Christmas Dinner at Key Ingredient
Christmas Dinner. That’s the assignment this week at The Back Burner. If ever there were a meal that deserved a special cocktail as a prelude I would say Christmas Dinner would be it. So don’t you worry. I’ll be raising a glass with you this Christmas.
But I also want to share a whole lot more. After all the holidays are the season for giving. So when I sat down to write this week’s post I decided to have a look through Key Ingredient for some inspiration, and I certainly found it. So I’ve decided to give you an entire Christmas Dinner Menu. I put this meal together using Key Ingredient members and recipes as my source of inspiration. Because at it’s core Key Ingredient is a great big cookbook. One that you can collect and customize to your own tastes. I am also lucky enough to have the new Key Ingredient Recipe Reader. The reader helps keep my favorites at my fingertips.
I want to get this virtual Christmas Dinner off to a warm start, and I have just the thing. I have chosen a cocktail from my own collection because it’s perfect for the holidays. Just look at it, it’s a crimson colored holiday cup of cheer. It’s a style of mulled wine, similar to wassail, and something like a warmed sangria, though this one is made with port. Traditionally it is scented with cloves and sour oranges, but my version has been updated just a bit to include kumquats. It’s called a Smoking Bishop and it has come to be associated as Christmas itself. We have Charles Dickens to thank for that. Because at the very end of his beloved holiday classic A Christmas Carol, a reformed Ebenezer Scrooge and his long-suffering employee Bob Cratchit promise to share this oddly named libation to celebrate the season.
For me Christmas Dinner is served on Christmas Eve and should be a bit of an elegant affair, served in courses. I also believe seafood should play a prominent role in the meal. Some years I even host a party that is an Italian tradition known as The Feast of the Seven Fishes. Seven courses of succulent seafood served in one special meal. But Key Ingredient has so many wonderful choices that go way beyond just seafood and I hate to limit myself. But I will include seafood in the first course of this virtual meal in the form of scallops. This recipe comes from Key Ingredient member JoanMarie.
Baby it’s cold outside, so naturally you’ll find a soup tureen on my side board. I’ve chosen a soup from member Lynn K. It’s savory and sweet with a touch of cream. The butternut and apple combination just seems so right for a special holiday meal. Besides soup is easy to make ahead. I always try to choose at least one stress-free course at my dinner parties.
Call me old fashioned, but when it comes to Christmas Eve I expect red meat, and a standing rib roast is the king of all red meat. This version from Sandy C is as traditional as you can get. It has just three ingredients. They may seem unusual but these three ingredients were chosen to highlight the flavor of the beef.
I like to serve the salad course at the end of the meal. It’s very continental, as they say. But it’s also a great way to clear the palate when you have a rich dessert planned. I chose a salad with bright flavors and just a bit of bitter bite from endive. The salad come from member Cynthia Q.
I’m glad to see you’ve decided to stay for dessert. because when these Cherry-Topped Chocolate Tassies from lisapearce popped onto my screen I just knew they were the perfect ending to a great holiday meal.
Happy Holidays! GREG