Christmas in our family is quite traditional, as far as dinner is concerned. Only one of the recipes in this post are new to us and our table. Even though any of our kids could recite what will be on the table, and who will be preparing it, it just wouldn’t be the same if we switched things up. We talk about it every year, but never do.
For the main courses are ham and turkey. My sister-in-law cooks the ham, and we grill the turkey at our house. I began grilling the turkey several years ago when I ran out of oven room. Grilling the turkey, I have found, yields the most moist white meat of any cooking method. It is very simple, a little butter, salt and pepper on and under the skin along with about 3/4 of an inch of stock in the pan. Covered then slow cooked with only the outside two burners on and in about 3 hours, a beautiful golden brown bird emerges!
For the Cranberry Sauce, I prepared a recipe first used at Thanksgiving. I found the recipe over at Recipe Girl and it is not only easy but blows the canned stuff out of the water. It is also great with a little butter on a biscuit or toast in the morning. I highly encourage trying this recipe.
Now, for the best part. Dessert. I made the Browned Butter Pecan Pie (that I made last month) from Cookie Madness, No Bake PB Oatmeal Cookies from well, anywhere, but I have my own recipe, a great sugar cookie (that I will post later), and our family tradition of “Angel Wings“. The Sour Cream Pound Cake, Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie played an essential part of this holiday meal too. Needless to say, I have a TON of dessert leftover in the freezer.
It was a wonderful holiday but I must say that I am relieved that it is over. The pressure involved in food preparation and making three growing kids happy have worn me out. I am looking forward to having the rest of the week off and doing, well, nothing.
Happy New Year to all!
My family, immediate and extended, always seem to enjoy this recipe. It is straight forward, no extra’s, just potatoes, eggs, relish and mayo. Of course you can add onions, celery and other crunchies… but with a family of picky eaters, I still with the “if you like it that way, add it yourself” principle. (Is that harsh?) Oh, and I’m not really sure what southern style really means, but I live in the south, so I’m calling it southern.
Here it is:
Southern Style Potato Salad
- 1 (5 lb.) bag potatoes, russet or Idaho
- 8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup light mayonnaise (more to taste and texture)
- 1/4 cup sweet relish (more to taste and texture)
- Salt & Pepper
- Paprika to garnish
Peel and dice potatoes and boil in salted water until fork tender. Remove and drain. *If you like a chunky potato salad, allow potatoes to cool completely. I usually add the other ingredients to warm potatoes. Return potatoes to pot and add other ingredients. Stir lightly until all of the potatoes are covered. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, or refrigerate until ready. Garnish with paprika and greens if desired.
Honestly, the amount of mayo and sweet relish are approximate. I add until I reach a smooth texture and to taste. I think the key is having enough to cover all of the potatoes well. And again, I like to prepare it with warm potatoes. Some of the potatoes end up mashing some, adding to the creaminess of the dish. Yum.
A 5 pound bag makes quite a bit, enough for at least 10 servings with leftovers.
My mil is leaving for Arizona tomorrow. She has lived here in FL for 22 years, but due to economic times, she is moving. I prepared one of her favorites for this farewell dinner – shrimp.
The meal itself was easy to prepare. The only drawback I had was grilling in the cold, pouring rain. It still turned out wonderfully.
The chicken was marinated all night in Italian dressing, then slow grilled for a little over an hour. Just before removing, a Honey BBQ glaze was applied. In the meantime, I steamed corn on the cob and prepared Hasselback (aka fan) potatoes. Now these potatoes rocked – and will become a staple for a starch side from now on. We also had a freshly prepared Caesar Salad and some grilled onion packets. Overall dinner was highly successful.
I prepared the shrimp by boiling them in a lightly seasoned, butter bath and served them with melted butter. They were x-large shrimp and were purchased already deveined… mmmmm….
For dessert I made chunky brownies and served them warm with ice cream. Needles to say they were gone before photos could be taken.
Here is how to prepare the potatoes. It is very easy and well worth it.
Hasselback Potatoes(AKA Accordion, Fan etc…)
- Medium Potatoes, I used Red
- Butter, I used spray, but you could melt some
- Olive Oil
- Seasonings, as desired
- Wooden Spoon
- Sheet pan coated with cooking spray or with a thin layer of olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the potatoes about 1/4 thick (as in the picture). To do this, place one potato in the “spoon” part, of a wooden spoon. The potato will rest in the well of the spoon and you can slice all the way through the potato till the spoon stops it. This leaves just enough of the potato attached that you can “fan” them and coat them with the oils and seasonings.
Place the cut potatoes on a microwave safe dish and heat for 6 – 10 minutes – based on the size and number of potatoes. Remove and place on prepared sheet pan. Spray the potatoes with butter, then brush on olive oil. Sprinkle with course sea salt and seasonings as desired. I use Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, coating with additional butter half way through. When the potatoes are soft, remove and serve.
*Note about the microwaving – the idea is to have them slightly cooked so they don’t scortch in the oven…just a nice crispy brown. I was hesitant about microwaving, but I am glad I did. The potatoes turned out perfectly.
Tonight we had a wonderful meal, and at a wonderful price. This is the kind of meal you have at a summer picnic, but the last few weeks in Florida have felt like summer…so why not. Today was quite beautiful. The temperatures were in the 70′s and there was not a cloud in the sky. I actually wore shorts today, in January. Now I had no idea what the weather would be like when I planned this meal earlier in the week, but it turned out to be very fitting.
Leg 1/4′s were on sale at Publix this week at .59 cents a pound. I got a pack of 5 huge 1/4′s for $2.50… To go with the chicken I made classic potato salad and some steamed corn and broccoli. Dessert was a new twist too, but I will post that tomorrow.
To prepare the chicken you will need:
- Boiling water, salted
- 5 -6 chicken leg quarters
- BBQ sauce of choice (I prefer Kraft Original for this chicken)
I always boil leg quarters for a few minutes before throwing them on the grill. Bone-in meat always requires extra cooking time, and I cannot stand charred meat. So about 10 minutes in a boiling bath starts the cooking and also enhances moisture in the finished product.
Boil Leg Quarters for 10 minutes and gently transfer to hot grill (to keep the skin from tearing). Grill for 10 minutes right side up, then flip to brown the top. After about 5 minutes spread desired BBQ sauce on the bottoms of the chicken. Let cook for a couple of minutes and flip the chicken again. Thoroughly coat the tops with sauce and allow to simmer on grill until cooked through, which won’t be long… Remove and serve! My total cooking time after boiling was about 10 minutes on each side. The temperature on my grill was at 500 initially, and remained at 400 ish for the rest of the time.
Now, for the potato salad!
Classic Potato Salad
- 3 – 5 lbs baking potatoes, diced
- 6 boiled eggs
- Sweet Relish
- Salt, Pepper to taste
- Diced Onions & Celery (if desired)
Boil potatoes until tender, remove and drain in colander. Chop eggs into small pieces, or use egg slicer. Place in large bowl, lightly salt and pepper then add potatoes. (Now this is where I just eyeball measurements and add to taste). Add 2 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise and sweet relish. Stir into potatoes. Add more mayo, relish and salt & pepper to taste. I like to prepare the salad while the potatoes are still warm. It kind of mushes the potatoes, but I think that contributes to the creaminess of the potato salad. If you stir gently, you will get a combination of creamy and chunky potatoes – yum. If using, add the chopped onions and celery and stir until well mixed. Maybe next time I will measure how much of everything I add.
After dinner I broke out the dessert, which I made last night. I will talk more about that tomorrow – I still have to take pictures.
Finally, after dinner cleanup, I prepared Sunday lunch. Home made lasagna. I will pop it in the oven before church and it should be hot and ready to serve when we get home. That’s it! Good night all.