Friday, December 24, 2010

I'll Be Home For Christmas…and in the kitchen.

Isn’t that how the song goes?

Is your Christmas dinner menu all sorted out? I used to serve a repeat of Thanksgiving dinner every year, which made planning really easy. I don’t have a family of leftover lovers, so I don’t do a turkey redo these days. Usually, the only constant is that I start with Scallop Chowder.

Scallop Chowder (serves 4 to 6)

Printable recipe here.

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 tsps. unsalted butter

2 cans chopped clams

clam juice, milk and/or cream

1 large red potato, peeled and diced

6 sea scallops or ½ lb. baby scallops

Soften onions and carrots in butter until completely translucent. Drain canned clams into measuring pitcher. Set aside clams.

Add clam juice, milk and/or cream to make up to 4 cups. (I usually buy a bottle or two of clam juice, add a few spoonfuls of cream and make up the rest with milk.) Add potato and bring to the boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Add clams and scallops. Simmer for 5 minutes, just until scallops are cooked and the soup is hot. Serve at once.

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For the main course tomorrow, I’m going to debone a chicken and stuff it with a spinach filling, then roll and tie it up to make a roulade-type thing.

I’ll serve that with my version of Ina’s “Risotto”. Remember her easy method of cooking the rice in the oven? It’s really in the style of a pilaf, but that doesn’t sound as good. (I still feel a few pangs at calling something risotto when it’s not cooked on top of the stove with constant stirring.)

This is her recipe. Here’s mine.

My Version of Ina’s Version of “Risotto”

1 onion, chopped

2 tbls. olive oil

1½ cups Arborio or carnaroli rice

1 cup white wine

4 cups vegetable of chicken stock

1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

2 tbls. butter, sour cream or mascarpone

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook onion in olive oil until soft in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Add rice and cook for one minute on medium low heat, stirring all the time.

Raise heat to medium high and stir in white wine. Bring to the boil. Stir in 3 cups of stock and bring to boil. Stir once more and cover and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and over medium/low heat, stir in one cup of stock, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons butter, sour cream or mascarpone. Lastly, stir in peas and serve hot.

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I hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow and that Santa is greatly generous to everyone in your house. I wish I could deliver a bundle of goodies to each of you with a giant hug. Merry Christmas! Have a great one!


Sheila said...

Merry Christmas Sue!

I LOVE Ina's risotto! Yours sounds very yummy too!

Thanks for another great year of recipes and commentary!

Sue said...

Thanks so much, Sheila. Enjoy Adam's first Christmas!!! Take lots of pictures!

Love ya!