Christmas Brekkie Menu +
After the presents, and before making the feast, you have to make Breakfast for a crowd:
Cooking breakfast on Christmas morning is always a challenge. Not everyone likes those breakfast casseroles, and the last things I want to do it to make anything complicated when I am going to be cooking all day. My friend Shane recently taught me a great breakfast hack: to cook soft boiled eggs in a muffin pan. To augment the eggs, I added Sourdough English Muffins (which I made the evening before), bacon and sausage (both easily cooked while the eggs were cooking), skillet hashbrowns, and melons and berries on the side.
Soft Boiled Eggs for a Crowd:
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Butter each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan.
3. Crack an egg into each cup.
4. Add a tablespoon of water to each cup, and then sprinkle the top of each egg with a pinch of salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning.
5. Cook for 10-15 minutes (the longer they cook, the more hard-boiled they become).
6. Use a teaspoon or offset spatula to gently pry each egg from the pan, and serve.
In the afternoon, everyone is arriving and you are getting the kitchen going and staged for the dinner. To keep everyone happy, I try to keep the Afternoon Snacks and Appetizers super simple with a Charcuterie Plate, some Cheese Stuffed Dates, and a old family recipe from Sweden for potato dumplings with bacon and onions called KruppKakker (Kruppkakker is a traditional Swedish dish, that in my family we save special for Christmas because a) it’s a lot of work and b) it’s not the healthiest. It's peasant food, and it's delicious. So it gets its own separate post later.)
Charcuterie Plate – This is always a crowd pleaser, and I will select the cheeses based on the what I know my guests like, along with some nice deli meats, local honey and some seasonal fruit like figs. And definitely some olives – my favorite.
Cheese Stuffed Dates (so simple, and so yummy!)
This recipe is an amalgamation of a few different recipes over the years.
I get the medjool dates, with seeds, and then two different soft cheeses like a goat cheese, a mascarpone, or a bleu. And when I am done, I like to sprinkle them with olive oil and some sea salt or Himalayan pink salt.
1. Preheat the oven to 375F
2. Slice the dates lengthwise and remove the seed.
3. Spoon a bit of the cheese into the date.
4. Place the dates on a baking sheet, lined with parchment, with the cut side up. Warm in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
5. Place on a serving plate and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
And of course while everyone is noshing, you are cooking. In order to make a dinner that is not just Thanksgiving 2.0, I always try hard to really mix up the sides from a traditional Holiday This year, the Dinner Menu was:
Main course: Turkey roasted on the Big Green Egg
Sides: Asparagus with Bacon, Slow Cooker Mac ‘n Cheese, Beet Salad with Feta and Walnuts, Ratatouille, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing
Cooking the turkey on the Big Green Egg not only creates a perfectly cooked turkey, but it frees up the ovens for all of the side dishes. We brined it overnight, and then injected it with Applewood flavor , and put a basic rub on the outside, and when we put it on the Egg, we placed an aluminum tray underneath it with sliced apples, onions and chicken broth.
Signature Spice Rub
This is my recipe for my signature spice rub. \It makes about a cup at a time, and is great on chicken or pork. It can also be made in bulk and shared with dear friends at the holidays. As long as it is in an airtight container, it could last forever - but it won't! Enjoy!
Signature Spice Rub:
½ cup packed brown sugar
1T kosher salt
1T chili powder
1T sweet paprika
1 T onion powder
1T garlic powder
½ T smoked paprika
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp dry mustard
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground oregano
Combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
Great for pork or poultry. Any extra can be stored in an airtight container to keep it dry.
Kris Delaney is a marketing executive, foodie, travel enthusiast, and book nerd based in Atlanta, GA.