Friday, November 27, 2009

Last Years (2008) Holiday Dinners

--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)

If summer is the outdoors grilling season then winter is the down home cooking season. Its right around thanksgiving when everyone starts cooking up old family favorites and classic holiday dishes to celebrate the festivities. The dinner parties seem like they come every night and the food is always good and the drinks are regularly flowing. After all what do they say when celebrating the holiday festivities? "eat, drink and be merry" In my family its tradition for my parents to have a dinner party on x-mas eve and then we go to my moms side of the family on the southside for brunch and dinner is on the northside with my dads side of the family at my aunt and uncles. The menu has always been different but the meals are always the real deal and nothing short of spectacular. I don't know whats on the board for the 2009 holiday menu but I do have the goods from last year.

X-Mas Eve Dinner (2008)

The theme of last years dinner was a Cajun holiday meal complete with a turducken ordered from If you haven't checked that site out I would recommend doing so if your in an area where Cajun grocery goods can be hard to come across or if you just want to order a turducken 'cause you've always been meaning to try one. The turkey, duck, chickens will cost you anywhere between $79 and $125 dollars depending on how fast you want it when shipping is in included. We opted for the turducken with creole pork and cornbread and planned to serve it alongside some popular sides from the region.

Turducken rubbed with Tony Chachere's before it hits the oven

The sides for this feast were decided upon corn maque choux and bread pudding which went very well with the main course. Along with a potato chowder there was also some most excellent gravy made from the bits and sticks to the bottom of the pan that the turducken was roasting on. I've said it before on here so just let me say it again. is an amzing site for New Orleans and Cajun food recipes and tips. Obviously I went on over and checked it out to get a couple good recipes for the dinners sides and was not dissapointed.

Maque Choux Recipe

4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Tasso, finely diced
3 Ears of Corn
1/2 cup Onion, finely diced
1/4 cup Celery, finely diced
1/2 cup Green Pepper, finely diced
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme leaves
1/8 cup Garlic, minced
1 Cup Tomato, diced
1/2 Cup Green Onions, finely sliced
Kosher salt, black pepper and Cayenne to taste

Cut the corn off the cobs using a very sharp knife. The trick is to cut about half way through the kernels, then go back and scrape the cobs with your knife to extract all of the milk into a bowl. Reserve the corn milk.

Melt the butter in a two quart sauce pan, add the Tasso and cook on medium-high heat until slightly brown. Add the corn, onion, celery, bell pepper, Thyme and a healthy pinch of salt and reduce the heat to medium. Cook stirring often for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the garlic, tomatoes, reserved corn milk and another pinch of salt. Cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the green onions, salt, black pepper and cayenne to your taste.

Serves 2-3.

Cajun stewed corn with Tasso and tomatoes. Click HERE for link to recipe I used.

Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce Recipe

For the Bread Pudding:

1 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Freshly grated Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
6 Cups French Bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (be sure it’s a light bread, meaning not too dense)
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Butter a square cake pan with the butter.

Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl.
In a large Mixing bowl whisk the eggs, add the sugar mixture, then whisk in the cream and vanilla extract. Fold in the bread cubes being sure to not break them up too much. The trick to this recipe is to make sure all of the bread soaks up the custard, and that you don’t overcook it.

Place the prepared mixture into the cake pan, cover with foil and place the cake pan into a larger pan, sufficient enough to allow for a water bath which will cover the smaller pan by half way.

Place the pans into the oven and bake for 2 hours. Remove the foil and raise the temperature to 300 degrees for 1 hour more or until the top of the pudding is golden brown.

The finished pudding should be slightly firm, while moist, but not runny.

Serve warm with Whiskey sauce, recipe below.

Makes 4 servings.

Whiskey Sauce Recipe

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 tsp Cornstarch
2 Tbsp Water
a few drop of Vanilla extract
1/3 Cup Bourbon
1/3 Cup Sugar

Mix together the water and cornstarch. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. While boiling slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry, when the sauce is thickened remove from the heat and add the vanilla, bourbon and sugar. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Click HERE for the link to the site I used for this

Turducken ready to go

Gravy made from the turducken bits

X-Mas Day Dinner (2008)

The theme of the cuisine didn't change a bit when December 25th hit. My uncle decided to do an old favorite of my grandpas last year and it was the first time I would enjoy the famous NOLA dish Chicken Rochambeau. The Louisiana Creole dish is half of a chicken (breast, leg, and thigh), which is boned and not skinned. It’s grilled, then served as a layered dish -first a slice of baked ham, then the brown Rochambeau sauce (chicken stock and brown sugar), then the chicken is covered with a Béarnaise sauce. Antoine’s restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana is famous for this chicken dish. I mentioned above that my uncles xmas dinners are always five star and 2008 was no exception. It was my first time trying this classic dish and I was not underwhelmed by any sense of the imagination. What an amazing combo of flavors the dish boasts.

NOLA cuisine: Chicken Rochambeau

XMas Dinner Plate 2008

Wonderful combination of flavors in this dish

The night ended with a flambeed cake made by my aunt.

Dessert 2008

Who's got that fire?

Happy Holidays.

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