Thursday, January 5, 2012


The Holiday Season is always the busiest time of the year for everyone especially for me.  It's work, party, play, and planning for the Christmas Dinners.

This year I held my Christmas-Holiday Party between Christmas and New Year.  I figure, I personally am done with all the Christmas parties to go to, the shopping, our own family Christmas Eve dinner, and am ready to tackle my own event.

Here is what I made for the Christmas Party.  You can prepare the sauces and desserts a day in advance.  On the day is mostly assembling the food.  Let me share with you what I did:

The gingerbread house above was store-bought whereby I added the marshmallow tree, the gummy Santas, Snoopy and candy canes bought from a nice candy store (Dylan's). I made my own egg white frosting with plenty of confectioner's sugar that I beat till it was stiff to use as extra snow and for gluing the candy trees and decor to the house.  I happen to have always had the Christmas ornament of a Real Estate Agent and a Sold sign; so I stuck them down on 2 corners of the house this year instead of hang it as Christmas tree ornament.

For hors'd'eouvres, I ordered and bought already peeled and cooked lobsters and served them in individual containers with my own sauce.
Above are the lobsters with miso-butter sauce, topped with black caviar and minced chives for decor.

 On the left were lobster meat as well individually served with yuzu emulsified butter with some yuzu tea marmalade (available from Japanese grocery stores) topped with minced chives.  This sauce has a wonderful citrus taste and a little sweet.

Served surrounded by the 2 versions of the lobster hors'd'eouvres is the Armagnac soaked prunes stuffed with D'Artagnan foie-gras.  A chef pastry cake decorating bag with a wide serrated tip was used to stuff the foie gras into the overnight-soaked prunes.

Above is the gravlax I made 4 days before to cure.  I used fresh dill, salt, sugar, and freshly ground white peppercorns.  You spread the mixture on top of one equally sized center cut of a fresh clean and deboned salmon and cover it with another piece of salmon of almost exactly the same size.  Wrap it well with plastic-lined aluminum foil.  Place in a plastic bag to seal the juice while processing.  Put this in a larger container and place weight of at least 5 lbs on top; turning it over each day for 4 days. (For weights, I use our home barbel discs covered in plastic)  To serve, remove all the dill and peppercorns and slice thinly using a special gravlax slicer or a very thin flexible bladed knife.  Serve it with WASA bread.  I didn't use a gravlax sauce because it defeats being a healthy dish.
**Not photographed:  I also served a fresh whole roasted pork called lechon.  It's a small suckling pig with very crisp skin.  For the salad, I used thin slices of fennel with radicchio and arugula and a simple olive oil and premium balsamic vinegar dressing for a less sour but still tangy but sweeter flavor enhancing the fennel.  As a vegetable dish, I served roasted root vegetables (parsnip, sweet potatoes) with fresh rosemary and garlic mixed with roasted asparagus, and red and green peppers.

One of the desserts I served was the poached pears in wine with homemade chocolate ganache:
Poached sekel pears was my choice, so they can be served in individual dishes and served whole. This way, the guest can try the poached pears and other desserts too.   I poached them for only 12-15 minutes with cloves stuck on each top which I removed before serving.  The poaching liquid was sherry, vanilla bean pod, and sugar.

Some of the poached pears were served on a pedestal dish with my homemade egg less butter-chocolate chip cookies.

This is called CANONIGO.  It is made of egg white cooked in "bain Marie" (pan is in a pan of hot water baked in the oven). served with "natilla" like creme anglaise (yolk with rum, milk and sugar) and fruits on the side if you wish.  My College friend gave me their family recipe and I've kept it all these years.

And the party was joyful as everyone got full.  I was delighted to share my culinary ideas amidst the busiest time of the year.
       H A P P Y     N E W    Y E A R    T O   Y O U    A L L!

Should you want the recipes of the food in this party, please let me know.

I also ordered a chocolate lemon cake from LA Burdick
It's my favorite cake and you can order this.  Imagine chocolate layer cake with fresh lemon cream inside.

Ingredients were mostly from,New+York,+NY

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