December 26, 2011

Christmas Dinner, part two

I have to say, I am really proud of our Pâté. It was a lot of work, but boy, was it good.

Trouta and Quinn were the first to arrive. Let the party begin!

Of course, we put Trouta to work. Quinn also helped with numerous tasks around the kitchen.

The goose is about half done at this point.

More Pâté pics. I cannot resist.


The stuffing, cooked.

That Ham!

and Mushroom soup

Here is the layout. Peas and Mushrooms, Mashed Potatoes, Red Cabbage, Ham, Goose, Gravy, Stuffing, and just off camera, rolls.

Another shot of the food.

Our friend Eddie always makes Doreen's favorite birthday cake. Italian Cream!

We all ate a lot.

And talked a lot.

Even the baby.

Just about ready to clean up

Then, the next day (today, that is) we make stock and goose gumbo.

A great holiday.
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Christmas Dinner 2011, part one

Christmas is a nice holiday in our home, as it is also Doreen's birthday. We have celebrated the holiday with the same people for many years. The menu has sort of coalesced into a more or less standard selection of food. Goose is always the focus, and we always have red cabbage. We usually have mashed potatoes, and often green peas. This year, as last, we also had cauliflower gratin. For a new treat this year, we had a Honey Baked Ham! It was delicious.

Here, the day before, we are making the stock for gravy.

We also make the mushroom soup in advance.

You have to blanch the bird to help tighten the skin a couple of days before you roast.

This is blanching the goose.

You also have to pick out all the last little feathers.

On Christmas Eve, Doreen always picks up some beautiful flowers:

Then we start cooking.

Bread for stuffing,

Blanching the cauliflower,

Making sandwiches for lunch,

Stuffing ingredients,

Peeling and coring apples,


Putting the goose in to roast. We were a bit behind our time this year. No matter.

Red cabbage,

Stuffing. Some of the stuffing went into the bird. Some was just baked.

Apple cider for the cabbage,

Honey Baked Ham!

Accompaniments for the Pâté,

Whew. Time for Champagne!

and Pâté.

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December 24, 2011

Pâté for Christmas

We purchased some Mangalitsa pork fat and pork liver from Revival Meats a while back. The intent was to make a pâté or two. The liver was big, about 2.5 pounds. So we needed to find a couple of recipes, and someone to eat them with.

So, since we are having a big crowd for both Christmas and New Year's Eve, this was a good time to try out these recipes.

This is the pork back fat.

Doesn't it look great? I have another couple of pounds of this. I may make my own lard.

Doreen gave me this Le Creuset pâté dish last year, along with the book Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Rulman and Polcyn. We have cooked a little from it before, but there are a ton of recipes here that I want to try. In particular, I want to make sausage.

The Julia Child recipe requires that you line the dish with fat.

Then you cook some rice:

which you use for binding.

Here is the fat, along with some liver. Isn't that liver great looking?

but it was not really that pleasant to the touch.

Here is Doreen, in her role as the grinder.

You have to weigh the pâté  to firm it up.

Looks nice, eh?

Next, we made one of the recipes from the book mentioned above. Here is the mixture, all ready to go:

You have to test the emulsion before you bake it. But you should not eat it raw. So you have to wrap it in plastic wrap and boil it. It gets hot:

For ease of de-molding, you need to line the dish with plastic wrap as well:

That is sort of odd, but it really helps.

Ready to cook!

This is the next day:

Here is the Julia Child pâté:

and the Ruhlman and Porcyn pâté:

It will be a delicious meal!

(More on the goose later)

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