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Help! Just found out I'm cooking for 15 on Christmas Day!
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Atheist
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Dec 22, 2008, 05:08 PM
 
What started out as Christmas lunch on the beach has now turned into dinner for 15 at my place Christmas evening. (Somehow my other half thinks we're still going to make it to the beach for lunch).

We thought it would be nice to give all of our friends from the French side a traditional American Christmas feast. (I'm a little nervous seeing that 2 of them own restaurants and they all seem to be connoisseurs.)

So I'm seeking advice/suggestions on classic American Christmas dinner fixins. I'm doing Roast Turkey and Dressing, Roast Chicken, and Glazed Ham. I'll probably do Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.

Any idea?
     
Laminar
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Dec 22, 2008, 05:15 PM
 
Call up Railroader, he can provide you with traditional American Christmas food:

     
Atheist  (op)
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Dec 22, 2008, 05:17 PM
 
Yeah... that'll go over really well.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Dec 22, 2008, 05:18 PM
 
Serving both chicken and turkey seems weird.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
ort888
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Dec 22, 2008, 05:19 PM
 
Ugh. Tell me about it. We're hosting a party tonight where we are serving food for about 25 people, then we have to have an Xmas dinner for my family and then a hanukah dinner for my family.

It's going to be about $400 in food, not to mention the headache. Hey great, let's just prepare endless fancy meals for the whole world... WEEEEEEEEEE!

(She is also simultaneously preparing all the food for her work party...)

Not sure how we got suckered into doing everything this year.

Then there is my wife, who doesn't think it's enough to just have people over, she has to cook 14 different exotic dishes that will all get 1/2 eaten by everybody while my wife turns into a complete monster for two days while she stresses out about everything and makes me clean the whole house top to bottom even though our house is always what I consider to be very clean. We end up doing about 20 hours of work for a 4 hour party.

But hey, I'm not bitter.
( Last edited by ort888; Dec 22, 2008 at 05:26 PM. )

My sig is 1 pixel too big.
     
Atheist  (op)
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Dec 22, 2008, 05:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Serving both chicken and turkey seems weird.
Why? It's a cheap way to add more meat to the dinner without buying a second turkey (we already had a turkey before I found out we were having 15 for dinner).
     
Atheist  (op)
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Dec 22, 2008, 05:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
Ugh. Tell me about it. We're hosting a party tonight where we are serving food for about 25 people, then we have to have an Xmas dinner for my family and then a hanukah dinner for my family.

It's going to be about $400 in food, not to mention the headache. Hey great, let's just prepare endless fancy meals for the whole world... WEEEEEEEEEE!

Not sure how we got suckered into doing everything this year.
One dinner is more than enough. Can't imagine having to do three. Good luck.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Dec 22, 2008, 05:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
Why? It's a cheap way to add more meat to the dinner without buying a second turkey (we already had a turkey before I found out we were having 15 for dinner).
That makes sense. I wasn't sure by your different choices if you were trying to provide a larger variety or something.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
Railroader
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Dec 22, 2008, 06:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Call up Railroader, he can provide you with traditional American Christmas food:

Now I should take pictures of the numerous jars of cranberries, poultry stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, jars of gravies, and cake/pie kits.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Dec 22, 2008, 06:48 PM
 
Prime. Rib.

You're welcome.

greg
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Atheist  (op)
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Dec 22, 2008, 07:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Prime. Rib.

You're welcome.

greg
It's very difficult to get good beef on the island. It's prohibitively expensive as well.


I thought we had some culinary artists on this forum. Nobody has any suggestions for some good side dishes?
     
scaught
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Dec 22, 2008, 07:25 PM
 
Nobody has heard of a pot luck?
     
King Bob On The Cob
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Dec 22, 2008, 07:54 PM
 
With potatoes, lemme give you my secrets...

Rice them ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato_ricer ). then use a potato masher to mix in these following ingredients:

Heavy Cream
Butter
Horseradish (A little goes a long way! If you're worried about overdoing it, use ground mustard instead.)
Salt
Pepper

Very bad for you, but they may be the most delicious thing you can eat.
With your meal, you're going kinda second thanksgiving on us, so you might as well go all out and do some sort of green bean and a yam dish. Stuffing is individual to the family, but I hear some people just shred up White Castles and stuff the turkey with that.
     
Gankdawg
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Dec 22, 2008, 08:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
Then there is my wife, who turns into a complete monster for two days while she stresses out about everything and makes me clean the whole house top to bottom even though our house is always what I consider to be very clean.
I've got one of these wives too. I've been to the houses of the people who are coming over and trust me, they would be perfectly happy with my level of clean.
     
Eug
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Dec 22, 2008, 10:09 PM
 
Hire a maid for a day.
     
Ratm
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Dec 22, 2008, 10:41 PM
 
Wish I could help but I just placed our order for Christmas dinner. Yummy! You should go this route instead of slaving away in a hot kitchen all day.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/
100% Organic Christmas for Eight:
Description: We are proud to offer this hard-to-find organic dinner. The turkey and all of the sides are 100% certified organic. Comes with traditional New England stuffing, smashed potatoes, green beans with mushrooms and pearl onions, sweet corn pudding, berry bliss, holiday poultry gravy, and one dozen organic soft white or whole wheat dinner rolls.


Originally Posted by scaught View Post
Nobody has heard of a pot luck?
Bingo! I'm sure they wouldn't mind since you're hosting.
     
Wiskedjak
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Dec 22, 2008, 11:20 PM
 
hmmmm ... I have no sympathy for someone able to have Christmas dinner on a beach

     
Wiskedjak
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Dec 22, 2008, 11:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Gankdawg View Post
I've got one of these wives too. I've been to the houses of the people who are coming over and trust me, they would be perfectly happy with my level of clean.
phew, I thought I was the only one. Our neighbours always comment that their "clean" is my wife's "messy"
     
AKcrab
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Dec 23, 2008, 12:00 AM
 
Classic American Christmas dinner must include green bean casserole. The one with shoestring onions on top.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Dec 23, 2008, 12:08 AM
 
Or actual shoestrings. We are in a recession.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
nonhuman
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Dec 23, 2008, 12:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
Then there is my wife, who doesn't think it's enough to just have people over, she has to cook 14 different exotic dishes that will all get 1/2 eaten by everybody while my wife turns into a complete monster for two days while she stresses out about everything and makes me clean the whole house top to bottom even though our house is always what I consider to be very clean. We end up doing about 20 hours of work for a 4 hour party.
My wife has a third sister we never knew about and is married to you?!? Amazing!
     
nonhuman
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Dec 23, 2008, 12:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by AKcrab View Post
Classic American Christmas dinner must include green bean casserole. The one with shoestring onions on top.
I don't think I've ever had that for Christmas. Or at all, come to think of it.
     
AKcrab
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Dec 23, 2008, 01:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
I don't think I've ever had that for Christmas. Or at all, come to think of it.
You've probably not had jello salad then, either.
(For the record: I hate green bean casserole and jello salad.)
     
tooki
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Dec 23, 2008, 01:58 AM
 
I'd say you have to have mashed or roasted potatoes. If you can get them, I'd definitely do sweet potatoes, too. As for vegetables that are easy to make for many, perhaps broccoli? You could steam it a little bit, and then drizzle a lemon sauce over it. Carrots would also be nice.

And of course, stuffing. The best stuffing I've ever made contained good bread, onions, celery, etc, plus italian sausage. Yum.
     
torsoboy
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Dec 23, 2008, 02:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
I don't think I've ever had that for Christmas. Or at all, come to think of it.
I've had it a few times. It is pretty yucky. I wouldn't recommend it.
     
Jawbone54
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Dec 23, 2008, 03:02 AM
 
Oooo, I second the sweet potatoes. With some brown sugar...

[EDIT] Is "stuffing" the same thing as "dressing?"

I suppose most people prefer traditional Christmas food (although it usually resembles traditiona. Thanksgiving food), but I really like it when we shake things up a bit.

For instance, we just had some incredible gumbo last weekend. We celebrated Christmas with my in-laws, who where in town for my wife's graduation. Gumbo, sweet potatoes, ham, and some other dishes with unpronounceable Cajun names.

Atheist, whatever you decide to cook, I'm sure all of your friends will appreciate the time and effort you've put into it. There's no reason to stress out when it comes down to it. You'll do a great job.
( Last edited by Jawbone54; Dec 23, 2008 at 11:53 AM. )
     
Atheist  (op)
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Dec 23, 2008, 08:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by tooki View Post
I'd say you have to have mashed or roasted potatoes. If you can get them, I'd definitely do sweet potatoes, too. As for vegetables that are easy to make for many, perhaps broccoli? You could steam it a little bit, and then drizzle a lemon sauce over it. Carrots would also be nice.

And of course, stuffing. The best stuffing I've ever made contained good bread, onions, celery, etc, plus italian sausage. Yum.
We're definitely on the same page. We finished the menu last night and have included mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli and carrots. I think I'm going to do a green bean casserole just for the fun of it. As I said, they're all French and I seriously doubt they've ever had it. I'm sure we'll all have a good laugh. Time permitting I may also make a potato gratin.

Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Oooo, I second the sweet potatoes. With some brown sugar...

[EDIT] Is "stuffing" the same thing as "dressing?"

I suppose most people prefer traditional Christmas food (although it usually resembles traditiona. Thanksgiving food), but I really like it when we shake things up a bit.

For instance, we just had some incredible gumbo last weekend. We celebrated Christmas with my in-laws, who where in town for my wife's graduation. Gumbo, sweet potatoes, ham, and some other dishes with unpronounceable Cajun names.

Atheists, whatever you decide to cook, I'm sure all of your friends will appreciate the time and effort you've put into it. There's no reason to stress out when it comes down to it. You'll do a great job.
Yes... stuffing and dressing are the same thing. It's called stuffing if it's in the bird. (Alton Brown says stuffing is EVIL).

I do like the idea of going with alternative foods but I wanted to give them a "traditional" (if boring) American holiday dinner.
     
Thorzdad
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Dec 23, 2008, 08:48 AM
 
We do barbecue for Christmas dinner.
     
Jawbone54
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Dec 23, 2008, 11:53 AM
 
I just realized that I said "Atheists" earlier instead of just "Atheist."

I guess I wanted to cover all of them.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Dec 23, 2008, 11:57 AM
 
I like to include some sweet potatoes in the mashed potatoes. Maybe a 2:1 ratio of regular potatoes to sweet potatoes.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
tooki
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Dec 23, 2008, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
Yes... stuffing and dressing are the same thing. It's called stuffing if it's in the bird. (Alton Brown says stuffing is EVIL).
It's extremely hard/impossible to have the stuffing cooked to safe temperatures without overcooking the bird it's stuffed into.

It's not as pretty, but putting the stuffing under the bird, or in a separate pan, is a better solution. I'd do stuffing under the chickens, but not the turkey. That way, the chicken juices flavor the stuffing, but you have the turkey juices to make gravy with.
     
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Dec 23, 2008, 05:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by tooki View Post
It's extremely hard/impossible to have the stuffing cooked to safe temperatures without overcooking the bird it's stuffed into.
It's not as pretty, but putting the stuffing under the bird, or in a separate pan, is a better solution. I'd do stuffing under the chickens, but not the turkey. That way, the chicken juices flavor the stuffing, but you have the turkey juices to make gravy with.
Under a turkey (to keep it off the bottom), use some peeled carrots and a couple of halved, yellow onions. The roasted carrots are a delicacy reserved for the chef.
sam
     
Jawbone54
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Dec 23, 2008, 07:10 PM
 
Please don't ruin a good stuffing/dressing by putting in excessive amounts of sausage. My family tried that out this year, and it was horrible...

Andouille sausage + dressing = sad Thanksgiving.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Dec 27, 2008, 01:21 PM
 
10 honkin' pounds of quality prime rib + barbecued for 3.5 hours to a perfect rare/medium rare + Blue cheese sauce + Broccoli in a white wine/basil reduction + baked sliced red onions drizzled with asiago cheese + mashed potatoes resoundingly whipped with an enormous amount of fresh cream...

... = great, great Christmas dinner. And a heart attack.



greg
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Atheist  (op)
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Dec 27, 2008, 01:42 PM
 
For anyone that's curious, dinner was a resounding success. Tried something different with turkey. I added fennel root to the veggies that I roasted. Added a nice flavor to the gravy. Made a rather basic sage dressing (no sausage). Just for grins, I went ahead and made a green bean casserole. It was a complete hit. I didn't use the beans and soup from a can. I made a fresh cream of mushroom soup for the base and fresh green beans as well. Everyone was asking for the recipe. Guess there's no accounting for taste. No less than three of my guests brought fois gras. I can't stand the stuff but felt compelled to eat it. Finished off with an apple pie that was totally yummy. Probably one of the best I've ever made. Used gala and granny smiths.
We were thoroughly exhausted since we ended up going to the beach around noon and didn't leave until almost 6 pm. Guests started arriving at 8 pm. Did most of the cooking the day before. Got up at 6 am to roast the turkey. The last of the guests didn't leave until 2:30 am. Needless to say, I slept most of Friday.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas day.
     
Cold Warrior
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Dec 27, 2008, 02:23 PM
 
Sounds delicious.
     
Laminar
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Dec 27, 2008, 03:06 PM
 
Well done, glad it went well.
     
   
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