Have you planned your Christmas Dinner Menu yet?
I sure hope so...
The stores are crowded and everyone is buying up the various cuts of meats like crazy.
Are you having a pork roast, or perhaps, a beef tenderloin, or maybe it's prime rib, turkey, or ham for you?
Typically I make a beef tenderloin, yum yum, but this year I'm going to change it up a bit with a different cut of beef.
So in planning my menu I kept some family favorites, and added a couple of new recipes as well. It's a great tip to cook some items you know well and only add 1 or 2 new ones. Keeps the stress down, and you don't want to experiment to much on a day where you want the food to shine!
Tips for Meat Portions for Parties:
Whether casual or elegant the culinary centerpiece is usually the meat you serve. Sometimes a selection of several. Here's a great tip for determining meat quantities. If you are serving one kind of meat, purchase 8 to 10 oz. of raw meat per person, or 6 to 8 oz of fish or chicken. If you are serving two kinds, cut the amount to 5 oz of each per person.
Here's my Christmas Menu. I hope you find some items you'd like to try. Happy Holidays!
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Seeded Breadsticks (recipe coming!)
Orange, Avocado and Fennel Salad (recipe below)
Homemade Egg Noodles (a family recipe)
Roasted Red Potatoes & Baby Portabella Mushrooms with Green Beans and Onions
Cheese Topped Acorn Squash (recipe below)
Grilled Flank Steak with a Shallot and Red Wine Reduction (recipe below)
Candy Cane Joe Joe's Cheesecake (recipe coming!)
Orange, Avocado and Fennel Salad
adapted from Williams-Sonoma
Serves 6 - 8
2 fennel bulbs
3 large navel oranges
2 t orange zest
3 T olive oil
2 T fresh orange juice
2 T white balsamic vinegar or champagne vinegar
1/2 t sea salt
1/2t fresh ground black pepper
Cut off the stems of the fennel bulbs. Remove the outer layer and then finely slice the bulb crosswise into thin pieces. Halve and pit the avocados. Cut into slices or dice. Peel the oranges and cut out the sections. Cut sections in half.
In a large salad bowl mix together the orange zest, olive oil, orange juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the fennel slices, orange segments, avocados and toss gently.
Cheese Topped Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squashes, halved and seeded
1 Tbsp margarine
1 Tbsp fresh sage, minced or 1 tsp dried sage, crumbled
1/4 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese 1 oz.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place squash halves, cut side down in dish. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine margarine, sage, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Carefully cut each squash half into three wedges and set in baking dish, skin side down. Brush mixture on all fleshy sides of squash. Cover and bake about 20 more minutes or until squash is tender.
Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Grilled Flank Steak with a Shallot and Red Wine Reduction
2 1/2 lb flank steak
1 t dried thyme
1/2 t lemon zest
4 T olive oil
salt & pepper
3 T butter, divided
2 T minced shallots
1 c red wine
Place flank steak in a gallon sized plastic storage bag. Add the thyme, zest, and olive oil. Let marinate on the counter for 30 min while meat comes to room temperature. Remove steak from bag and discard the remaining marinade. Salt & pepper your steak. Grill steak on a heated grill (indoor or outdoors) on medium high heat, 8 minutes per side for medium doneness. Remove steak to a cutting board. Tent with foil and allow to rest 10 min.
While the steak is resting, place butter and shallots in a separate small skillet over medium heat. Saute shallots about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the wine and continue to cook until the wine is reduced by half. Add 1 T of butter. When butter has melted remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Slice beef against the grain in thin, long angled slices. Serve with wine reduction.