Christmas Dinner

Just in case you didn’t have Turkey at Thanksgiving, or you want to have Turkey again – try this wonderful recipe.

 

ROAST TURKEY

Roast Turkey

Ingredients:
  • 1 14- to 16-lb. turkey, fresh or defrosted
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 11 cups stuffing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • Fresh herbs and orange slices
Instructions:
  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Rinse the turkey with cold water and blot dry, inside and out, with a paper towel. Place the neck, giblets, carrots, celery, and onion in a large roasting pan and arrange the turkey on top, breast-side up.
  2. Loosely pack the stuffing in the neck cavity and inside the body. Fold the wings back and under the body of the turkey. Fold the neck skin under to enclose the stuffing and tie the legs together with butcher’s twine.
  3. Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Pour the broth into the roasting pan. Roast for 3 3/4 to 4 1/2 hours, basting frequently and tenting the turkey with aluminum foil two thirds of the way through the cooking process.
  4. Test for doneness with a meat thermometer. The temperature in the thickest part of the thigh should be 180 degrees, in the thickest part of the breast, 170 degrees, and in the stuffing, 160 degrees.
  5. Remove the stuffing and let the bird sit for 10 minutes before carving. Place the fresh herbs and orange slices on the turkey for a festive presentation. Serves 10 to 12.
  6. If you’re roasting a smaller or larger bird, use the chart below: Turkey Roasting Times
    10 to 18 lbs.:
    3 to 3 1/2 hours (unstuffed)
    3 3/4 to 4 1/2 hours (stuffed) 18 to 22 lbs.:
    3 1/2 to 4 hours (unstuffed)
    4 1/2 to 5 hours (stuffed) 22 to 24 lbs.:
    4 to 4 1/2 hours (unstuffed)
    5 to 5 1/2 hours (stuffed) 24 to 30 lbs.:
    4 1/2 to 5 hours (unstuffed)
    5 1/2 to 6 1/4 (stuffed)

 

BAKED HAM

Baked Ham

For the most flavorful meat, get a smoked and salt-cured country ham. Before baking, put the ham in a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and let it sit overnight before baking. Supermarkets also offer ready-to-eat, fully cooked hams that require only a bit of seasoning and a quick trip to the oven.

Ingredients:
  • Whole or half ham, precooked, cured, or smoked
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 3 tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 can pineapple slices

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the ham fat-side down in a roasting pan with the apple cider. Bake a whole ham 10 minutes per pound, or a half ham 15 minutes per pound, or until a meat thermometer reads 130 degrees. Baste the ham with the liquid in the pan from time to time during baking.
  2. When the ham is cooked, remove it from the oven and slice off the skin and most of the fat, leaving a quarter-inch layer. Lay the ham in the pan, fat-side up this time, and make crosshatches using a long, sharp knife.
  3. In a small bowl, make a paste of the mustard and brown sugar and rub it all over the ham. Add pineapple slices at this point if desired, securing the pieces with toothpicks. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.
  4. Return the ham to the oven and bake 15 minutes more or until it appears glazed, but before the sugar has a chance to burn.
  5. Tip: The ready-to-serve and canned hams available in supermarkets will require only this final embellishment and not the preliminary baking.
    A 4-1/2 pound ham makes 6 servings.

 

GAME HENS IN HONEY RAISIN SAUCE

A nice idea for the holidays if everyone is tired of turkey.

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 to 2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Pinch of saffron
  • Salt
  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • 1 cup honey

Instructions:
  1. Heat oil in medium skillet. Add onion and parsley. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is softened. Stir in raisins and pepper, cinnamon, cloves, saffron and salt. Season game hens inside and out with the onion mixture. Place on rack in roasting pan.
  2. Roast in preheated 375 degree oven 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Pour 1/2 inch of water in bottom of pan. Spread honey over game hens to coat. Return to oven; reduce heat to 350 degrees and roast 15 minutes or until hens are tender and golden brown. Remove hens to heated serving platter and keep warm. Boil down pan juices over a hot burner, and correct seasonings. Generously spoon sauce over game hens. Makes 4 servings


HONEY AND PEPPER PORK ROAST

The sweetness of the honey is wonderful with the pork.

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium orange
  • One 12-ounce bag whole cranberries
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • One 1-1/2 pound boneless pork loin roast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tbsp. crushed mixed peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, or 1-1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions:
  1. To make the relish, quarter and slice unpeeled orange, removing seeds. Coarsely chop orange and cranberries in a food processor or by hand. Place in medium saucepan and stir in honey. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Cool. Makes 3 to 4 cups.
  2. To cook the meat, carefully score the pork 1/2 inch deep completely around roast, taking care not to cut string holding it together. Combine honey, mustard, peppercorns, thyme and salt in small bowl; mix well. Place roast on rack in roasting pan. Spoon or brush 2/3 of honey mixture over the meat to coat.
  3. Roast at 325 degrees 30 minutes; brush with remaining honey mixture. Roast 20 to 30 minutes longer, or until a meat thermometer registers 155 to 160 degrees. Let stand, tented with foil, 10 minutes before slicing and serving with cranberry relish. Makes 8 servings.

 

ITALIAN SEAFOOD PASTA

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced thin
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 16-oz. can plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. capers
  • 1/2 lb. peeled medium shrimp
  • 1/2 lb. scallops, halved
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:
  1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet, and cook the garlic and onion until softened but not browned.
  2. Dice the tomatoes and add to the pan with the juice from the can, the oregano and capers; cook until about half the tomato juice has evaporated.
  3. Dice the shrimp. Add to the skillet with the scallops, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes, or until the shrimp turns white and is no longer translucent.
  4. Drain the spaghetti and add to the skillet; stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

JALAPENO-HONEY GLAZED HAM

When putting a large meal on the table, one way to simplify things is to prepare a fully cooked ham. This jalapeño glaze adds the just right amount of flavor.

Ingredients:
  • 1 8- to 10-lb. boneless, smoked ham, cooked
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. minced fresh jalapeño pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 8 to 15 whole cloves

 

Instructions:
  1. Heat the ham according to the package directions. Remove the ham from the oven 30 minutes before it is done. Score the outside of the ham with a sharp knife in a diamond pattern 1/4-inch deep and about 1 inch apart. Combine the honey, brown sugar, bourbon, jalapeño pepper, dry mustard and ground cloves. Mix well and brush over the outside of the ham. Stick a whole clove in the center of each diamond. Continue baking the ham for 30 minutes, basting frequently. Let the ham stand at room temperature 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serves 8

 

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