Monday, December 28, 2009

christmas in france: the menu

We just got back from four days with the family over Christmas. The meal on Christmas day started at 1:30 pm with apéritifs and ended around 5:30 pm. I think that Jean-Marc's family traditionally has their Christmas dinner on Christmas eve, but this year was different due to one brother and his family spending the 24th with the in-laws. Here's what we had:

kir royale (crème de cassis and champagne)

fresh oysters with vinaigrette or lemon juice
foie gras with toasted bread
smoked salmon

main course
pommes dauphine (fried battered mashed potato balls)
turkey braised in sweet white wine with chestnuts and lardons

îles flottantes (egg white islands floating in crème anglaise)
chocolate cake
carrot cake

It wasn't quite the traditional dinner I have grown up with, but it was all very delicious. The braised turkey was really to die for. One hour before serving, Madeleine, my mother-in-law, put in some peeled cooked chestnuts and it was a wonderful addition. Aside from all the food we consumed, we also had a nice time together, playing games with the kids and going for walks in the countryside. A very nice Christmas, indeed!

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