Thursday, January 9, 2014

Christmas Dinner

Yeah, I know it was a couple of weeks ago, but there's a story. Isn't there always?

A few days before Christmas I did a run to Costco. I needed a few things and, while there, realized that I could buy nearly all my Christmas dinner supplies as well - in giant quantities, of course.

For those of you with a Costco membership, I don't have to explain the wonder of their meat department. And, because it was just before the holiday, they were seriously stocked up. After debating with myself for a while between a beef roast or a lamb roast, I called my son and let him decide. We ended up with lamb.


So, the dinner menu consisted of roast lamb, artichokes, creamed greens (like creamed spinach but add swiss chard and kale), brussel sprouts with bacon, and roasted mixed fingerling potatoes. Yum!

On Christmas morning I started brunch by putting the bacon in the broiler. If you've never broiled bacon, give it a try - it's super easy and less messy than any other method I've found. I went about prepping the other items and about five minutes later I realized I wasn't hearing, or smelling, the bacon. Sure enough, the broiler and, as it turned out, the oven were both broken. So much for the lamb roast! I considered other cooking methods but none would work, for a variety of reasons. So, we had sides for dinner and the potatoes were mashed instead of roasted. It worked. We were full and didn't really miss the meat (too much).

The oven eventually got fixed and the roast got cooked. It came out great and has been enjoyed for three meals so far. So, for today, I thought you guys might enjoy a few of my Christmas dinner recipes - easy to cook and very satisfying. Bon appetite!


Lamb Roast

Feeds a small army

1 leg of lamb (I used boneless, 4.5 lbs)
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
8 (or more) cloves of garlic, minced
3 T chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove any webbing that's holding the roast together. Rinse the roast in cold water and pat dry. Reshape the roast in your roasting pan and, using your hands, rub the lamb all over with the lemon juice. Pat the garlic and rosemary evenly over the surface of the meat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Place the lamb in the oven and roast for 30 minutes to brown. Reduce heat to 350 and continue to cook until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers about 145 degrees for medium-rare. Remove lamb from pan and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.


Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

4-6 servings

4 strips thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
1/2 large onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, then roughly chop. In same pan with bacon fat, melt butter over high heat. Add onions and Brussels Sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss bacon back into pan. Serve immediately.

OPTIONAL: My son is a big fan of bacon but not, necessarily, of brussel sprouts so I added diced apple for the last 5 minutes of cooking to add some sweetness to the dish.


Creamed Mixed Greens

4 servings

2 pounds fresh mixed, dark greens (spinach, kale, chard), washed and tough stems removed
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream

Chop the greens and set aside. Melt the butter in medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the greens and cook, stirring, just until the greens are fully wilted. Add the cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and cook until the cream is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

2 comments:

  1. What a surprise to find your stove opted out of bacon broiling at such a time! How brilliant of you to get that Plan B on the rails so quickly.

    I live a Costco- free existence, but love hearing tales like yours of the wonders to be found there.

    And...on the topic of wonders, thanks for that idea of how to introduce bacon to brussel sprouts. I am definitely going to give it a go.

    Winter cooking can be lots of fun! Happy 2014. xo

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    1. Frances - you'll love bacon with brussel sprouts. It makes them more palatable to folks who don't have a taste for the cabbage-y-ness of the veg.

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