It's a challenge this year to prepare a holiday meal. I'm working Christmas Eve and I need to be organized to pull this off. To further add to the challenge, we're having dinner at my daughter and son-in-law's house, about 30 minutes north of us.
I've already sent them home with extra tables, a crock pot, frozen boneless short ribs and some condiments for dinner. What's for dinner you ask?
For appetizers, my son is preparing hots and bourbon. I believe my late mother got this recipe from a friend. I haven't had it in ages, but I must say it's a hit at parties and super easy to make. I'm picking up crab spread from Mr. Shrimp and my nephew and his wife were also asked to provide an appetizer.
Instead of a salad we are having mixed antipasto, which is a recipe I found years ago in Gourmet Magazine November 1991. It's different than my late mother's. This recipe has more vegetables and less Italian meats. Also on the menu is medium cheese ravioli made by Pastosa. Although they have a store in Cranford, NJ, I got mine at Joe Leone's in Point Pleasant as I had some money left on a gift card. I'll top the ravioli with my fresh tomato sauce.
We're having two main courses, one is boneless short ribs that purchased the short ribs at Wegmans. They are a bit pricy, about $8.49/lb., but for the holidays, it's a do ahead crock pot meal. The short ribs will be prepared in the crock pot following the recipe on a jar of Williams-Sonoma Braising Sauce. Doing it in the crock pot saves precious oven space. The second main course is Wellshire Farm Spiral cut ham from Whole Foods. The ham will just be reheated and served with mustard and applesauce. I was at Whole Foods the day that they were offering free tastings. I found the ham delicious and not salty at all. It's on sale for $3.99/lb. The bonus is that there's a bone in the ham, which will be used after Christmas for some pea soup.
The sides are scallop potatoes for the ham, creamy polenta for the short ribs and and I'm making Amanda Hesser's Brussel sprouts with pancetta again.
Desserts are the choosing of my husband and will come from Delicious Orchards. I'm also hope to bake a few Christmas cookies, so far I have biscotti done and I'm trying to get my daughter's Italian sesame cookies done too.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.