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Traditional holiday feasts bring families together

What is served at the quintessential holiday feast? Since December holidays are celebrated all around the globe, the foods associated with them can be as varied as the presents under your tree. In a melting pot of a country like ours, a families classic holiday supper could be anything from bacalao, to oyster stew, finnan haddie, lutefisk, lamb, pork, salmon, prime rib, latkes, or a roasted game bird.December holiday meals are rich with tradition and reflect a familys culture(s); the dishes served are often the same from generation to generation. However, as young American families stray from their old-world roots, they begin new traditions, further defining our new world food culture. Does your family have a traditional holiday dish? Perhaps its time to start one!Traditions are important because they help to bring families together over the holidays. This weeks recipes offer old world dishes with a new world twist. I hope they help to inspire new family traditions in your home, or revive the classic traditions of your youth. Buon Appetito and Salte! Chef Mick Rosacci, Tonys Meats & Specialty Foods.

Traditional Potato Latkes2.5 lbs Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes2 medium onions2 large eggs1/5 tsp kosher salt1/2 tsp ground white pepper1/4 cup all purpose flourabout 3/4 cup canola oil (for frying)Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a tray with paper towels for draining latkes and have a baking sheet ready to keep them warm.Peel and grate potatoes and onions on the large holes of a grater or on a food processor fitted with a coarse grating disk, alternating potato and onion. Transfer to a colander and squeeze mixture by handfuls to remove as much liquid as possible.Place mixture in a bowl, adding egg, salt, pepper and flour; mix well.Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a deep, large, heavy skillet. For each latke, drop about 2 TBS of potato mixture into a pan. Flatten with the back of a spoon so each pancake is 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. Do not crowd the pan. Fry over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until crisp and golden brown. Turn carefully with two slotted spatulas to avoid splashing hot oil. Transfer to paper towels. Stir batter before frying each new batch. Add more oil to the pan as needed, and heat it well before adding more latkes. After frying about half the batter, put latkes on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.Pat tops of latkes with paper towels before serving. Serve hot or warm with sweetened sour cream, sweetened crme frache, or applesauce. Faye Levy, 1,000 Jewish RecipesOyster Stew with Mushroom1 quart large shucked oysters1 cup oyster liquor3 TBS butter1 TBS flour1 cup milk1/2 cup cream2 shallots, minced1 sprig parsley, mincedsalt and pepper1/2 pound sliced mushroomsHeat oysters in their own liquor below the boiling point until edges curl. Drain, reserving the liquor and oysters in separate bowls. In the same pot, melt 1 TBS butter, blend in flour, the gradually add milk, whisking constantly to incorporate. Bring to the boiling point and cook one minute. Add cream, shallots, parsley, salt and pepper. Heat cleaned mushrooms in the remaining 2 TBS butter until hot, but do not brown. Add mushrooms, oysters and oyster liquor to cream sauce, serve hot with thin slices of buttered toast. Serves 6 Honey-Pineapple Pork Roast3 to 3-1/2 pound well-marbled pork loin roast1/2 cup each: honey, soy sauce1/4 cup white wine vinegar1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple2 garlic cloves, minced2 TBS grated fresh gingerScore loin in 1-inch diamonds with a sharp knife (only 1/4 inch deep). Combine all ingredients and marinate pork roast in a plastic bag at least 2 hours to overnight in refrigerator. Remove pork from marinade, heat remaining marinade in a saucepan to a boil and reserve for basting. Grill pork over indirect, medium-low fire, or roast at 350 degrees, to an internal temperature of 145-150 degrees (about 1-1/2 to 2 hours or 18 minutes per pound). Baste meat with marinade during last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. Remove, cover with foil and a kitchen towel and rest 10 minutes before carving. The meat should show a slight blush tone and the juices run clear. – Serves 6Crown Roast of Lamb with Orange Cranberry Stuffing1 prepared Lamb Crown Roast1 TBS butter or olive oil1⁄2 cup finely chopped celery1⁄4 cup sliced green onions1⁄2 tsp. ground allspice1⁄2 tsp. salt2 cups cooked brown rice2 cups cornbread crumbs1⁄2 cup dried cranberries, raisins or cherries1 can (11 ounce) mandarin oranges, drainedPlace lamb crown on a rack in a roasting pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, saut celery and onion in melted butter or oil until tender. Stir in allspice and salt. Toss with cooked rice, cornbread crumbs, and orange sections. Spoon rice mixture loosely into center cavity of lamb crown. Roast 15-20 minutes more or to desired internal temperature (125 – 135 suggested), and stuffing is heated through. Cover with a foil and then a clean towel and rest for 10 minutes. Present to table and cut between individual ribs, serving with cranberry sauce or chutney.Swedish Potato Sausage BakePotatis Korv becomes available in butcher shops every holiday season, this simple dish is fabulous with roasted or gratin vegetables and lefsa.Swedish Potato Sausage (Potatis Korv)PotatoeswaterPlace potato sausage in a roasting pan or glass baking dish with plenty of bite-sized potato pieces. Pierce skin repeatedly with fork and add a good splash of water. Cover and roast until potatoes are tender. The leftovers are delicious fried with eggs for breakfast the next day. Chef Mick Rosacci, Tonys Meats & Specialty FoodsRoast Duck with Cranberry Port Sauce5 pound duckling1/4 cup port wine2 tbs butter2 tbs flour1 cup chicken broth or stock1/4 cup orange juice2 tbs brown sugar1/2 cup cranberries1 dash cayenne pepper1/2 lemon1 dash salt & pepperRinse duck under cold water and pat dry. Remove any large lumps of fat from skin, and pierce skin all over with a fork or paring knife. Rub inside cavity and skin of duck with lemon and season with salt and pepper. Truss bird, place on rack and set in shallow roasting pan. Roast at 350 degrees to your preferred internal temperature (160-180 degrees, about 2 hours). About once every hour, remove all but 1 cup of fat from pan, some remaining fat will keep pan from scorching. Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees for the last 15 minutes of roasting to crisp skin.Remove duck from oven and set on warm plate. Pour off and discard fat. Place roasting pan on top of stove. Add port and heat over low heat, scraping up any browned bits. Add butter and heat until melted. Add flour, stirring until smooth.Add warm chicken broth and whisk constantly until smooth and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in orange juice and 2 TBS brown sugar and mix well. Add cranberries and cook over high heat until cranberries pop, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cayenne and more salt and pepper to taste. If mixture is too tart, add remaining brown sugar.To serve, cut duck in quarters using poultry shears and place on serving dishes. Pouring sauce over each serving. Serve immediately. Serves 2-4Roasted ChestnutsChestnuts need their shell broken to allow for expansion. Either cut an X on the round side of each nut with a paring knife, or snip the shell with the tip of a heavy pair of kitchen shears. Place on a cookie sheet and roast in a 350 degree oven until nuts begin to pop, about 20-25 minutes. Serve in a big bowl to keep warm.Salmon Wellingtontwo 6-8 oz salmon fillets1 pkg. puff pastry2 TBS shallots, minced 1 TBS butter2.5 cups sliced mushroomssea salt and white pepper to tastehoney mustard (or your favorite)fresh dillbeaten eggHave your butcher skin and remove all the pin bones from your salmon fillets. Thaw pastry according to package directions. Saut shallots in butter while you slice the mushrooms. Add mushrooms and season with pinches of salt and white pepper to taste. Saut until mushrooms are just soft, cool to room temperature.Season salmon lightly with sea salt and white pepper. Coat the tops with approximately 1 TBS mustard and sprinkle with plenty of chopped fresh dill. Gently roll out pastry, if needed, on a floured surface, cutting into squares large enough to wrap each fillet. Place half of mushrooms in the center of each sheet of pastry, placing prepared salmon on top, mustard side down. Season bottom of salmon with salt, pepper and dill. Fold pastry around salmon, sticking together by moistening edges with water, then turn over, seam side down onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Cut extra pastry into decorative shapes, moistening and sticking to top of Wellington. Brush well with beaten egg and bake at 425 until golden brown (approx. 15-20 minutes). Rest for 5 minutes and serve. Serves 2 – Chef Mick Rosacci, Tonys Meats & Specialty Foods* Chefs notes: a convection fan will increase browning, if roasting with your fan on, reduce temperature 25-50 degrees. Unsure if its done? Test with a meat thermometer in the side removing at 140-150 degrees.


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