Category Archives: Christmas
From the folks at Food Network…a little something different for Christmas dinner or use it as a topping for cream cheese appetizer.
2 tablespoons butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 cups frozen cranberries
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, apples, and thyme; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the raisins, cranberries, lemon zest and juice, orange juice, and sugar. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
Recipe courtesy of The Neelys
© 2015 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Up until last year I always brined my turkey according to a recipe from Emeril Lagasse. (its here on the blog). Last year I wanted a different brine recipe and on Food Network, I found Alton Browns Good Eats Turkey Recipe. Lo and behold I liked it better! Sorry Emeril!
So here it is…you can choose Emerill or Alton…
Good Eats Roast Turkey Alton Brown The Food Network
1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
1 gallon heavily iced water
For the aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
2 to 3 days before roasting:
Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.
Early on the day or the night before you’d like to eat:
Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Actually you can find special brining bags in most supermarkets these days, made by Reynolds. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.
Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.
Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting or less…use a timer. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, also featured in Food Network Magazine
We normally have a bottle of Tawny Port Wine in the house, as it can be used for many things aside from the obvious. I thought you might like to know a little about this wine…
Tawny ports are wines, made from red grapes, that are aged in wooden barrels, exposing them to gradual oxidation and evaporation. As a result, they gradually mellow to a golden-brown colour. The exposure to oxygen imparts “nutty” flavours to the wine, which is blended to match the house style.
Tawny ports are sweet or medium dry and typically consumed as a dessert wine.
When a port is described as tawny, without an indication of age, it is a basic blend of wood aged port that has spent at least two years in barrels. Above this are tawny with an indication of age which represent a blend of several vintages, with the nominal years “in wood” stated on the label. The official categories are 10, 20, 30 and over 40 years. The categories indicate a target age profile for the ports, not their actual ages, though many people mistakenly believe that the categories indicate the minimum average ages of the blends. It is also possible to produce an aged white port in the manner of a tawny, with a number of shippers now marketing aged white ports.
Pork Chops with Cranberry, Port, and Rosemary Sauce
There’s always leftover cranberry sauce after the holidays; this easy pork chop recipe makes delicious use of it. However, you can always pick up a can of cranberry sauce at the store to enjoy this year round.
Recipe by Bon Appétit Test Kitchen
• 4 1-inch-thick pork rib chops
• 2 3/4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, divided
• 2 tablespoons (1/4) stick butter
• 3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
• 3/4 cup tawny Port
• 1 cup leftover cranberry sauce
Sprinkle pork chops with salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon rosemary. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat until beginning to brown. Add pork chops and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to platter; cover to keep warm. Add broth, Port, and remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons rosemary to same skillet and boil until liquid is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Add cranberry sauce; bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 7 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over pork chops and serve.
This recipe was always a staple at Christmas or New Year’s. Unfortunately, the McLaren’s Imperial Cheese is found in Canada, but not in the US or Mexico. You can substitute it with another type of processed cheddar spread, like Alouette in Mexico. You can also use a blue cheese spread if you do not have real blue cheese available.
Jill’s Cheese Ball
8 ounces softened Philadelphia cream cheese
8 ounces McLaren’s Imperial Cheese (or another brand)
4 ounces blue cheese
2 Tablespoons grated onions and juice
Mix all ingredients together and whip with an electric mixer. Roll into a ball or a log and wrap in waxed paper. Chill for 2 to 4 hours in refrigerator. When chilled, roll in chopped pecans. Refrigerate until ready to be served. Allow to warm up briefly.
Serve with your favourite crackers.
When our kids were small, we used to make this recipe from the Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/ cookbook. It was easy to prepare the night before and then just put in the oven while opening presents. Not sure saying wife saver is politically correct these days, but here it is –
Christmas Morning Wife Saver
prep time: 20 minutes Total time: 1 hour and 20 minutes Serves 8
- 16 slices white bread, crusts removed
- slices of Canadian back bacon or ham
- slices of sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2-1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
- 1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups milk
- dash Tabasco
- 1/4 lb. butter
- special “K” or crushed cornflakes
Put 8 pieces of bread in a 9×13 buttered glass baking dish. Add pieces to cover dish entirely. Cover bread with thinly sliced Canadian style bacon. Top with slices of cheddar cheese. Cover with slices of bread. In a bowl, beat eggs and pepper. Add mustard, onion, green pepper, Worcestershire, milk and Tabasco. Pour over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, melt butter and pour over top. Cover with crushed special “K” or cornflakes. Bake at 350 F uncovered, 1 hour. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
Okay…I hear ya! It may seem too early to start this, but trust me, NOW is the right time to make this cake! Once baked and wrapped and stored, you are going to take it out every two or three weeks and brush it with your favourite brandy! Keep doing that right up until the cakes are all gone!! You won’t regret it…
FYI…this is Larry’s mother’s recipe with a slight change. Since we had no cherries, we replaced them with dried cranberries. He also added some Kirsch to make up for the lack of cherry flavour… BTW…MY mother used glazed pineapple too!
Mrs. McIntosh’s Dark Christmas Cake*
3 cups seedless raisins
3 cups Sultana raisins
1 cup dates cut up
1.5 cup dried cranberries OR glazed cherries
3 cups mixed peel
1 cup chopped pecans OR walnuts
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. mace
½ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
10 Tablespoons butter
10 Tablespoons shortening (Crisco)
1.5 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup orange juice
Line 2 loaf pans with heavy waxed paper and brown paper.
Soak fruit with 1/3 cup Kirsch liqueur
Add the nuts; dust with ¼ cup flour.
Stir Dry Ingredients (remaining flour and spice) together in a separate bowl.
Cream Wet Ingredients (shortening, butter and sugar), beating together until fluffy.
Add eggs ONE AT A TIME, beating well after each.
Blend in dry ingredients; fold in ½ fruit and nut mixture.
Add orange juice slowly while mixing in, and then add second half fruit mixture.
Fill prepared pans 2/3 full.
Bake in a slow oven (300 degrees) 2 hours or until done. Place a pan of hot water in a shallow pan on bottom rack during baking. Remove after one hour!
Cool before removing paper; re-wrap and store in an airtight container in a cool place.
DON’T FORGET THE BASTING EVERY TWO OR THREE WEEKS….. I personally like brandy!