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La Belle Cuisine
"Christmas Eve was a night of
song that wrapped itself about you like
a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart...
filled it, too, with melody that would last forever."
Streeter Aldrich (Song of Years)
"From one of
America's premier culinary publications comes a"
delectable assortment of more than 125
traditional and new
accompanied by holiday menu suggestions,
entertainment tips, and
special Christmas treats.
The Christmas Season
From the Editors of Bon Appétit, 2000,
Condé Nast Books, Clarkson Potter
From the Introduction...
"Is there any other word that conjures as many shared
images as Christmas does? To say 'Christmas' is to unlock a storehouse of
memories and evoke a
world of best-loved tastes, smells, sounds and scenes: candy canes
bread, Christmas trees and
simmering cider, carols and the quiet of a snowy
night, stockings and beribboned gifts, crowded streets and gathered family."
Bon Appetit - One Year Subscription
from The Menu - Christmas Dinner
Baked Goat Cheese with Roasted Garlic
This spread can be made
a day ahead and baked just before serving.
6 elephant garlic cloves or 12 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon (packed) golden brown sugar
10 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
(such as Montrachet), crumbled
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange garlic cloves in glass baking
dish. Drizzle with vegetable oil. Cover and bake until garlic is very
minutes for elephant garlic or 30 minutes for regular
garlic. Transfer to rack; cool.
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and
until tender and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Add
melted. Remove from heat and cool. Arrange
onion mixture on bottom of 8x8-inch glass
baking dish. Sprinkle cheese
over. Arrange roasted garlic atop cheese. (Can be prepared 1
ahead. Cover and chill.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake garlic mixture until cheese melts
mixture is not bubbling, about 25 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar;
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer
to medium bowl. Sprinkle with
basil. Serve warm or at room
with baguette slices. Serves 6.
Wild Rice and Wild Mushroom Soup
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup wild rice
6 1/3 cups canned chicken broth
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms,
stems removed, caps sliced
1 carrot, cut into matchstick-size strips
One 3.5-ounce package enoki mushrooms
1/2 bunch fresh chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
Place dried porcini in strainer; shake strainer from side to side,
to fall through. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium
onion and rice and sauté 2 minutes. Stir broth and porcini into onion and rice. Cover and
simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, cover and simmer until rice is
almost tender, about 15 minutes.
Add shiitake mushrooms. Cover and simmer until rice is
about 10 minutes longer. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and
Bring to simmer before continuing.)
Stir carrot into soup. Cover and simmer until carrot is
about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove stems
from enoki mushrooms and reserve for another use. Ladle soup into
caps and chives and serve. Serves 6.
Garlic-studded Racks of Lamb
Ask your butcher to remove the backbones from the racks and
of fat starting from the tips of the rib bones (this is called frenching
Save the backbones to make the stock for the sauce.
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves, crumbled
3 racks of lamb with 6 ribs each, frenched,
backbones reserved for Lamb Stock
4 garlic cloves, slivered
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 cup Lamb Stock [recipe below]
Cracked black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled unsalted
butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
For lamb: Mix oil, vinegar, parsley, mustard, salt, thyme
and bay leaves
in medium bowl. Cut small slits in lamb. Press garlic slivers into slits.
lamb in large glass baking dish. Pour marinade over. Cover and refrigerate
overnight, turning occasionally.
For sauce: Boil wine and shallots in heavy medium saucepan
is reduced to 2 tablespoons. Add Lamb Stock and boil until liquid is
to 2/3 cup, about 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove lamb from marinade and pat
with cracked pepper. Heat oil in large heavy roasting pan over medium heat. Add lamb and
cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer lamb in pan to oven and roast until
meat thermometer registers
F. for rare, about 25 minutes. Transfer racks to platter.
Tent with foil to
Pour off any fat from roasting pan. Place roasting pan over
heat. Add reduced stock and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits.
Return mixture to same saucepan. Whisk in 2 pieces butter. Set pan over
low heat and whisk
in remaining butter 1 pieces at a time, removing pan
from heat if drops of melted butter
appear. (If sauce breaks down, at any
time, remove from heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons
butter.) Season with
salt and pepper. Mix in parsley.
Cut racks into individual chops. Place 3 on each plate. Spoon sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
Reserved backbones (see above)
2 cups chicken stock or
canned low-salt chicken broth
2 cups water
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bones
brown well, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Pour off oil. Add stock
to pan and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Cook
over medium-high heat until
reduced to 1 cup. Strain into bowl. (Can be
made 3 days ahead; chill.)
Makes 1 cup.
Potato and Apple Galette with
5 tablespoons warm melted butter
One 6- to 7-ounce Golden Delicious apple, peeled,
halved, cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
3 teaspoons minced fresh sage
Three 6-to 7-ounce russet potatoes, peeled,
cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 450
degrees F. Brush
9-inch-diameter cake pan with 1 1/2-inch-high sides with 1/2 tablespoon butter. Line bottom
of pan with parchment; brush parchment with 1/2 tablespoon butter. Place apple slices, 1
tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon minced sage in small bowl. Sprinkle salt and pepper; toss
to coat. Place potatoes, remaining 3 tablespoons butter and 2 teaspoons minced sage
medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
Arrange 1 layer of neatest potato slices in concentric circles in
pan, overlapping potatoes in outermost circle (this will become top of
Top with second layer of potatoes. Top with apple slices.
Cover with remaining potatoes.
Pour over any butter from bowls used
potatoes and apple.
Bake galette until potatoes are tender when tested with tip of
and top is beginning to brown, about 1 hour. Remove galette from oven.
out onto 9- or 10-inch tart pan bottom; peel off parchment. (Can be made 2 hours ahead.
Let stand at room temperature.)
Preheat broiler. Broil until top is golden, about 2 minutes.
platter. Cut into wedges. Serves 6.
Bon Appetit recommends this menu
include Haricots Verts with
Toasted Almonds (no recipe provided).
Sesame-Onion Crescent Rolls
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
1 envelope dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon sugar
5 cups (about) unbleached
all purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups finely chopped onions
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon
whole milk (for glaze)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Pour 1/4 cup warm water into small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over; stir
blend. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 10 minutes. Whisk
3/4 cup warm
water, lukewarm milk, 1 egg and sugar
in large bowl to
blend. Stir in yeast mixture. Add 3
cups flour and stir
wooden spoon until smooth thick batter forms, about
bowl with kitchen towel; let rest 15 minutes.
Stir 2 tablespoons oil and salt into batter. Using wooden spoon,
enough flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form firm and nearly smooth dough.
out onto floured work surface. Knead until dough is smooth
and elastic, adding more flour
if dough is too sticky, about 10 minutes.
Form dough into ball.
Oil large bowl. Place dough in bowl; turn to coat with oil. Cover
with plastic wrap, then towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area
about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add
onions and sauté until tender and golden, about 15 minutes. Set side.
Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Divide
dough in half. Knead each half into ball. Cover loosely with plastic; let
surface 10 minutes.
Using rolling pin, roll 1 dough ball to 14-inch round. Spread half
onions over, leaving 1-inch border. Cut dough round into 8 wedges.
Starting at wide end
of each wedge, roll up toward point. Place rolls
ungreased heavy large baking sheet,
shaping into crescents and
evenly. Loosely cover rolls with plastic wrap. Repeat
dough ball and onions. Let rolls rise in warm draft-free
area until almost
doubled, about 30 minutes.
Position 1 rack in center and 1 rack in top third of oven; preheat
degrees F. Brush rolls with egg glaze. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake
until rolls are
golden and sound hollow when tapped on bottom, switching
top and bottom baking sheets
halfway through baking, about 25 minutes
total. Transfer rolls to racks and cool. (Can be
made 2 weeks ahead.
Cool completely. Wrap in aluminum foil and freeze.) Makes 16.
Christmas Pudding with Brandied
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
5 tablespoons brandy
1 2/3 cups dried currants (about 8 ounces)
3/4 cup candied cherries or other chopped dried fruit
such as apricots or figs (about 4 ounces)
3/4 cup pitted prunes, chopped (about 4 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark rum
3 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted,
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
For Brandy Butter: Using electric mixer, beat butter until
in powdered sugar. Gradually beat in brandy. (Can be prepared 1 week
Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
For Pudding: Mix currants, candied cherries, prunes, orange
cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Pour rum over and
Let stand 30 minutes.
Mix breadcrumbs, brown sugar and flour in medium bowl. Add to dried
fruit mixture and stir to blend. Cover dried fruit mixture and let stand at
Generously butter 2-quart pudding mold with lid. Mix almonds and
powder in medium bowl. Whisk melted butter, eggs, milk, vanilla extract
and almond extract
in large bowl. Stir in almond mixture. Stir butter mix-
ture into dried fruit mixture. Spoon
batter into prepared pudding mold.
Smooth top. Cover pudding mold with lid.
Place pudding mold on rack in large pot. Add enough boiling water
pot to come halfway up sides of mold. Cover pot and steam pudding
over medium-low heat
until tester inserted into center comes out clean,
adding more boiling water to pot if
necessary, about 2 hours.
Transfer mold to rack and cool 5 minutes. Turn out pudding. (Can be
made 1 week ahead. Cool. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate.)
unwrap and return to buttered mold; cover mold.
mold on rack in large pan. Add
enough hot water to pot to come
up sides of mold. Cover pot and steam pudding over medium-
until heated through, about 45 minutes. Transfer mold to
minutes. Turn out pudding.
Transfer pudding to
Serve pudding warm with Brandy Butter.
Back to The Christmas Season's
Holiday Tea Party
There's more! Click for
from The Guide - Gifts from the Kitchen
Sweet and Spicy Candied Nuts
Five-Minute Spiced Orange Marmalade
Winter Fruit Chutney
Olive Oil Infused with Porcini and Rosemary
And of course, you're still longing for more recipes.
No problem, just
Index - Cookbook Features
Christmas Cookie Collection
Christmas with All the
Recipe Archives Index