A Cozy Cajun Christmas Dinner: Recipes and Menu Ideas

  • March 03, 2023
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  • A Cozy Cajun Christmas Dinner: Recipes and Menu Ideas

A Cozy Cajun Christmas Dinner: Recipes and Menu Ideas

More often than not, Christmas dinner in Louisiana is a big ol' affair with a whole lotta folks gatherin' around the table. Back in the day, when Mama's father and her six siblings and their spouses got together, there were already twelve of 'em, and then all the kids added up to a total of thirty. But as the years went by, everyone grew up, got married, and had their own young'uns. The headcount swelled to almost fifty, and we had to eat in shifts for over three hours!

It was a great day, full of hugs, family gossip, and presents under the tree. The grown-ups sipped on after-dinner drinks while the little ones slept soundly on the floor. As I got older, my sister-in-law and I washed dishes for hours, sippin' on coffee and brandy to keep us goin'. But now, with so many great-grandchildren in the mix, most of my siblings have their own family gatherings. Still, we make sure to get together for a big brunch between Christmas and New Year's to catch up on all the news.

This Christmas, it looks like Rock and I are havin' a relatively quiet dinner at home. His two sisters and their spouses will join us, and that's just right for our cozy little dining room table that seats six comfortably. I've cleaned Mama's crystal and polished her sterling flatware, and I've borrowed some of her china to try and recreate her beautiful table settings. Rock and I have discussed the menu, and although it's not a traditional Louisiana feast, it's still mighty elegant.

Red and Green Christmas Salad with Warm Champagne Dressing

For the first course, we're havin' a red and green Christmas salad made with fresh spinach, sliced avocado, and plump cherry tomatoes. We'll drizzle it with warm Champagne dressing that's got just the right blend of vinegar, sugar, flour, vermouth, mustard, and heavy cream. It's light and flavorful, just the thing to whet our appetites.

Roasted Cornish Hens with Fennel

We decided against cookin' up a big turkey for our small gathering. Instead, Rock suggested Cornish hens, and they're just perfect for us. We'll roast them with fennel bulbs, seasoning the birds with salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper, and stuffing them with the fennel ribs. We'll brown 'em up in a skillet with butter and oil, then transfer 'em to a roasting pan with the sliced fennel, wine, and water. We'll roast 'em until they're tender and juicy, basting 'em every fifteen minutes or so. When they're done, we'll pour some Pernod over the birds, light it up, and let the flames die down. We'll garnish each hen with a sprig of parsley and pass the reduced pan juices at the table.

Potatoes with Peas and Mint

For a side dish, we'll have potatoes with peas and mint. We'll boil the potatoes until they're tender, cut 'em in halves, and dress 'em with a mix of olive oil and wine. Then we'll add some thawed-out small peas and chopped fresh mint, season with salt and black pepper, and toss everything together. It's a simple but tasty accompaniment to the hens.

Brandied Freezes Dessert

And for dessert, we'll keep it easy with brandy freezes - ice cream, brandy, and heavy cream blended together and poured into crystal glasses. Or, if we're feelin' fancy, we might whip up our favorite chocolate decadent dessert.

So there you have it, a cozy Cajun Christmas dinner with all the fixin's. Whether you're feedin' a crowd or just a few, it's always a special time to gather with family and friends and share good food.

Cajun , Christmas , dinner , recipes , menu , warm Champagne dressing , roasted Cornish hens , fennel , potatoes , peas , mint , brandied freezes dessert.

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