|Stockings that represent us: My daughter has a Pottery Barn ballerina stocking that I have blinged out with crystals, my husband has a Batman stocking, and mine says "All I want for Christmas is Mr. Darcy."|
When we were kids, my parents told us that we couldn't open presents until it was too dark to see the back fence. Cue my sister and I plastered to the glass on the back door, waiting for the moment. We always had music and champagne on Christmas Eve.
Now that we're grown and appreciate food beyond the realm of corn dogs and chicken strips, my father makes a fabulous Christmas Eve spread. I really learned to love cooking from my father, who started experimenting with Bon Appetite recipes in the late '80s (and still has the issues with his favorite recipes). Every year, he makes a seafood extravaganza. Giant, spicy boiled shrimp with lemon butter, corn-meal battered fried shrimp, crab cakes, and everyone's favorite, lobster tail and scallops with Champagne-Saffron Sauce. (See the end of this post for the sauce recipe.)
After dinner, my daughter plays Santa, handing out presents, and we all take a turn opening one at a time, oohing and ahhhing over each gift. We put out milk and cookies, and Santa comes to visit my daughter overnight and leaves stockings for everyone. Hurray!! Christmas dinner is often a sort of recap of Thanksgiving favorites we want more of but with a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey and sometimes a bourbon-glazed crown roast instead of ham. I've often wanted to do an Italian or Mexican-inspired Christmas dinner, but I've yet to convince my father of the merit of this plan.
- Here's a link for Pain au Chocolat (chocolate croissants) from My Daddy Cooks. Looks fabulous for Christmas morning. And who knows, maybe Santa would be down for something other than stale cookies.
- This recipe for Indian Potatoes from The Tiffin Box will add some exotic flavors to roasted potatoes.
- Check out this prep checklist from Like Mam Used to Bake to help you get some things done in advanced so you can mostly just drink for the holiday itself.
- I'm a fan of Bubble and Squeak. You can make it out of leftovers or throw it together for satisfying side dish on the big day. Check out this link to a less expensive Christmas dinner for some other great recipes on a budget.
- Can someone please, please, pretty please make this Prime Rib with Roasted Garlic and Horseradish Crust? Maybe I'll see if I can talk the family into it...
- Large sea scallops (you decide how many you need--we usually do about 20 for the six-ish people)
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup dry champagne (not sweet)
- 1/2 t. saffron threads
- 1 cup whipping cream
- fresh lemon juice
- minced fresh parsley