Christmas Recipes

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Persimmon Tart Recipe Recipe

Persimmon Tart Recipe

11.30.12 by Jackie

We started the week with one persimmon dessert (persimmon pie with Brazil nut crumb topping), so it seems fitting to end it with another. This tart makes use of the firm variety of persimmons called Fuyu. They have a slightly softer texture than an apple, but still with a pleasant snap.

The preparation requires almost no effort! Scalloped-edge rounds of puff pastry are spread with a thin layer of French crème de marrons (chestnuts, sugar and vanilla beans) to mark the holiday season. The finishing touch is arranging sliced persimmons into a pretty flower shape dotted with little mounds of butter and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar and pistachio.


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Horseradish Roast Beef Recipe Recipe

Horseradish Roast Beef Recipe

11.28.12 by Jackie

I bought a large bottom sirloin roast a few weeks ago and as I was cleaning up the freezer, I decided to cook it for dinner and maybe replicate the same recipe for Christmas.

If you’re not sure what you’d like to serve as the main course for your holiday meal, I'd like to suggest that a homemade roast beef is a great (and delicious) option. This recipe is my favorite way to prepare a large bottom sirloin roast. The marinade is a combination of coarse-grained mustard, horseradish, miso and rosemary. I've heard many times that the cooking time depends on the weight of the piece of roast, ranging from 16 minutes per pound for a rare, pink color, all the way up to 30 minutes per pound if you like it well done. My method is much easier; simply insert a probe to capture the temperature in the center of the meat and wait until the internal temperature reaches 145°F for just the right amount of pink. Probe thermometers are awesome!

To keep the meat from burning at the bottom, I also placed a bed of vegetables such as celery stalk, turnips and carrots and filled the bottom with a little beef broth. Enjoy!


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Bouchee a la Reine Recipe (Vol Au Vent Pastry Recipe) Recipe

Bouchée à la reine is a classic in French cuisine. You might also have heard the same dish called "vol-au-vent". During the holidays, it's often filled with sweetbreads and morel mushrooms, which is exactly what I did in this recipe. 

Sweetbreads, known as "ris de veau" in French, are a delicacy and are almost impossible to ruin or overcook. The outer part is crisp and the inside remains soft, fine and tender. If you're looking for a special meal for the holidays, this might be it!


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Persimmon Pie with Crumb Topping Recipe

I had some extra pie crust leftover from the date and pecan tarts I made a couple of days ago, and there was no way I was going to let it go to waste. One of the few fruits that are in season around the time of holidays is the persimmon. We have a couple of trees in our garden and they are absolutely laden with beautiful orange fruit. We grow two varieties; Fuyu, which are firm, and Hachiya, which are pulpy and quite a bit sweeter.

It occurred to me that Hachiya persimmon pulp would make a great pie filling, since it’s almost perfect for the job on its own. It makes the dessert super easy to prepare. The only work required is the preparation the Brazil nut crumb topping in advance and assembly right when you're ready to serve. 

If you’re lucky enough to be able to get your hands on Hachiya persimmons, definitely give this pie a try. Just make sure you let them ripen fully to avoid "cotton-mouth"!


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Pomegranate and Cranberry Relish Recipe Recipe

Thanksgiving is in nine days, so I have a lot of planning to do. I always make the classics: mashed potatoes, candied yams, stuffing, etc. It's tradition. But I also like to get creative and throw in a few new dishes for my guests to try. I've been trotting out the same cranberry sauce for years now, which never, ever gets finished, so I think it's time for a change.

We have a pomegranate tree in our garden that gives us a bounty of beautiful fruit every fall. The color and flavor match so well with cranberries, that it just makes sense to combine them. Since this dish is more of a relish than a sauce, I decided to pair the pomegranate seeds with dried cranberries. I soaked dried cranberries in a spiced cinnamon tea with star anise and cloves (see tips). This ensures that they won't be gummy. The rest of the relish is composed of green onions, garlic, orange, orange peels, olive oil and vinegar. I don't object to the crunch, but if the seeds of the pomegranate bother you, you could always juice them and just cut back on the vinegar.

The sweet and sour relish tastes absolutely amazing with poultry. So this Thanksgiving, don't forget to prepare a few flavorful condiments besides gravy to go with your turkey. Have fun!


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