After 30 years of making dinner for 50 or so people on Christmas Eve, I’ve learned a lot of shortcuts. One of the hardest things is to get everything done at the same time when you only have one oven. So I use three crock pots to make some of the main courses [ of which I usually have three ].
If its possible I make the desserts the day before Christmas Eve. I make two pies, a truffle and some bars. I also make fudge every year and put that out with dessert. You can also make the stuffed mushrooms the day before and put them in the frig. If I have Lasagna as one of the main courses I do that the day before.
Now in the morning I put the fish chowder in the crock pot and the beef Burgundy in another. This is my husbands favorite because it smells so good all day long.We have eight children so they all have a favorite food for the celebration. I try to get something in for everyone.
You can make three or four appetizers. I make the stuffed mushrooms, a hot salsa dip, a vegetable tray and rye bread melts.
I also just cut a good crusty bread or several different breads and put them in a big bowl so everyone can choose something they like and I make a Ceaser salad because then you don’t need to have a lot of salad dressing out to use.
So we start with the appetizers, then I do buffet style with the ceaser salad first up and chowder in the crock pot, then the three entrées and the breads and three or four pounds of carrots peeled, sliced and cooked for ten minutes.[this can also be done the day before and heated up when you are ready to serve them]
Now here are the recipes for most of the dishes.
2-3 lb. eye roast
1 to 2 cups of Burgundy
1t. salt and pepper
1/2 C. beef stock
1T. olive oil
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 C. chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
8 oz. fresh mushrooms sliced
Cut meat into squares. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Heat oil in pan and brown meat on medium high heat. Place in the slow cooker. Sprinkle with cornstarch and add other ingredients. Mix well. Cover and cook for 7hrs on low. [ If the burgundy sauce in the pot is not thick enough, I add a T. of cornstarch to a little cold water and add it to the crock pot and it should thicken it up]
One large onion
Half gallon half and half or cream
Two cans of whole potatoes
One large bag of frozen broccoli
1 1/2 lbs of cod or haddock
Three cans of Cheddar Cheese soup
1teas. pepper and parsley
Cook chopped onion in 1T. of butter in sauce pan until tender. Put the soup in the Crockpot and and add the half and half. Use whisk to mix it. Cut potatoes into squares and add to the soup mixture. dump in frozen broccoli and onion. Cook on low for seven hours. In the last hour pour the rest of the butter over the fish and bake it and add it to the chowder and stir. Check every hour to make sure the potatoes aren’t getting to well done.
12 oz fresh mushrooms
1teas. parsley and pepper
4T melted butter
4T. plain breadcrumbs
3T. chopped onions, fine
2T Parmesan cheese
Wash mushrooms and break off the caps. Chop the onion and the mushroom stems. Dip the mushroom caps in the melted butter and place them in a baking dish. Pour the chopped vegetables in the butter that is left in the pan and sauté. When they are soft add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and mix. Put a spoonful of the mixture in each mushroom and bake for 15 – 20 min. in a 350 oven.
One other thing I love to have at my Christmas Eve party is easy Egg Nog Punch. Put one half gallon carton of egg nog, one container of Cool Whip, one cup of rum and a teaspoon of nutmeg in a punch bowl and whisk it. It is very rich and tasty.