Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas Dinner 2018

On the Menu


Christmas Glazed Duck

10 servings


1 Roast duckling (Long Island), about 5 pounds

1 tea spoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon granulated onion

Zest of 1 orange

Zest of1 lemon 
Zest of 1 lime

1 small onion, halved

Sour Orange Glaze – Recipe to follow


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

A day before roasting, remove the giblets and neck from the cavity of the bird and discard.

Trim the neck flap and excess fat from around the cavity. Rinse and dry the bird well.

Pierce the duck skin all over (including the back) with a skewer or small knife.

Mix together the salt, pepper, granulated garlic and granulated onion and season the bird thoroughly inside and out with the mixture. Set the duck on a rack on a baking sheet, and refrigerate, uncovered, for 24 hours.

Stuff with strips or orange, lemon and lime zest and the onion. Set the duck on the rack in a roasting pan, and pour a cup of water in the pan. Roast the bird for 3 hours, removing the duck from the oven every hour to prick the skin again. Remove the duck from the oven and carefully, pour off the excess fat from the pan. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Return the duck to the oven and roast until crisp and brown, about 30 minutes more. During the last 20 minutes of roasting, brush the duck with 1 cup of the orange glaze.

Let the duck rest for 20 minutes before carving. Brush the ducks skin with glaze 4 to 5 times during the resting period. Carve the duck and transfer pieces to warm serving platter. Serve the remaining glaze at the table to drizzle over the duck, if desired. 

 Sour Orange Glaze


4 cups fresh orange juice

2 cups fresh lemon juice

1 cup fresh lime juice

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Place the juice, garlic, fennel and peppercorns in a medium saucepan and cook over medium high heat until reduced to 2 cups. Strain the sauce into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Southern Collard Greens
8 Servings
This recipe was inspired by:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 large onion, sliced, thin
3 large garlic cloves, sliced, thin
1 large chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
2 large bunches of collard greens, cleaned rinsed and chopped
2 oranges juiced
½ teaspoon of Cajun seasoning 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
Heat the oil in a large saute pan or wok, add the crushed red pepper flakes and saute until peppers are slightly browned, do not let them burn. 
Add the onions, garlic and chipotle pepper in adobe sauce; saute until onions are translucent.
Add the collards and all remaining ingredients, carefully mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Cover, bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
Taste, season with additional salt and pepper as needed; sprinkle with dried pepper flakes, if desired.


Old Fashioned Christmas Ham
20 servings
1 (12 pound) bone in ham
15 to 20 whole cloves
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple slices, juice reserved
1 small jar maraschino cherries, juice reserved
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Place ham in a roasting pan. Score the ham with a diamond pattern.
Press a clove into the center of each diamond.
Drain the juice from the pineapple rings and cherries into a medium bowl, and whisk in the brown sugar and mustard. Coat the ham with this mixture.
Arrange the pineapple rings over the outside of the ham.
Place a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring, and secure with a toothpick.
Bake uncovered for 4 to 5 hours, basting frequently with the juices, until the internal temperature of the ham is 160 degrees F.
Be sure the meat thermometer is not touching the bone.
Remove toothpicks before serving.

Macaroni and Cheese - for Holidays Only 
 10 - 12 Servings
1 pound box elbow macaroni
4 quarts water
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon basil, ground

1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cups (1 lb.) pepper jack cheese
6 cups (1 1/2 lbs.) NY or WI  Xtra-Sharp cheddar cheese


Heat oven 350 degrees
Cook macaroni until it's al dente:  In a large pot, pour in 4 quarts of water, add salt, granulated garlic and granulated onion and bring to a boil.
Once water is boiling, add the macaroni, stir and bring the water back up to a boil.
Remove the pot from the heat and cover. Let the pot sit covered and undisturbed until the cooking time stated on the box is reached. Approximately 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, add the milk and butter heating just long enough to melt the butter.
Once the cooking time has elapsed on the macaroni, drain it and return it to the pot.
Add the paprika, basil and sea salt, mix thoroughly.
Add the warm milk and mix thoroughly.  Add the cheese and mix until well combined.
The cheese does not necessarily have to be melted, just make sure it is well distributed
throughout the dish. Mixture should be moderately moist, if needed add more milk.
Taste for flavor and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Transfer mixture to a baking dish.
Cover dish with plastic wrap and then cover with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the
foil and plastic wrap and bake uncovered another 15 minutes or until the casserole is slightly
browned on the top and all of the milk is absorbed.

Roasted Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts
4 servings
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half, rinsed and patted dry
½ teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, granulated garlic, granulated onion, Dijon mustard and red chili flakes. 
Add the trimmed Brussels sprouts to the mixture, toss well, then spread them in an even layer on the prepared pan.
Season the Brussels sprouts with sea salt and roast until the outer leaves are crispy and the centers are tender all the way through, about 20 to 25 minutes. 
Transfer to a plate and serve immediately.
6 Servings
1 ½ pounds butternut squash, cut ½” on the diagonal
1 ½ pounds crook neck [yellow] squash, cut ½” on the diagonal
1 ½ pounds zucchini, cut ½” on the diagonal
½ bunch fresh sage, roughly chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Peel butternut squash, slice in half lengthwise and remove seeds.  Slice squash again lengthwise then cut on the diagonal.
Wash then cut the crookneck (yellow) squash and zucchini in half lengthwise and cut on the diagonal.
Remove sage from the stems and rough chop.
Place the butternut squash in a bowl and mix in ½ sage, olive oil, salt and
Place on a sheet pan and bake in oven until edges of squash is golden brown.  Approximately 45 minutes.
Combine the crookneck, zucchini squash and the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Transfer to a sheet pan and bake in oven until edges of squash are golden brown.  Approximately 30 minutes.
Turn once ½ through the cooking time.
Once both pans of squash are done, combine them.
Serve hot

 Strawberry Spinach Salad
2 Servings
10 ounces baby spinach
8 – 10 large strawberries cut in 1/8, lengthwise
¼ cup almond slithers
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ bunch chives cut into 1 inch long pieces
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Rinse spinach and spin in a salad spinner or drain in a colander then blot with paper towels to remove excess water.
Whisk together dressing and set aside.
Toss spinach with enough dressing to lightly coat. 
Add the strawberries and almonds and toss again.
Place on platter and top with feta cheese and chives.

Sweet Potato Pie
16 Servings
2½ lbs sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
1 cup evaporated milk
3 eggs
1½ cups brown sugar ½ cup granulated cane sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
½ teaspoon ginger
2 commercial pie crust
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Wash potatoes and slice them in half, lengthwise.
Sprinkle each half with pumpkin spice mix.
Bake in oven 35 minutes or until potatoes are done
Let potatoes cool down just enough to peel.
Place peeled potatoes in the bowl of your electric mixer affixed with the paddle add all other ingredients except the crust and mix on medium low until you have a puree.
Prepare crust according to the instructions on the package.
Pour filling into the partially baked pie shell, make sure your oven is still on 350 degrees and bake 60 minutes or until pie is set in the middle.
Let pie cool before serving.
 Pumpkin Spice Mix
1/3 cup cinnamon, ground
1 tablespoon ginger, ground
1 tablespoon nutmeg, ground
1 ½ teaspoons cloves,ground
1 ½ teaspoons allspice, ground
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Store up to 6 months.
Use on baked sweet potatoes and butternut squash or any roasted root vegetable as well as pumpkins.  Also great in butternut squash and pumpkin soups.

Red Velvet Cake

2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon distilled vinegar

1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons all purpose four
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can of angel flake coconut
½ cup black walnuts, crushed

Method For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder.
In another bowl, add the food coloring, buttermilk, vanilla extract and vinegar and mix thoroughly..
Pour 2 cups of the flour mixture into the creamed butter, mix and add 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture. Continue mixing alternating between the flour and buttermilk mixtures until all ingredients are added.
Pour batter into 2 (8-inch) round cake pans, greased and floured.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before icing.

For the Icing:
Using a double boiler, whisk together the buttermilk and flour until smooth.
Cook until mixture is thick.  Refrigerate until cool [while cake is baking].
Once cake is done and you sit it aside to cool, start putting together your icing.
In a medium bowl, add butter make sure it‘s at room temperature or soft enough to cream. 
Then add the sugar, vanilla and cooled buttermilk mixture and mix or whisk until creamy.
Add coconut flakes and walnuts then mix thoroughly.
Once cake is cooled you can begin icing it. 
Spread icing  between layers and on top and sides of  cake.


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