Category Archives: 12 Days of Christmas Recipes

2009 Christmas cooking project – 12 days of yummy Christmas recipes!

12 Days of Christmas Dish#9: Yams with Crispy Skins and Brown-Butter Vinaigrette

Okay, so I loved sweet potatoes with marshmallows or with baked apples…the first twenty times.  A staple in my holiday menu, this Christmas, I needed a new dish.  This recipe is from the Bon Appetit December 2009 magazine, and I’m very excited to share this with you.  This yam dish is crazy good, and so bad for you that you might as well just give in right now.  The crispy skins are a delicious contrast to the soft roasted yams, swimming in a buttery dressing.  A little time consuming, but many stages can be prepared in advance, the ingredients list is very basic and inexpensive – making this an ideal dish to feed a large group on a budget (but not on a diet!!).

The Recipe:

Tender slices of sweet roasted yam are topped with a tangy Dijon dressing—and a scattering of addictive fried yam skins.

Yield: Makes 8 servings

8 slender medium garnet yams or other yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes; about 5 pounds total), rinsed, dried
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 small shallot, peeled
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt plus additional for seasoning
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Vegetable oil (for frying)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce each yam in several places with fork. Place directly on oven rack and roast until just tender, 40 to 50 minutes, depending on size of yams.  Best to wrap the yams in tinfoil so that they don’t leak all over your stove, this way you can save the nice juices from the yams to mix in with the dressing later.

Transfer roasted yams to work surface. Using scissors, cut off ends of each yam, then cut skin on 1 long side and peel off in 1 piece, being careful not to break warm yams. Let yams cool to room temperature. Tear or cut skins into long ribbons, about 1 inch wide.

Cut yams crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Arrange rounds, slightly overlapping, in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish or other ovenproof dish. Cover yams with aluminum foil to keep moist. DO AHEAD: Yams can be made up to 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm yams in 350°F oven 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter browns (milk solids will turn deep golden brown), stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully pour butter, including all brown milk solids, into small bowl.

Blend shallot, garlic, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt in processor until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add Dijon mustard, then red wine vinegar. With motor running, gradually drizzle in butter (including browned milk solids). Season vinaigrette to taste with pepper and additional salt, if desired. do ahead Vinaigrette can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Blend again 5 seconds before using.

Pour enough vegetable oil into large deep skillet to reach depth of 1 inch. Attach deep-fry thermometer to side of skillet and heat oil to 350°F. Add yam skins in batches (oil will bubble up) and fry until skins are crisp and brown, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, carefully transfer yam skins to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle skins with coarse salt and pepper.

Spoon vinaigrette over potatoes. Scatter crisp skins over and serve.

Yams with Crispy Skins

Yams with Crispy Skins

Sweet sweet potatoes…you are the reason why my fat pants just got tighter….

12 Days of Christmas Dish#7: Sage Butter Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy

Time for the beast! Want to have a super tasty bird? This recipe from Bon Appetit November 2009 magazine is full of sage and salty goodness. One bite of this crispy, buttery skin will have your guests begging for more. The cider gravy is a sweet and savory bonus. One turkey trick I picked up from Nigella Lawson is to roast your turkey upside down – this way all the juices seep into the white meat, instead of drying it out. Not always a pretty presentation, but who cares? I didn’t chill the turkey overnight and I didn’t have any brandy – I did use apple cider over apple juice however. I also stuffed my turkey with a basic sage stuffing from The Girl Can’t Cook.

The Recipe:

Two quintessential autumn ingredients – sage and cider – flavor this turkey-gravy combo.

3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
1 16 to 19-pound turkey, rinsed, patted dry; neck, heart, and gizzard removed
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup chopped fresh sage
¾ cup fresh refrigerated apple cider or fresh refrigerated apple juice

2 cups (or more) turkey stock or low-salt chicken broth
¾ cup fresh refrigerated apple cider or fresh refrigerated apple juice
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 to 3 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy) or applejack brandy
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

Rub salt and dried sage together in small bowl. Place turkey in roasting pan; sprinkle all over with sage salt. Cover pan with plastic wrap; chill turkey overnight.
Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Pat turkey dry. Stuff turkey. Tie legs together loosely. Flip turkey upside down. Stir butter and chopped sage in small saucepan over low heat until butter melts or heat in microwave for 30-60 seconds. Brush all over turkey; sprinkle with salt pepper.
Roast turkey 1 hour; baste with any pan juices. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Roast turkey 45 minutes. Pour ¾ cup apple cider over; turn pan around. Continue to roast turkey until instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165 degrees F, basting and turning pan occasionally for even cooking, about 1 ¼ hours longer.
Transfer turkey to platter; tent loosely with foil and let rest 30 to 45 minutes (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees.)

Pour all pan juices into large measuring cup. Spoon off fat that rises to surface. Transfer 2 tablespoons fat to heavy large saucepan; discard remaining fat. Place turkey roasting pan over 2 burners. Add 2 cups stock or broth and ¾ cup cider. Bring to boil over high heat, scarping up browned bits. Boil liquid until reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 6 minutes. Add mixture from roasting pan to degreased pan juices. If necessary, add enough stock to measure 3 ½ cups stock mixture.
Place saucepan with turkey fat over medium-high heat. Add flour; whisk 2 minutes. Whisk in stock mixture. Boil until gravy thickens enough to coat spoon thinly, about 6 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons Calvados, or more to taste, and sage. Season with salt and pepper. Serve turkey with gravy.

Sage Turkey

I heart you turkey….xoxo

12 Days of Christmas Dish#5: Easy Eggnog

I’ve never made my own eggnog, the festive cartons at the grocery store are always way too tempting.  But this year I decided it was time…homemade eggnog time.  I found this recipe in the LCBO Food & Drink Holiday 2000 magazine.  Fast and easy, rich and creamy, this is one strong ‘nogg that will delight all who decide to indulge.  Next Christmas I would throw in some cinnamon sticks to kick up the spice a bit, and also splash of vanilla extract would help balance out the alcohol.

The Recipe:

Because the eggs are cooked in this delicious, time-saving recipe, there is no fear of salmonella.  You can substitute ice milk for ice cream.  Make a day ahead, if desired and mix together again just before serving.  If eggnog ice cream is available, add the milk and liquor to it and skip the other ingredients.

3 large eggs
2 tbsp (25ml) sugar
½ cup (125ml) brandy
½ cup (125ml) rum
2 cups (500ml) vanilla ice cream, softened
2 cups (500ml) milk
Ground nutmeg

1.    Place a bowl over a pot of water, making sure the water does not touch the base of the bowl.  Bring to simmer.  Add eggs and sugar and beat over the heat until light and fluffy.  Whisk in brandy and rum, continuing to whisk until mixture has tripled in volume.

2.    Remove from heat, cool, then beat in ice cream and milk.  Pour into serving pitcher and chill until needed.  Serve each glass dusted with nutmeg.

Makes about 8 x 6oz (175ml) servings

Easy Egg Nog

Lets get real.  Double the recipe and start toasting to the New Year!