Christmas 2017: What’s on my holiday menu this year?
Our family celebrates Christmas, and that’s less than a couple of weeks away. My, how time flies.
Following the likes of my post on our Thanksgiving menu last month, I thought I’d share with you what I’ll be making in our kitchen for this year’s Christmas dinner.
Since the hubs and I hosted his family for Thanksgiving and cooked quite the elaborate Thanksgiving meal, we’ve decided to let my in-laws host our small family Christmas gathering this year. His mama-in-law knows her way around a Korean kitchen, so I’m looking forward to eating over there.
Of course, I plan to contribute a few things: mainly a starter and a dessert or two—nothing that will compete with my mama-in-law’s main courses.
So what’s on my menu?
- Vietnamese fried spring rolls – Known as cha gio in Vietnamese, I’ll occasionally break out my specialty spring/egg rolls for special occasions only. They’re one of the first dishes I successfully taught myself to replicate of my mama’s, and I’ve never cooked them for my in-laws. I love cha gio not only because mine are damn delicious (no modesty here), but because they’re perfect for grazing on all day when you’re waiting to be called to the table for the main meal.
- Chocolate crunch bars – This will be my first time attempting this dessert on my own. I first learned how to make this delectable dessert when I was hosting Four Senses, a cooking show on AMI TV. My co-host, Carl Heinrich, invited his then pastry chef, Farzam Fallah, to be a guest on the show. To this day, some of his sweet creations have been the most memorable for me, and I’m not even a proclaimed “dessert person.” I thought it’d be nice to try something new in the kitchen, and I remember these chocolate crunch bars from my times dining at Carl’s restaurant, Richmond Station in Toronto. I adore dark chocolate (I’m talking in the 70% cacao range), and these bars make use of them in three different applications.
- My Christmas cookies – I’ve been sworn to secrecy with this recipe by a chef friend, so I’ve never told a soul (except the hubs, who loves these cookies and is eager to help me in the kitchen when they’re being baked). I use a standard cookie base but mix in dried cranberries, pistachios, and white chocolate for a palatable symphony of chewy tart, nutty crunch, and sweetness (and, obviously, for the festive Christmas colors).
And there you have it: my 2017 Christmas contribution to our family dinner. What do you plan to make/serve/eat this holiday season?