What are you cooking today?

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I can't believe no one posted! You must all still be cooking. I am already in the cleaning process... kid is going to sleep, then I have to play Santa. :)

 

My Xmas eve feast was nothing compared to years past, but considering I left most of my tools behind in CA, it wasn't half bad.

 

duck with fresh herbs

 

carrots & parsnips with Heide honey and rosemary (butter, yada yada)

 

yams

 

Barolo

 

arugula w/ beets, walnuts, goat cheese, clementine rind (homemade dressing yada yada)

 

chocolate mousse

 

Rum w/ honey brought from this month's trip to the Canaries

 

candles, Xmas music, and the traditional family holiday arguing. :lol:

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I did really cool sweet carrots. Simple.

 

  • Cut fresh carrots (I did 6 largish ones) julienne-style. Steam for a bit (until still firm but not hard.)
  • Meantime cut some onions (I did 4 smallish ones) in half then slice them (sorry, dunno the technical cooking term...). Cook in a good quality veggie oil on medium heat until soft and almost brown. Halfway through the cooking, sprinkle a tablespoon or two of brown sugar on the onions and mix well. Continue browning, but not toooo brown, just lightly brown.
  • When carrots are steamed as mentioned above, and onions cooked as mentioned above, put carrots in frying pan with onions.
  • Add a pat of butter, another tablespoon of brown sugar, mix well on medium heat for a few minutes.
  • Viola. Awesome sweet carrots that not even a carrot-hating kid can resist.

 

And ridiculously tasty and easy green beans.

 

  • Steam fresh green beans (ends cut off) for maybe 6, 7 minutes (until still firm but not hard.)
  • Take out of steamer, sprinkle with soy sauce, liberally season with fresh-milled black pepper and a shake or three with salt.
  • Viola.

 

Fresh veggies rock.

 

EDIT: Just revisited the leftover sweet carrots - still great. But reminded me... oh what I would do for a real, authentic Maui sweet onion. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. With Maui onions, you can totally skip the brown sugar, they are the sweetest, most delectable onions I have ever come across. Are there any true "sweet" onions to be had on the Continent? I find the onion selection in DE deplorable...

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Starters

- Guacamole and Avocado Soup (adults) with a Columbia Valley Riesling

- Escargot (frozen due to lack of shopping time)

- Salmon for the snail-less

 

Main

- Turkey - roasted with a sausage, onions and oranges stuffing and covered in large bacon with salt crust

The German touch (Red cabbage and sauerkraut)

- Mushrooms stuffed with apple and various red berries

- Grean beans

- Various sauces

Wines were Chateau Lanessan and a private Haut-Medoc, we tried a Südhang to mixed reviews

 

Salad and cheese

 

Buche de Noel and Ice cream with a Loupiac that I'm just now finishing to the last gift wrappings

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The turkey is in the oven - stuffed with stuffing made from Bratwurst, soaked bread*, chopped onions, parsley & chopped apricots.

 

*All Brits will know that "sausage meat" (as traditionally used for stuffing) has a high bread content - or so the story goes.

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My turkey is working on its tan - sausagemeat, chestnut, sage and onion stuffing. Ham (orange and cranberry glaze) goes in soon.

Starter is Jerusalem artichoke and chestnut soup.

Sides are roasted spuds, parsnips, sweet potatoes done in duck fat, braised red cabbage, honeyed carrots. Cumberland sausages wrapped in bacon. And in honour of don_riina - paxo. ;)

Dessert is Christmas pud or pavlova.

Seriously tons of cheeses - from Double Gloucs to tasty Lancs via aged pecorino and I think there's some kind of goat's cheese there too.

 

Wines are all Oz/NZ ones - will report back. Man cleaning kitchen and it is making me swoon.

 

Glad to hear the French meal went well!

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Thanks Katrina,

That meal sounds wonderful, especially the soup. Never heard of paxo, will look it up.

We eat the traditional meal eve of the 24th, I'm guessing a lot of people are 25th ers.

 

Enjoy!

 

(we are recovering, seems a bit flu-ish here for the last three days, pain au chocolat, coffee and a full cleaning day. ;) )

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Paxo is an addiction that don_riina and I share - it is neither big nor clever and 100% chemical.

don_riina eats it straight from the pack, I at least bother to add water and butter...

 

24th was spent at the neighbours - they are coming to us today, as we celebrate on the 25th. Pressies two days running was pretty cool though!

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I was given a truffle for Christmas so today's calorie overload is a pile of fettucine with butter, cream and truffle shavings *swoon*. Big roast is postponed till tomorrow, which leaves the stuffing and the red cabbage time to mature.

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Roast turkey with brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and read cabbabe. Trifle and cranberry tarts for dessert.

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Two kinds of mousse au chocolat (using 16 eggs in toto) and puff pastry tidbits filled with feta cheese seasoned with garlic and chili.

*I am invited to a pot luck party*

 

EDIT: And American style biscuits for Christmas breakfast.

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Roast crispy duck with plum chutney, braised brassicas with flavoured butter, roasted assorted root veg. Dessert is a choice of Italian or German Christmas cakes, English Christmas pudding and leftover birthday cake.

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Eating chicken strip, xmas cookies and posting random thoughts on this thing called Toytown ever heard of it?

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Not being one to waste food, I am going to try to make a stock from the duck carcass (rather than try to sell it on TT, like eurovol did with his T-day turkey, LOL). Not being one who eats/ cooks duck often... anyone care to make a suggestion as to what type of soup would be tasty with duck stock? Stores aren't open tomorrow, but I have various veggies on hand, I have some weird looking mushrooms I've never seen before, some sausages...

 

edit: OOH! I've got it. I will try to make a sort of cassoulet (I'm not much of a Frenchy cook). a good experiment! Off to soak white beans...

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Still making use of holiday leftover groceries... the cassoulet was divine!

 

Yellow Lentil soup. amounts are approximate.

 

* few Tbl extra–virgin olive oil

* 1 chopped onion

* 1 cup chopped celery stalks plus chopped celery leaves for garnish

* 1 cup chopped carrots

* 2 cups chopped parsnips

* 3 garlic cloves, chopped

* 1 liter homemade duck broth w/ herbs

* 1 1/2 cups yellow lentils, rinsed, drained

* 1 14 1/2–ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

* 1 tsp. cumin, salt & pepper to taste, dash cayenne, some chopped parsley

* Balsamic vinegar dash at end (optional)

 

Sautee the veggies in the EVOO, add tomatoes, duck broth, lentils, all else, and cook until done (minimum 30 minutes, I say for at least an hour).

 

Served with quinoa. Buen provecho!

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Chinese ...crispy duck with pancakes.

I tried this last night and it is highly, highly recommended. I realised I didn't have a steamer for the pancakes (d'oh!) when the duck was half cooked but improvised and also failed on removing the skin around the thigh (and ended up with three bits) but it all worked to perfection! Trying not to eat the 'crispy bits' whilst steaming the pancakes is hard. ;)

 

We had enough for 12 pancakes. 6 each as a light main meal for 2 (which was what we wanted) but I guess 3 each as a starter for 4 would work.

 

Seriously, give it a go as it's very easy. I'd guestimate the total cost (pro-rata) for 12 pancakes at around 6 Euros in total. Cheap as chips and 20 times as tasty. Yum Yum.

 

Today I went out to Aldi and bought two more half-ducks for the freezer.

 

Thanks don_riina.

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mushroom tater soup

* 2 Tbl butter

* 2 lg. shallots, minced

* bunch of fresh German mushrooms, coarsely chopped (can't remember the name; they look sort of like ears)

* 1 Tbl minced fresh thyme

* 3 garlic cloves, minced

* 8 cups (about) homemade chicken broth (used all sorts of veggie bits to make, even yam peel)

* 650 g drillinge potatoes, cut into chunks

 

* big slug of Madeira

 

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté briefly. Add fresh mushrooms, thyme & garlic; sauté until mushrooms put off liquid (few minutes). Stir in broth, potatoes. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes.

 

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in Madeira and enough chicken broth to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

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Well I made "Stueben Kuecken" --these are Cornish Game Hens, aren't they? In a Roemertopf with small blue potatoes, shallots and onions. The last hour I basted and left off the top, got my woodstove up to 150 and when I got back from hearing some Blasmusik, the two hens were nicely browned. Blue potatoes seem to need more time than normal ones, have you ever noticed? With a cold white wine and a salad, it all turned out just fine.

 

How did the cassolet come out? I have always wanted to make one.

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Minestrone, but it's useless posting the recipe because it's so dead easy.

Chop an onion or two, sautee them in olive oil

Chop some red and yellow pepper, add to the onions

Chop carrot, add

Plunk in a small can of chopped tomatoes

Pour 1l of broth into the pot

Season with Mediterranean herbs and paprika

Let simmer for an hour

Add a handful of noodles (I happened to have farfalle)

Let simmer until the noodles are done

Yum-yum!

 

Other vegetables to add: zucchini, peas, green beans, regular beans, kohlrabi, celery, pumpkin etc.

For carnivores: Cut some sowbelly into not-too-small pieces and quick-fry it, stir it into the soup just before serving

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