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Christmas Eve Dilemma

Posted by on Dec. 17, 2008 at 11:16 AM
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We are having Dave's mom, brother, SIL and nephew over for Dinner and to exchange gifts. I think we are going to have either Filet or a Prime Rib Roast and sides. My problem is that my SIL is a vegetarian and we usually have some kind of seafood for her. We wanted to have Filet and Lobster tails, BUT my daughter Tierra is allergic to seafood.....she cant even touch the juice from seafood. Soooooo, I dont know what to make for my SIL. Any ideas?? Oh and it has to be something fairly simple because I work on Christmas Eve so I wont have a lot of time

by on Dec. 17, 2008 at 11:16 AM
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by on Dec. 17, 2008 at 11:53 AM

If you make enough veggies/sides, can she skip the meat?  I would stick to your prime rib plan and if you feel compelled to make something specific for SIL maybe make a side of Fake crab legs.  You can heat those totally separate and keep your li'l gal away from the stuff.  It's mostly just pollock & filler anyway.  We like them fine and they're also cheaper. 

Otherwise you could make a big huge lettuce salad with tomatoes cukes, chick peas, onion, olives, bell peppers, etc.  Dress it with vinegar and oil.  That's what I serve for my stepdaughters birthday every year and she's vegan.  Everyone else gets full enough on that & ciabatta rolls w/olive oil.  You can prepare the salad ingredients the night before.


by on Dec. 17, 2008 at 11:55 AM


Eggplant Parmesan Recipe



2 lbs (about 2 large) eggplants
Kosher salt
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 lbs of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 cup grated high quality Parmesan cheese
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves


1 Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange one layer in the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle evenly with salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant, salting, until all eggplant is in the colander. Weigh down the slices with a couple of plates and let drain for 2 hours. The purpose of this step is to have the eggplant release some of its moisture before cooking.

2 While the eggplant is draining, prepare tomato sauce. Combine tomatoes, garlic and 1/3 cup olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to tasted and set aside.

3 When eggplant has drained, press down on it to remove excess water, wipe off the excess salt, and lay the slices out on paper towels to remove all the moisture. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine flour and breadcrumbs. Mix well. Pour beaten eggs into another wide shallow bowl. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and pour in a a half inch of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour mixture, then in the beaten egg. Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

4 Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a 10x15 inch glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with one third of the eggplant slices. Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the basil leaves.

5 Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan, and all of the remaining basil. Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan.

6 Bake until cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8.

by on Dec. 17, 2008 at 12:08 PM

Something you could make ahead, even today, and freeze it, set it out to thaw on christmas eve-  Butternut Squash Soup

Its super easy to make-  get a couple big butternut squashes, halve them lengthwise, cut the meat from the skin into 1" chunks, boil it in a big pot of chicken stock (and a couple sprigs of thyme and rosemary) until they fall apart in your fingers. 

While that is boiling, saute an onion (finely chopped) with some thyme and rosemary and garlic, until the onion is translucent, pull out the herb sprigs, and dump the onion in the pot with the squash and stock. 

Then take it all off the heat pull out the herb sprigs,( or just the stems and leave the herb leaves- whichever you prefer), let it cool a bit, then put the whole thing through the blender, and pour back into the soup pot.  Taste it-  if you want add some heavy cream, more chicken stock, butter, pepper- whatever tastes good to you!  Then let it all simmer for a while, then take off the heat and when its cool stick it in the freezer.

by on Dec. 18, 2008 at 6:06 AM


by on Dec. 18, 2008 at 8:10 AM

I would go with some sort of fish.

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