Monday, December 27, 2010

The Christmas Dinner That Was

There's nothing like planning ahead. Or not. Last Wednesday we poured through my cookbooks looking for recipes, Thursday we bought the ingredients, Friday we did all the prep and went to a lovely candlelight service, Saturday we cooked and feasted, and Sunday we slept in  and then attacked the dishes. All in all, pretty darned glorious...

So, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good bite.

Grilled Pork Loin with Apple-Cranberry Filling
Cook's Illustrated magazine Sept 2007 (recipe here or here)
Notes: Couldn't find a large quantity of dried apples so I used a bag of mixed dried fruit and picked out all the apples, then used the pears, apricots and prunes to make up the difference. Rolling the roast up tightly resulted in some of the filling squishing out the sides. I over-reduced the glaze but added some more apple cider and nuked it and it worked fine. Watch the grilling time like a hawk. Slightly over-cooked is still delicious. Would totally make this again. 

Rum-Glazed Candied Yams
Williams-Sonoma Holiday Favorites (2004) pg. 137 
Notes: Should be re-named Rum-Glazed Candied Yums. 

Green Beans with Ham and Shallots
Williams-Sonoma Holiday Favorites (2004) pg. 168 (similar recipe here)
Notes: These were the most perfectly cooked green beans I've ever had. My lovely sister gets the kudos for this one. 

Glazed Carrots and Parsnips
Williams-Sonoma Holiday Favorites (2004) pg. 149 (similar recipe here)
Notes: We had four side dishes. Four. Don't ask. The sides were my sister's department. She thought we were feeding 27 people. 

Roasted New Potatoes with Garlic and Thyme
Williams-Sonoma Holiday Favorites (2004) pg. 145
Notes: Never met a potato I didn't like... roasting these with garlic and thyme makes these extra tasty. 

Cashew, Almond, and Walnut Caramel Tart
Williams-Sonoma Desserts (2005) pg.174 (similar recipes here, here, and here)
Notes: Used my home-blanched almonds that I froze last September. Sprinkled the top of this with sea salt before I popped it in the oven (it must've been in the original recipe and they just forgot to write it down). Zested a whole orange into the crust (rarely do I ever measure zest). So fragrant. So amazing. Caramel, sea salt, toasted nuts, orange zest.... Oh my goodness gracious.
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  1. SharkBait: Thanks! But let's not mince words... it was nothing more than a tart!

  2. That tart looks amazing!!! And the orange zest in the crust sounds divine! This might be something I could make with just a little agave nectar. I'll bet I could. That's for the inspiration! :)

  3. Thanks Sheila! I don't have any experience using agave nectar, so I'm not sure if you can make caramel with it. The recipe called for brown sugar, butter and honey. I just added some links to a few similar recipes... if you give it a try I'd love to hear how it turns out!


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