A Very Special Christmas Meal!

I apologize this is almost a week late, but I've been in much pain due to an operation I had to have to remove a kidney stone AND also because I have been having a blast hanging out with two special people that came to visit Nick and I for almost a week!! <3 

For Christmas Nick and I went all out with our dinner, just like we did for Thanksgiving. We had two very special guests to cook for, which put that much more pressure on me to make a perfect meal. It is completely different to cook for Nick and then to cook for somebody else. Luckily our very special guests were pleased and impressed with the dinner... WIN!

We had a slew of food. Lets start with our appetizers. 
First we made Salsa and Chips
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green peppers
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 jalapeño
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 corn tortillas, quartered
  • Pulse first 5 ingredients in a blender until you're happy with the consistency [either smooth or chunky]
  • Preheat deep fryer to 375 degrees F
  • In 3 or 4 batches, fry the quartered slices of tortilla for approximately 2 or 3 minutes until lightly crispy
  • Pat with a paper towel to remove excess oil

Second, we made Apple and Blue Cheese Tartlets
  • 1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
  • 1 small apple, peeled, finely chopped
  • 4 oz crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Remove crusts from pouches; unroll on work surface
  • With 2 1/2 inch round cutter, cut 12 rounds from each crust
  • Press each round in bottom and up sides of greased miniature muffin cup, forming lip on edge of cup
  • In a small bowl, beat eggs. Beat in half and half and flour
  • Sprinkle apple and cheese into each crust lined cup
  • Slowly pour egg mixture into each cup
  • Sprinkle with parsley
  • Bake 18 to 23 minutes or until filling is set and edges are light golden brown

 Turkey Breast. Here is what you will need:

Ingredients and Directions:
  • Turkey Breast
  • Insure that the turkey is completely thawed and free of ice and water
  • Fill pot with about 2 gallons of peanut oil
  • Set the temperature for oil to 375 degrees F
  • While fryer is preheating, prepare the turkey
    • use a dry rub on the outside of the turkey and inside the turkey cavity... making sure that every crevice is thoroughly seasoned so that everybody gets a yummy taste
  • calculate cooking time - THIS IS IMPORTANT
    • the rule of thumb here is to fry turkey breast is 7 minutes per pound
    • since Nick and I had an 8.34lb turkey breast, we fried it for approximately 58 to 59 minutes 
  • After lowering turkey breast into unit reduce temperature to 325 degrees F for entire cooking time

Roast Prime Rib with Au Jus
  • 1 bone in prime rib
  • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • salt and coursely ground  black pepper
  •  2 cups red wine
  • 4 cups beef stock
Au Jus
  • Thirty minutes before roasting the prime rib, remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature
  • preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Make small slits all over the prime rib and fill each slit with a slice of the garlic
  • season liberally with the salt and course pepper, place on a rack set inside a roasting pan and roast for about 2 hours until medium-rare or until a thermometer inserted onto the center of the meat registers 135 degrees F
  • Remove the meat to a platter, and tent with foil to keep warm
  • Place the roasting pan on top of the stove over 2 burners set on high heat
  • add the wine to the pan drippings in the pan and cook over high heat until reduce, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon
  • add the stock and cook until reduced by half
  • whisk in salt and pepper, to taste

Now onto the Sausage Cornbread Stuffing
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, small dice
  • 3 ribs celery, small dice
  • kosher salt
  • 1 pound spicy sausage, casing removed and broken into bite size chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely diced
  • 10 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • 10 cups day old cornbread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken stock
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onion and celery and saute over medium heat
  • season with salt and cook until the vegetables start to become soft and very aromatic
  • add the sausage and cook until the sausage beings to brown
  • stir in the garlic and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes
  • add the sage and rosemary and cook for another minute, then remove from heat
  • In a medium sized roaster mix together the cornbread and sausage mixture
  • add the chicken stock and knead with your hands until the bread is very moist
  • taste to check for seasoning and season with salt
  • bake the stuffing until it is hot all the way through - between 30 and 40 minutes

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
  • 8 medium to large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cub butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup, or slightly more , heavy cream
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Boil the potatoes with the bay leaves until the potatoes are tender
  • Drain the potatoes well and discard the bay leaves
  • Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes by hand, stir in chunks of butter
  • Cover and set aside to let butter melt
  • Stir in heavy cream, season with salt and pepper
  • Then beat until creamy using an electric beater


Sweet Cherry Pie

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 - 16 ounce package frozen unsweetened pitted dark sweet cherries
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 purchased or homemade pastry for two 9 inch pie crusts
  • 1 - 21 ounce can cherry pie filling
  • 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon milk

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  •  In a bowl stir together granulated sugar and cornstarch. Add frozen cherries and vanilla. Toss. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or until a syrup forms; stir occasionally
  • Prepare pastry. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the pastry into a 12-inch circle. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry. Place 1/2 cup of the almonds in bottom of pastry-lined pie plate. Stir sweet cherry mixture; spoon on top of almonds. Spoon pie filling over sweet cherry mixture; spread evenly
  • Trim bottom pastry to edge of pie plate. For top crust, roll remaining pastry into a 12-inch circle. Cut slits in top crust. Place on filling; trim 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate. Fold top pastry under bottom pastry; seal. Flute edge; cover edge with foil to prevent overbrowning
  • Bake for 50 minutes. Remove foil. Bake about 30 minutes more or until top is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack 1 to 1-1/2 hours
  • Stir together powdered sugar and enough milk to make of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over pie. Sprinkle remaining almonds on top of pie. Cool completely

This was an AMAZING dinner! The Prime Rib turned out wonderful, which is really the only new MAJOR item added to the meal that I've never made before. It came out tender and absolutely tasty, almost like what you'd pay for at a restaurant. Also, because I am not a huge fan of the taste of alcohol, I was a bit skeptical of the Au Jus, but it turned out absolutely perfect and paired well with the Prime Rib!! Yum, Yummmmmm!!

I hope you all had a great Christmas, Nick and I surely did!! I think it was extra special because of our very awesome guests, Aunt Lynda and Uncle Larry!!! While my momma wasn't here to celebrate with us, I could not imagine any other family to spend this holiday with!! Lynda and Larry are two very special people to Nick and I and I fall in love with them even more each time we are able to spend time together!! They made Nick and my first Christmas together that much more special!!

Until next time, Happy Holidays!