Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Christmas Dinner 2014

I like entertaining. I really enjoy hosting friends and family. So when the big holidays come around, I'm usually the first to volunteer to host. And my family is happy to give it to me. No cooking or cleaning for them!
Unlike Thanksgiving, I start off the Christmas dinner with a variety of appetizers. I space the appetizers and dinner 2 hours apart so people have time to eat and graze before dinner later on. The spread includes shrimp cocktail, meats and cheeses with accoutrements, nuts, and vegetable crudite with homemade ranch dip. I like providing a variety of meat to cheese to vegetables to seafood with my spreads. It's a good variety that allows everyone to a little something.

And now the dinner. I've been working with a couple of recipes over the last few years trying to make it better and better each subsequent year. The main course includes a roasted rack of pork on the bone seasoned with salt, pepper, and coriander seeds. I brined the pork overnight in apple cider, salt, and seasonings to make sure the meat is absolutely juicy when I roast it. And juicy and tender it certainly was! No overcooking mistakes here. Under the pork, I laid down wedged yukon gold potatoes and onions. They cooked as the pork cooked and soaked up the lovely juices.
The second main course was some salt baked fish. I encrusted two stuffed sea bass in a salt crust made from whipped egg white and course salt. Then I baked it in the oven until the fish is cooked through and the salt gets dried out and hard. I dig the fish out and brushed away the excess salt. The skin is pretty inedible so remove that if you can. I also like to filet the fish for my guests so that it's easier for them to eat. And finally, lots of lemons on the side for that extra oomph and acid.
On the side, I made mushroom bolognese pasta. Last year I made a lasagna, this year I just made a pasta. I think I'm going to still do a saucy pasta but next time I'm going to change how I'm going to cook the mushrooms. I'd rather leave them in big pieces and roasted than chopped up in a sauce.
And finally some salad with apples and pine nuts dressed with balsamic vinegar and Spanish olive oil. Just a really simple salad and good ingredients. I go for the good oil and vinegar with this salad. It makes all the difference.
And here's my plate of food with one delicious and juicy pork chop and potatoes and onions with some fish that's hidden under the salad, and finally some pasta. I really like the balance of meat to fish to pasta to vegetables. Everyone enjoyed the meal so I was very happy. Even the kids enjoyed it although at one point they asked for bacon. Hahahaha!
And for dessert, I made my variety of sweets again. First up, some salted caramel popcorn. I made the popcorn and caramel myself. Since I made it from scratch, I was able to make the caramel a little more salty to my own preference. It's an addictive salty sweet snack.
And the Christmas cookies this year were lemon iced, ginger molasses, chocolate toffee, and smores brownies.
Needless to say but it was a very merry Christmas indeed.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.