The season of merriment gets even merrier with a sumptuous Christmas dinner. Whether you are having an intimate dinner for two or hosting a party with family and friends, a Christmas dinner is more enjoyable when you serve a complete course. Satisfy everyone by serving appetizers, a main dish, side dishes and dessert.
Bacon Cheese Puffs
Serve appetizers using bacon and cheese as the primary ingredients. Ingredients are 1 lb. sliced bacon, 2.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tbsp. mustard, 1 cup low-fat mayonnaise and 1 lb. pumpernickel pastry bread (substitute with rye or whole wheat bread if desired). These ingredients should make 30 pieces.
Set your stovetop to medium-high heat. Heat a large, deep skillet. Place the strips of bacon in the skillet. Cook until the bacon turn golden-brown. Drain and place the bacon slices onto a shallow tray lined with paper towels to absorb excess fat. Crumble bacon and set aside.
Preheat the oven to broil (approximately 500 degrees F). Combine the bacon, cheese, mustard and mayonnaise in a medium bowl. Stir the mixture well. Spread the mixture on top of each slice of bread. Arrange slices of bread on a cookie sheet. Broil for five minutes or until bubbly.
Before you roast your turkey, prepare your stuffing. Gather ingredients that include 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 cup chopped celery, 6 cups dry bread cubes, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1 tsp. ground sage, 1 tsp. garlic salt, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet starts to heat up, melt the butter. Add onion and celery, and then saute until tender. Add bread cubes, chicken broth, sage, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Stir in and mix well. Turn off the heat, and place the stuffing in a bowl or plate. Set aside to cool.
Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your ingredients, which include a 10-lb. turkey, one lemon cut in half, 6 tbsp. softened unsalted butter, one large onion cut in half and olive oil for greasing.
Wash and pat dry the turkey inside and out. Rub the lemon halves all over the turkey’s skin. Squeeze the lemon juice into the skin. Loosen the turkey’s skin, and place the cooled stuffing by packing into the neck end between the flesh and skin toward the chest area. Avoid packing the turkey with stuffing too tight to prevent bursting. Secure the neck flap under the turkey’s back using a toothpick. Put the halved onion inside the cavity. Do not fill the cavity with stuffing to prevent food poisoning.
Lightly oil a nonstick roasting pan, and the place the turkey in the pan with its chest side down. Melt the butter, and then apply it all over the back and legs of the turkey. Cover with foil and cook for 40 minutes. Baste the turkey, and then put it back into the oven. Cook for another 40 minutes and baste again. Remove the pan, and turn the turkey on its back. Insert the meat thermometer between the thigh and body. Return the turkey to the oven. Once the thermometer reaches 167, remove the turkey from the oven.
Prepare a dessert with cranberry as the main ingredient. Gather 2 cups of whole berry cranberry sauce, 1 cup brown sugar, two packages of 3-oz. orange gelatin powder, 2 cups whipped whipping cream, 1 cup finely chopped pecans, two baked pastry shells or pie crusts, and extra whipped cream.
Set your stovetop to medium heat. Combine the cranberry sauce and brown sugar in a saucepan, and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the heat. Stir in gelatin until dissolved. Let the mixture cool down.
Combine whipped cream and chopped pecans, and fold into cooled cranberry sauce mixture. Pour the folded mixture into baked pastry shells or pie crusts. Chill until set, which may take several hours. Garnish with whipped cream before serving.