Christmas Feast

Posted in food, home cooking at 1:36 pm by wingerz


My sister, Jen, and I have been doing more cooking recently, so Mom let us cook Christmas Eve dinner. We cooked for 9 people including ourselves and stayed (barely) within our self-imposed budget of $20 a person. We tried to mix some fancy meats with lighter, healthier fare. Recipes may follow if I ever get around to it.

Pan-seared sesame-crusted tuna on a bed of mixed greens with mango-sesame dressing. I bought a mango just for fun and ended up processing some of it with sesame oil, sesame seeds, and a tiny bit of mustard. The tuna was fast, simple, and tasty (and expensive, at $18/pound for Whole Foods sushi-grade tuna). We served it along with a sauce consisting of Dijon mustard, sesame oil, and a dash of wasabi.

Tomato and basil salad. This started out as insalata caprese, but we discovered that fresh mozzarella was nowhere to be found. Tossed with olive oil and a bit of ground pepper.

Pepper-crusted beef tenderloin with mushroom bordelaise sauce. Based on a recipe that was based on a Cooks’ Illustrated recipe. The pepper didn’t stick that well, but with the help of our handy meat thermometer it was cooked to perfection in my sister’s cast iron pot.

Poached salmon with cucumber dill yogurt sauce.. A very light, healthy, and tasty way to cook salmon. Poaching for 10 minutes cooked the fish to perfection so that the middle was still a bit on the pink side (and very tender). The sauce was quite good as well. I’m becoming a huge fan of dill on fish.

Garlic bread. Toasted, with lots of garlic and some parmesan cheese.

Wilted spinach, watercress, and orange salad. My favorite salad, and everyone else liked it too.

Roasted potatoes. Small potatoes, halved and prepared with olive oil, kosher salt, and ground pepper.

Chocolate cake, With green Christmas frosting and sprinkles, of course.
Tiramisu. Good ol’ Trader Joe’s.
Vanilla ice cream. Good with just about everything.


  1. carolynn said,

    December 28, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    Your food posts keep getting more and more delicious. Wish I could eat a post. Happy New Year.

  2. joy said,

    December 28, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    Wow, what a feast! This looks amazing, you guys…

    No fresh mozzarella to be found at Whole Foods either?! Strange — they seem to have it year-round over here.

    I made most of our Xmas eve dinner too! I did a turkey & accompaniments, a rib roast (my first ever), green beans, Duchesse potatoes, roasted wild mushrooms, and a buche de noel. After some research, I decided to cook the roast at 200F for a long time until it was 120F inside, then brown it at 500F after letting it rest. I set off all the smoke detectors in the house, but the meat came out with a gorgeous brown crust and a perfectly even medium-rare interior!

  3. brandon said,

    December 29, 2006 at 12:41 am

    We haven’t cooked anything since we got back, but it’s actually been nice to not have to worry about it. Actually, I don’t know that Caroline’s mom would actually let us cook a meal. One time, I offered to help cut something up, but I don’t think she was please with my technique and took over after just a few slices. But hey, she’s a great cook, so I can’t argue!

  4. wingerz said,

    December 29, 2006 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks for the comments!

    Actually, my mom had bought some mozzarella (which is what started this in the first place). A few hours before dinner, we noticed that it was low-moisture mozzarella. We sent my mom out to get cheese and ice cream at a non-Whole-Foods grocery store, and unfortunately she didn’t find any fresh mozzarella there.

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