We have about 16 people this year so in order to try to save some sanity,and not to force that many people to sit I am going to go with more of a cocktail party feel than a sit down dinner this year. I'm also shifting the order in a major fashion this year. Everyone always fills up on soup and salami cheese bread so I'm moving that to the end of the evening. Think of it like the turkey sandwich on thanksgiving day.
Beet cured gravlax
I can't believe the incredible color this took on in just two days
It was like a sunrise when I cut into it and the flavor was outstanding the beet was subtle but present and the overall taste was just wonderful, like really good salmon sushi
I used to make my own breading, then I got lazy so I use Tempo Breading Supreme as my base and doctor it up with some smoked paprika, seafood seasoning blend and some dried herbs.
We have some toast, creme fraiche, capers etc to to go with the salmon.
Baked Whole Fish
Back to striped bass this year, stuffed with parsley fennel frond, oranges and lemons. Baked in a salt dome. I don't vary from Alton Browns method at all. I have used Grouper and Red Snapper in lieu of striped bass with great success.
I got smart this year and stuffed it and covered it way ahead of time, thankfully it is cold enough that I can store it outside in the back of the station wagon.
Smoked Salmon Ravioli
Kerrie makes a pasta every year, it is fresh pasta dough stuffed with smoked salmon ricotta and cream cheese. This year we are going to fry it instead of boiling it, that way I can get away from having to stand in the kitchen and toss raviolis in sauce a pan at a time.
This is my mothers contribution. It is a simple dish but so delicious. Saute 4 or so cloves of chopped garlic in olive oil. Once the garlic has begin to soften add two cans of anchovies and stir until they break apart and almost disintegrate, add some cracked black pepper and toss with fresh pasta lots of grated cheese
I'm going back to the style that my mom always did, I got crazy with the stuffing over the years and did things with 5 spice and some other stuff, it was good but didn't quite fit int. This year it will be celery, onions, crab, shrimp, parsley and lemon. Some salt and pepper and that's about it.
This has become a new tradition as well. It is incredibly rich as you might imagine. I follow Emerills recipe to the letter, almost. I add a big pan of water to the oven during cooking to create some moisture. My spring form pans are not secure enough to immerse them in the pan so I keep it separate.
This is a simple soup, traditionally made with the turkey stock from thanksgiving dinner. Just broth and meatballs, and a lot of cheese.
This one is coming along with my mom, I don't know what she puts in it, it is however delcious
Salami Cheese Bread
Last but not least, the killer of appetites, the Christmas day breakfast of champions, the salami cheese bread. It doesn't get much more simple.
I made the simple pizza dough form the Americas Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
It makes two loaves, divide the dough in half, roll the dough out, put dow a layer of provaline cheese, all the slices should overlap like the olympic rings. Cover that in a layer of salami, add more cheese, more salami and some grated parmesan. Fold the ends in and then roll it up tightly. Brush with some melted butter and bake at 375 until the crust is brown and the cheese has almost certainly exploded from the ends. Let it cool enough that the cheese sets up, slice and serve.