more nut snacks.

Ingredients:
• 1 pound pecan halves
• 1/4 cup melted butter
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 15 minutes. Turn to LOW and continue to cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 2 hours. Transfer nuts to a baking sheet and cool completely.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Sweet & Spicy Cashews
Cook Time: 12 minutes

Ingredients:
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1 cup cashews toasted*

Preparation:
Combine sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, butter, vanilla and water in saucepan. Cook stirring constantly, until a small amount dropped into cold-water forms a soft ball, about 236° on a candy thermometer. Stir in toasted nuts. Remove from heat and stir until no longer glossy. Pour into buttered baking sheet and spread thinly. Cool, and break into pieces.

*To toast nuts, spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in a 350° oven, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. Or, toast in an ungreased skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden brown and aromatic.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
We use the candy thermometer instead of the water test… it’s easier.

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by falvegas » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:29 pm

Oh, thanks for the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms and Garlic Shrimp, I was so looking forward to those. AND, by the way, your recipe for Fondue is almost precisely like mine except for the lemon juice. You certainly know your stuff.

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by falvegas » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:25 am

You have my Lobster Diner, and Wine Growers Steak Recipe so I'm adding the Antipasto Platters for Christmas Day.

Antipasto Platters
This Antipasto will be served on a large platter family style. There will be 2 maybe 3 set out Christmas day with a platter of Ciabatta Bruschetta and one of fresh Ciabatta. There's also three dips for spreading on the Bruschetta and for adding any variety of the Antipasto meats. A bowl of Italian (basic) salad dressing and Parmesan cheese is also included

Italian Antipasto
** The Platter will be covered completely with fanned Romaine Lettuce, Boston lettuce, Arugula, and small bundles of Basil leaves. (these will be washed, dried, and wrapped in towels in the refrigerator well in advance)
** In the center of each Platter will be a mound of Italian Tuna Fish (from canned, packed in Oil), about 3 to 4 cans each platter (some xVirgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and a dusting of Oregano will be added to them in a bowl, in the refrigerator before use)
** Around the outside of the platter will be alternating finger rolls of sliced
- Genoa Dry Salami
- Capicola
- Mortadella
- Prosciutto
- Italian Ham
- Soprassata
- Provolone Cheese, sliced & rolled
- Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
- Asiago Cheese, sliced
- Scattered Bread Sticks with Prosciutto wrapped around the ends
** On the inside ring between the meats/cheeses and the Tuna there will be scattered groups of:
- Assorted Olives from the Deli
- Bocconini (baby Italian Cheese Balls that have been marinated in Olive Oil and chopped Basil)
- Cherry Tomatoes, halved (half fresh, half lightly roasted)
- Roasted Red Bell Pepper Strips, and Pickled Cherry Peppers (halved)
- Pickled Pepperoncini,
- Crescents of Sliced red Onion
** Three bread platters will be included:
- Bruschetta: toasted sliced Ciabatta, rubbed with Garlic, and lightly brushed with xVirgin Olive Oil.
- Fresh Ciabatta: Some sliced, some whole
- Extra Bead Sticks (store bought) for wrapping cheeses and cold cuts around as a snack.
** The Antipasto will be lightly sprinkled with dressing, and there will be a bowl of the dressing beside the platter, including a bottle of EVOO, a bottle of Balsamic Vinegar, and a dish of grated Parmesan. The basic dressing is:
- 1 part EVOO
- 1/3 Part Champaign Wine Vinegar
- 1/40th Part Dijon Mustard
- 1/40th Part mashed Garlic
- 1/40th Part lavender Honey

Antipasto Bruschetta Spreads
** Bean & Sun-Dried Tomato Spread: Puree 32 Oz rinsed & drained Cannellini Beans, 4-crushed Garlic cloves, and 2/3 Cup heavy Cream to a heavy paste. Stir in ¼ Cup fine-chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes, season with S & P.
** Ricotta and Caper Spread: 6-Cups fresh drained Ricotta, ½ Cup drained Capers, 2-TBS marjoram, and 2-TBS EVOO. Combine well by hand.

Smoked Salmon Platter & Spread
** A Plate of Sliced Smoke Salmon will be provided and share the Bruschetta plates
** Accompaniments for the Salmon Bruschetta are:
- Spread: Blend equal parts Sour Cream and Cream Cheese together with 2-TBS each of chopped chive & chopped fresh Dill. Season with S & P and re-blend and chill.
- Garnish: Fine sliced chilled Cucumbers in Dill, Baby Spinach leaves, and the greens from the Antipasto.

NOTE: I decided not to make the Artichoke Spread. Instead I’m replacing the original Roasted Red Potatoes for Christmas Day Dinner with the following:
* Warm Potato Salad with Almonds, Avocado, Watercress, and a Lemon/Oil dressing. I’ll post the recipe later

So instead of hauling Artichokes back East, I now have a smaller box of Avocados.
Last edited by falvegas on Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Royd » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:42 am

Bronze Turkey will all the timmings, it is what Christmas was invented for.

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by falvegas » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:33 am

Two of the dishes that go with the Wine-Growers Steak (previously posted)

Leeks Au Gratin
Ingredients
2 ¼ Lb Leeks (Root removed, top 1/3 removed)
2 ½ Quarts Water
1 ½ TBS Salt
1 TBS Corn Starch & 1 TBS Water
1 Cup Milk, whole
S & P to taste
Nutmeg
2 TBS Butter, for the dish
6 TBS Crème Fraiche, or heavy Cream
1 2/3 Cup Swiss Cheese, grated
1 TBS Butter, softened

Preparation
** Slit Leek down the center. Start 1 inch into the White and draw the knife down the center through the end of the Green. Wash Carefully.
** Cut each Leek in Half separating the White from the Green. Tie the Green together with Kitchen String.
Pre Hear Oven to 450 F Degrees
** Bring Water and Salt to a boil in a Pot. Cook Leeks for 20 minutes until tender
** Drain and remove the string
** Dissolve the Cornstarch in cold water.
** Bring Milk to a boil in Saucepan, and add the Cornstarch stirring constantly. Cook for a minute or two or until it just coats the spoon. Remove from the heat.
** Wisk in the cream, and season with Salt, Pepper, and Nutmeg.
** Butter an oven proof Baking Dish. Place the Leeks in the dish, alternating the white and green.
** Pour the Sauce over the Leeks and sprinkle with the grated Cheese. Dot with the softened Butter.
** Bake for ~25 Minutes until golden brown on top. Serve in the dish


Warm Potato Salad with Almonds and Avocado
(This replaces Roasted Red Potatoes with Wine-Growers Steak on Christmas Day Dinner)

Ingredients
3 Lbs Small New Potatoes
1 Cup Whole Blanched Almonds
¾ Cup Olive Oil
Juice of 1 ½ Lemons
6 Avocados (ripe but firm-ripe)
10 Oz Watercress Sprigs
Preparation
** Boil Potatoes until tender and set aside to cool (enough to handle)
** Toast the Almonds in a non-stick skillet over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, tossing regularly so they color evenly and release their nutty flavor. Remove and set aside.
** Whisk the Olive Oil and Lemon Juice in a large Bowl with Salt & Pepper.
** Cut each warm Potato into 3 or 4 wedges and toss them into the dressing.
** Halve the Avocados, remove pit, and cut again in half. Peel each Quarter and cut lengthwise into Thick slices.
** Gently toss the Avocado, Almonds, and most of the Watercress into the Potatoes until combined and evenly coated with the dressing.
** Top with remaining sprigs of Watercress, and serve immediately.

May use Flat Leaf Parsley instead of Watercress since it doesn’t hold up well for long.

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by falvegas » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:47 am

Royd wrote:Bronze Turkey will all the timmings, it is what Christmas was invented for.
Sounds really good, I think. But we're burned out on Turkey and Duck, and we'll be making dishes that keep our time in the Kitchen to an hour or less. Three meals a day for two days with people coming and going. This is different than Thanksgiving. We started 8 days ahead on that one.

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Re: Christmas Dinners

Post by Pixie » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:51 am

falvegas wrote:Oh, thanks for the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms and Garlic Shrimp, I was so looking forward to those. AND, by the way, your recipe for Fondue is almost precisely like mine except for the lemon juice. You certainly know your stuff.
:) :) :) :) Thank you! The lemon is a perfect way to ensure the cheese doesn't become cloying and heavy!!!!! It keeps it bright, fresh and yet rich!!!!!!

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