Christmas is almost here and we are all rushing around trying to finalize the menu for the great Christmas family dinner. This year, why not woo your guests with food made from local Boston ingredients?
Here is a collection of some of the best Christmas recipes from around the web.
Roasted Pumpkin-Apple Soup
- 4 pound(s) pie pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch chunks (see Tips & Techniques)
- 4 large sweet-tart apples, such as Empire, Cameo, or Braeburn, unpeeled, cored, and cut into eighths
- 1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh sage
- 6 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup(s) chopped hazelnuts, toasted (see Tips & Techniques)
- 2 tablespoon(s) hazelnut oil
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Toss pumpkin (or squash), apples, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, for 30 minutes. Stir in sage and continue roasting until very tender and starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes more.
- Transfer about one-third of the pumpkin (or squash) and apples to a blender along with 2 cups broth. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a Dutch oven and repeat for two more batches. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and heat through over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to prevent splattering, for about 6 minutes. Serve each portion topped with hazelnuts and a drizzle of hazelnut oil.
Tips & Techniques
Make it easier to cut a pumpkin, acorn squash, or other winter squash: Pierce in several places with a fork; microwave on High for 45 to 60 seconds. Use a large sharp knife to cut in half. Remove the seeds and stringy fibers with a spoon.
To toast chopped nuts, small nuts, and seeds, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
Sweet Potato, Red Onion, and Fontina Tart
- 3/4 cup(s) walnuts
- 1 1/4 cup(s) whole-wheat pastry flour (see Tips & Techniques)
- 1 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh thyme and/or rosemary
- 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
- 3/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
- 7 tablespoon(s) ice-cold water
- 1 1/2 pound(s) sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cup(s) thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup(s) shredded fontina or Cheddar cheese
- 1 large egg white mixed with 1 teaspoon water
- 1 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh thyme and/or rosemary
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- To prepare crust: Pulse walnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Combine in a large bowl with whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons thyme and/or rosemary, 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Make a well in the center and add 1/2 cup oil and water. Gradually stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to form a soft dough (it will seem wetter than other types of pastry dough). Knead in the bowl just until the dough comes together. Pat it into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 days.
- To prepare filling: Combine sweet potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Spread on three-fourths of a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss onion in the bowl with 1 teaspoon oil. Spread evenly on the remaining one-fourth of the baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce temperature to 375°F.
- Line a work surface with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat, lightly dust with flour, and dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll the dough into a rustic 15-inch circle, adding more flour, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Transfer the crust to a baking sheet with the parchment or baking mat in place.
- Leaving a 2-inch border, sprinkle cheese evenly over the crust. Make an overlapping ring of the larger sweet potato slices over the cheese, leaving the 2-inch border. Spread the onion slices in another ring closer to the center. Using the rest of the sweet potato slices, make an overlapping circle in the center of the crust (the pattern will look like a bull’s-eye). Pick up the edges of the crust using a spatula and fold over the filling, making pleats in the dough as necessary; the filling will not be completely covered. Brush the crust with the egg-white wash. Drizzle the vegetables with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon thyme and/or rosemary.
- Bake the tart until lightly browned on the edges, about 50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Salted Caramel Martinis
- 30 ml butterscotch schnapps
- 1 sprinkling of fleur de sel (for the glass rim)
- 30 ml vodka
- 15 ml dry white vermouth
- For those who want to begin with drinks not food, take a small martini glass, dab a little butterscotch schnapps around the rim then dredge in fleur de sel.
- In a small jug, mix the vodka, butterscotch schnapps and dry white vermouth.
- Pour carefully into waiting martini glass so as not to disturb the salt rim.