Christmas Eve 2013

As is our tradition we opened our house to friends for a Christmas Eve dinner. With the night falling midweek, and both of us working that day, we came up with a menu where we made many of the components in the days leading up to dinner. This left us with just reheating and assembly. It was rather relaxing and quite lovely.

Here is the menu, in photo form:

Christmas Eve Tablescape

Christmas Eve Tablescape

Baked Brie in homemade Puff Pastry with accompaniments

Baked Brie in homemade Puff Pastry with accompaniments

Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Pears, Toasted Pecans, Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese

Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Pears, Toasted Pecans, Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese

Braised Lamb Shanks with Green Rice Patties and Roasted Root Vegetables

Braised Lamb Shanks with Green Rice Patties and Roasted Root Vegetables

Crème Brulée with Cranberry-Mango Chutney and Blackberries

Crème Brulée with Cranberry-Mango Chutney and Blackberries

Notes
As I mentioned above Christmas Eve falling on a weeknight was a challenge. I decided early on, like last month, that we needed to be able to make almost everything ahead of time. That way if worse came to worse and be both had to work a full day we would still be able to mount a delicious meal with only an hour or so of time between getting home and guests arriving.

I started with the Cranberry-Mango Chutney and the Gingersnap Cookies on Saturday.

I roasted the pears and the root vegetables on Sunday. Ted started the puff pastry Sunday night and made the base for the crème brulée.

Monday night I made the lamb and the Mexican green rice that is the base for the green rice patties. Ted cooked the crème brulée custards and finished the fold-and-roll work on the puff pastry Monday night as well.

We both escaped work around lunch time on Christmas Eve day and were able to have a fairly leisurely afternoon. Ted assembled the baked brie. I made the Green Rice Patties and formed the patties for later frying. We cleaned a bit, set the table, chilled the bubbly, baked the brie. By the time our guests started to arrive we had the lamb and root vegetables reheating, appetizers set out and were ready. to go.

I’m incredibly happy with how everything came out. We are blessed by good friends all year long and for their company last night. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

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