My Christmas Menu

Now that Christmas has come and gone, I feel I have time to post my Christmas menu. So, here it goes

Roast Turkey (did my own brine from what I had on hand, some champagne that had long since gone flat, spiced apple cider, orange juice, a bit of red wine, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cup salt, water and ice.)
Dressing (Pepperidge Farms mix that I made with cream of celery soup)
Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry Chutney
Tofurkey Roast with stuffing & mushroom gravy
Mashed Potatoes & Turkey Gravy
Sugar Snap Peas & Asparagus
Lemon Merangue Pie
Pecan Pie

For the record, I did my own pie crust, and you can find the recipe here. An interesting comparison came up because I only had enough lard for one of the pie crusts (yes, I keep lard on hand). The pie crust made with butter and shortening still tasted good, but was not as tender as the one made with butter and lard. By the way, one important modification on AB’s pie crust recipe – skip the whole deal with the water spritzer. Just add the entire 1/4 cup of that the recipe calls for into the food processor. Every time I’ve used the water spritzer I apparently ended up not using enough water, resulting in a crust that sticks to the parchment paper during blind baking. Every time I’ve simply added the 1/4 cup water the pie comes out perfectly.

The brine did a great job on keeping the turkey moist. You can even get a hint of some of those extra flavors when tasting the dark meat. I think the biggest hits for the meal portion were the smoked chile sweet potatoes and the cranberry chutney. I did reduce the recipe for the chutney by 1/3 just to have more reasonable proportions. i think next time I would have reduced it to use just a single bag of cranberries (the recipe called for 2.5 pounds and I reduced it to use two 12 oz bags). Even making the reduction, I have tons left over, though it is very good stuff. I think the larger recipe would be appropriate for canning and/or gift giving. The sweet potatoes were great, though I cooked them much longer than what was called for – probably because it was sharing the oven with other items at the time. Still, make sure you go by looks and be sure to taste it when you bring it out to make sure it’s done the way you want it.

I may add some pictures to this post later on.

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