Christmas Day Cooking Frenzy

That's what it was. We cooked (actually, the Food Pimp did pretty much all of it) our asses off. For the two of us. No matter how many people we are cooking for on a holiday, we always cook the same quantity. It's some kind of affliction. Here's what we had, and yes, it was in this order the first round, then we mixed it up on 2nd, 3rd and 4th helpings.

Chicken and Andouille Sausage gumbo

Grit Cakes with shrimp and andouille cream sauce

Prime Rib with mashed potatoes (we bought veg that we never cooked)

Orange panna cotta (it actually didn't set)

So, Gumbo. We went to the store Christmas morning to get like one ingredient, and the FP decided all of a sudden that he wants to make gumbo. I thought he was crazy, but it was just that nasty Starbucks coffee that he likes taking effect. So we were at Ralph's and they actually have andouille. So first thing he did when we got home was put the bird in the oven and start a roux. He made it nice and dark. That roux smell is as intoxicating to me as the smell of bacon. Really. So he decided to screw the roasting of the bird, and he took it out and hacked the carcass into pieces that would fit in the pot, and he let it simmer with all the other stuff. It was delicious.

Grit Cakes with shrimp and andouille cream sauce. This is a strange dish for me to crave, but I have been thinking about it for a while. And then the FP's mom gave me Susan Spicer's cookbook for Christmas. She was so thoughtful with that one. I still don't understand why they gave me (or us, I don't know who it was for, the FP opened all the gifts) that collector's Boyd's teddy bear.

Anyway, I made shrimp broth first. I peeled shrimp shells (no heads unfortunately)and browned them, threw in some onion and celery. I added water, forgot about it and it was at a rolling boil when I went to check on it. Oh well. I threw in a few shrimp, let it go a little more, then I pureed it all in the blender and strained it.

Then I made the grit cakes. The night before I had roasted and peeled a jalapeno. So I diced that up. Then I brought a milk and water mix to a boil. I wisked in the grits (4-1 liquid for grits) and whisked and whisked. When it was almost done, I threw in the jalapeno and some grated parm, a little salt and pepper. I poured that in a half pan and let it set.

Then I made the cream sauce. Just a white roux sauce with onion, celery and andouille. Then I added shrimp broth and a little cream at the end.

So to serve, I did all the steps, cut and seared the grit cakes, Sauteed shrimp, added the sauce, thinned it a little with shrimp broth, seasoned and served with parsley, green onion and a litte peri peri hot sauce. I realized later that I had forgot to use the mixed greens that I had bought. I was going to serve a little salad on the plate with the grit cakes to "contrast". Oh well, it was still pretty good.

Prime Rib. So the FP's Uncle gave us a few different peppercorns, Telicherry, White? and green. So he crusted the meat with a blend of these peppercorns crushed and kosher salt. And he threw it in the oven. We weren't wasted yet, so we didn't really forget about it, but we could have taken it out of the oven about 15 minutes earlier than we did. It still tasted delicious though.

Panna Cotta. Poor panna cotta. In the midst of the tornado that the FP cooked up, the little panna cotta got neglected. The FP simply didn't let the milk scald enough. So it didn't quite set. He did put one in the freezer though, and it was the texture of frozen yogurt. He put zest of 2 oranges in, and it was so fragrant. Really nice, too bad the others didn't set. But we had quite enough to indulge in. And we had alots of akahall too!

Anyway, I feel so fat, I think I'm going to go lay around and watch tv.....