Christmas Dinner

  • Thread starter rhuthwaite
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I need some help please everyone! The "what you doing these holidays" thread made me remember I have to do the Christmas Dinner this year. I have never done one and I am now in a panic. :cry: I am a reasonably good chief/baker (I do this as a part time job in the holidays) but christmas dinner is a huge thing! Do any of you have any good ideas on firstly what I should do and then how I should do it?
 

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  • #2
berkeman
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Roast beef, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie. Dang, now I'm hungry!
 
  • #3
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First off, cook what your good at. This isn't a time to experiment.

I cook a huge rib-roast each year, with sides of root veggies and candied carrots. Add a micro greens salad and bead..and walaaaa!
I traditionally have cocoanut cake for a happy ending..along with cookies and candies in small mountians around it.
 
  • #4
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Do you have a good way of cooking a roast?
 
  • #5
cristo
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I need some help please everyone! The "what you doing these holidays" thread made me remember I have to do the Christmas Dinner this year. I have never done one and I am now in a panic. :cry: I am a reasonably good chief/baker (I do this as a part time job in the holidays) but christmas dinner is a huge thing! Do any of you have any good ideas on firstly what I should do and then how I should do it?
I'm in a similar position.. In a moment of madness I offered to my mum that I'd cook xmas dinner, secretly hoping she'd say no as she seemed to always enjoy it! However, she really appreciated my offer and took me up on it! Now, I've never cooked xmas dinner before, and am no amazing cook, but my family isn't that big, and anyway, it can't be much harder than a Sunday roast... can it?
 
  • #6
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My mum is flying back from south africa and arrives christmas eve so I've been deligated the job. Good luck with the dinner cristo I'm glad I'm not the only one
 
  • #7
cristo
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Thanks, I'll be needing the luck! Anyway, if all goes wrong, I'm sure there are plenty of takeaways open on xmas day?! Good luck to you too, although sounds like you won't need it, what with actually having experience as a chef!
 
  • #8
Evo
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I'll probably open a can of tuna. :cry:
 
  • #9
Moonbear
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It also depends on how many people you need to provide food for. The more people, the simpler you'll want to keep the meal so you can provide it in the quantity needed rather than spending time on complex recipes.

I had a very tasty ham last night, with a glaze made from dijon mustard, some orange juice, and orange zest. Very tasty, and not sweet, which I don't like. That would be simple yet very tasty (they had a spiral cut ham, so the flavor of the glaze worked it's way down through all the meat).

Remember, it's not about the presentation, it's about having family and friends gathered together. Serve plenty of egg nog while the dinner is being prepared, and nobody will notice if the food isn't very fancy. :wink:
 
  • #10
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What egg nog? I have never had it
 
  • #11
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I cook the roast by seasoning it with 1 teaspoon corse salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon of thyme, and stir to blend. Pat this mixture evenly over the top and sides of the roast.
Put the roast in a roasting pan and add 1 cup red wine and 1/2 cup beef stock to the bottom of the pan. Do not cover.
Roast for 20 minutes @ 450 degrees{very hot}. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue to roast to the desired degree of doneness, {18 minutes per pound for rare and 22 minutes per pound for medium}. Let stand at least 5 minutes before carving.
 
  • #12
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hah when I read the 450 degrees I was thinking that my oven doesn't go up to that but I was thinking celcius not farenheit
 
  • #13
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Thanks thats very useful
 
  • #14
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Hope you have a wonderful dinner!
 
  • #15
turbo
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If you want something easy and delicious, you can make a New England boiled dinner. It's best if you do this first step on a gas grill outdoors, because your house can get very smoky. Get a nice big roast of beef. It doesn't have to be a real tender cut because it will fall apart anyway, even if you use chuck roast. Trim most of the fat away from the outside of the roast and rub it with salt and pepper. Take a large stew pan and put just a light coating of peanut oil in the bottom and brown the roast on all sides. You should brown it well, because the carmelization of the juices will be the base for the sauce. When the roast is browned on all sides, there should be a brown build-up (carmelization) on the bottom of the pan. Next, you take the pan and the roast back in the house, put it on the range and add at least 1/2 bottle of dry red wine and some water to the pan, along with some garlic powder and onion powder, cover, bring to a boil and simmer for a few hours (at least 2-3). Then add quartered potatoes, carrots, yellow onions cut in half, a quartered cabbage and some chunks of turnip or parsnips. Continue to simmer until everything is nice and tender and has soaked up the flavor from the juices. About 10-15 minutes before serving, remove the vegetables and roast from the pot and if your liquid is reduced well, you can whisk in a thick mix of flour and cold water (made up beforehand) while boiling the sauce, to make a nice thick gravy. Season the gravy to taste and serve. Depending on the size of the crowd, you may need a pretty big pot, like a stock pot, and a couple of good sized platters. It's impossible to screw this up, as long as you keep an eye on the liquid in the pot and don't let it boil away, nor use too much water (thin tasting). The leftovers are even better than the initial meal - Voice of Experience.
 
  • #16
Moonbear
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  • #17
radou
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Turbo's recipe made me hungry, again. Turbo, you're the chef. :wink:
 
  • #18
berkeman
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If in doubt about the time or condition dinner will be served, add more rum! :biggrin:
Which reminds me -- you can always use "Andy's Rule" to make the food taste even better for your guests. This rule is named for my best friend, who is a great cook anyway, but has used his secret rule over the years to really impress his guests with his cooking skills.

Andy finally confided his secret in me one year, after I was done complimenting him for yet another fantastic dinner that he had put on (I think this particular one was out in the woods on a camping trip, actually).

"Berk, there's a secret that I've used over the years to make even a plain meal taste extra-good. What you do is tell people when the food will be ready, and make sure that they can smell it cooking real well. Then you time the food so that it takes an extra hour to finish cooking. That whole extra hour, people will be smelling the food, and getting hungrier and hungrier. By the time they finally get to sit down and eat, they will be famished, and the food will taste that much better!"

:biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
 
  • #19
Astronuc
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I've done beef roasts in which I slice carrots, potatoes and parsnip which get roasted in the beef juice toward the end. I'd cook green beans with almonds on the side.

I think I roast at 375°F (190°C) and the time depends on the mass.

Here's a simple recipe for roast beef - http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/000457roast_beef.php

or try lamb

http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/000321trader_joes_rack_of_lamb.php [Broken]
 
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