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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

On the Docket– Week of December 3rd

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

We’re still working through Thanksgiving leftovers.  That’s what I get for making a 19 pound turkey for four people.  I’m really glad I turned the leftovers into some casseroles, but boy will I be happy when we’re finished with these leftovers!

While I probably won’t be cooking too much this week, I’ve been clipping all sorts of recipes in anticipation of finishing these casseroles.  Here are a few of the recipes I’m looking forward to making soon!

Beef Stew:  I made black bean and chicken soup a few weeks ago.  It was such a satisfying lunch that now I’m on a soup kick.  Though it hasn’t been too cold yet, I’m hoping that if I continue cooking as if it’s cold, the weather will eventually catch up.

White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Blondies:  Ok, I’m cheating a little bit here.  My boss was looking for some cookie recipes to bring to a friend, and I passed this one on to her.  She made the blondies this week, using peppermint kisses rather than the peppermint bark.  She brought me one as a sample on Friday.  They were delicious- buttery, pepperminty, and Christmasy.

Roast Shrimp with Carrot Couscous:  Though I’m really happy with how I dealt with the leftover turkey, having three casseroles at the same time is a little heavy.  The thought of a lighter meal like this is simply irresistible right now.

So many recipes to try!


Chocolate, Almond and Raspberry Tart

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Now that we’re halfway through February, I think it’s time to get started on one of my New Year’s resolutions:  to post some more recipes this year!  The following post is long overdue.  This was our Christmas dessert, and it was a big hit!

Chocolate, Almond, and Raspberry Tart (Adapted from Bon Appetit)

Picture 0482 cups ground chocolate wafer cookies

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

6 oz almond paste

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup whipping cream

3 half pint containers of raspberries

2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam

2 teaspoons kirsch

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the cookie crumbs and butter in a bowl and stir until everything starts to stick together.

Press the crumb mixture into a tart pan, covering the bottom and sides of the pan in an even layer.  Bake the crust until it begins to crisp, about 20 minutes.  (Due to the amount of butter in the crust and the structure of a tart pan, I would recommend placing the tart pan over a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.  I didn’t do this, and I almost had a major kitchen disaster on Christmas!)

Cool the crust completely on a rack.  Once it is cool, press the almond paste into an even layer over the crust.

Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to simmer.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the almond layer.  Chill the tart until the chocolate is set, about 4 hours.

Arrange the raspberries over the chocolate layer.  Mix the jam and the kirsch in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Brush the glaze over the raspberries.

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I served this with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.  One of my finer baking efforts!


Christmas Dinner Feast with Friends

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

This Christmas was a year of firsts:  the first Christmas my husband and I spent as husband and wife, the first year in the past ten years that we weren’t traveling for Christmas, and the first year I tried my hand at cooking Christmas dinner.  So, to celebrate being at home, we invited a few friends for dinner, opened a few bottles of wine, and enjoyed quite the feast.

Christmas 2009 Menu

Shrimp Cakes with Remoulade Sauce

Crown Roast of Pork with Onion and Bread-Crumb Stuffing

Potatoes Au Gratin

Green Beans with Frizzled Shallots and nuts

Crown Roast of Pork with Onion and Bread-Crumb Stuffing (adapted from Gourmet, December 2005)

A word of warning before making this recipe:  be sure to special order your crown roast from the butcher a few weeks before you plan to make it.  I made the mistake of waiting until the last minute to plan my Christmas menu and almost had to scrap my menu entirely due to poor planning on my part.  Thanks to the fine folks at Whole Foods of Boulder (Pearl Street) for obliging my Christmas Eve request to have crown roast.  They made our meal!

For Stuffing:

3 large yellow onions, finely chopped

2 1/2 tsp. salt

2 sticks unsalted butter

2 TBSP chopped fresh sage

1 TBSP chopped fresh marjoram

1 tsp. black pepper

1 1/2 TBSP cider vinegar

1/2 c. dry white wine

1 lb. country loaf, cut into 1 in. cubes and then pulsed to crumbs in food processor (I used a little more than half of a 1.9 lb. Italian Country Boule from Whole Foods)

3/4 lbs. ground pork

1 c. finely chopped celery

Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet.  Add the onions and 1 1/2 tsp. salt.  Cook over medium heat, covered, until tender.  This should take about 10 minutes.  Remove the cover and continue to cook until the onions are golden, again about 10 minutes.  Add the sage, marjoram, and pepper, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Add the vinegar and wine and cook until the liquid is evaporated.  Reserve one cup of the onion mixture for the sauce.

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In another large, heavy skillet, melt the other stick of butter.  Add the breadcrumbs and remaining salt.  Cook the breadcrumbs over medium-low heat until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and starting to crisp.  This should take about 20 minutes.

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Combine the onion mixture (except for the one cup reserved for the sauce), the celery, the breadcrumbs, and the ground pork in a large bowl.  Coat a 2 qt. baking dish with cooking spray.  Reserve 2 1/2 cups of the stuffing for the pork, and transfer the remaining stuffing to the baking dish.  Place the baking dish in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

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For Roast:

1 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage

1 tsp. finely chopped fresh marjoram

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 10 lb. crown roast of pork

2 c. water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the oven rack in the bottom 3rd of the oven.

Mix the sage, marjoram, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and rub the mixture on the outside of the roast.

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Place the roast in a roasting pan.  Mound the reserved stuffing in the center.  Add the water to the pan.

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Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, cover the stuffing and the tips of the bones with tin foil.  Continue to roast for another two hours, until a digital thermometer reads 155 degrees.

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With 30 minutes of cooking time left, add the stuffing to the oven, and bake, covered with foil, for the last half hour.  Remove the roast from the oven and let stand for 30 minutes.  Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees, and cook the stuffing for an additional 15 minutes, until the top is crisp.

For Sauce:

1 c. dry white wine

3 c. chicken broth

2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 TBSP water

2 TBSP cold unsalted butter

While the stuffing is cooking, remove the roast from the pan.  Place the roasting pan, with all juices, on the stove over medium heat.  Add the wine and stir to scrape up any browned bits.

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Continue to cook until reduced by half.  Add the onion mixture and broth and simmer.  Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir until incorporated.  Add the butter to the pan and season with salt and pepper.

I served the pork with the stuffing, green beans, and au gratin potatoes.

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