Thursday, December 30, 2010

How the Chef Aced Christmas

So, how was your Christmas?

Mine was pretty great. I did miss my parents, but the cheery atmosphere at my in-laws’ on Christmas Eve was strong enough to lift my spirits. With good food and cool gifts, it was a good time.

But let’s focus on the food. As usual, my father-in-law, a.k.a. Super Chef, had made a thousand different kinds of appetizers.

Puff pastry straws

Parmesan crisp and pesto "lollipops"


There were a lot more, like blue-cheese-and-pear-chutney bites, mushroom duxelle tarts, red pepper croutons, creamy asparagus-and-ham rolls, stuffed cherry tomatoes, and more that I’m forgetting, but the photographs didn’t turn out too well due to lighting conditions. Just use your imagination.

Dinner was *comparatively* simpler. Super Chef not being a fan of turkey, he chose a non-traditional route: meatloaf. However, we’re talking three different kinds of meatloaf: cranberry, kirsch, and truffled foie gras, all served with the best gravy I’ve had all year. And, of course, there were side dishes: potatoes à la dauphine, and broccoli au gratin.

And finally, the bûche (which, as you can tell, was photographed in a completely different environment. So much for visual harmony in this post...). Usually, he makes a cassis-flavoured one, but this year he went for orange liqueur. And when he realized that the bûche was kind of boot-shaped, he decorated it with an Italian theme. I wonder where he got all the tiny Italian flags…

But there’s more to come. Right now, I’m baking for the New Year’s Eve party, using one of my Christmas presents: Nick Malgieri’s Bake! Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking. Gotta love the holidays!


  1. I wish I had your father-in-law! Well, nothing wrong with mine generally - but if only he cooked! That sounds truly amazing. I am so drooling.

  2. It looks like you had a fabulous feast. Those appetizers really look amazing. I am looking forward to reading about your New Year's feast. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. Wow, so much appetizers! Some of them I never heard of. You're lucky to have such great in-laws!

    Orange liqueur yule log, that's interesting to try out! Now that I'm back from vacation, I'm also looking forward for your New Year's feast!

  4. What a great time. Being away from the family at Christmas is REALLY hard - but, you certainly kept your chin up! The food looks incredible!

  5. Happy New Year, Val, and what a holiday spread! I'm in love with the pear chutney and blue cheese bites, and your Buche de Noel is gorgeous! Also, beautiful stollen below! I just recovered from the crash fully, so it's good to be back online full time again. I have a lot of catching up to do! lol

  6. Oh la la!! Ça a l'air drôlement bon tout ça, vous avez du vous régaler. J'en ai l'eau à la bouche...
    Ici avec la chaleur c'est crevettes, mangues et ananas.
    Bises et bonne année à vous deux, Sandrine Mathieu et les jumeaux.