Christmas Eve Menu + Recipes

Christmas eve is feast night at the Vandike household. It stems from my family tradition, we would have our turkey dinner with grand-parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and whoever else we considered a relative, then head to church for midnight mass. When we got back, my grand-father, who would somehow beat us back home, would be sitting next to the tree wearing a santa suit.  Although I don’t get to celebrate Christmas with my entire family, this certainly keeps me busy enough not to think of the good times I might be missing out on.

So even though we don’t open our presents Christmas eve, we have our feast tonight, get into our stockings, and tomorrow morning we have a lovely breakfast and tear up all our gifts!

Since it’s just the two of us (and Chandon), I had time to document almost everything! In this post, I’m only including the recipe for the main course and the side dish. I will later post the first course, and dessert.

Duck Confit with Brussels Sprouts and Mustard Cream Sauce – 2 servings
2 pieces duck leg confit
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6 cloves garlic confit
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons creme fraiche

Follow the instructions given on removing the legs from the fat.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath. Blanch the Brussels sprouts, and place in the ice bath to cool. Keep salted water boiling, then add the sprouts back in and boil for about 4 minutes. Drain sprouts, and place in ice bath. Once cool, drain, and cut sprouts in half lengthwise, then set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degress F.
Heat a non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat, then carefully add the duck legs skin side down and lower heat to medium. Saute the legs for about 6 minutes, or until the skin is a golden brown color. Remove the legs from the saute pan, set the pan aside (saving the fat), and place in a baking dish. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8 minutes to heat them through.

Meanwhile, return the pan to medium-high heat, add the shallots, thyme and garlic confit. Allow the shallots to brown a bit, then add the chicken stock. Simmer for a few minutes, then whisk in the mustard and creme fraiche. Continue to simmer until slightly thickened.

Add the halved sprouts, and simmer until warm and sauce is reduced enough to coat sprouts. Remove from heat, and set 8 halves on each plate, cut side facing up. Remove garlic confit, and pour sauce over sprouts. Top the sprouts with a duck leg and serve. Best enjoyed with a glass of Veuve-Clicquot Champagne!

Pied du Cochon Mash – 2 to 4 servings
1 head of garlic
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 yellow potatoes, peeled
4 oz of cheddar cheese curds, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut off the top of the head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in a baking sheet, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes, or until cloves are golden brown.
Remove from oven to cool, and set aside.

Boil the potatoes until cooked, remove potatoes, but do not turn off heat and reserve water. Place potatoes in a metal bowl larger than the opening of th
e saucepan containing reserved water. Smash as you prefer, I’m a potato ricer kind of gal, you get fluffier potatoes.

Put the potato puree into the metal bowl, stir in the cream. Remove the roated garlic from the skin, and add into puree, mix very well. Place bowl over the boiling water, and stir. Add 2 tablespoons butter and cheese curds. Mix vigorously until the cheese and butter melts, remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Pour potatoes into baking dish.

Place baking dish into larger dish, pour hot water into large dish, surrounding dish with potatoes. Top mash with 1 tablespoon of butter. Bake at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Perfect for any occasion, but compliments the duck confit perfectly!

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Merry Christmas friends and family! Happy Cooking!

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