Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Dinner

I was assigned an appetizer and a salad this year for Christmas dinner. I always love an excuse to try new recipes so I took on my aunt's brie appetizer, my uncle's Portuguese Caesar salad, and my mother-in-law's croutons. What would I do without those three?! They've provided me with an endless supply of great recipes. Here they are...


Round of good brie
2 large heads of garlic
1-2T brown sugar for sprinkling on garlic
2T brown sugar for sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
Box of water crackers

Cut garlic in half horizontally and place on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Top with olive oil and brown sugar and wrap the foil up around the garlic. Roast for 1 hour in 400 degree oven.
Remove garlic cloves (with a small spoon or knife) and boil with sugar, olive oil and honey. Meanwhile, freeze cheese for 30 minutes. Cut off brine. Set on a microwavable safe dish. Top with roasted garlic sauce and microwave for 30 seconds or until cheese starts to warm and soften. Serve with crackers.


3-5 cloves garlic, minced (depending on how much garlic you can handle)
1 or 2 anchovy fillets, minced
juice from one lemon
1 egg yolk (I used the yolk from a coddled egg but most recipes use a raw egg yolk)
1T Dijon
1T Worcestershire
2t Tabasco
4T balsamic vinegar
1 cup good olive oil
Freshly ground pepper, lots
Romaine lettuce
Butter leaf lettuce (not mandatory but it is nice to have a little bit of this mixed in too)
1-1.5 cups Asiago cheese, grated
Homemade croutons (recipe below)
Add a sprinkle of salt to the minced garlic and then mash into a paste using the side of a large knife. Add minced anchovy and continue to mash into a paste. Add mixture to a large wooden salad bowl. Add a touch of olive oil and mash a bit more. Whisk in the egg yolk, lemon, Dijon, Worcestershire, Tabasco, balsamic and pepper. Then whisk in olive oil. Using a small lettuce leaf, test dressing. You may want to adjust if any flavor is too strong for you. Add lettuce, croutons, cheese and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve with a little more cheese and pepper sprinkled on top.

Cube of butter
Day old bread, cut into 1" cubes
Garlic powder and/or onion powder (I use both)
Garlic salt and/or regular salt (I use both)

Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Sprinkle some of each seasoning over melted butter. Add bread and stir to coat. Sprinkle with more seasoning and parmesan. Transfer to a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 or broil until crispy. Be careful not to burn.

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