Not Your Typical Christmas Supper

I know, it’s early, but why wait till Christmas Morning to plan your Christmas Supper. And isn’t this a lovely Christmas Table? It is our Holiday Table. Yeah, I am very proud of my tablescapes.

I love decorating our dining room table with a different theme each month. My two favorites are Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe that’s because those are the holidays that bring me the greatest warmth, joy and fond memories. Family is everything. And family dinners are the heart of family gathering. So to me, the table should be memorable, too.

Growing up, did you have Holiday Traditions? We sure did. Christmas began at midnight, with Mass. Then it was home for a nap. Christmas morning was a blur of paper and bows and new baby dolls. Before we knew it, our house was filled with cousins, uncles and aunts. Mom and Dad always served up a wonderful Christmas Ham. It was made extra special because it was one of three times each year we got to eat warm, soft dinner rolls with real butter. And a fruit salad – the kind made with fruit cocktail and lots of little marshmallows. You knew dinner was going to be special because even the children wore their best clothes. How I miss those days.

Not everyone is into the traditions of a Christmas Ham and Fruit Cocktail Salads. Not everyone has a big family gathering for the holidays with a house over-run by excited children. That doesn’t mean Christmas should be dismissed as just another day. Christmas should be special. And I for one plan to dress for the occasion.

I’ve mentioned this before – our son and his family work in the restaurant industry. This means Christmas, like Thanksgiving, are work days. So he won’t be able to join us at the Family Farm on Christmas Day. That doesn’t mean he won’t be a part of our Holiday Feast. We’ll be hosting an early Christmas Supper in our home for those unable to join us at the farm. After all Christmas isn’t a single day – it’s an entire season meant to carry us forward with God’s love for one another in our hearts.

A Classy Christmas Time Repast
Chicken Consommé

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
Garlic Mashed-Potato Gratin
Buttered Lemon Pepper-Chive Carrots

Winter Salad with Walnuts and Pears

Christmas Celebratory Cake

Before we go any further, I feel the need to add a disclaimer. The technique of purifying the broth with egg whites is not a part of this Consommé. Some may argue that it’s not a true Consommé. I say it’s a much less complicated way to create a clear broth. Enjoy!

Chicken Consommé
14 Chicken Wings
3 tablespoons Oil
2 Leeks
2 Carrot
1 Celery Rib
2 small White Onions
3 Garlic Cloves
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
3 sprigs Parsley
1 untreated Orange
2 Bay Leaf
Salt to taste
10 Peppercorns
4 cups Chicken Stock
4 cups Water

Heat the oil in a pot and brown the chicken wings for 5 minutes.

Wash the leek, carrot, and celery, peel and cut into pieces. Peel onion, cut into chunks. Peel garlic, leave whole. Add to the pot and lightly brown.

Add tomato paste, the whole garlic, and parsley sprigs. Peel orange, adding only the peel to the pot. Toss in bay leaves and pepper corns. Season with salt. Finally, add chicken stock and water.

Simmer gently for 90 minutes. Remove from heat, cool completely. Strain it through a fine strainer lined with cheesecloth. Repeat straining as necessary until Consommé is pure and clarified. Gently rewarm consommé just before serving.

Serve with a basket of warm Dinner Rolls.

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin Roast with Hickory Balsamic Glaze
2 (1 lb) Pork Tenderloin
Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
6 Garlic Cloves
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 tablespoons Butter
3 tablespoon Hickory Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon Crushed Rosemary
Fresh Rosemary Sprigs, garnish

Heat oven to 350-degrees.

Pat dry pork tenderloin, season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside.

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for about 1 minute. Sear the pork tenderloins on all sides until a brown crust forms. about 90 seconds or so per side. Remove tenderloins from the skillet.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Add butter and garlic, sauté for about 30 seconds off heat. Add balsamic, Italian Seasoning and crushed Rosemary. Stir the sauce for 1 minute or until the butter has completely melted.

Return pork tenderloins to the skillet. Tip skillet slightly, spoon some Balsamic Butter Sauce over pork.

Cover skillet with foil, place in the heated oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove foil, baste tenderloins with the sauce gathering in the skillet. Cover with foil once more, continue to roast another 30 minutes or until interior temperature reaches 145-degrees.

Remove from oven, transfer to a serving platter. Pour any accumulated pan drippings over the tenderloins. Tent to keep warm, let rest 15 minutes.

Slice into medallions. Garnish platter with rosemary tucked in and around the meat. Serve and enjoy.

Garlic Mashed-Potato Gratin
5 lbs Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Garlic Cloves
Salt to taste
1/4 cup Chives
1-1/2 cups Heavy Cream
1 cup grated Parmesan
4 tablespoons Butter, divided
4 oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature
White Pepper to taste

Peel potatoes, dice and place in a large pot. Peel garlic, scatter over potatoes. Add enough cold water to just cover the potatoes. Season pot with salt.

Place pot over medium-high heat. Bring potatoes to a boil, cook until tender, about 30 minutes.

While potatoes are cooking, snip chives, set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring cream, grated Parmesan and 2 tablespoons of butter to simmer over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until Parmesan Cheese melts. Remove mixture from heat and set aside.

Heat oven to 350-degrees. Grease a 3-quart casserole dish with a tablespoon of butter. Set aside.

Drain potatoes well, return to the pot with the garlic. Mash potatoes and garlic together with cream cheese until smooth. Add cream mixture to potato mixture and stir well to combine. Stir in chives, season with salt and pepper.

Spoon potato mixture into prepared baking dish. Dot casserole with remaining tablespoon of. butter Place in the heated oven to bake until potatoes are heated through and golden brown on top, about 45 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.

Buttered Lemon Pepper-Chive Carrots
2-1/2 lbs Carrots
6 tablespoons Butter, cubed
1/4 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
1/4 teaspoon Lemon Pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh Chives

Peel carrots, slice diagonally into 1/2 inch thick pieces.

Place carrots in a large saucepot. Add 1 inch of water; bring to a boil. Cook, covered, for about 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain well.

In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add carrots, seasoned salt and lemon pepper; cook about 2 minutes or until carrots are tender, stirring frequently.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Snip chives, sprinkle over carrots and serve.

Winter Salad with Walnuts and Pears
4 large handfuls Arugula-Mixed Greens
2 Pears
1 cup Walnut Halves
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper
Feta Crumbles

Wash the salad greens, spin dry and place in a large bowl. Wash, quarter and core the pears. Slice the quarters crosswise and add them to the bowl. Scatter the walnut halves over the salad. If not serving immediately, place in the refrigerator to keep well-chilled.

When ready to serve, add the lemon juice, olive oil and seasonings. Toss well and place on chilled plates. Sprinkle with Feta and serve.

Christmas Celebratory Cake
Sugared Cranberries
1 cup frozen Cranberries
1-1/4 cups Sugar, divided
3/4 cup Water

Thaw cranberries. Pat dry to remove any moisture.

In 1-quart saucepan, mix 3/4 cup of the sugar with the water. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes.

In small bowl, place cranberries. Pour syrup over berries; stir to blend. Refrigerate, uncovered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove berries from refrigerator and drain; discard liquid.

In small bowl, place remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Working with a few berries at a time, roll one by one in the sugar to completely coat. Place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Let stand at room temperature about 1 hour or until dry. Set aside until ready to use.

While the berries dry, make the cake.

Chocolate Cake
3 Eggs
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1 box Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1 cup Water
1 (3.4 oz) box Chocolate-flavor Instant Pudding Mix

Heat oven to 325-degrees. Spray bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat eggs with oil until foamy. Add cake mix, pudding and water. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Measure and pour 1-2/3 cups of the batter into each prepared pan.

Bake 20 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Marshmallow Crème Frosting
3-1/4 cups Powdered Sugar
2 cups Marshmallow Crème (from two 7-oz jars)
1-1/4 cups Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 tablespoon Milk or as needed

Sift powdered sugar into a bowl, set aside until ready to use.

In large bowl, beat marshmallow crème, softened butter, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Beat in powdered sugar until fluffy. If necessary, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time, until spreading consistency.

Set aside to assemble the cake.

Finishing Touch
2 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs

Place one cake layer on serving plate. Spread 3/4 cup frosting on top; top with second cake layer. Spread 3/4 cup frosting on top; top with third cake layer.

Frost sides with a thin layer of frosting so sides are covered but cake still shows through. Spread remaining frosting on top.

Place sugared cranberries around base of cake, and press in slightly to adhere to frosting.

Arrange remaining cranberries on top, mounding in center of cake; garnish with sprigs of rosemary.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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