I haven't reported on our very enjoyable Christmas dinner of last week. To sum up briefly, our former neighbor, Larry hosted nine guests at the beautiful house he's presently watching for the absentee owners.
This was the menu, more or less:
We started out with chips and dips. A lady friend brought a "24-hour Salad" in a hurricane glass. (I don't understand the hurricane connection, but the salad of many layers was very tasty.)
Our host baked a spiral ham, while a friend with professional food service experience roasted a turkey for us. There was plenty of rich gravy and the mushroom gravy I'd made for backup wasn't necessary.
My contribution was mostly the large pan of sausage and nut dressing, with a smaller casserole of shiitake inflected dressing for a vegetarian friend. I also made about 40 white, fluffy potato bread rolls.
|Dressings: sausage left; vegetarian right|
There were creamed baby onions, but unfortunately, they got cold before serving and with no microwave oven, we did not reheat them.
|Don Cuevas' plate of selected viands|
We all left fat and happy.
Afterward, we salvaged a couple of big hambones, some turkey legs and a thigh, as well as the mushroom gravy, a lot of dressing and the creamed onions. Here's how I used the leftovers:
One day, we simply had a combo plate of turkey, dressing, mushroom gravy and (new) mashed potatoes. The turkey bones went into the stockpot with aromatic vegetables and herbs.
On the following day, I made a sort of turkey gumbo from the stock, the leftover dark meat plus a few fresh vegetables, all of the mushroom gravy some rice blend and some spices. (Yes, yes, it's not an authentic gumbo, but it tasted fine.)
The creamed onions were divided into two containers, one destined for the freezer and the other a brunch dish with eggs and a little sharp cheddar cheese.
The day before yesterday I made ham stock from the bones, and chilled it overnight in order to be able to easily remove the congealed fat layer. The meat trimmed from the bones was reserved to add to a pot of "alubias chicas", which resemble Navy Beans. They require a long soak and long, careful cooking. We invited Larry to lunch. With the soup we had cornbread made with Nora Mill Stone Ground Yellow Cornmeal.
The rich, dense sausage dressing remains in two Ziploc bags in the freezer. More gravy will be required, I think, but not for some time to come. The dressing would go well with a small, boneless herbed pork loin hibernating in the freezer depths, later, much later.
We wish you a Happy and Bountiful, (and most of all) Safe Year 2011
Don Cuevas y Doña Cuevas