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My Favorite Christmas Eve Dinner

My Favorite Christmas Eve Dinner

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CHAMPAGNE
LOBSTER BISQUE
 RED & GREEN CHRISTMAS SALAD WITH CHAMPAGNE DRESSING
BEEF TENDERLOIN
CORN PUDDING
SLICED CARROTS IN BUTTER WINE SAUCE
BRAISED GREEN BEANS
ENGLISH TRIFLE
Every family has its special go to holiday dishes that everyone looks forward to each year. Also, there are creatives that love to mix in a new dish or two from time to time to surprise their guests. I have used the menu I am sharing with you for employee dinners, family and friends, and it has always met with rave reviews! 
Living in France for over 12 years now, I have been accustomed to starting the evening at dinner parties, no matter how big or small, with "Une Coupe de Champagne”, and Gougères. No other says celebrate like a cold bubbly glass of French Champagne served in a vintage coupe, flute, or tulip glass!
Beginning with a rich Lobster bisque, an extravagant and quintessential soup made in the basic classic French tradition, meant to be savored, and served as a small starter. I serve mine at the table from a beautiful vintage tureen in vintage small coffee cups & saucers for an eclectic and vintage French touch.
Followed by my Red & Green Christmas Salad with a tart, creamy rich champagne vinegar based dressing, your taste buds will be bedazzled but delicately, as not to fill you up before what is to come!
Next is the easiest foolproof beef tenderloin you will ever cook or taste, perfect every time, served with pan juices only; you will need a lovely vintage sauce server with large silver serving spoon, for easily passing around the table.
No holiday dinner would be complete without the side dishes, and the carrots in wine, along with my go to magic cooking trick for the best, buttery, just right crunchy green beans are sure to impress. Serve the super delicious corn pudding in individual ramekins, or cooked in large soufflé dish with a vintage large silver serving spoon, et voila, everyone will be perfectly satisfied.
The finale, English Trifle! Yes, this make ahead creamy boozy delight will not disappoint. Of course you could add other desserts to compliment, but I promise, with a few butter cookies to scoop up the luscious cream, you may decide this special holiday go-to dessert will be just right.
I hope you will enjoy sharing these treasured, tried and true recipes from my French Kitchen to yours, at holiday time, or any time of the year! Enjoy a festive gift to you, our C'est Chic Noël Spotify playlist to get you in the holiday spirit ! 
Link included after recipes
Wishing you a cozy holiday season with those you love.
With love and blessings from Opèdde France
Cecilia

RED & GREEN CHRISTMAS SALAD WITH CHAMPAGNE DRESSING

Use any combination of torn mixed greens combined with red radicchio
Finely chopped shallots to taste
Pomegranate seeds
Sliced wedges of avocado dipped in fresh lemon juice
Arrange the salad greens onto pretty individual plates
Garnish with avocado, shallots, and pomegranate seeds
(This can be done ahead, covered, and refrigerated)
CHAMPAGNE DRESSING
3 Egg yolks
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
½ Cup Champagne Vinegar
2 Cups vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Serves 10 to 20
Combine egg yolks, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a
food processor fitted with a stell blade
Process for one minute
With motor still running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream
When all is combined you will have a creamy tart dressing
Serve the dressing at the table in a lovely sauce server

LOBSTER BISQUE

2 Gallons of water
2 Live Lobsters
6 tbs salted butter
½ cup Cognac
¼ chopped shallots
2 large cloves garlic minced
Cook the Lobsters:
Heat the water in a large stock pot until boiling, then add the lobsters and cook covered 12 minutes. Remove the lobsters and cool. Reserve 4 cups of the lobster water.
When lobsters are cool enough to handle, crack the shells, remove all the meat and finely dice and set aside. Reserve the shells.
Make the Lobster Broth:
Melt ½ of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add lobster shells and cognac After warm, flame it with a match.
After flames subside, stir in ½ cup shallots, garlic, tomato paste, wine, reserved cooking liquid, tarragon, thyme, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, strain through a sieve into a bowl.
Make the roux:
Melt remaining 3 tbs of butter in a stockpot on medium-high heat. Add 3 tbs shallots and sauté 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook while constantly stirring with a whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the strained lobster stock until well blended, then whisk in the milk and cream, heat over medium until hot. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Whisk the egg yolks together in a small bowl, add ½ cup of the hot soup, and then return to the pot, whisk until thoroughly blended, then add the lobster meat, heat until hot, and serve immediately.

BEEF TENDERLOIN

1 whole filet of beef (4 to 5 pounds), trimmed and tied
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Serves 8 to 10
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Place the beef on a baking sheet and pat the outside dry with a paper towel. Spread the butter on with your hands. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper.
Roast in the oven for exactly 22 minutes for rare and 25 minutes for medium-rare. Remove the beef from the oven, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove the strings and slice the filet thickly.
Serve with heated pan juices in a vintage sauce server adding a small amount of water to loosen all the tasty bits.

CORN PUDDING

3 tbs unsalted butter melted plus more for ramekins
¼ cup bread crumbs
2 cups corn kernels
½ cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 small tomato, seeded and finely chopped
6 large eggs lightly beaten
1 cup grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
¼ cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup heavy cream
Serves 6
Double or triple the recipe for larger quantities
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Butter individual ramekins and dust with breadcrumbs. ( I use a muffin tin for
large quantities) or large souflflé dish with a large spoon. Set aside
In a bowl, combine corn, onion, pepper, tomato, eggs, and cheese.
In a second bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Then add to the egg mixture softly combining. Then stir in cream and butter. Pour into ramekins, muffin tin or soufflé dish. Place in a baking pan and add water half way up the sides of the pan or individual ramekins.
Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Adjust time for large soufflé dish.
Cool Slightly and serve individually unmolded. (Tip: Put baking pan or ramekins on oven rack first, then fill with the water)

SLICED CARROTS IN BUTTERED WINE SAUCE

6 large carrots
1 shallot diced finely
½ cup white wine
1 stick of  butter
 Peel and Slice the carrots at an angle
Serves 6 to 8
Use ¼ of the butter to lightly sauté the shallots without browning them, then add the rest of the butter, and white wine.
Simmer until soft but not falling apart, and until sauce has thickened.
Serve in a pretty french vintage serving platter, and serve immediately.

BRAISED GREEN BEANS

1 pound fresh green beans
½ stick butter
Salt & Pepper to taste
½ cup water
Serves 6 to 8
 Wash and trim the ends of the green beans leaving them whole for presentation. Using a large straight edge sauté pan with a lid, add the water, then the beans all lined up in the same direction for easy turning. Add the butter cut into pieces on top of the beans, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a high simmer. Lower the heat to medium and cover with the lid. Every couple of minutes or so, tur the beans so that the butter cooks into all of them evenly. Make sure the water is bubbly but not boiling. Once the water has evaporated, you will have slightly crunchy, buttery, perfectly cooked green beans. Remove from the pan and serve immediately to retain the crispness. If you must cook ahead, I suggest not cooking fully, retaining the liquid, and reheating right before serving on a lovely vintage oval or rectangular platter.

OLDE ENGLISH TRIFLE

1 Medium pound cake 10 ounces
½ seedless raspberry jam
1 cup coarsely broken amaretti cookies
1 cup Marsala
3 tbs sugar
1 ½ tbs cornstarch
3 egg yolks
2 ½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (not flavoring)
2 cups whipping cream, cold
3 tbs confectioners sugar
½ tsp almond extract
1 cup sliced almonds
Candied red cherries or fresh strawberries for garnish
Serves 8 to 10
Cut the poundcake into ¼ inch slices and spread out flat on a surface to dry for several hours. Spread a thin layer of the jam on half the cake slices, top with the remaining slices and cut into 1 inch cubes. Then scatter into the bottom of a large glass bowl
Add the amaretti crumbs, and toss together, then sprinkle with the Marsala and toss to coat.
Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks together in a saucepan. Whisk in the milk slowly in a steady stream, and begin to cook on medium heat while constantly stirring until thickened to a custard like consistency. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and let cool completely. Pour the cooled custard over the cake and cookie mixture. Whip the cream in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form, then beat in the confectioners sugar, almond extract, and continue beating until forming stiff peaks. Pipe the flavored cream over the top of the trifle using a pastry bag, or with a large spoon decoratively. Refrigerate covered with plastic wrap up to 3 days until ready to serve. To Serve, serve in pretty glass bowls or vintage decorative dessert plates and garnish with cherries or strawberries.

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