Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Christmas Planning

I’ve started planning my menu for Christmas Dinner and like usual, I’m a little overwhelmed. I pull out my cookbooks, the December issues of my cooking magazines, and menus of past Christmas meals, and then try and create a menu that combines old (and reliable) favorites with new dishes to keep things lively. One thing that is back on the menu this year because it’s so easy, a little luxurious, and pleases the meat-eaters in my family, is a whole-roasted beef tenderloin, so I’ve already put in my order to the butcher.

I also will be feeding a fish-eating vegetarian this year so I need to find a fish dish that is holiday meal worthy but not too labor intensive–should I roast a whole fish for the wow-factor of the presentation, or wild salmon en papillote and serve it in an herby-broth, or do a delicate Dover sole with beurre blanc…? Any suggestions would be welcome.

After that, it’s all up in the air. My menu at the moment is the following:

Nibbly Things: Pancetta Wrapped Figs, Toasted Nuts, Baked Brie

Appetizer: Crab Cakes

Salad: A Citrus Salad of some kind

Vegetables: Ginger Glazed Carrots, a Brussel Sprouts Gratin

Starchy: Parsnip-Celeriac Puree

Meat: Beef Tenderloin with a crust of some kind

Fish: No idea (that’s not the name of a dish, I have no idea what I’m making)

Dessert: Brown Sugar Cake from The Craft of Baking cookbook by Karen DeMasco (best dessert cookbook ever, best cake ever).  Brownies from Ad Hoc: At Home (which I’m half-jokingly  considering rolling into a bouche de noel, since our previous logs have been a trial (see HERE).

Side note: I recently purchased a standard clipboard for Belle to do her homework on, since she likes to walk around when she’s doing brain work, and I have since coopted it for projects like menu writing. I used to to see them in restaurant kitchens all the time, hanging from a nail on the wall with food orders or the day’s specials scrawled on a piece of paper and clipped to it, so maybe that’s where I got the idea to start using one as well. But my point is, they are kind of great thing to have around. Cheap too. I am hooked on using mine (formerly Belle’s). And here’s a gratuitous shot of my other essential menu-planning tool…

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