Christmas Eve Dinner
In the past couple years, I've been able to convince my family that a prime rib roast is the way to go for Christmas eve. This centerpiece was accompanied by sautéed chard, oven-roasted potatoes, stir-fried baby bok choy, and of course, Yorkshire pudding. My father picked a 2002 merlot from the Pays d'Oc, but I don't have a record anywhere of what exactly it was.
|Christmas Eve Dinner|
This is perhaps one of only two occasions throughout the year (the other being Mother's Day) where I have a memory of my father cooking anything. For as long as I can remember, his specialty on Christmas morning was to make one giant omelette. True to form, this year's omelette contained ham, cheese, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms. In addition, I helped out this year by making blueberry pancakes, as well as frying up some bacon. Of course, no brunch would be complete without mimosas.
|Christmas Morning Brunch|
It was decided this year that since we spent Thanksgiving in DC, where turkey-frying was not a possibility, that we would fry a turkey for Christmas instead once we were all back in Tennessee. My mother dry brined the turkey with a combination of Chinese spices for a couple days before frying, so even though the turkey ended up staying in the fryer for too long, the meat was still quite moist and certainly flavorful. Therefore, it also logically followed that the fixings alongside would be in a rather similar Thanksgiving vein. Of course, I always enjoy the likes of stir-fried green beans, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and glutinous rice stuffing. One new trick I tried out this year was to cook the sweet potatoes in a pressure cooker with butter, bourbon, salt and a pinch of baking soda, along the logic of Myhrvold's carrot soup, and it worked out quite well. Not even much sugar was needed except for a couple of tablespoons which I used to turn the cooking liquid into a glaze to pour over top.
|Fried Turkey before carving|
New Year's Eve is always a rather Chinese affair for my family, especially since we can no longer celebrate the Lunar New Year together anymore. Most of the dishes are eaten because of the symbolism involved, but these foods have nonetheless become some of my favorites over the years. Absolute necessities for this dinner include the whole fish, which cannot be flipped over at any point during this meal, dumplings, stir-fried sticky rice cakes, and hair moss soup. Sugar snap peas and garlic scapes were added for a good dose of vegetables.
|New Year's Eve Dinner|