Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Feast

Christmas Feast 
Mustard - Maple glazed Ham
Green Beans and Artichoke Casserole
Duchess Potatoes
Caramelized Pearl onions 
Cranberry sauce
Wine Pairing: Champagne, Sparkling Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon

Mustard-maple glazed ham decorated with black and brown figs, dried apricots and red walnuts. 

Its that time of year again. Excitement and anticipation, fun and celebration, sweet and savory treats. Living in Toronto, you see so much activity around this time of year that you want to be a part of it and have some fun too. My girls get their share of excitement at school with potluck parties, secret Santa gift giving and caroling. But they never think its complete without some special Christmas dinner spread.
Its the traditional glazed ham for us this year with the tang of grainy mustard and the sweetness of Canadian maple flavors all blending together to make a showstopper center piece for the holiday table. Come and join us for this seasons festive dinner.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.  

Christmas Feast

Mustard Maple Ham

9-10 lb whole fully cooked bone in smoked Ham
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup grainy Dijon mustard
1 tbsp apricot jam
pinch salt
freshly ground black pepper
  1. Remove the skin of the ham and most of the fat leaving 1/4 inch thick layer all over. Score diagonally through fat but not meat to form a diamond pattern. 
  2. Place ham scored side up on the rack of the roasting pan. Roast at 325F for 11/2 hour. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat vinegar over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 tablespoons, about 4-5 minutes. Add maple syrup, mustard, jam, and salt; season with pepper. Cook, whisking, until well combined, about 2 minutes. Set glaze aside. 
  4. After an hour and a half remove ham and brush liberally with 1/3 glaze. Return to the oven for 20 minutes. 
  5. Brush with half of the remaining glaze and bake for 15 minutes. Repeat and continue cooking for another 15 -20 minutes till internal temperature registers as 145-150. 
  6. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for 30 minutes before carving. 
  7. Serve on a large platter decorated with black and brown figs, dried apricots and red walnuts.
Green beans and artichoke casserole (Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart Living)
Green Beans and Artichoke casserole
1 lb green beans trimmed and cut into 2-3 inch length
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cloves garlic
2 cups milk
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered
6 slices of white bread crusts removed and chopped
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the green beans 40r 4-5 minutes till they are tender crisp. Drain and keep aside.
  2. In a pan melt 2 tbsp butter. Add garlic and flour and cook for a minute. Remember this is the béchamel sauce, so do not let it brown. 
  3. Gradually whisk in milk and bring to boil. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes till it thickens. Stir in beans and artichoke hearts. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
  4. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Toss the bread pieces in remaining 2 tbsp melted butter. Scatter over the beans.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 F for 10-15 minutes till sauce is bubbly and bread is golden brown.                                  
Duchess potatoes

Duchess Potatoes
4 large potatoes boiled
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp cream
2 tbsp grated Parmesan
salt to taste, pepper
cayenne pepper
  1. Mash potatoes and add everything except cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly. 
  2. Pipe mixture into swirls over a grease baking tray. Bake at 415F for 20 minutes till golden brown. Sprinkle cayenne pepper over them and serve hot.
Caramelized pearl onions
Pearl Onions

200 gms pearl onions
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp rosemary
salt to taste, pepper
  1. Heat butter and olive oil in a pan and saute onions on medium high. 
  2. Add the seasoning and rosemary and cook for 2-3 minutes till they acquire a golden brown color.

Cranberry sauce

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