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We Spring from Our Beds
A Christmas Breakfast and Dinner
A Simple but Festive Christmas Breakfast
Ultimate Hot Chocolate 6 7 8 Traditional Dutch Baby Pancake Volcanic Apple-Cinnamon Pancake Sweet Corn, Spinach, and Bacon Breakfast Tortes 9 Denver Omelet Casserole Breakfast Ambrosia 12 10
oliday breakfasts can be either a little frantic or a little forlorn. Whether it’s Christmas
part of it for your family, depending upon their appetites, the number of guests you have, and what you’ll be serving later in the day. I’ve designed it to serve about 12 people, but you can easily cut recipes in half to serve a more intimate group. Decorations for this breakfast should be simple. You’ve already decorated the house for Christmas, and you have probably set the dining room table for dinner, so serve this meal buffet-style in the kitchen. Or if your family has the main Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, serve this breakfast at the dinner table with all the beautiful arrangements from the night before. Traditional, familyfriendly Christmas carols are the obvious and best choice for music!
or Easter or Thanksgiving, you want to give your family and guests something to satisfy them so that they are not gnawing on the dining room table by the time dinner is ready later in the day, but you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. At Christmas, there is the added excitement of opening presents, and then everyone saying “What’s for breakfast?” My family has been eating Dutch Baby Pancakes every Christmas morning since my daughter, Carrie, can remember, and it isn’t Christmas at our house without this traditional and simple puffed pancake. If you need more inspiration, I’ve got a few other selections here to round out the menu. You can serve all or
We Spring from Our Beds
Do -Ahead Countdown
8 1 month ahead 8 2 days ahead 8 Day of
Download shopping list and do-ahead calendar and ﬁll them out* Shop for nonperishables Make and freeze Sweet Corn, Spinach, and Bacon Breakfast Tortes
8 3 days ahead
Make Ultimate Hot Chocolate Prepare Traditional Dutch Baby Pancake batter Prepare Volcanic AppleCinnamon Pancake components Make Denver Omelet Casserole
8 1 day ahead
Make Traditional Dutch Baby Pancakes Bake Volcanic AppleCinnamon Pancake Rewarm hot chocolate, tortes, and casserole Assemble Breakfast Ambrosia
Prepare fruit for Breakfast Ambrosia
Remove Sweet Corn, Spinach, and Bacon Breakfast Tortes from freezer and defrost in refrigerator Whip cream for hot chocolate
* For the do-ahead tools, see www.dianephillips.com.
A Simple but Festive Christmas Breakfast
My friend Lora Brody. 2. Dollop with the whipped cream.) This ultimate hot chocolate can be put together the day before. until it is melted. you can cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. and topped with a crown of freshly whipped cream and a few chocolate curls or shavings. 1/2 3. whip the remaining 11/2 cups cream until very stiff. If desired. heat the milk and 2 1/4 cups of the cream until small bubbles form around the outside edges of the pan. then heated up just before serving. Whip the cream the day before and then rewhisk before topping off each mug. the author of many wonderful cookbooks. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point.Ultimate Hot Chocolate Serves 12 My favorite hot chocolates are those that are thick. powdered mix that’s been reconstituted with water—how sad. dust with chocolate shavings. Rewhisk before serving. chopped Chocolate shavings or curls for garnish (optional) Candy canes for swizzle sticks (optional) Mini marshmallows (if you must) 1. too many hot chocolates are made from a packaged. you can cool and refrigerate the chocolate mixture overnight. 2004). 6 We Spring from Our Beds . inspired this recipe. (Unfortunately. In a medium-size saucepan. my favorite of which is Chocolate American Style (Clarkson Potter. add a candy cane as a stirrer. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate a bit at a time. chocolatey. creamy. and/or sprinkle with marshmallows. Rewarm over low heat until serving temperature. pour the hot chocolate into mugs to within about inch of the top. 6 cups whole milk 33/4 cups heavy cream 3/4 pound semisweet chocolate. or buy a CO2-charged whipped cream dispenser (available at gourmet and specialty shops) and keep that cold in the fridge. To serve. Using an electric mixer.
you can make several pancakes at the same time. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. and ﬂour. then pour the batter into the pan. and cinnamon sugar in a blender and blend for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Make sure the butter is hot and bubbling. These magic pancakes rise to great heights in a hot oven and are then served with maple syrup. or maple syrup if desired. Reblend the batter before proceeding. and whipped cream. vanilla extract. tablespoons unsalted butter large eggs cup all-purpose ﬂour cup cold whole milk teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar (combine 41/2 teaspoons sugar with 11/2 teaspoons cinnamon) 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar One lemon. on your oven racks so that they aren’t on top of one another. or until puffed and golden brown. milk. cut into 6 wedges Warm maple syrup (optional) 6 6 1 1 1 1. While the butter is melting. your family will love them. Melt the butter in a 10-inch round ovenproof pie plate or skillet in the oven. 3. Remove from the oven and cut into wedges. combine the eggs. milk.Traditional Dutch Baby Pancake Serves 6 Dutch Babies are much like popovers in that they are made with eggs. A Simple but Festive Christmas Breakfast 7 . berries. from front to back. Serve immediately with a dusting of sifted confectioners’ sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon. until frothy. but after that the similarity ends. 2. Whichever way you choose to serve them. ﬂour. Make sure that the ingredients for the batter are ice-cold—when they hit the hot butter they will rise dramatically. Diva Tip If you have a large group. Preheat the oven to 425°F. You can have all the ingredients ready in the fridge the day before. Just stagger them. Bake for 17 to 22 minutes. you can refrigerate the entire blender container for up to 2 days. scraping down the sides if necessary. or traditionally with powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice squeezed over them. winning you “wow”s when you remove them from the oven.
you can cool the apples and refrigerate for up to 4 days. you can refrigerate the blender container for up to 2 days. until the pancake is puffed and golden. combine the eggs. invert onto a serving plate.Volcanic Apple-Cinnamon Pancake Serves 6 This dramatic pancake rises high in your oven. 8 We Spring from Our Beds . cored. and cinnamon. and cut into wedges. In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. until they caramelize. 3. you can prepare the components ahead and keep them in the refrigerator for up to two days. and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. milk. melt the butter. the smell of the apples and cinnamon permeates the room. ﬂour. Preheat the oven to 450°F. garnished with cinnamon sugar. blending until the mixture is frothy. Add the apples and cook for 7 to 8 minutes. and you are on your way to breakfast nirvana. granulated sugar. 2. and add the light brown sugar. In a blender. making it a real showstopper! Although it must be cooked and then eaten immediately. Serve immediately. and apples. Pour the cold batter over the apples. reserving any left over for another use) 1. When it comes to the table. and salt. Remove from the refrigerator and reblend for 45 seconds before proceeding. and sliced 1/2 inch thick 3 eggs 1/2 cup whole milk 1/2 cup all-purpose ﬂour 1/4 teaspoon salt Cinnamon sugar for garnish (combine 1 cup sugar with 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/3 cup ﬁrmly packed light brown sugar 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3 Granny Smith apples. peeled. stirring until the sugars melt and the mixture begins to bubble. Just preheat your oven. Remove from the oven. with a molten base of caramelized cinnamon sugar. Reheat the skillet and the apples until they are bubbling hot before proceeding. butter. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point.
and set. but is still not crisp. 3. Spinach. melt the butter and sauté the scallions for 1 minute. spinach. spinach. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. you can cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. cheese. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. you can refrigerate for up to 2 days. A Simple but Festive Christmas Breakfast 9 . forming the base for an individual breakfast cake. and. Remove from the oven and drain on paper towels. In a medium-size sauté pan. Defrost before proceeding and then reheat on a cookie sheet in a 350°F oven. Corn. defrosted One 16-ounce package frozen spinach. 4. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. or a silicone baking liner. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. Add the hash browns. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. defrosted 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese 1. and egg make a delicious contrast to the crisp bacon. golden. Scoop 1/2 cup of the mixture into each mufﬁn cup and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. and Bacon Breakfast Tortes Makes 12 tortes Each savory little torte is cooked in a ring of bacon. sautéing until the mixture is dry. Set the mixture aside to cool. for 10 minutes. you can cool and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for 1 month. Cook the bacon for about 10 minutes. you can bake this entrée ahead of time and then reheat it before serving. 2. Arrange bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Coat the inside of 12 mufﬁn cups with nonstick cooking spray and line the sides of each cup with a strip of the bacon. whisk together the eggs and milk. and the corn mixture. defrosted and squeezed dry 11/2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 4 large eggs 1 cup whole or 2 percent milk 3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes. chopped One 16-ounce package frozen white corn.Sweet Corn. aluminum foil. pepper. stirring to blend. covered loosely with aluminum foil. In a large mixing bowl. and nutmeg. Preheat the oven to 400°F. salt. 12 strips thick-cut bacon (applewood-smoked bacon is my favorite) 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 4 scallions (white and some tender green parts). until the mixture is puffed. Drain off any excess liquid before proceeding. best of all. until it has rendered its fat and is beginning to turn golden. Add the corn. Serve warm or at room temperature.
you can cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. torn into 1/2-inch pieces 6 large eggs 1 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons all-purpose ﬂour 11/2 teaspoons salt 6 shakes hot sauce 1. ﬁnely chopped 1 medium-size green bell pepper. In a medium-size mixing bowl. adding the bread cubes and stirring until blended. Bring to room temperature before proceeding. so this combination is just the ticket for a lazy morning breakfast or brunch. ﬂour. and ham. and reheated before serving either hot or at room temperature. cored. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl to cool. seeded. and ﬁnely chopped 1/4 pound boiled imported ham. Preheat the oven to 350°F. cream. stirring to blend. Transfer the entire contents of the bowl to the prepared pan. Some cooks gild the lily and add cheese or other ingredients. Pour over the ham mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. 10 We Spring from Our Beds . about 5 minutes. On a morning like Christmas you don’t want to be ﬂipping omelets on the stove while everyone else is busy opening presents. salt. whisk together the eggs. ﬁnely chopped 4 cups sturdy white bread (any tough crusts removed). Add the ham and continue to sauté until the onion is translucent. 3. The entire casserole can be baked and then refrigerated or frozen. and hot sauce until blended. seeded. and ﬁnely chopped 1 medium-size red bell pepper. In a large skillet. peppers. cored. melt the butter and sauté the onion and bell peppers until they are softened. 2. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 cup sweet yellow onion. but I think the original combination is best. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. Coat the inside of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.Denver Omelet Casserole Serves 6 to 8 Traditional Denver omelets have a ﬁlling of sautéed onions.
in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes. Monterey Jack.4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. but the eggs will be cooked. it will not be set. until the casserole is puffed and golden brown and set in the center. bake until the middle registers 140°F on an instant-read thermometer (about 25 minutes). Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. or provolone. or until the center is heated through. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting into squares. Diva Do-Ahead: If you would like to make this casserole ahead of time. Allow to come to room temperature before reheating. fontina. loosely tented with foil. Good choices are mild cheddar. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 weeks. add 1 cup shredded cheese to the ﬁnal mixture. A Simple but Festive Christmas Breakfast 11 . Diva Variation To make cheesy Denver casserole. pepper Jack. sharp white cheddar.
Slice the bottom and top from the oranges and grapefruits. using a boning knife or thin ﬂexible knife. making a soupy mess. Repeat on the other side of the segment and place it in a large serving bowl. you can ﬁnd sectioned grapefruit and other citrus. drain off the juice that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. cut down the sides to remove all the peel and white pith. they tend to drool a lot when exposed to the citrus. 3. Sprinkle the coconut and confectioners’ sugar over the fruit and toss to combine. December is not a good time to ﬁnd many fresh fruits. 2. which are all reliable during the winter.) 4 navel oranges (see Diva Tip) 2 pink grapefruits (see Diva Tip) 4 bananas 1 cup sweetened ﬂaked coconut 1/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar Mint leaves for garnish 1. kiwi or melon. Serve the ambrosia garnished with mint leaves. Place your knife at the side of a segment and then run it down to the middle. but citrus is the exception. Stand each fruit on a ﬂat end and.Breakfast Ambrosia Serves 6 to 8 In most parts of the country. Feel free to include some of your favorites if the selection looks good—say. Buy these fruits and forgo your own slicing and peeling if time is of the essence. 12 We Spring from Our Beds . Just before serving. as well as bananas. you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. so this salad includes grapefruit and oranges. Diva Tip More and more in your grocer’s produce section. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. Repeat until all the oranges and grapefruit are sectioned. Peel and slice the banana into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and add to the bowl. (I don’t recommend using frozen berries or peaches. or splurge on a few fresh berries for some color if you can ﬁnd them.
com. to download helpful do-ahead tools.dianephillips. www.Christmas Dinner Holiday Eggnog Kir Royales 18 17 Garlic-Herb Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes 27 Creamy Spinach Gratin Mango-Cranberry Salad Chocolate Crème Brûlée 28 30 31 Roasted Tomato and Pesto Cheesecake with Polenta Crust 19 Butternut Squash Soup with Crab 22 Holiday Surf and Turf: Roast Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Reduction Sauce 23 Garlic Prawns 26 Check out the author’s website. .
more countryish Christmas. with velvet. You can make most dishes ahead of time. A fabric runner in velvet with gold or silver wired ribbon for accent is a beautiful contrast. or gold and silver ribbons. I know that a whole beef tenderloin is expensive. and the stress of thinking that you can’t get it all done without the help of medication and therapy. Your holiday table should be a festive affair. many stores sell it trimmed for you. perhaps that silver soup tureen or Revere holiday. for pretty twinkling lights. For a more elegant table setting. whether you serve it on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. nuts in their shells. in the colors of the season. has a look of elegance and luxury. I usually buy the tenderloin at a warehouse store like Costco and trim it myself. The Christmas season. or silver accents. Arrange these items in a long shallow bowl centered on the table or scatter them down the length of the table. then decorate by glue-gunning some seasonal colored ribbon to the vessel itself or securing it with double-stick tape. Wheatgrass is becoming more and more popular as a centerpiece. for a slightly higher cost. is fraught with anxiety between the parties. but think deep burgundies and forest greens. however. so it’s really a better buy than a prime rib. Tie thin velvet ribbons in your choice of colors. winter fruits. but this service may increase the price. I recommend that you lay pine boughs down the center of the table. gold. For a less formal. An all-white table with white and silver accents. get out the glitz! Decorate in the colors of the season. Your butcher can trim the meat too. and holly branches. to the stems of wineglasses to give the table an even more festive feel. try low arrangements in silver or gold tones. or an all-cream table with red accents. You can make it as elaborate as you want.T he celebration of Christ’s birth brings family and friends together to share in this joyous with natural or spray-painted pinecones. the presents. or arrange a string of batterypowered Christmas lights or candles on the table. Cut it to ﬁt your vessel. Many of my students tell me that this dinner is a lifesaver because it is so easy. but I’ve noticed that at the holidays. then decorate 14 We Spring from Our Beds . including the main-course roast. This dinner for 10 is going to be the most relaxing part of your Christmas. but there is hardly any fat or waste on it. Intersperse some votive candles into your table scheme. For ﬂowers.
and you can document when and where each photo was taken. reproduced on your computer and inserted into small frames. or variegated poinsettia. Christmas carols are the way to go. Other ideas for placecard holders are labeled gift boxes with small mementos inside. and you may want to include Nativity scenes for them to color. I have a set of silver punch cups that are a family heirloom. or photos of your guests from days gone by. and tack in some small shiny ornaments for extra color. You can decorate gingerbread men or holiday sugar cookies with your guests’ names written in frosting to make place cards. and other items in an oasis in a long. low display. Filling glass bowls with shiny ornaments or sugared fruits also makes a nice statement. Achieve the look of a professional ﬂoral arrangement by placing ﬂowers. The Nutcracker. or wrap the cookies in cellophane bags with guests’ names printed on them as combination party favors and place cards. I print out the story and ask several guests at the table read it. and I ﬁll each with an oasis to within half an inch of the top. and then decorating it with ribbons and candy canes. cream. You can also ﬁnd children’s versions. Low pillars (three inches). votives. There are loads of options: Bing Crosby. such as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra or the Boston Pops. You can do the same with low glasses. especially for the kids in the crowd. Again. Another idea: give each guest a small (four-inch) Christmas tree or pink. which can also double as party favors. Then I arrange ﬂowers in each oasis. I like to include the Christmas story from Luke’s Gospel at each place. or ﬂoating candles provide a beautiful glow for this elegant table. Baby photos are a fun choice. top it off with some sphagnum moss. Candy canes also make delightful party favors. ornaments. Most importantly. Christmas Dinner 15 . make your guests feel welcome and give them a sense of belonging. for music. Other colorful table accents: gold or silver charger plates at each place. Small bud vases can serve as anchors for place cards. Decorate the base with ribbon or glitter.bowl you haven’t used in ages. Fill shallow glass bowls with cranberries or red marbles. then ﬂoat candles or arrange low pillars in the bowls for interesting lighting. or something a little more contemporary. as can commemorative ornaments.
For smaller decorative ice molds.. squash soup. after you’ve poured the custard into the mold. transfer to zipper-top plastic bags and freeze for up to a month... and crème brûlée Assemble Mango-Cranberry Salad Make and freeze Garlic-Herb Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Keeping Eggnog Cold It’s hard to keep milk-based drinks cold. and potatoes from freezer and defrost in refrigerator Roast beef tenderloin and cook prawns 8 Day of Make sauce for Garlic Prawns 8 5 days ahead Make Garlic-Herb Marinade for beef tenderloin 8 3 days ahead Make and freeze Roasted Tomato and Pesto Cheesecake with Polenta Crust Make and freeze Port Wine Reduction Sauce 8 1 month ahead Make custard for Holiday Eggnog 8 2 days ahead Chill champagne for Kir Royales Marinate beef tenderloin (up to 36 hours before roasting) Make Creamy Spinach Gratin Finish eggnog.2. run hot water over the bottom of the pan to loosen the ice mold and place in the punch bowl.. but you can make an ice mold in a bundt pan from the cooked custard for your eggnog.. Make two batches of custard. place a few raspberries or a strawberry into the bottom of clean mufﬁn tins.. one for your block and one for the nog.3. sauce for tenderloin. When ready to serve. If you like. Do -Ahead Countdown 8 2 months ahead 8 2 weeks ahead Download shopping list and do-ahead calendar and ﬁll them out Shop for nonperishables Make and freeze base for Butternut Squash Soup with Crab 8 6 weeks ahead Make dressing for MangoCranberry Salad 8 1 week ahead Prepare Chocolate Crème Brûlée 8 1 day ahead Set the table Chop ingredients for MangoCranberry Salad Remove soup. Pour the eggnog over the mold and serve. Fill with eggnog custard and freeze. 16 We Spring from Our Beds . drop in a few berries and then freeze for up to a month.1. When frozen. cheesecake.
In a large saucepan over medium heat. Strain the custard through a ﬁne-mesh strainer into a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to keep a skin from forming. 3. making it like a semifreddo. but I’m betting that once you try mine. beat the egg yolks. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. you won’t go back! Leftover eggnog is terriﬁc in pancake batter in place of milk and is delicious frozen as a dessert. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste. Diva Variation Omit the bourbon to make Virgin Eggnog—but that would be a shame! Christmas Dinner 17 . garnish liberally with nutmeg. Freshly grated nutmeg is essential for great eggnog. stirring until the sugar is dissolved and ﬁne bubbles form along the side of the pan. 11/2 quarts whole milk 11/2 cups superﬁne sugar 8 large egg yolks 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste 2 cups heavy cream 2 cups Kentucky bourbon Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish 1. 10 to 15 minutes. I cook my eggnog on the stovetop long enough to eliminate any risk. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. and so is good Kentucky bourbon. 5. then gradually add a cup of the warm milk. whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Because there has been so much talk about the bacteria in raw eggs. you can refrigerate for up to 3 days. In a large bowl. reduce the heat to low. whisking until the milk is absorbed.Holiday Eggnog Serves 10 You can serve this beverage when guests arrive or for dessert (or both!). warm the milk and sugar together. You will need to make the base the day before so that it is cooled and ready to go. 2. 4. Pour into a chilled punch bowl. Stir the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan. Remove the custard from the refrigerator and whisk in the bourbon and whipped cream. With an electric mixer. I garnish each frozen dessert with chocolate curls or chopped pistachios. There are lots of people who prefer their eggnog with rum or brandy. It doesn’t freeze rock-solid. and simmer until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. and serve immediately.
Of course. but you can certainly have the champagne chilled and be ready to go when your guests arrive. Two 750-milliliter bottles chilled champagne 1/4 cup crème de cassis Pour 1/2 cup champagne into each champagne ﬂute. Slowly pour 1 teaspoon of crème de cassis down the inside of each glass. your guests can elect to have their champagne without the cassis if they wish.Kir Royales Serves 10 This combination of crème de cassis and champagne is a ruby-colored bubbly apéritif from days gone by. You can’t make this drink ahead of time (the champagne will go ﬂat). 18 We Spring from Our Beds . Serve immediately. Its red color is particularly appealing during the holiday season.
beating until light. topped with roasted tomatoes. 3. cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1 cup cornmeal 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup boiling chicken broth 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese. Pour into the prepared pan. it’s also a terriﬁc starter for any party. Press the cornmeal mixture onto the bottom. Using an electric mixer. softened 8 ounces mascarpone cheese. Line the inside of a 9-inch springform pan or a cake pan with aluminum foil and spray the inside with nonstick cooking spray. 4. with the tip of a knife. Preheat the oven to 325°F. cornmeal. then the mozzarella. salt. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and mix to combine. 45 to 50 minutes. and pepper in a large bowl. 5. homemade or store-bought 2 cups Herb-Roasted Tomatoes (page 21) Sprigs of fresh basil for garnish Pine nuts for garnish 1/4 1.Roasted Tomato and Pesto Cheesecake with Polenta Crust Makes one 9-inch cheesecake to serve 12 to 16 Swirled with garlicky basil pesto. Sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. this cheesecake is not only visually appealing. crackers. softened 2 large eggs 1 cup ﬁnely shredded mozzarella cheese 1 cup basil pesto. 2. Combine the butter. stirring to blend. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with some cheesecake on it but is not liquid. swirl it through the cheesecake for a marbled effect. but not up the sides. or European cucumber rounds. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Serve it with baguette slices. Pour in the broth. continued on next page Christmas Dinner 19 . cream the cream cheese and mascarpone together in a large bowl until smooth. Drop the pesto by tablespoonfuls onto the batter and. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar for 30 minutes (to prevent cracks from forming). and nestled in a cornmeal crust.
Roasted Tomato and Pesto Cheesecake with Polenta Crust continued 6. you can let cool completely. then remove it from the pan and peel away the foil. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. 7. 20 We Spring from Our Beds . cover with plastic wrap. and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 weeks. Decorate the top of the cheesecake with a layer of Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and sprinkle with basil leaves and pine nuts. then smooth the basil pesto over the cooled cheesecake just before serving. Diva Variation Chop up the roasted tomatoes or process them until chunky and swirl them into the cheesecake before baking.
Pour onto the prepared pan. garlic. 3. This recipe makes a lot more than you will need for the cheesecake. chopped fresh garlic. so take a tip from my Italian cousin Nella. or meats. Line a jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil or a silicone baking liner.Herb-Roasted Tomatoes Makes about 4 cups These savory roasted tomatoes are a way to get intense ﬂavor from otherwise boring canned tomatoes. Transfer the tomato mixture to a clean glass bowl and let it mellow at room temperature for about 6 hours. you can cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. checking to make sure that the tomatoes and garlic don’t brown. pepper. grilled chicken. providing you with a great topping down the road for bruschetta. The tomatoes caramelize and sweeten up in the oven. and pepper. Diva Wisdom Sometimes fresh tomatoes aren’t the most ﬂavorful. being careful not to tear the tomatoes. or a sauce to toss with fresh pasta. Cut the tomatoes in half and place in a large glass bowl. onion. ﬁsh. who will slice the tomatoes into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Preheat the oven to 350°F. spreading the mixture out in a single layer. basil. Stir in the olive oil. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature before using. crushed 6 cloves garlic. Christmas Dinner 21 . Bake until the tomato liquid is absorbed and the tomatoes have ﬁrmed up and turned a deep red color. Roasting intensiﬁes the ﬂavor of the tomatoes. place them on a baking sheet. drizzle with salt. 1 to 11/2 hours. Two 28-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes. and bake at 300°F for 40 to 50 minutes. 2. drained 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup chopped red onion 2 teaspoons dried basil 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves. but it freezes beautifully. rosemary. coarsely chopped 11/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. salt. and extra-virgin olive oil.
4. 5. or cool the soup and puree in a blender or food processor. thyme. and pepper. Serve garnished with parsley or chopped chives. which gives you lots of ﬂexibility. Defrost before proceeding. In a small bowl. apple. 2. and cut into 1-inch chunks 4 cups chicken broth 11/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup heavy cream 1 pound lump crabmeat 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning 1/2 cup melted butter Fresh Italian parsley or chopped chives for garnish 1. 22 We Spring from Our Beds . peeled. and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. melt the 2 tablespoons butter and sauté the onion. Using an immersion blender. peeled Granny Smith apple (1 large apple) 2 teaspoons dried thyme 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 3 pounds butternut squash.Butternut Squash Soup with Crab Serves 10 Creamy. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 cup ﬁnely chopped onion 1 cup ﬁnely chopped. with a hint of sweetness. Stir in the broth. Add the squash and sauté for another 10 minutes. Add the cream and heat to serving temperature. until the squash begins to soften. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. until the onion and apple are softened. 3. until the squash begins to fall apart. puree the soup. In a large stockpot. this soup will become a favorite for entertaining. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the crab. you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. seeded. toss the crabmeat with the Old Bay Seasoning and 1/2 cup melted butter. if desired. You can also serve this soup as a light lunch with crusty bread. You can freeze the soup base. and ginger for 5 minutes. then defrost it the night before you plan to serve it. salt.
Bring to room temperature for about 45 minutes before continuing. Pour in the marinade and seal. If you decide to roast this piece. you need to marinate it to add ﬂavor.to 5-pound trimmed beef tenderloin. Because the tapered end portion of the roast would otherwise cook more quickly than the center. To trim the roast. I prefer to cut off this thin strip of meat and freeze it for kebobs and stir-fries because it cooks much faster than the rest of the tenderloin. You can do so easily with a sharp knife. Also remove any fat extending down the roast and connecting a thin strip of meat to the center portion. One 4. is a showstopper. remove it from the pan and cover it with aluminum foil after it reaches 130°F on an instant-read meat thermometer. Serve a rich Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir with this sumptuous tenderloin. Many wholesale clubs like Costco sell a whole beef tenderloin for $50 to $70. which will leave some caramelized pan juices for you to serve as is or to incorporate into a wine sauce (see page 289). Tying the roast with cooking twine will ensure that it cooks evenly and that the meat stays compact for easy carving. Put the trimmed and tied tenderloin in a 2-gallon zippertop plastic bag. continued on next page Christmas Dinner 23 . tapered end tucked under and roast tied with kitchen twine every 11/2 inches Garlic-Herb Marinade (page 24) 1. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. while costly. and because it will serve a lot of people as a main course it’s really not as big a splurge as you might think. it will cook to medium. fold the tapered piece under itself in the pan.Roast Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Reduction Sauce Serves 10 This piece of meat. a tendon sheath that surrounds the center portion of the meat. You can ask your butcher to do the tying for you. not medium-rare. Because it has little fat. The trimmed meat should weigh four to ﬁve pounds (seven to eight pounds before trimming). I like to include this portion for those who don’t like their meat too pink. Roast your beef in a heavy-duty roasting pan. remove the silver skin. you can refrigerate for up to 36 hours. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Then roast it the day before Christmas and serve warm or at room temperature with your choice of sauce. and there is hardly any waste. cut close to the skin and peel it off the meat.
Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. 3. Garlic-Herb Marinade Makes about 1 1/2 cups (enough for 5 pounds of meat) This soy-based marinade is great for roasts as well as steaks and kabobs. cover. (When taken out at this temperature. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. the roasted meat will be tender and juicy. 1/2 1/2 2 4 2 1 1 cup olive oil cup soy sauce tablespoons red wine vinegar cloves garlic. Place in a heavy-duty roasting pan and roast. and refrigerate overnight. you can cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°F. Remove the meat from the oven.Roast Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Reduction Sauce continued 2. and let rest at least 15 minutes. Drain the meat and pat it dry with paper towels. no matter which cut of beef you try. whisk together all the ingredients.) 4. After a long soak in the marinade. 45 to 55 minutes. minced teaspoons dried thyme bay leaf teaspoon freshly ground black pepper In a small glass bowl. uncovered. your roast will be medium-rare to medium when it ﬁnishes resting. Bring to room temperature before continuing. Serve with the garlic prawns (page 26) arranged around the edges of the platter. Clip the strings from the meat and slice thinly. arranging the slices on a platter according to their degree of doneness. 24 We Spring from Our Beds . cover with aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 400°F. you can let cool completely.
then add the ﬂour mixture a tablespoon at a time. To you prefer. manié to achieve the thickness which has to do with the wine and not the recipe. and tenderloin. and it’s equally good with pork. 3. Add just enough of the beurre nounced wine ﬂavor even after boiling it down. Christmas Dinner 25 . Place the pan over medium heat and cook. Simply defrost. the ﬂavors. and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Pour in the broth.75-ounce cans condensed beef broth 1 cup ruby port 1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon 1/4 cup all-purpose ﬂour 1/2 1. stirring refrigerate for up to 5 days. you can let cool.Port Wine Reduction Sauce Makes about 3 cups This luxurious sauce is perfect to serve with tenderloin. cover. reheat. Remove from the counteract this. In a large saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil. This is the beurre manié. I recommend that you deglaze the roasting pan heat and serve warm. Diva with the sauce—the drippings from your roast will round out all Do-Ahead: At this point. The reduction can be made ahead and frozen for two months. and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of Reheat gently. Defrost and reheat gently before continuing. Add the shallots and thyme and cook. softened 2/3 cup chopped shallots 8 sprigs fresh thyme or 11/2 tablespoons dried thyme Two 10. cup (1 stick) unsalted butter. bringing the sauce to a boil after each addiSometimes this sauce has a protion. about 30 minutes. In a small bowl. cover. Strain through a ﬁnemesh strainer. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. melt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of the butter over medium heat. 2. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until it begins to thicken. Th e v Di ys a Sa the pan to incorporate into the sauce. blend together the ﬂour and remaining cup (1/2 stick) of butter until it forms a smooth paste. until the shallots soften. and thicken with the beurre manié (butter and ﬂour paste) just before serving. 1/4 4. Add the sauce to the pan after you have removed the you can let cool. port. stirring. 3 to 4 minutes. and Cabernet and bring to a boil over high heat.
To serve with the tenderloin. with just a last-minute sauté to heat it through. Reduce the heat to low. about 10 minutes. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. Add the garlic and cook until softened. Or you may arrange the shrimp separately on a platter or in a serving bowl. Gently reheat before serving.Garlic Prawns Serves 10 This half of your surf-and-turf entrée is simple to put together. peeled and deveined 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley 1. 3. choose something that can stand up to the tenderloin as well. This recipe also makes a simple dinner on its own when tossed with linguine or your favorite pasta. stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the shrimp and parsley to the garlic butter and toss together. and remove from the heat. Add the sherry and lemon juice and bring to a boil. minced 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning 1/4 cup cream sherry 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 pounds jumbo shrimp. Reheat gently before proceeding. cover. simmer for 1 minute. arrange the shrimp around the edges of the platter that holds the tenderloin slices and top the shrimp with their pan sauce. but don’t let the garlic brown. you can cool and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 1/4 cup olive oil 8 cloves garlic. and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Diva DoAhead: At this point. you can let cool. Cook over medium heat until the shrimp turn completely pink. such as a white Bordeaux or a French Chenin Blanc. Add the Old Bay and cook for another 2 minutes. 2. 26 We Spring from Our Beds . Melt the butter and oil in a medium-size skillet over low heat. If you wish to serve a white wine with the shrimp.
you can cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Butter the insert and dust it with the cheese as directed in step 2. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. beat the potatoes until smooth. softened 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 cup sour cream Two 3. if using. until heated through. Rub a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Bring to room temperature before continuing. these ﬂuffy potatoes will rise like a soufﬂé. about 25 minutes. Sprinkle the Parmesan into the dish and tip the dish so the cheese is evenly distributed and adheres to the butter. Boursin. and the chives. Transfer to the prepared dish and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. 8 medium-size russet potatoes. Boil the potatoes and garlic in salted water to cover until tender. Dust the top with more Parmesan and butter before serving. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. Like the others. 4.5-ounce packages Boursin or other garlic-herb cream cheese 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives (optional) Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1. Put the potatoes and garlic into a large bowl. Bake the potatoes until golden. 3. Follow the recipe through step 3 and ﬁll the insert with the mashed potatoes. but here the additions are garlic and Boursin cheese. add the sour cream. 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter. Drain. and the best part is that they can be ready several days before your big dinner. Slow Cooker Savvy These potatoes can be heated in a 4-quart slow cooker if you have a removable ceramic insert. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.Garlic-Herb Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Serves 10 The technique in this recipe is similar to that of my Thanksgiving mashed potatoes. 2. Christmas Dinner 27 . Using an electric mixer. peeled and cut into chunks 4 cloves garlic 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Serve hot.
4 quarts water Four 10-ounce packages baby spinach 6 tablespoons unsalted butter. heat the remaining butter and sauté the garlic and shallot for 3 minutes. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. Coarsely chop the spinach and set aside. pepper. softened 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 clove garlic. Rub the inside of a 10-inch round or square baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the butter.Creamy Spinach Gratin Serves 10 Creamed spinach is one of my favorite dishes. until the mixture is thickened. Place the spinach in the water. but also that you can make it up ahead of time and refrigerate it until you are ready to bake it. and the good news is not only that it doesn’t take long to make. ﬁnely chopped 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons black trufﬂe oil (optional) 1. but I have to tell you it is awesome. cooking for about 5 minutes. In a large pot. bring the water to a boil. 2. This dish is a combination of some of the best versions that I’ve had. turn off the heat. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese over the butter and tip the dish so the cheese is evenly distributed and adheres to the butter. you can refrigerate for up to 2 days. cover the pot. but I often order it in restaurants only to be disappointed by gluey sauce or tasteless spinach. and it is well worth buying a small bottle to make this dish. 3. removing all the liquid by pressing down on the spinach in a colander. Slowly add the cream and bring back to a simmer. until softened. Drain the spinach. and allow to sit for 3 minutes. minced 1 shallot. In a medium-size saucepan. stirring to combine. and nutmeg. Add the spinach to the pan and season with the salt. 28 We Spring from Our Beds . Preheat the oven to 350°F. This recipe also lends itself to being made in individual gratin dishes or soufﬂé ramekins. Set aside. The trufﬂe oil is optional.
although it has a more subtle ﬂavor. and turn the mixture into the prepared dish. bake about 15 minutes. For individual ramekins. you can cool. Sprinkle the spinach with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bring to room temperature before proceeding. if desired. Serve hot or warm.4. Stir in the trufﬂe oil. Diva Tip I’ve found that white trufﬂe oil works well. Christmas Dinner 29 . Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. too. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. and refrigerate for up to 2 days. or until bubbling and the cheese begins to turn golden brown. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 350°F and serve hot or at room temperature. It’s generally more widely available and less expensive than black trufﬂe oil. Diva Variation The spinach mixture is also delicious when used to ﬁll large mushroom caps or artichoke bottoms. cover.
Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. Serve immediately. you’ll love the salad’s unique ﬂavor. Pour the vinaigrette over and toss to coat everything. In a medium-size bowl. Dressing 11/2 cups vegetable oil 2/3 cup rice vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar 11/2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Salad Four 10-ounce packages mixed greens 1 large ripe mango. If mangoes aren’t available. peeled. you can cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. use chopped cantaloupe instead. 30 We Spring from Our Beds . ﬂesh cut away from pit.Mango-Cranberry Salad Serves 10 to 12 This colorful salad is both sweet and tart because of the ﬁnely chopped mango and the dried cranberries. and ﬁnely chopped 1/2 cup ﬁnely chopped red onion 1 cup unsweetened dried cranberries 1. whisk together the dressing ingredients until thickened. and cranberries in a large salad bowl. mango. 2. place the greens. either way. onion. To assemble the salad.
4. whipped to stiff peaks. Place the baking dish with the ramekins on an oven rack. Bring a kettle of water to a boil on high heat. chilled 2/3 cup granulated sugar Pinch of salt 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste 8 ounces semisweet chocolate. chopped 12 large egg yolks 8 to 12 teaspoons Demerara or turbinado sugar 1 cup heavy cream. stirring until the chocolate is melted. For testing. and vanilla bean paste into a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. beat the egg yolks until they break up and combine. Bake the custards until they are just barely set and no longer loose. this dessert is sure to please all your guests. as with heart-shaped continued on next page Christmas Dinner 31 . Pour 2 cups of the cream. 2. which produced an ethereal dessert. beating until it is all combined. Place a kitchen towel in a large baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet and arrange eight 4-ounce ramekins on the towel. 4 cups heavy cream. salt. Preheat the oven to 300°F. I recommend that you use a high-quality chocolate with a high percentage of cacao. for garnish (optional) 1. the granulated sugar. Pour the chocolate cream through a sieve to strain it.Chocolate Crème Brûlée Serves 8 Smooth and creamy. I used Scharffen Berger. Slowly pour the chocolate cream into the ramekins. (If the ramekins are shallow. dividing it equally. Set aside. and pour boiling water into the baking dish until it is halfway up the sides of the ramekins. discarding the solids left in the strainer. 30 to 35 minutes. with an intense chocolate ﬂavor and crackly sugar topping. Add the remaining 2 cups chilled cream and stir. In the bowl of an electric mixer. place a few fresh raspberries in the bottom of each ramekin. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. For a little variation and a surprise for your guests. 3. Slowly pour in the cooled chocolate-cream mixture.
Ignite a kitchen torch and caramelize the sugar. but watch them carefully so that the sugar doesn’t burn. bake 25 to 30 minutes. for up to 4 hours. uncovered. you can run the ramekins under the broiler until the sugar is melted. you can refrigerate. Garnish with whipped cream if desired. and serve chilled. Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. The torch is a great tool to have because it gives you more control. you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.) An instant-read thermometer will register 170°F when inserted in the center. Gently remove any condensation that forms on the custard with a paper towel. about 2 hours. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool at room temperature.ones. 5. Diva Note If you don’t have a small kitchen torch or crème brûlée torch. Serve immediately. . Diva Do-Ahead: At this point. Sprinkle each custard evenly with the Demerara sugar.
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