christmas dinner 2011

December 23, 2011

It’s Christmas in two days! I’ve been drunk with festive spirit this year, just enjoying the fact that we’re home, there’s a sparkly tree in our living room, and I have ten whole days of not-working to lounge, cook, read, and stuff myself silly.

What will you be eating this Christmas? Are you in charge of making, or just eating? Dan and I are planning dinner with family here and then we’re zooming down to Iowa City for another Christmas celebration and dinner there. I’m really excited.


Here’s some of what we’re planning on making…

The Turkey
Turkey is as much of a given at Christmas for me as roast potatoes are. We’ll likely do something simple, a la Mark Bittman, and just rub lots of lovely salt all over our bird and maybe tuck some garlic and fresh herbs around it before roasting. Crispy, crackly skin is what it’s all about.

Roast Potatoes
You now know this about me. We’ll be roasting them in duck fat, just like this.

Brussels Sprouts
We’ll be following a method that fabulous local restaurant Cafe Levain has used (Dan worked there for a very brief stint) and blanching Brussels before sauteing them with shallots, garlic and chives, until they’re all gorgeous and caramelised.

Cauliflower Cheese
Cor, blimey. That is what I will be saying as I unbutton my jeans and help myself to thirds of this dish. My sister made a cracking cauliflower cheese at Christmas a few years ago and it’s been burying its way into my brain ever since. Must make.

I like Nigel Slater’s method. Also, this is an American’s funny take on the quintessentially British dish. For a healthier, more fresh cauliflower idea, this looks stunning.

Dan will also be making a Lima bean dish that I don’t yet have the recipe for but am very intrigued by! Doesn’t it sound like a different, rather brill addition to a typical Christmas spread?


If you’re still looking for last minute inspiration, how about this beef wellington (holy photos) instead of turkey? For an amazing stuffing substitute this savoury bread pudding with mushrooms and parmesan is gorgeous. I’ve been eyeing Nigella’s festive couscous which sounds ever so appealing at the moment.

Baked carrot and parsnip oven “fries” are a must. Sweet, crunchy, ace. Posh mac & cheese would make a decadent side dish in place of cauliflower cheese. I think I just clogged an artery looking at it…

Looking for a unique sweet? What about this vegan, gluten-free and sugar-fre cranberry pear tart, or if you’re feeling ambitious maple walnut trifle. And there’s always chocolate rum balls :)

What about you? What will you be having? Merry Christmas!

Photo credits:
Christmas spread from Bon Appetit
Brussels Sprouts from Not Without Salt
Nigella’s Festive Couscous from Three Many Cooks
Maple Walnut Trifle from Lottie + Doof

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