What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

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What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:24 pm

I know a lot of people do a turkey for Christmas (again) but for me when I am done with the Thanksgiving bird, I don't want to see it again for a long time. I prefer something more elegant, like Prime Rib, or Fillet roast.
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Robert J. » Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:31 pm

I go for the prime rib or roast lamb (leg, rack, shank, whatever).
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Bob Henrick » Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:47 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:I know a lot of people do a turkey for Christmas (again) but for me when I am done with the Thanksgiving bird, I don't want to see it again for a long time. I prefer something more elegant, like Prime Rib, or Fillet roast.


Karen, I will be doing a prime rib on my Kamado charcoal grill unless temperature is below zero on Christmas. If it is below zero, I will do the prime rib in the oven instead. I am NOT a big fan of turkey. Actually in my old age I think I like pork better than beef. Just today I did a beef brisket on the Kamado grill, and earlier this week I did a bone in center cut pork loin roast on it. One can not imagine how well the ceramic grill does roasts and they come out so juicy. Happy Holidays!
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Carl Eppig » Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:23 am

We do goose every year, and this year will not be an exception. They have gotton very expensive. We paid over $40 for a 13 lb frozen one. We like to match it with Cab Franc, preferably one from the Loire. We do have one from Fox Run in the FL, that we may go with.
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby John Tomasso » Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:17 am

Lasagna, followed by a roast pork.
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Howie Hart » Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:35 am

Actually, I think I'll be doing 4 or so Christmas dinners, starting today. Today I'm doing a center cut pork loin (see the other thread) and I'll be taking that, along with acorn squash to my son's for dinner today, for Christmas dinner with my mother-in-law and other family members, as she will be going out of town for Christmas this week. I'll be serving a Loire Cab Franc Rose with this. Then, I'll probably do lasagna on Christmas Eve, don't know what plans are for Christmas Day and will be celebrating Christmas again when my youngest son comes home for a 3-week leave from Iraq in January. I'll see what he prefers.
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Ian Sutton » Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:43 am

I'm not allowed to cook goose any more, on account of the fat it throws off and the resultant mess to the oven :( .

Instead, for the last two years we've had guinea fowl (which I prefer anyway), but this year is going to be a leg of lamb (an old favourite).

Wierdest christmas meal was Quail. So much effort for so little meat (I accept it's tasty though). Even two birds each and you felt hard done by.

Haven't had a turkey christmas dinner for about 20 years.

Haven't thought about a wine yet, but we've got enough in to choose from.

regards

Ian
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:47 am

We do like turkey here, especially the increasingly widely available natural, free-range birds, but since neither of us has close family locally any more, a whole bird can be kind of iffy, and a turkey breast denies us the white meat. I discoursed on pan-roasted turkey thighs back on Thanksgiving Day, but that doesn't seem very festive.

Anyway, to make a long story short, duck is a frequent Christmas option here, and Marcella Hazan's "hair-dryer" procedure - which makes a sort of Bolognese analogue to Peking duck by simmering the bird until the fat starts to melt, then blowing it all over with a hot hair dryer for about 10 minutes to really start it rendering before roasting - is a real favorite. We've done goose on occasion, and a small rib roast (sometimes two bones, sometimes just one) is also a fine option.

Or we might go out for Vietnamese ...
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Doug Surplus » Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:53 pm

I'm planning on a crown roast of pork.
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:06 pm

In my family it was always spaghetti and meatballs for a late evening Christmas eve open house with upwards of 75 people. Salad, garlic bread, Dad's homemade wines.

Christmas day varied, but was often lasagna. I will not be getting home this year, so will probably make lasagna out here in the Wild West. Although all the talk of Beef Wellington has me tempted.

Can't have a pork roast for Christmas, because one must have that on New Year's Day. :)
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby ChefCarey » Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:36 pm

I like all the birds - turkey, duck, goose - and have made them all for the holidays. But, I usually settle in on a standing rib roast with Yorkshire pudding and roast root vegetables. The sides vary greatly from year to year.

My mother made corned beef and cabbage every New Year's. Here in the south they do black-eyed peas and a hunk of some dead, smoked animal.
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:21 pm

Duck here, and I'll try the Hazan/Garr hair dryer approach.

I'm using the Balthazar recipe for the sauces, etc.

RC: Duck a l’Orange [The Balthazar Cookbook].

This classic dish displays all the talents of the saucier, a position normally reserved for the most qualified cook in the kitchen. Duck a l’Orange brings out his talents to combine three distinctly different flavors.

Duck Sauce.

Ingredients
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, peeled, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
2 sprigs thyme
¼ tsp cracked black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
¼ cup honey
¼ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau
½ cup fresh orange juice
¼ tsp orange zest
1 cup Veal Stock or Roast Chicken Jus [recipes in cookbook]

Technique
1. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a sauté pan over medium heat, swirling the pan until the foam subsides and the butter becomes brown and frothy, about one minute.
2. Add the shallot, garlic, thyme, pepper and cloves; stir to combine, then sauté until the shallots begin to brown, about two minutes.
3. Add the honey and continue to cook for three to five minutes, during which time the contents of the pan will take on a rich caramel color.
4. Carefully add the vinegar to stop further caramelization (the pan will spatter a bit).
5. Add the Grand Marnier or Cointreau, orange juice and zest.
6. Raise the heat to high and reduce the contents of the pan by about two thirds to a syrupy glaze, about ten minutes.
7. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Skim off any fat or impurities that rise to the surface. Reduce the contents of the pan, this time by a third, or until the sauce is rich in consistency, about 10 to 12 minutes.
8. Strain and reserve until ready to use; cool and refrigerate if making in advance. (I recommend making a day ahead and skimming the fat from the refrigerated sauce.)
9. Just before serving, heat sauce to a simmer and whisk in the remaining two tbsp of butter just before serving.

Confit Orange Zest

Ingredients
3 oranges
½ cup sugar

Technique
1. Zest the three whole oranges by slicing off the zest in thin strips, being careful to leave the bitter pith behind. Then chop the strips into long, thin matchsticks. Take the fruits of your labor and blanch in a pot of boiling water for five minutes.
2.Strain through a fine mesh sieve.
3. Combine the sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan.
4. Add the blanched orange zest, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
5.Strain and reserve the confit.

[Note: Balathazar's technique produces a fatty end product, much fatter than we like. As noted, we'll go the Hazan/Garr route on this ingredient.]

For the record only:

Duck

Ingredients
6 duck breasts (Long Island or Muscovy, about 3 pounds).
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Technique
1. Heat a large sauté pan over a medium high flame.
2. Score the skin of the duck breasts in a criss-cross pattern, cutting in ab out ¼ inch.
3. Season the breasts with the salt and pepper, and add three breasts to the dry pan, skin side down.
4. Sear for four or five minutes, until a crisp brown skin has developed. Remove the seared breasts to a plate, pour off the rendered fat, and add the remaining three breasts to the pan. Sear them in the same fashion.
5. When finished, return the first batch to the apn and slide them all into a 425 F oven, skin side up.
6. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes for a nice medium rare or 10 minutes for medium.]

Plate the ducks and drizzle with the sauce and the confit.
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Robert J. » Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:29 pm

Cynthia Wenslow wrote:Can't have a pork roast for Christmas, because one must have that on New Year's Day. :)


Sorry dear, but my New Year starts with cassoulet; every year, from scratch, no short cuts.

I like your traditions, though. In my family we always have a big Mexican Feast before Christmas. It used to be on Christmas Eve but now we do it a couple of days before hand in order to avoid to GIANT meals in a row.

After so many years in the foodservice, with many talented hispanic cooks, I have become the default chef for this feast. I try and do something a little different each year. Who knows what I'll come up with this year but since I am working as a fishmonger I am pretty sure that ceviche will turn up.
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Larry Greenly » Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:08 am

Quite honestly: whatever my cousin cooks for her family and my favorite wife and me.
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Randy Buckner » Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:33 am

and a turkey breast denies us the white meat


Come again :?: :?: :?:
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:46 am

I'm pretty sure I'll be doing the individual Beef Wellingtons for Christmas Eve. Don't know about Christmas day yet.

New Years Eve we'll be up at a friend's place where they're doing a whole pig. We'll contribute something but I don't know what yet.


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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Randy Buckner » Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:12 am

I prefer something more elegant, like Prime Rib


Same here. Carole has already ordered a prime, dry-aged prime rib roast, which requires a fine Bordeau. I'm already getting hungry.
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:59 am

Randy Buckner wrote:
and a turkey breast denies us the white meat


Come again :?: :?: :?:


Okay, so I'm senile, all right? ;)

Denies us the <i>dark</i> meat, I meant. Don't read what I say, read what I <i>mean</i>, dammit!
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Randy Buckner » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:50 am

Don't read what I say, read what I mean, dammit!


Kinda like my x-less Bordeaux in the previous post. :oops:
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Bob Ross » Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:04 pm

"Kinda like my x-less Bordeaux in the previous post."

Au contraire, Randy -- you wrote "a Bordeau" -- perfectly correct in the singlular.

I was very impressed. :-)

Regards, Bob
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Jenise » Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:41 pm

Prime rib at home on Christmas day, Yorkshire pudd, creamed spinach, Bordeaux with an x as this won't be singular. Christmas Eve with friends, I'll be making the starter course: whole rolled foie gras wrapped in proscuitto and baked in bread dough. And this Friday, when I'm cooking Christmas dinner for 60 (our neighborhood wine club), the meat entree will be rolled, boneless, wild mushroom stuffed pork loin with demi glace, crisp polenta points and sauteed pears.
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:41 pm

I sooooooo wanna move to your neighborhood, Jenise!
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Jenise » Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:35 pm

Cynthia, it's a fun place to live! Like, last Saturday night someone hitched up trailers to two big pickups, covered them with hay bales, and about 50 of us went around the neighborhood carolling. And drinking, of course.

The wine club Christmas dinner is going to be a blast. I like to think I've helped improve things. When I first got here, the meal was designed, but broken down into pieces so three different cooks did the meat, three different cooks did a rice dish, and all the other people brought an appie or a dessert. At my urging the next year we did everything but the appetizers. This year, we're doing the appetizers too. Or I should say, I am. Lots of work but I'm happier this way.

In the meantime, console yourself at the Tesuque Villlage Market. Neat, neat place.
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Re: What is your choice for Christmas dinner?

Postby Robert J. » Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:35 pm

Cynthia Wenslow wrote:I sooooooo wanna move to your neighborhood, Jenise!


Can we come, too? :cry:
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