December 26, 2013

More Christmas Dinner

We serve the main course buffet style, as it is too hard to plate everyone's meal - and besides, sometimes folks want more of one thing or another.

It is not quite ready, but it is close:

And here is Doreen, looking glamorous as usual!

Quinn and Quintessa

She is saying, "I am about to eat this!"

Now she is saying, "Yummmm"

Eddie made his delicious and beautiful Italian Cream Cake for Doreen's birthday. We sang, but she didn't blow out candles.

Lola and Renee

Everyone loves a baby
and a red hat.

Or, two red hats:

And we miss the folks who are not here with us

What a smile on these two!

It seems to me they are hatching a plan

It may involve Blaze. Renee looks thrilled!

OK, let's make a break for it!

We all ate too much. Some of us had plenty to drink. It was a great meal with great friends and family.

We are truly blessed!

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Christmas Dinner

Google+ has taken over my online photos from Picasa. Not really my choice, but it looks like Google is regretting Picasa in favor of the G+ photo capabilities. I won't complain so much, and it add some interesting special effects. You will have to go there to see them.

It takes this photo:
and adds sparkles. It adds snow to some others as well.

But that is just an aside.

Here are the green beans after being blanched. They are cooled in ice water to stop the cooking. Later, you saute them with butter, scallions, and some stock. They were excellent. Crispy and flavorful, all at the same time.

We didn't do an "in goose" stuffing this year, but made a pear and pancette dressing that was described in the New York Times. It was very good. I like stuffing birds, but the goose is so fatty you have to be very careful what you put inside. I think this dressing was better outside the goose.

Every year we make a braised red cabbage. Apples, apple juice, bacon, onions, honey, vinegar, I can't remember what all. This is a tribute to Trouta, (Doreen's momma) who always had red cabbage at Christmas. It is delicious.

Oh - chopping pancetta.

Bread for the dressing. The recipe calls for a "Pullman Loaf" - I mean, really.

Doreen cooking the cabbage. You can see the sauce in the little pan in front of her.
Mushrooms for the dressing. I forgot to mention them above. The recipe calls for fresh chanterelles, but we couldn't find any. So we when with cremini (Criminy!) and dried chanterelles. It was a good combination.

Onions and shallots


Doreen always sets a nice table:

This is the Greenberg Smoked Turkey from Tyler, TX. If you have never had one, you are missing out on one of life's pleasures. Treat yourself to one sometime next year.

Ree and Eddie. That is Eddie's hat on Ree. Wonderful!

And Eddie's hat on Eddie:

Jon and Trouta. Many people wore red in the spirit of the season. Jon just wore his red hair.

Trouta, Charles, Quinn, Renee, Roxy:

The two birds, discussing their fate:

The turkey, carved. Very white meat, very smoky taste.

The goose meat on the platter. Notice how I artistically tried to recreate the goose itself:

Turkey and Cranberry Relish:

More in the next post.

Sadly, I forgot to take a photo of the beets with the beet vinaigrette and goat cheese foam. It was so delicious and pretty, besides.

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December 24, 2013

Beet reduction, Goose Gravy, Cranberry Relish, and My Sweet Ever Lovin'!

We had to stop by the nursery to get some plants planted.

The Light of my Life (sorry Vlad) and my Sine Qua Non was here trimming mums:

But then she came inside to make her cranberry relish (using Mama Stanberg's recipe)

while I started the goose gravy. How can you make gravy without carrots, onions, and celery? You can't.

Then, as I mentioned earlier, the steeping of the caraway seeds. It smelled like rye bread in our kitchen.

The relish. I would have called it a chutney.

Reducing the beet juice:

and reducing it more. I think that one of Brother Matthew's rules of cooking (never pick something up without knowing where you will set it down) is reduce more than you think.

Assembling the chutney:

Masticating the raspberries, so they can start to steep:

And the centerpiece:

Tomorrow will be easy. Roast the goose, finish the gravy, mash the potatoes, make the dressing, roast the beets, braise the cabbage, blanch the green beans, saute the green beans, set the table, and enjoy our friends and family.

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Goat Cheese Foam

I know that everyone out there was wondering what in the heck goes into Goat Cheese Foam.

It is really pretty simple.

You need skim milk, Sheep's milk yogurt,

Heavy cream:

(being the analytic sort, I always though that IODIZED was 10 Dized, and it was a measure of how much salt was in the container. How many gains in a Dized, anyway?)

Goat Cheese:

Lime juice:

and a whipping siphon with NO2
You beat all the top ingredients together and pout them into the siphon. Then you need to refrigerate for a while.

And hope it doesn't explode when you pull the trigger.

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