Monday, December 24, 2007

UnChristmas Dinner with Maria

(serves 4+)

This began, of course, with a snack:

Hours later...

Carrot-Parsnip Soup with Tarragon Cream

You'll need:

5 carrots, roughly chopped
4 parsnips, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
4c chicken broth
1/4c cream

Saute all veggies, with salt and pepper, in butter for 15 minutes over medium heat. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Puree using an immersion blender (the blender stick thing) and, right before serving, stir in cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Roast Chicken in a Pot

This was based on Cook's Illustrated's recipe, published online by Marisa McClellen at Slashfood.

You'll need:

a 4-5lb chicken-- preferably free-range
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
10 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
1T olive oil
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 250F.

Wash chicken. Dry well with paper towels. Season with coarse salt & pepper.

Heat oil in large dutch oven. Brown chicken, breast side down first, then flip. Brown until golden and remove. Add chopped veggies and lower heat. Cook until lightly browned. Return chicken to pot, breast side up, and cook until chicken & veggies are browned.

Cover pot and place in oven. Cook 1 hour, until breast meat is at 160F. Remove from oven. Take chicken out and tent with foil. Puree veggies and cook to reduce by half. Serve chicken with veggie gravy. Mmmmm.

Dirty Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

You'll need:

4 Russet potatoes
2 heads garlic
1/4c milk
2T butter

Slice tops off garlic heads. Wrap in foil, leaving a small opening at the top. Place in 400 degree oven for 1 hour. When done, let sit until cool enough to handle and then squeeze garlic into dish. Reserve.

Scrub potatoes well. Quarter and place in pot with salted water. Bring to a boil; cover (leave the cover slightly off for steam to escape) and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and mash with butter and roasted garlic. With a metal whisk or a wooden spoon, beat in milk until potatoes are desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Brussel Sprouts


Brussel sprouts
1T lemon juice
1T butter
1T olive oil
3T heavy cream

Clean sprouts. Cut them in half, and then slice lengthwise (each half will be cut into 3-4 slices). As you slice, toss with lemon juice. Saute in not non-stick skillet in hot melted butter & olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper as you cook. Cook until browned. Deglaze pan with wine or vermouth; stir in cream. Serve immediately.

Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Blueberries

We basically followed this recipe for the meringue, but layered it with unsweetened whipped cream and fresh blueberries. It was delicious. And the egg whites get a beautiful shine from the vinegar. Thank you Maria!

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