Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Dinner (squash free)

This KitchenAid professional Empire Red mixer was a Christmas present from my parents, and it has played a starring role in the holidays.

The butternut squash are still waiting. I'm thinking of trying a squash-and-goat cheese quesadilla today. I saw it on a local restaurant's menu before and I think we can throw something together.

For Christmas dinner, we selected a meal from the great cookbook Eat Feed Autumn Winter by Anne Bramley (full disclosure: I know the author). I bought this book for R. for his birthday. Earlier in the week we made a couple things from it but didn't do a full menu. For Christmas, we decided to select a full menu. I was in the mood for red meat, so we went with Highlands Hogmanay (p. 126) - A Scottish New Year.

Each menu has multiple dishes with the full recipes. There are also related quotes, information on that particular day (solstice, New Year's, etc.), and side boxes with other details. Plus, gorgeous pictures.

Oat Cakes with Smoked Salmon and Salmon Caviar
Beef Rib-eyes with Whisky Sauce
Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
Whisky Trifle

Oh my, was that a good meal. We even found the recommend oat biscuits (Walkers) from Whole Foods. I don't think we found salmon caviar exactly, but it was something close enough (I didn't pick that part). The only recipe that took a long time was the trifle, and that could have been avoided if we had read the direction in addition to the ingredients -- the custard had to set for 3 hours and then the ladyfingers had to set for 4 hours, but I could have easily made the custard the day before (as recommended).

We ate the meal around 3 or so and had dessert around 8. I skipped a few steps with the trifle and just cooked the fruit on the stove top and we didn't do the toasted honey oats. I had some leftover trifle for breakfast and think I am slowly getting drunk on it. Instead of Scottish whisky, we used Kentucky bourbon.

It called for 6 steaks, but since we didn't invite anyone over, we just had 2 generously sized steaks. I have some leftover beef from yesterday (R. cleaned his plate) and we have potatoes still. We also cooked up some grape tomatoes and had them on the side with basil and goat cheese. Added a nice punch of color and used up some of our extra tomatoes (leftover from a salad the night before).

This was our first Christmas together and the first time neither of us visited our parents for the holidays. We really had a lovely day, and I'm glad we had such a meal to go with it.

Smoked salmon on oat biscuits topped with salmon caviar and creme fraiche

Sauteing up some grape tomatoes

Mashing the potatoes and caramelized onion in the mixer

The steaks - R. was worried about messing them up, but they turned out great, and it was a very easy recipe.

Potatoes, steak, and tomatoes with goat cheese on the plate

R. gets ready to dig in

The ladyfingers and custard -- we need a trifle bowl; this one wasn't deep enough

Apples and pears cooking in butter and sugar (and maybe just a little port)

Whipping cream in the mixer

The trifle more fully assembled

What was waiting for us afterwards. It was worth it. And the dishwasher did its share.

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