Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Dinner Family Favorites

It is always great to try new recipes but every time we talk about a new menu for Christmas dinner, it gets vetoed. We just can't live without our family favorites. Here's what we will be eating...

image from Martha
Turkey is a must. For the past several years, my husband has been cooking it on the BBQ. The flavour is fantastic and it saves space in the oven to cook all of the other dishes ( although I do miss the fabulous smell ). If we have a really large group - over 20 people, we will do a turkey plus a turkey breast. The turkey goes on the BBQ and the breast goes in the oven.

My mother taught me to make a great dark gravy and her secret is to use Bisto mix. It thickens it up and adds nice flavour. Once the turkey is removed from the pan, I deglaze the pan with  3- 4 cups of water left over from boiling the potatoes. Then I strain the mixture into a large pot and bring to a boil. To the gravy I add a Bisto liquid which is made by mixing 3 T of Bisto powder to 1/2 cup of cold water stirring well. If the gravy is not thick enough add more Bisto mixture.

I use my mother in law's stuffing recipe. Brazil nuts are the secret ingredient and add nice texture.

Brazil Nut Stuffing
Melt 1/2 cup of butter. Add 3 large onions, finely chopped, and cook until transparent.

Brazil Nuts
Mix together in a bowl the following ingredients:
12-18 pcs bread  ( I tear the slices into pieces)
3 cups chopped brazil nuts
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
3 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 T lemon juice
Add cooked onions to mixture and loosely stuff the turkey. Cook any extra stuffing in tin foil in oven.

Of course you have to have mash potatoes. My sister, Tracy, is in charge of this dish and she makes a mash potato casserole to die for.

Tracy's 'To Die For' Mash Potatoes
Boil 5 lbs of peeled and chopped potatoes. Use a potato ricer, not beaters, to mash the potatoes. ( She says this part is critical for smooth, not gluey, potatoes).
Add in 1 cup of sour cream, 1/2 cup of butter, 1 block of cream cheese and S&P to taste.
Mix well and place in casserole dish. Top with lots of grated cheddar cheese. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven uncovered. Yum!

We always have mashed squash (although it is not a favorite of the kids) and  green beans.

And Tourtiere is a must as my Mother is French Canadian. This recipe is delicious.

image from the Ottawa Citizen - mine usually looks like this
2 home made pie crusts

2 lbs minced pork
2 lbs minced veal
2 T butter
4 thinly sliced onions
1- 2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1/2 t thyme
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t ground cloves

In a large pot , fry onions in butter until soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before placing in pie shells. Drain water and remove bay leave and fill shells. Top with crust. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 mins. Serve with chili sauce.

We don't usually make dessert as everyone is so full. But if we do have room, we enjoy  delicious Christmas baking.

I can't wait for Christmas dinner!

Merry Christmas,

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