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Suzie

Christmas dishes

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Since I know everyone was waiting with 'bated breath, German Christmas Eve turned out okay. We're holding off on dessert as Beefche isn't feeling well and my rouladen skills could use some refinement but all in all I call it a success.

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Growing up, we always had either homemade hamburgers (Dad's childhood tradition) or shrimp with rice (Mom's childhood tradition); and a dessert of plum pudding, lemon sauce, and "hard sauce".  When my in-laws heard about my own parents' shrimp tradition, they liked it so much they adopted it for themselves and so now we all get together Christmas Day Night for a shrimp dinner.

 

Memories of Christmas food from our youth are strong.  My grandmother came from Sweden and she made this horrible Swedish sausage every Christmas Eve.  It tasted like Alpo boiled all day in a latex glove.  I swear it turned the silverware black on contact.  Everyone in the family abhorred it, but for reasons that are still unclear to me they would pretend to be delighted whenever it was served.  This simply caused my grandmother to prepare more and more of it each Christmas.

 

My grandmother had a very specific Swedish name for this sausage, which we all assumed was a standard Swedish word for sausages of this type.  Many years later I bumped into a woman from Stockholm and told her about my grandmother.  "She would make --- every Christmas," I said, naming the sausage by the Swedish word my grandmother used.  The woman's jaw dropped and she stared at me in shock.  Turns out that this word was a vulgar obscenity in Swedish, which my poor grandmother never realized.  

 

But she made Spritz cookies, too, with an enormous gun-shaped cookie press that used to scare me when I was a toddler.  I think she even had a holster for it.  What I wouldn't give to sit down with her again and enjoy these cookies with her... I could tell her why her own parents probably snickered a lot when talking about Christmas sausage.

 

Spritz4.jpg

Edited by PolarVortex

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If we are allowed family gathering, then the fare will be traditional: ham, turkey, pie, mashed potatoes. Our contribution will likely be japche (clear noodles, beef, and vegetables stir fried). No booze, though plenty of black liquid gold, to go with desert.

Japchae

Edited by prisonchaplain

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On 12/3/2020 at 5:56 PM, Suzie said:

Guys, what is the menu for this Christmas?

@beefche what country this year?

@Suzie good to see you!

This year's menu comes from Brazil. We are doing Moqueca which is a fish stew. I'm not sure what Dravin is making for dessert (he's told me, but I keep forgetting since I'm not making that). 

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1 hour ago, beefche said:

@Suzie good to see you!

This year's menu comes from Brazil. We are doing Moqueca which is a fish stew. I'm not sure what Dravin is making for dessert (he's told me, but I keep forgetting since I'm not making that). 

Lucy’s, a Brazilian restaurant in Provo, had a great shrimp moqueca, served over rice with a side of thin-cut French fries cooked almost to the consistency of potato chips (the proper way to eat it is by mixing everything together in a single pile in the plate).

Sadly, they shut their doors last month.  :(

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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21 hours ago, beefche said:

@Suzie good to see you!

This year's menu comes from Brazil. We are doing Moqueca which is a fish stew. I'm not sure what Dravin is making for dessert (he's told me, but I keep forgetting since I'm not making that). 

So lovely to see you here! I just googled monqueca and I read that they use a terracotta casserole.  Are you going to use fish or shrimp? 

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20 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Lucy’s, a Brazilian restaurant in Provo, had a great shrimp moqueca, served over rice with a side of thin-cut French fries cooked almost to the consistency of potato chips (the proper way to eat it is by mixing everything together in a single pile in the plate).

Sadly, they shut their doors last month.  :(

Interesting combination, are these fries like regular potato fries? Crispy, etc?

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2 hours ago, Suzie said:

Interesting combination, are these fries like regular potato fries? Crispy, etc?

They seem that way, although (having been a line cook and having dropped my share of pre-cut fries) the more I think about it, the more I wonder if there’s some other process involved.  The Lucy’s fries are very crispy—and all the way through—, but not at all burned or greasy.

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12 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

They seem that way, although (having been a line cook and having dropped my share of pre-cut fries) the more I think about it, the more I wonder if there’s some other process involved.  The Lucy’s fries are very crispy—and all the way through—, but not at all burned or greasy.

I can't wrap my mind around mixing french fries with rice and shrimp BUT I'm sure it is one of those things you need to try and then comment. lol

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A few years back my wife became type 1 diabetic.   It has been a bit of a difficult journey, especially for her because the reality is that most holiday foods are unhealthy for anyone but much more for her.  It is not just a matter of weight but damage to her health and well being.  I have, for the most part altered my diet in support of her health needs.  The short of this is that anything with carbs (bread, potatoes, pasta and just about any desert) is no longer on the menu in our home.  Over the last year - such things are no longer even in our home.  It has been quite a revelation how even slight or temporary healthy diet deviations effect her skin and hair - and also introduce aches and pains in her muscles, bones and digestive system.  

When she was first diagnosed the professionals in the medical field told her she did not have to change anything in her diet - but manage her blood sugars with insulin.  That advice has turned out to be the worse possible advice.  My wife controls 99% of what happen in our home and she has learned to manage and control her diet.  I cook most of the meats - meat and fresh vegies are what is best for her (and me as well).  She has found a great recipe for garlic and cheese whipped cauliflower to substitute for mashed potatoes and a crusty sauce kind of thing backed into fish that is to die for.  But these things are all altered from online recipes flavored to her taste so I know little about the exact portions.

The best relief from sugar for her is something called monk fruit.  She is still learning how to make a lot of traditional (as well as new) deserts with monk fruit and almond and/or coconut flower.  This is causing quite a change in our food storage.

Have a great holiday season - and stay healthy my friends!

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

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23 hours ago, Suzie said:

So lovely to see you here! I just googled monqueca and I read that they use a terracotta casserole.  Are you going to use fish or shrimp? 

We aren't doing the terracotta way. We found another recipe that uses a dutch oven pot. This recipe uses a white fish (such as pollock or cod) and shrimp. I honestly think my biggest challenge will be to find fresh fish (and I'm not sure I'll be able to). It's not a deal breaker, but fresh fish is usually better than frozen.

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@Suzie  Just wanted to share that our Moqueca and brigadeiros were a big hit with us. The moqueca recipe I used was very, very simple and so flavorful! The most difficult part was cleaning the halibut (couldn't find the right cut of cod) and shrimp. We decided that although the fresh seafood is always better, this recipe can be done with frozen seafood and we would still be happy. It was also a pretty healthy stew with the coconut milk being the most caloric ingredient (and higher in fat). We just ate the moqueca with crusty bread instead of serving over rice. 

Dravin did the brigadeiros and he made a chocolate one with choc sprinkles and a vanilla one with coconut. We loved the chocolate ones and the vanilla ones are good, but didn't have as big an impact as the chocolate. He said they were super simple to make and we've brainstormed some combos that we think would be really good--choc with crushed hazelnuts, choc with orange zest, choc with coconut, etc.

This will be in my top 5 favorite Christmas Eve dinners we've done so far. 

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17 hours ago, beefche said:

@Suzie  Just wanted to share that our Moqueca and brigadeiros were a big hit with us. The moqueca recipe I used was very, very simple and so flavorful! The most difficult part was cleaning the halibut (couldn't find the right cut of cod) and shrimp. We decided that although the fresh seafood is always better, this recipe can be done with frozen seafood and we would still be happy. It was also a pretty healthy stew with the coconut milk being the most caloric ingredient (and higher in fat). We just ate the moqueca with crusty bread instead of serving over rice. 

Dravin did the brigadeiros and he made a chocolate one with choc sprinkles and a vanilla one with coconut. We loved the chocolate ones and the vanilla ones are good, but didn't have as big an impact as the chocolate. He said they were super simple to make and we've brainstormed some combos that we think would be really good--choc with crushed hazelnuts, choc with orange zest, choc with coconut, etc.

This will be in my top 5 favorite Christmas Eve dinners we've done so far. 

Wow! I love crusty bread and I'm so happy you all enjoyed this food. I cook with coconut milk often, it is such an amazing ingredient and I love to experiment in the kitchen too. Dravin is Alton Brown (knowing all the fancy facts lol) and you are like Ina Garten. Congrats to both of you! Missing you guys in the forum.

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