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BTD Forums  /  Cook Right 4 Your Type  /  elegant sides for Christmas Dinner
Posted by: jayneeo, Monday, December 16, 2013, 8:27pm
For those who celebrate Christmas with a festive meal (mine's Christmas Eve), what are some elegant side dishes? (I'm doing a NY strip roast)  
Posted by: Chloe, Monday, December 16, 2013, 9:14pm; Reply: 1
This warm mushroom salad looks good.

http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Warm-mushroom-salad-with-hazelnuts-and-pecorino-305445?columns=3&position=1%2F47

I think I might make some roasted asparagus to go with the steak.

And then you would need some kind of starch...Don't know what you can eat.  Something with
sweet potatoes might be colorful to compliment the meat and veggies. Or a grain pilaf.  And other
veggies....roasted brussels sprouts,..sugar snap peas with some ghee and herbs...

Elegant to me means simple.  Keeping the food looking fresh and colorful and timing everything
so veggies don't overcook.  Prepping veggies earlier in the day but actually cooking them close
to serving dinner.

This looks good
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dave-lieberman/slow-cooked-brussels-sprouts-recipe/index.html

This pilaf looks interesting but haven't tried it.
http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Serious-Salads_-Warm-Quinoa-Pilaf-Salad-with-Shiitake-Mushrooms_-Carrots-_-Pecans-Serious-Eats-203054

More options
http://www.foodnetwork.com/holidays-and-parties/50-vegetable-side-dish-recipes/index.html

I think if you can find something with cranberries in it....a rice or quinoa pilaf, it would look very
holiday-like. My daughter in law made this awesome cranberry/walnut quinoa pilaf for Thanksgiving
that we all devoured.  Never saw so many people take seconds and third portions, but it was
a simple recipe she found online.  Didn't contain a lot of ingredients.  I've done this myself by
just "winging it"....cooked the quinoa, added dried cranberries, chopped nuts, parsley, green onions, chestnuts
herbs...just kept tasting it till I liked it.  Lots of different variants on food website that are rated
by users.  Check foodnetwork.com  Ina Garten makes great sides as does Giada...

Don't know how many courses you're serving....and if you'd want to use foods not compliant for
you....but on the other hand, I don't know what foods are compliant for you or your guests...so
just thinking of general foods that might work for most everyone.

I don't celebrate Christmas.....would there be any traditional foods most people would want to see at the table?
Posted by: Lola, Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 12:49am; Reply: 2
the new cookbook is worth buying
Posted by: deblynn3, Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 1:26am; Reply: 3
Quoted from Lola
the new cookbook is worth buying


I have and I agree. ;)
Posted by: jayneeo, Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 4:18pm; Reply: 4
That mushroom salad did look elegant! thanks, Chloe! And the cranberry quinoa dish too!
Yes, there are traditional dishes, mostly sweets, there are breads, from date-nut breads, to fruited yeast breads to the infamous fruitcake, and the usual pies for dessert, or, in our house, trifle, an english form of tiramisu. My mother used to make a steamed "flaming"  plum pudding with hard sauce. These excesses will probably not be on my table.
   An entirely strange cookie is the pfeffernuese....(you made me think of it). My Grampy always had them.
Posted by: Patty H, Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 10:59pm; Reply: 5
We made a pumpkin & squash puree with a caramelized pecan topping for Thanksgiving that was amazing!  We did use some avoids, such as heavy cream, but you could certainly make it without the the cream and use butter or ghee instead.  Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc., really added to the flavor.
Posted by: san j, Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 12:13am; Reply: 6
Start with a seafood/fish appetizer - light and that includes fresh herbs and citrus.

With your roast:

Mushrooms are a natural, with wine, as a "gravy", would be fine.
Roast some onions. Serve some green beans or broccoli rabe.
As a B, I'd go for a baked (or other) white potato for that smokiness, too.
(I personally don't care for sweets, such as cranberries or yams, with a beef roast.)

Finish with a fresh salad that includes a few different greens, and maybe some beets and/or fennel, topped with a smattering of a compliant cheese such as feta.

Sweet dessert of some kind.
I'd use fresh pears - poach them in spiced red wine or port.
Some sort of French-style fruit tart, perhaps. Fig or grape is subtle.
Or a masterful Tarte Tatin (apple). Fresh whipped cream (or vanilla ice cream) for those who can...
:)
Posted by: jayneeo, Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 1:55am; Reply: 7
Thanks, san j  :) ...those ideas are great! I love the roasted onions, and you are right about the sweet vegetables...I'd better go savory. (white potatoes, don't tell! :o)
And tarte tatin!! A winner!
And Patty, I would not hesitate to use cream...it's unlisted!! ;D
Posted by: san j, Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 2:55am; Reply: 8
Quoted from jayneeo
Thanks, san j  :) ...those ideas are great! I love the roasted onions, and you are right about the sweet vegetables...I'd better go savory. (white potatoes, don't tell! :o)
And tarte tatin!! A winner!

Wanna talk wines?

Posted by: jayneeo, Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 3:43am; Reply: 9
Sure...What would you have me serve with the beef?
Posted by: san j, Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 8:22am; Reply: 10
What've you got planned?
Posted by: jayneeo, Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 5:23pm; Reply: 11
DH will open a View Telegraph ('98 if he has it) (Chateau-nuef-de-Pape) (whew! didn't know if I could spell it!)
Posted by: san j, Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 9:20pm; Reply: 12
Quoted from jayneeo
DH will open a View Telegraph ('98 if he has it) (Chateau-nuef-de-Pape) (whew! didn't know if I could spell it!)

Looked up the year.
As if you didn't know. It pays to be in the business!
Santé!  :D

Posted by: jayneeo, Thursday, December 19, 2013, 1:08am; Reply: 13
Cheers to you, san j!
Posted by: cajun, Friday, December 20, 2013, 1:08am; Reply: 14
Jayneeo,
Oh my goodness!!!! I haven't known anyone else whose family had a grandmother (or in my case my great-"grandmere") who made plum pudding with hard sauce!!! :D
My grandmere gave me her mothers "suet pudding"(plum pudding) pan..it is metal, round and has a lid that closes with a latch...very old!
She also gave me the original recipe in her handwriting..barely legible now. my mother told me of her memories from childhood Christmases of smelling that pudding "steam" on a huge black stove ..all day long!
[I know it is supposedly an English tradition; my (French) great-grandmere married an Englishman from Manchester..who happened to be Jewish.]

I like Chloe's idea of asparagus or another green veggie along with roasted/glazed sweet potatoes. Have a wonderful dinner celebration and Joyeux Noel!!!!!(angel) :)
Posted by: Seraffa, Friday, December 20, 2013, 6:25am; Reply: 15
I"m trying to remember.....
Actually I did have a Christmas dinner 8 years ago in a Czech restaurant and told my then-boyfriend I wanted to have THEIR dinner, so we ate:

Tenderloin of venison rounds ( delicious black dot for me! :P)
Loganberry (diamond) or Mulberry (diamond) or Rowanberry (black dot) sauce
cabbage with potato and onion (tasty avoids I would supplement with napa cabbage and malangas)
Venison gravy
Wine ( I would get organic non-sulfite kind)

I am so tired of "commercial" meat like Turkey that this image of eating something that "came from the Christmas forest" is more appealing, although, rabbit is also found there but I'm just not thinking about a diamond meat that hops around  ::)
Posted by: ABJoe, Friday, December 20, 2013, 6:27am; Reply: 16
Quoted from cajun
I haven't known anyone else whose family had a grandmother (or in my case my great-"grandmere") who made plum pudding with hard sauce!!! :D
My grandmere gave me her mothers "suet pudding"(plum pudding) pan..it is metal, round and has a lid that closes with a latch...very old!
She also gave me the original recipe in her handwriting..barely legible now. my mother told me of her memories from childhood Christmases of smelling that pudding "steam" on a huge black stove ..all day long!

My Grandmother (from France) made plum pudding for every Christmas.  She used either suet or tallow (can't remember which) for the fat, along with the fruits, etc.  I'm sure mom or one of my sisters has the recipe, but I would have to make serious modifications to it to be able to eat it now...
Posted by: jayneeo, Saturday, December 21, 2013, 1:26am; Reply: 17
Here's to the plum pudding!! ;D
And how it got flaming is: soak a sugar cube in brandy, place one on each serving and light!
Posted by: cajun, Saturday, December 21, 2013, 9:53pm; Reply: 18
Joe! Francaise, aussie?!!!! ;D oops, Francais..masculine ::)

Then it must be French in origin! Bien sur, naturalmente!!!
French or English, I do remember eating it at my grandmere's as a child and that it was delicious!!!

And  you are right, Joe, trying to make it compliant would be difficult. ;)

Jayneeo, hope your dinner is fantastic! :)
Posted by: ABJoe, Saturday, December 21, 2013, 10:56pm; Reply: 19
Quoted from jayneeo
And how it got flaming is: soak a sugar cube in brandy, place one on each serving and light!

We always heated it up, poured rum or brandy over it and lit it.
Posted by: san j, Thursday, December 26, 2013, 4:21am; Reply: 20
What did you serve?
Posted by: jayneeo, Friday, December 27, 2013, 2:47am; Reply: 21
Martin Ranch 2005 Therese Cabernet Sauvignon! (local). ;D And later a ruby port which I did not partake of.
Posted by: san j, Saturday, December 28, 2013, 6:42pm; Reply: 22
I meant - the subject of the thread - as sides.  ;)
Posted by: Patty H, Saturday, December 28, 2013, 10:04pm; Reply: 23
One of my family's favorite recipes is parsnip and pear puree, from The Silver Palate Good Times cookbook.  You steam parsnips and sauté pears in butter and a little bit of cognac or other liquor that is on hand.  I used rum this time.  It's only a tablespoon of booze, so I figure, what the heck!

When both are softened, you put them both in a cuisinart and puree until smooth with sour cream or an acceptable alternative and allspice.  You can make it ahead and keep it warm in the oven or make it the day before and reheat in a heat-proof covered casserole dish.  The taste is absolutely sublime and adds a sweet flavor to the other savory and/or salty dishes.

While not known for its elegant look, I often serve this dish for company and they are generally surprised by how delicious it is.

Personally, my favorite cooks books are the Silver Palate series.  I have never made anything that is not delicious when choosing their recipes.  Once you are a seasoned BT dieter, you can alter the recipes to suite your personal needs.
Posted by: san j, Sunday, December 29, 2013, 6:39am; Reply: 24
Quoted from Patty H
One of my family's favorite recipes is parsnip and pear puree, from The Silver Palate Good Times cookbook.  You steam parsnips and sauté pears in butter and a little bit of cognac or other liquor that is on hand.  I used rum this time.  It's only a tablespoon of booze, so I figure, what the heck!

When both are softened, you put them both in a cuisinart and puree until smooth with sour cream or an acceptable alternative and allspice.  You can make it ahead and keep it warm in the oven or make it the day before and reheat in a heat-proof covered casserole dish.  The taste is absolutely sublime and adds a sweet flavor to the other savory and/or salty dishes.

While not known for its elegant look, I often serve this dish for company and they are generally surprised by how delicious it is.

Personally, my favorite cooks books are the Silver Palate series.  I have never made anything that is not delicious when choosing their recipes.  Once you are a seasoned BT dieter, you can alter the recipes to suite your personal needs.

It sounds tasty, but I'm wondering if puréeing isn't overkill - I'd think a simple coarse mash would retain more body - This sounds almost like something you could pour, no?
Posted by: Jane, Monday, December 30, 2013, 5:14pm; Reply: 25
Patty,
That sounds delicious.  I've been into parsnips lately and I think the pears would add just the right type of sweetness.
I'll have to give that a try - thanks and Happy New Year!
J
Posted by: jayneeo, Wednesday, January 1, 2014, 3:38am; Reply: 26
Oh, Patty, and Jane...yes, it sounds just delicious!

And San J, I served (who cares, now? but...) Potatoes Dauphinois, (learned the name last year from cajun)....steamed broccoli florets with butter, and a salad of baby arugula (from the yard) with dried cranberries, grated carrots, and a slightly sweet dressing with toasted sesame oil. Dessert was quince crisp with vanilla ice cream. OK, DH had cooked the quince days before, you have to cook it a long time to get the bitter out....then he made a syrup...etc. All was good! And thanks for asking.
Happy New Year, by the way! ;D
Posted by: BluesSinger, Wednesday, January 1, 2014, 1:44pm; Reply: 27
Here's a Parsnip and Pear without the Cream:

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pear-and-parsnip-pur-e

Here's the one with Cream:

http://www.marthastewart.com/867995/parsnip-and-pear-puree

yes cream is not listed on my Swami but I've noticed when I ingest it, my joints hurt.. so that's a sign for sure that's most likely an AVOID for me.   :'(  I'd need to use Almond Milk.

I think I'll try this one:

http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/creamy-parsnips-pears-recipe-9834
Posted by: san j, Wednesday, January 1, 2014, 11:26pm; Reply: 28
Quoted from jayneeo
And San J, I served (who cares, now? but...) Potatoes Dauphinois, (learned the name last year from cajun)....steamed broccoli florets with butter, and a salad of baby arugula (from the yard) with dried cranberries, grated carrots, and a slightly sweet dressing with toasted sesame oil. Dessert was quince crisp with vanilla ice cream. OK, DH had cooked the quince days before, you have to cook it a long time to get the bitter out....then he made a syrup...etc. All was good! And thanks for asking.

I think this is a group that cares about such things. ;)

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