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By Laura Stec

Twas the Blog before Christmas

Uploaded: Dec 20, 2016

Twas the blog before Christmas
When all thro’ the books
Not a spoon was stirring
There was nothing to cooks

The dinner was hung up cuz’ I didn’t care
Just hopes that a main dish would soon come aware

The cook was all nestled all snug in her bed
While visions of time-off danced in her head

Then out on the kitchen arose such a clatter
I sprung from my bed in hopes to get fatter

And what to my dreamy mind should appear
But an email suggesting solutions quite near

What to cook for Christmas, that is the task
But how does one do it so the memory lasts?

What are you cooking for Christmas dinner? It’s important to share a home-cooked meal with family and friends, and I like to make it special. I usually go the Pecan Crusted Beef Tenderloin- Green Bean Candied Shallot- Twice Baked Potato- route, but want to change it up this year. I’m no beef buff, but family is, so considering Beef Wellington. Corny, ok, but classic fun too? What are you making? I need ideas.

If you are still searching too, here’s my recipe for Green Beans with Candied Shallots, from Cool Cuisine, Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming. It’s always a holiday winner.

I had to exclaim as I took my first bite
Merry Christmas to all, this is all I will write.

Dijon Green Beans with Roasted Candied Shallots
Serves 4

Candied Shallots
1 tablespoon olive oil
20 shallots, peeled
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided
2 sprigs thyme

Dijon Green Beans
3 /4 pound green beans, stems removed
1 tablespoon clarified butter or olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons dry white wine
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. For the Candied Shallots, heat the oil in an ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until they are golden brown on all sides. Add 1 cup stock and thyme to the pan and place in the oven. Do not cover.

After 30 minutes, add another cup of stock, stir/flip the shallots over, and return to the oven. After 30 minutes, add remaining stock. Bake another 1/2 hour. The whole process takes about 1 - 1 ½ hours. Watch for the sauce to get thick and syrupy. Turn off oven and prepare the green beans.

Bring a pot of water to boil with salt. Quickly blanch the beans until crisp tender. Drain. In a large sauté pan, heat the butter or oil and whisk in mustard and a pinch salt. Whisk in wine. Add beans and toss in the sauce. Transfer to a serving platter, top with candied shallots and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with any leftover “syrup” from the shallot pan. Serve immediately or beans will turn brown due to the wine/acid. If you want more flexibility – don’t add the wine.

Merry Christmas from Michigan