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Old Dec 26 2009, 09:08 AM   #1
Hans
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Default First day of Christmas: dinner

This year I made christmas dinner the first day of christmas (as you might know we Dutch have two christmas days that count as Sundays, and this year a following regular Sunday!) and we'll eat at my brother-in-law, the chef, today.

Yesterday I made a double amuse (appetizer). I'd gotten the white porcelain, special amuse spoons (an amuse is always small enough to fit on a spoon, it's always a single bite so to speak) for my birthday this year. I made one with smoked mackerel, grated sour apple, crême fraiche and some paprika powder and lemon juice, the other one was crab salade with ham slices and a touch of parsley. Both were decorated with a slice of cucumber while the mackerel was served on a bit of endive leaf.



My wife set the table. Our dinner was simple but (hopefully elegant) this year, with not so many courses.



Next course was something new to me: mushroom soup en crôute. The mushroom soup wasn't special but the small cups are covered with pastry dough. The soup is made before and placed in the cups when cold. Before they go into the oven you apply egg yolk to get a nice golden brown crust. It serves very nicely but since the cup is hot too people needed to contemplate how to eat this dish



Attendants were my wife's parents, my mother, son, wife and me, which is nice because the table (only) sits six



For meat this year I chose breast of duck and I made a creamy port sauce for it. The duck is prepared and made the classic way. For the sauce you take almost half a litre of port, reduce to half by cooking then add 200 ml of bird or meat stock. Add thyme and whole black pepper and a quarter litre of cream and reduce some more. Sauce was a great hit. Could have added classic orange zest but decided against that.
What I did do was buy a variety of mushrooms and mixed that with the meat.

Fatty side of the duck needs to be done first (use no butter or oil, not necessary but bake a minute or two on high to get a crispy, crunchy finish).



Finished dish:



As side dishes/vegies I made
Asperagus with a cheese sauce
Tutti frutti (warm dried fruit, plums, apricots and apples go very good with duck)
An apricot-apple sauce (sweet)
An endive salade with endive cut julienne (long, thin strips) with grated Swiss Emmenthaler chees, thin slices of ham, grated fresh-sour apple and crushed walnuts.
The potato dish were fried twisters from Lamb & Weston.



Desert this year was a tiny crême caramel pudding, a blob of banana ice cream and whipped cream. Light and delicious. I have to take into account that the older people as well as my wife and me jst don't eat as much as we used to



All this followed by coffee , liquer and chocolate, of course.
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Last edited by Hans; Dec 27 2009 at 04:19 AM.
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Old Dec 26 2009, 10:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: First day of Christmas: dinner

That all looks absolutely wonderful!
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Old Dec 26 2009, 10:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: First day of Christmas: dinner

Wow. I'm salivating just looking at the pictures.

We had a tasty Christmas dinner (and I didn't have to prepare a thing!), but it wasn't so involved or visually stunning (though the crown roast did look lovely).
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Old Dec 26 2009, 04:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: First day of Christmas: dinner

That all looks fantastic Hans, I'd just love to be able to share a feast like that
And I see the pic of you tucking into your mushroom soup is the moment before contact with that pastry crust. Very tidy!
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Old Dec 26 2009, 10:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: First day of Christmas: dinner

Now I am hungry again. I just ate dinner. Every thing looks very good.

Can you tell me how you made the mushroom soup? My sister might be interested in trying it.
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Old Dec 26 2009, 10:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: First day of Christmas: dinner

Hmmmm......creme caramel....

We went for fairly simple....a ham (my brother was rather peeved that he couldn't do a smoke ham in the webber so he roasted it instead), potato salad (courtesy of youngest brother and girlfriend), green salad, roast chicken, coleslaw, nibbly-type foods (like carrot/celery sticks, biscuits and dip), icecream with berries and of course, a birthday cake as it was my youngest brother's birthday. He hates having a birthday on xmas day and said that at least people have a chance to celebrate doing two seperate things when it's any other day bar xmas. Myself, I was the general dogsbody who helped cleaned up because everyone else had already done something.
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Old Dec 28 2009, 08:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: First day of Christmas: dinner

My niece Melissa started making a birthday cake that says "Happy Birthday Jesus" on it as a way to teacher her daughter, Madison why we celebrate Christmas.
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