Christmas Eve Dinner Menu
Well, well, well, what to do? I think Christmas Eve (or simply December
24th) is a challenge. We must have family and be prepared for the
big day simultaneously. I, of course, like to serve beef. This is an easy do
ahead dish that I fed to 26 people last year. My dinner was seated but you can
serve it buffet style if you so desire. The key to a buffet dinner is not to
have to use knives; just forks so this meal is perfect both ways.
There are several short cuts that you can take. The lobster can be purchased
cooked. Just ask the seafood department of your grocery store to steam it and
shell it. The sauce made the day or days before. You can, as I did, substitute
top sirloin. You now can buy sliced mushrooms prepackaged and frozen pearl onions
which have already been peeled. You also can buy already made pound cake instead
of baking one. But let me just tell ya’ll this, I think everything should be
made from scratch. It will taste better and you can truly take all of the credit,
which I so love to do.
Brandied Brie with Dried Sour Cherries and Walnuts
Field Greens with Lobster Remoulade
Brandied Brie with Cherries and Walnuts:
pound Brie, rind left on
1/4 cup Brandy
1/2 cup dried sour cherries
1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
Sprigs of parsley for garnish
1 loaf French bread, cut into 1/3 inch slices
Use a sharp paring knife to make a cavity in the Brie: Insert the knife
½ inch in from the outside edge of the wheel and trace a ½ inch deep circle
in the top of the cheese. Then use the knife to gently loosen the top rind until
it can be removed. Set aside. With a teaspoon, scoop out enough of the soft
Brie to from a cavity 1/2 inch deep. Trim the underside (the side with the cheese)
of the lid so that it is flat. Save the scooped out cheese for another use.
Prick the inside and outer sides of the cheese all over with a fork. Drizzle
½ tablespoon of brandy over the cavity. Combine the dried cherries and nuts
in a bowl and pack into the cheese. Place the lid on top and press it into place.
Prick the lid well with a fork. Brush the top and sides with more brandy then
wrap in a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle the towel with remaining brandy.
Place in a plastic bag and tie tightly. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours or
up to 3 days before baking. When ready to bake preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the cheese on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Bake
on center shelf until cheese is warm and soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on
sheet for 5 minutes.
To serve, lift foil or paper to a serving tray and cut around the cheese.
Garnish with parsley and arrange slices of French bread around cheese.
Field Greens with Lobster Remoulade:
2-pounds cooked lobster meat, cut into bite sized pieces (boil small ones
for 10 minutes)
8 cups field greens, cleaned
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup salad oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix until well blended. Chill several
Toss the greens with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide it
among 8 salad plates. Combine the lobster with the Remoulade sauce and mound
the lobster on top of the salad. Serve.
3 Cups Sour Cream
1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 beef bouillon cube (or 1 teaspoon granules)
1 pound medium size white mushrooms
10 tablespoons butter
24 medium sized white pearl onions
3 pounds beef filet (or use top sirloin)
Boiled Rice, use 3 cups raw
Chopped parsley to garnish
Combine the sour cream, mustard, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, paprika,
salt and pepper and bouillon cube in medium sauce pan and simmer slowly for
about 20 minutes or until slightly reduced. It should be orangish in color.
Remove from heat and let stand covered while you do the rest. Trim the mushrooms
and slice them thickly. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter and sauté them for
about 10 minutes, or until golden.. Transfer to a bowl and reserve. Cut a small
X in the root end of the onions. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch
them for 5 minutes. Drain and peel the onions. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter
over medium high heat and sauté the onions stirring the skillet often until
the onions are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. You want the butter really
hot but not burning. Be careful, but if it does it’s not the end of the world.
Add to the bowl with the mushrooms.
Cut the meat into thin slivers on the diagonal. Heat remaining butter in
the skillet (wiped out of course) over high heat (same deal) and sauté the meat
in batches until lightly browned, 3 or 4 minutes. Can prepare in advance up
to this point. To serve, set sauce or medium heat, don’t boil or it will curdle,
but that’s ok too. Add mushrooms, onions, and beef and heat till warm. Serve
this over rice and garnish with the parsley.
Sour cream pound cake
4 cups heavy cream, whipped and sweetened to taste with powdered sugar
Fruit- Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and peaches (any combo)
Sour cream pound cake:
3 cups sifted all purpose flour (use White Lily if you can)
3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
6 large eggs
8 ozs. Sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Combine the
eggs, sour cream, and extracts in a medium bowl. Combine the dry ingredients
in electric mixer and mix on low for 30 seconds. Add the butter and half the
egg mixture, mix on low speed until moistened. Increase to medium and beat for
1 minute. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the remaining egg mixture in
2 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides.
Pour batter into pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes
out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
8 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until thick. Dissolve the cornstarch
in 1 cup cold milk, use your fingers to feel if any lumps are left. Beat into
egg yolks. In a large saucepan, bring remaining 3 cups milk to a boil. Remove
from heat and gradually whisk into egg yolk mixture. Return to heat and cook,
whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, beat in vanilla,
and place in a clean bowl. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To assemble: Slice cake in half crosswise and trim brown edges. Slice horizontally
into 3/8 inch slices. You will probably not use the whole cake. Spread a small
amount of pastry cream in the bottom of a large glass bowl. Place a layer of
cake on top and sprinkle heavily with the sherry. Spread a layer of pastry cream
over then whipped cream. Scatter fruit over whipped cream. Repeat layers and
end with whipped cream. Don’t forget the sherry. Save the most perfect fruit
for decorating the top layer. This is best made at least 4 hours in advance
which suits me fine.