Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What Do You Cook For Christmas Day?

image via dwell studio

I posed this question over on my other blog last year, as I was seriously torn about what to cook for the big day. After much angst, I eventually decided on a sort of Thanksgiving redux, and I'm pretty sure I'm going there again this year. (I love the Thanksgiving meal so much it seems a shame to only have it once a year.) We'll do a very small bird, + boursin mashed potatoes from the Neiman Marcus cookbook (amazing), green beans sauteed with almonds and fresh cranberry sauce. Simple, yummy...

For Christmas Eve we're planning some sort of meat, this salad + the most amazing goat cheese polenta topped with sauteed mushrooms and leeks. (I had this polenta at my new friend Lisa Green's house and have made it multiple times since. Seriously friends, this polenta recipe will change your life.)

I love hearing about what other people make for their big holiday meal, as rather than following a "prescribed" menu, meals tend to be more a nod to heritage, family traditions and favorite foods... We have friends who do lasagna every year, others that have tamales, and some that do lobster. You get the idea...

So, before I give you that polenta recipe (soon I promise), what do you cook for your Christmas/Holiday meal?

16 comments:

  1. I was just about to ask for the polenta recipe! A must for my goat cheese lovin' crumb!

    This year, I plan to either cook a small turkey or beef tenderloin. Haven't decided. But mashed potatoes and citrus/pomegranate/kiwi salad for sure. Buche de Noel is always a part of the meal. Actually, it is the highlight!

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  2. We're in Australia and it's generally too hot for warm, hearty meals during the day.

    We'll be hosting a seafood brunch with friends and family and will be having smoked salmon with dill pancakes, berry breakfast trifle, prawns with aioli and chilli jam, blue swimmer crabmeat scrambled eggs, caviar bruschetta and virgin seabreezes).

    Then for dinner, I'll cook herb and parmesan crusted turkey with smashed potatoes and greens for my English husband so it feels like Christmas for him.

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  3. We have italian for christmas eve dinner! (Also, now tamales during the day as my mom's new husband is latino!) Yum!

    Then, at the husband's parents, there is always all kinds of deliciousness, and invariably, cabbage casserole. Sounds decidedly more simple than others', but we love it!

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  4. this year my nephews (14 & 16) put in requests for baked macaroni & cheese and "my" green salad (w/ nuts & fruit & cheese), my BIL requested ham and my FIL said rice is a must. So there you have it, done...i'll add another veggie though!

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  5. My family is Italian, so Christmas Eve is the big night. I do seven fishes, but adapted to our family--no smelts, no baccala, just seafood we enjoy. So we have tuna or oysters on crackers, shrimp cocktail, angels on horseback (scallops wrapped in bacon), California rolls, crabcakes, lobster tails, and salmon, or I cheat and make a cioppino (seafood stew).
    For Christmas, we go to a massive fancy family potluck. We bring mousse de carrottes from the Le Bec Fin cookbook and something else that strikes our fancy. So our meal at home together is brunch, and we usually do a make-ahead French toast casserole so I only have to pop it in the oven while the kids are tearing in to stockings.
    On Boxing Day, we have a more casual get together with my husband's nuclear family (still, that's 21 people). The Boxing Day food theme is (of course): From A Box! This has included pizza, quickbreads, crackers...all easy and light(ish) after the big celebrations the day before. Oh, and beer and wine from boxes too, of course!
    Your meal sounds great--can't wait for the polenta recipe!

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  6. We go to my sister in laws and she cooks it all. so easy plus she's a fab-cook so I feel like I get the night off! awesome.

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  7. We are planning roast beef, yorkshire pudding, etc but as I am vegetarian and the rest of the family not - I am having a chestnut and mushroom plait with puff pastry. For pudding we are having ice cream as none of us like traditional English christmas pudding. Then we go to my mums for New Year and hopefully eat it all again!

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  8. I'm not exactly sure how it started, but we always make manicotti. We'll pair it with a salad and some nice homemade garlic bread and, of course, some decadent dessert. It's easy to make but tastes so good - a nice, low-key way to end a peaceful Christmas day with family.

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  9. My husband and I were married in early December a few years ago, so I was still playing around with all our new kitchen stuff and cookbooks, which resulted in our tradition of Chirstmas Day Beef Bourginion from the Barefoot Contessa's Barefoot in Paris cookbook. My husband declared it his favorite and has insisted that we do it every year since! I serve it with a simple green salad, and crusty French bread. It's pretty simple, yummy and yields lots of leftovers to freeze and enjoy through the following chilly weeks of January.

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  10. We do a thanksgiving type meal too. But we have a ham instead of a turkey.

    Could you please share the boursin potato recipe?

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  11. I do a Ham dinner for Christmas every year. I live in the cold Seattle winters, so a warm ham, stuffing, potatoes are just delish!

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  12. After years of decandent over the top meal preparations I have taken a more laid back aproach recently. Every other year we do Christmas dinner ala The Christmas Story aka Chinese Turkey(or chinese take-out chopsticks and all). We watch the movie, have dinner and the kids think it's the greatest thing ever!

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  13. I usually do a meal similar to Thanksgiving also. This year, we decided to go smaller and get everyone involved. So, we'll be making homemade pizzas. We'll each make our own dough, add our own toppings, and bake. We'll bake some cookies too for dessert. The kids are excited to be helping out and making their own. I'm excited to have such little preparation and easy clean up before our flight out to Grandma's!

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  14. When I was growing up my mom always made a big dinner for christmas eve of french soup, either salmon or a tenderloin roast, and a bouche de noel for dessert. Christmas dinner was always an afterthought, usually nothing fancy, but lots of bouche leftovers!

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  15. I'm having my mom, bro and his wife and daughter to our new house for Christmas Eve dinner. I've decided on roasting a pasture raised chicken. I'm going to roast potatoes, carrots, red onion, butternut squash, and asparagus (I know, not seasonal, but on sale!), and make some stuffing to go along with it. And for dessert Eve's Pudding- a British style pudding with apples and cream, mmmmm.

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  16. this year, it's red beans and rice with andouille sausage. we usually do a big breakfast including home made breads and quiche. and then do a simple soup to keep on the stove for the rest of the day.

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