Author Topic: Celebration suppers  (Read 9532 times)

skdadl

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Celebration suppers
« on: December 28, 2009, 05:17:37 AM »
I'm trying to think of something completely different and really fun to have for New Year's Eve supper. Obviously, no one wants turkey, and probably not any of the other big birds. Haggis must wait for 25 January (Burns Night).  ;)

Maybe salmon presents itself as an obvious thought -- I've done that before. I dunno -- I'm just sitting here wondering what is the one special dish I'm really longing for for a change.

lagatta

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 06:41:10 AM »
How many people (as in human, not feline, beings) are coming over and do they have any marked food preferences? Are there any vegetarians or vegans?

At times I've made a paella but if you want to make that seriously it is quite a bit of work, though you can cheat and use frozen seafood.

It is poultry, but how about an old-fashioned coq au vin? Something simmered is nice this time of year.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

skdadl

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2009, 07:32:09 AM »
Well, other people may have others coming, but I don't. New Year's is me and teh kittehs, although in years past it was a core group of old friends who also lived nearby. Everyone in that group (including us) has either died or moved except for old friend J (92 a couple of weeks ago) across the park, who goes out to affinity family in Vancouver now for the holidays.

Anyway, that was usually about eight people, which was why a big salmon was a good idea. One year I made couilibiac, which was ok but would have been better with real salmon instead of the tinned stuff my recipe allowed. It is a very celebratory-looking food, though.

I've been googling about and have discovered that New Year's special dish in the U.S. south, as in the Caribbean, is a stew made of black-eyed peas and ham/pork and rice, with variants on the vegetables. The Merkins call this Hoppin' John, but it is apparently originally from the islands. The peas are supposed to signify luck -- each pea you eat means a day of good luck in the new year. Some people say to eat it with cornbread (gold -- signifying wealth) and with collard greens (anything green again = munnee). Some people seem to start eating it on NY's Eve and continue through the next day; others save it for the day.

That certainly sounds like something I would like -- I love black-eyed peas and actually have a store of them. I'd add lots of chopped tomatoes and maybe celery -- some of the Hoppin' John recipes I find are a bit short on the veggies, but it appears that variations are allowed.

The tradition seems to say that you're not supposed to eat chicken on New Year's because that signifies scratching in the earth -- meaning you'll be poor all year.

lagatta

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2009, 08:48:03 AM »
I had been thinking of that type of dish - there are many variants involving legumes as a symbol of luck and wealth - not a reminder of poverty. In Italy, lentils are the lucky dish - googling I find this is also true in Hungary and other countries.

Here is a recipe that can easily be made vegetarian by using a vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Castellucio lentils are similar to French Du Puy tiny green lentils; the latter are grown in Canada (Du Puy is an AOC in France, but here just refers to the type).

I hope you are able to make some (human) friends in your town. Often libraries have cultural activities that are a good place to meet likely souls. Of course local activist groups are as well...

Lenticchie di Capodanno

New Year's Lentils

In Italy, lentils are standard offerings on New Year’s tables as a symbol of luck and prosperity (their round shape is thought to be reminiscent of coins) as well as the building block for a number of delicious winter soups. The soup below features tiny lentils from the town of Castelluccio in Umbria: their thin, delicate skin and sweet, nutty flavor (not to mention propensity for cooking up firm) makes them one of Italy's most prized legumes. Even though they are favored in Italy on New Year's tables, you can enjoy these succulent lentils year-round.


2 cups Castelluccio lentils
10 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 carrot, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced thyme
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 large slices country bread
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Rinse the lentils, pick them over, and place in a 2 quart pot with the broth. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat 30 minutes, or until almost tender.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 3-quart pot and add the onion, carrot, celery, parsley, and thyme. Cook 10 minutes over medium-high heat, then add the tomato paste.

Pour in the lentils and their broth, bring to a boil, and simmer, covered, 30 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked, adding a little more broth if needed to thin out the soup. Season with the salt.

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over high heat for 5 minutes and toast the bread until lightly browned on both sides, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. Rub the bread lightly with the garlic.

Distribute the bread among eight bowls. Pour the soup over the bread and serve hot, drizzled with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkled with the pepper, passing the Pecorino at the table. Serves 8
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

vmichel

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2009, 11:42:28 AM »
I'd say Hoppin' John is any variation on black eyed peas, rice, and some pork for flavor, so go nuts with the vegetables if you like! I make it with some root veggies thrown in in winter: parsnips, turnips, carrots, etc. and it's great.

Another idea: lamb stew? That always says winter holiday to me.

GDKitty

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2009, 12:20:24 PM »
We enjoyed the most incredible vegetable dish last night at MIL's. Root veg and carmelized onion w/dry vermouth and thyme.  So tasty!  I will have to get on the horn and get the recipe.  

Not a main course, but a really substantial side dish. Definitely felt 'celebratory'  :drool

Toedancer

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2009, 07:11:32 PM »
I'm doing a tasty dish for Jan. 3, which is Xmas for sweetie's kids/grandkids/and a new fiance for oldest boy, hee. It's a variation of Chicken Caccitore. Very tasty. Let me know if you want that. I'll serve it with big mixed salad and Ace garlic bread and of course dinner rolls for peeps with sensitive teeth/gums.

Yum kitteh, I would love another veg dish/casserole.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

lagatta

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2009, 08:00:39 PM »
Toe, what is the particular variation or twist to your Chicken Cacciatore?
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Toedancer

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2009, 08:24:51 PM »
Hi Lagatta. Well that's difficult to ascertain. It just doesn't taste like what I grew up with. It's better and is basically lots of garlic and mushrooms and of course 2 colour peppers, one can throw in linguine or lasagna noodles. I use linguine pasta, not dried in boxes, but fresh. The blessing for me is that once done, freeze, and then is better when I re-heat. So it's a do-ahead for me, I will be doing 2 salads with it on day served. Mixed and then Ceasar. I'm doing a fruit salad with custard for dessert. It is sweetie's SIL's recipe, which I've only done once and it was a hit.

1 whole chicken, cut-up. plus 3 legs and thighs (or whichever you prefer)
(I use whole chickens cut-up for my curry as well and it is better than buying sep pieces)
1 large onion, sliced thin (I use white, not red for this)
1 pound of sliced schrooms
green & red pepper sliced thinly
1 tblsp olive oil
6 cloves of garlic chopped
2 tins of cream of mushroom soup
1.5 c chicken broth with garlic/herbs (about 1.5 cups)
2-3 handfuls of linguine or lasagna noodles
1 c of breadcrumbs
1 c of grated mozzerella, s & p to taste.

Brown everything, add soups/stir (deep pan) Simmer 5 minutes.  In a 9 x13 foil pan, layer pasta with sauce, at least 3 layers. Chicken pieces (which you have browned/sauteed (I remove skin))  are placed over top, then crumbs/ mozzie cheese. Freeze. Thaw overnight. Heat in 300 oven covered for about 1.5 hours until chicken is cooked, uncovered for last 15 minutes.  I use a foil pan with a domed lid for easy clean-up, they are deeper than lasagna foil pans. This serves 6.

edited to give broth measurement.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

lagatta

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2009, 09:57:28 PM »
It sounds very nice - I'd tend to do the noodles separately, but that is my Italian food pedantry. It is definitely a food that can be made ahead and either frozen or refrigerated and reheated. Agree with lots of garlic. A good addition would be some finely-chopped fresh parsley - which should be easy to find cheap in Hamilton - but add that at the last minute, for vitamin C and nice green colour. Mushroom soup fine - even in italy they have "cooking sauces" now that aren't too different. There is a garlic mushroom soup too now, but you have plenty of garlic.

I tend to use legs, simply because they are cheaper (I buy very good chicken thighs at an Argentine butcher's round the corner from my house, that has very good meats for an economical price and lots of Latin American and Italian groceries), and I like legs. If you remove the skin you are greatly reducing the cholesterol, but you have to be careful the surface doesn't dry out - your low cooking temperature will take care of that.

A white or even ordinary yellow onion is fine too - the red ones would just make it sweeter, and you might want to save them for salads. (I do put red onions in my red cabbage though).
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

skdadl

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2009, 08:28:32 AM »
I think of catch-a-tory as having tomatoes in, no? But then, I think of everything with tomatoes. Next year, I plan to grow too many tomatoes -- great thought in this weather.

steffie

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2009, 08:36:39 AM »
Quote
(I do put red onions in my red cabbage though)

Is it a creamed red cabbage?  I would really love a creamed red cabbage recipe.  

My mate's grandma was German; he recalls her creamed red cabbage very fondly, and I would love to replicate that.  Is it a particularly German dish, then?
Let the beauty of what you love be what you do - Rumi

lagatta

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2009, 09:34:56 AM »
No, I tend to avoid creamed dishes as I'm somewhat lactose-intolerant. My red cabbage is made as a friend in Vienna makes it; red cabbage with red onions and a bit of grated apple, stewed with a dash of wine, some acid (vinegar or lemon juice). He'd always put lots of lardons (pieces of salt pork or bacon) in it, but then he is one of these rail-thin guys who eats stuff like that while chain smoking and drinking.

It is a dish that is common in Germany, Austria and throughout Central Europe. I've never had it creamed but will check through the cookbook Viennese friend gave me (to study German) and a couple of others I have in German and on German/Austrian etc food.

Jamie Oliver's cacciatore recipe is easy and not too different from how I make it (I don't use a recipe for pollo alla cacciatora). http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chic ... la-cacciat Yes, it usually contains tomatoes - more pieces of tomato than tomato sauce.

I don't usually use chianti here, as it is too expensive: just some cheap but drinkable wine, red or white. People who eschew wine for religious or other reasons could use some lemon in its place - but less. There is no alcohol left in the dish after the long cooking, nor does the dish taste like wine.

Remember that in Italy, pasta is usually served BEFORE the meat, fish or vegetable dish - pasta, a rice dish or soup. But of course it is fine to make the dish any way you like it and it pleases your guests.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

lagatta

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2009, 08:27:56 PM »
Marcella Hazan's very simple cacciatore. Personally I'd add some more herbs.

Chicken Cacciatore, New Version Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes 1 3 1/2-pound chicken, quartered 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup onion, sliced very thin 2 cloves garlic, sliced very thin Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1/4 cup dry white wine 1 1/2 cups fresh ripe tomatoes, skinned with a peeler and chopped, or canned Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice.

1. Rinse chicken in cold water and pat dry.

2. Put olive oil and onion in a saute pan large enough to hold the chicken without crowding. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent. Add garlic. Add chicken, skin side down, and saute until skin turns golden. Turn and cook chicken on the other side.

3. Add salt and pepper and turn the chicken a few times. Add the wine, and simmer until it is reduced by half.

4. Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat to a very slow simmer, partly cover the pan, and cook the chicken about 40 minutes, until it is very tender and comes away from the bone easily. Turn and baste it from time to time during cooking. If necessary add a little water.

5. Transfer the chicken to a warm dish and serve. If desired, it can be prepared in advance and reheated.

And her chicken with red cabbage. This is very Northeastern Italian, almost Austrian:

CHICKEN FRICASSEE WITH RED CABBAGE

Serves 4

In this fricassee, chicken pieces cook smothered in red cabbage, which keeps them tender and invests them with some of its own sweetness. By the time the chicken is done, the cabbage dissolves into a dense, clinging sauce.

1 cup onion, sliced very thin
a generous 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and each cut into 4 pieces
4 cups red cabbage shredded fine, about 1 pound
A 3- to 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup dry red wine
Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
Salt

1. Put the sliced onion, the 1/4 cup oil, and the garlic in a suté pan, turn the heat on to medium, and cook the garlic until it becomes colored a deep gold. Add the shredded cabbage. Stir thoroughly to coat well, sprinkle with salt, stir again, adjust heat to cook at a gentle simmer and put a lid on the pan. Cook the cabbage for 40 minutes or more, turning it over from time to time, until it has become very tender and considerably reduced in bulk.

Ahead - of time note: The dish can be prepared up to this point even 2 or 3 days in advance. Reheat completely in a covered pan before proceeding to the next step.


2. Wash the chicken pieces in cold water, and pat thoroughly dry with cloth or paper towels.

3. In another pan, put in 1 table spoon of olive oil, turn on the heat to medium, and, after warming up the oil very briefly, put in all the chicken pieces skin side down in a single layer. Turn the chicken after a little while to brown the pieces equally on both sides, then transfer them to the other pan, all except the breast, which you'll hold aside until later. Turn the chicken over in the cabbage, add the wine and a few grindings of pepper, cover the pan, putting the lid on slightly ajar, and continue cooking at a slow, steady simmer. From time to time turn the chicken pieces over, sprinkling them once with salt. After 40 minutes add the breasts. Cook for about 10 minutes more, until the chicken is tender all the way trough and the meat comes easily off the bone. You will no longer be able to recognize the cabbage as such; it will have become a dark, supple sauce for the chicken. Transfer the entire contents of the pan to a warm platter and serve at once.

I have never made this so I can't guarantee the outcome, but it sounds like a good winter dish, and not expensive as long as you can get olive oil at a decent price (so-called "ethnic" groceries).
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

deBeauxOs

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Re: Celebration suppers
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2009, 09:09:02 PM »
Mmmm.  Marcella Hazan's classic bolognese sauce.  Once I mastered it, I felt comfortable doubling the amount of diced carrots & onions.  You could substitute ground turkey for the beef, but you can't rush the simmering part.

 

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