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ChiGal1962's Profile

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Your Christmas eve meal traditions

Seven fishes here, too! Although with a twist. I make mine all in appetizers (crab cakes, shrimp spring rolls, fish taco cups, etc.). So we spend 3-4 hours grazing on appetizers and playing games, and then sit at the table for a bowl of french onion soup (a long story!). My niece is gluten-free, so everything is g/f (except the crouton on the soup, but I'll bet I can even find a decent g/f version of that this year, too!).

Dec 16, 2013
ChiGal1962 in General Topics

Fried Shrimp Spring Rolls

Thanks, gang! Made them yesterday with uncooked filing and they turned out perfectly :)

Dec 16, 2013
ChiGal1962 in Home Cooking

Is it still mac and cheese if...

You can call it whatever you want, as long as it tastes good! How about Loaded Mac & Cheese (a nod to the beer as well as the extra ingredients)?

Fried Shrimp Spring Rolls

I'll be making spring rolls for Christmas Eve. I did them last year, but didn't write down the recipe (doh!). In looking around for inspiration, I see some recipes that call for cooking the shrimp first, and some that seem to use it raw. I'm concerned that 3 minutes in a deep fryer wouldn't be enough time to cook the shrimp inside the wrapper, but that cooking first would make them tough. Thoughts?

Dec 15, 2013
ChiGal1962 in Home Cooking

pizzelles??

I have a Cuisinart pizzelle maker, and it works pretty well. It still does the back to front thing, but if I put the batter slightly behind center, they usually come out nice and shapely.

Dec 14, 2013
ChiGal1962 in Home Cooking
1

Christmas Eve appetizers - suggestions on menu?

I've never worked with ponzu -- it's citrus-y, right? Sesame oil scares me. Every time I've used it, I've overdone and it just overtook the dish. Definitely user error, though, so I should try again. Get back on that horse, right? (Although I fell off a horse once, too, and getting back didn't fare a whole lot better!)

Dec 14, 2011
ChiGal1962 in Home Cooking

Christmas Eve appetizers - suggestions on menu?

The recipe sounds really good. And the make ahead is perfect for these occasions. Thanks!

Dec 14, 2011
ChiGal1962 in Home Cooking

Christmas Eve appetizers - suggestions on menu?

Lobster salad in artichoke bottoms? Yum! Do you make your artichoke bottoms or use canned?

Dec 14, 2011
ChiGal1962 in Home Cooking

Christmas Eve appetizers - suggestions on menu?

I do love the meatballs idea. And I've always wanted to do little filet/horseradish bruschetta. But that might be too much "meat" for the Christmas Eve thing. Maybe I'll have to have a New Year's Day party...

Thai fish cakes? Tell me more!! Same with fish and prawn hush puppies (fried? Would they need to be done last minute?)

Tried the frittatas before, but while it gets inhaled at brunch, didn't go over well as an appetizer. Go figure!

Dec 14, 2011
ChiGal1962 in Home Cooking

Christmas Eve appetizers - suggestions on menu?

I wonder if I could do the blini with GF BIsquick. I don't know if I will have the time to mess with the mix of GF flours that you need to replace AP. How long ahead would you make regular blini?

And yes, we usually cook the scallops during the party. My niece is a great cook, and will man that station. The apps come out at different times, so it's really a grazing fest!

Dec 14, 2011
ChiGal1962 in Home Cooking

Christmas Eve appetizers - suggestions on menu?

Definitely GF bread products are hit and miss! I have used the GF waffles (zapped up in the food processor) as breadcrumbs in crab cakes several times, and they work flawlessly! Not sure how good they would be as an outer coating on anything, but I'd give it a shot (not for company at first, though!).

Dec 14, 2011
ChiGal1962 in Home Cooking

Christmas Eve appetizers - suggestions on menu?

Wow, thank you all for the replies!! Some of these I've tried before (or a version of), but some are new thoughts... I definitely want a combination of family faves and surprises, so you have given me a lot to work with!! I knew you all would :)

Dec 14, 2011
ChiGal1962 in Home Cooking

Christmas Eve appetizers - suggestions on menu?

I host Christmas Eve for my family. it's the one holiday I get, and I love it! The general idea is several hours of appetizers (our favorite course) while we're playing games, then sit down at the table to a bit of French Onion soup and Christmas cookies.

For the appetizers, I like to get as close to the "seven fishes" concept as is practical as an homage to my ancestry, although not iron clad. There will be 15 or so people this year, ranging from age 8 to AARP eligible. As much as can be done ahead of time is better! We have some tried-and-true favorites, but I'm always looking for new twists.

I'd prefer everything to be gluten free (so my celiac niece doesn't feel 'special' in a bad way), and so that once I degluten my kitchen work space, I don't need to worry about cross-contamination. I've used firm polenta, corn chips, apple/pear slices, gluten free crackers as "vessels".

Must haves:
Potato nests with creme fraiche and smoked salmon (my sister's favorite)
Crab cakes (using gluten free waffles as the bread crumbs, my nephew's favorite)

Other concepts:
Tuna - some kind of ceviche? Tried it before but definite use error.. it was too oily
Scallops - I've typically done seared scallops on parmesan cheese crackers, which folks love, but a different twist would be nice
Shrimp - Maybe a shrimp avocado salad in Chinese spoons (just got these cool Chinese spoons -- have to use them!)
Shrimp/scallop pate
Baccala salad - traditional Italian, but how to serve?
Potato pancakes with sour cream and caviar - too hard to make ahead? I don't like caviar myself, but it's another fish...
Something with prosciutto/salami - definitely need to have something along this lines :)

I open it to the Chow community... I love reading these boards, and you always give me new ideas! Thanks :)

Dec 13, 2011
ChiGal1962 in Home Cooking