Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Plunder & Dinners

I hope everyone had a great December and whatever holiday you choose to celebrate (unless it was that Nonsecular Human Light Existence of whatever... that is stupid. Just celebrate the damn solstice.)  I feel like my Christmas started a little early when the hubs shot a deer!  With all the deer running around Mid-TN you'd think they'd be easier to kill.  We don't have the meat back from the processor yet, but we got some fantastic things to help us use all the lovely, red, gamey meat.

My mom got us a deep fryer, which I have surprisingly never owned.  It is a nice one with a basket and digital temp read-out.  But more exciting than that... we got a meat grinder!!!  It has sausage filling attachments too.  To go with the grinder, seasoning blends, and various casings, we have what seems to be the charcuterie bible, Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing!  This books has every type of curing you can possibly think of in it from tasso ham to jaegerwurst to pate en croute.

Christmas Eve night, we went to my parent's hose.  Seafood has always been kind of a tradition for Christmas in our house.  Thanksgiving is our big traditional American meal and Christmas is a little more subdued, especially if we were travelling to see family because that usually involved a huge dinner.  This year, my mom decided to do an Italian inspired feast of seven fishes meal (we have no Italian blood in us whatsoever.)

Christmas Eve Seafood Feast
Sauerkraut Balls (not seafood, but always delicious) 
Hot Crab Dip w/ Spinach & Artichokes
Seared Sea Scallop w/ Fennel & Orange Salad
Linguine w/ Clam Sauce
Cioppino w/ Mahi Mahi, Mussels, Shrimp, & Lobster (similar recipe here)

Christmas day was our combined families and a bit more of a traditional meal.  If both sets of parents will be in attendance at any given occasion, we are basically required to bring smoked salmon.  But we got my dad a smoker, so maybe we will be relieved of that duty on occasion.

Christmas Dinner
Smoked Salmon w/ Roasted Garlic & Caper Spread
Garlic & Rosemary Roasted Cornish Hens
Yellow Rice (w/ Wild Rice)
Brussel Sprouts w/ Goat Cheese & Balsamic Reduction
Fruit Salad w/ Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Apple Tart w/ Cinnamon Pear Balsamic

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