Holiday dinner #2 – Christmas

When we were young, my mom made turkey for Christmas.  Then she decided that with everything going on at Christmas, she didn’t want to fool with a turkey.  We have Smithfield ham on biscuits and oysters.  We usually have the mashed sweet potatoes and tomato artichoke casserole but this year I decided to try something slightly different.  The key is to minimize the effort so you can minimize the time in the kitchen and maximize your time with family and friends.

Christmas dinner:

  • Smithfield ham on biscuits
  • Oyster casserole
  • Twice-baked sweet potatoes
  • Green beans gremolata

These are wonderful lightly buttered and stuffed with salty Smithfield ham.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup milk

Sift together dry ingredients. Cut in butter until dough is in coarse crumbs. Add milk all at once. Stir dough until just combined. Knead on a lightly floured surface and roll to 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter and bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 450 for 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown.
Scalloped Oysters

  • 2 pints oysters
  • 3 cups oyster crackers
  • 8 TB oyster liquor (drained from oysters)
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 4 TB cream

Preheat oven to 450. Drain oysters reserving liquor and wash oysters, checking for bits of shell. Marinate crackers in melted butter. Grease a shallow baking dish and layer crackers, oysters, crackers, oysters and crackers. Pour reserved oyster liquor and cream over top. Bake 30 minutes.

Twice Baked Sweet potatoes

  • 1 sweet potato per every 2 people
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 minced shallots
  • 8 oz Tallegio cheese, chopped

Preheat oven to 400.  Poke holes in potatoes and bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until very tender.  Let cool.  Sauce shallots in 2 TB butter until tender.  Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out potato.  Mash with butter, sautéed shallots and cheese until well mixed.  Stuff mixture back into potato skins.  Refrigerate until ready to reheat for 20 – 30 minutes at 400.  Serve hot.

Green Beans gremolata

  • 1 pound French green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 TB minced parsley
  •  2 TB toasted pine nuts
  • 2 TB olive oil

Blanch green beans in boiling water for 2 – 3 minutes and drain in a colander.  Put warm beans in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.  Toss garlic, lemon zest, parsley, Parmesan and pine nuts in a small bowl.  When ready to serve, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large state pan.  Cook beans for 2 – 3 minutes until heated.  Remove from heat and add gremolata and toss well.  Serve hot.

I used to make a buche de noel for dessert but then I started buying them from Patisserie Poupon and never looked back.  Samantha is already looking forward to a madeleine and a macaron from our trip to Patisserie Poupon in the morning!

Merry Christmas to all and I’ll be back on Sunday with a menu plan for next week!






About emenuplan
I love to cook and love to eat. I work full time and have a family so managing good meals during the week requires organization. I'm hoping to share my weekly menu plans and recipes to make things a little easier for those who want to follow along.

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