Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Dinner at Alexis' Parents' House

In Alexis' family, the Christmas Eve tradition is to eat a gluttonous meal of appetizers. They used to buy them, but now that all of the girl's cook and it's not all left up to Alexis' mom, we spend all day creating the spread in the kitchen. It's much more satisfying than buying everything.

Mashed Potato Cakes
We had some leftover mashed potatoes, so we added some cheese, made some flattened balls, dredged in flour and fried until crispy.

Stuffed Mushrooms
These were delicious, quick and courtesy of Alexis' little sister.
-4 oz goat cheese
-2 leeks, minced
-20 mushroom, stems removed and set aside
-mushroom stems, minced
-salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the leeks in butter until tender. Sautee the minced mushroom stems in butter until reduced. Add leeks and mushrooms to the goat cheese and season with salt and pepper. Broil the mushroom caps for about 5 minutes. Fill with the goat cheese mixture and broil for another minute on high, until tops are brown and bubbly.

Chickpea Blinis with Indian Spiced Yogurt
Alexis saw chickpea flour at the Indian grocery store and immediately thought "blinis" even though she'd never made them before. They turned out better than anyone expected, but they didn't reheat well the next day.

-1/4 cup warm water
-1 package active dry yeast
-1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
-1 cup chickpea flour
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 cup whole milk, heated to warm
-3 tb stick butter, melted
-2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Stir together water, yeast, and sugar and let stand until it foams. Add the chickpea flour, salt, then stir in milk, butter, and eggs. Cover bowl with plastic wrap set aside to rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stir , then ladle with a soup spoon into a hot greased pan. Cook like a pancake. We served these with greek yogurt spiked with a spicy, lemony, Indian spice mixture.

Yogurt Cheese Balls Rolled in Indian Spice Mixture
Alexis' mom made these and they were very tasty. Very good in a bit of pita.

Homemade Bread, Courtesy of Alexis' Dad and Grilled (store-bought) Naan

Goat Cheese Stuffed Phyllo Cigars
Mmm. Pastry stuffed with cheese. These were also made my Alexis' little sister.

Mixed Green Salad with Oranges, Red Onion, Pomegranate and Caramelized Walnuts
Dressed simply in a bit of fresh squeezed orange juice.

Black Bean Hummus
This tasty concoction was spiked with lime juice and surprisingly light in color. Great on the grilled naan.


Alexis' mom makes awesome dolmas. This variation contained minced lamb (leftover from a couple of nights ago) and dried pomegranate seeds rather than currants.

Cheese, Smoked Salmon, BBQ Pork, and Truffle Foie Gras Pate
The requisite meats and cheeses.

The Whole Spread

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