Christmas

HAM IT UP!!

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

This was a Christmas catering job, and it was so much fun!  The menu was magical, and not only perfect for the season, but great for the cooling winter months!  There was Shiner Bock beer bread with sweet honey-cream butter, bacon-wrapped green bean almandine stacks, a honkin-huge bowl of salad with honey mustard vinaigrette, sweet potato casserole with home-made marshmallows melted on top,  red velvet stack cakes, and the most gorgeous ham with orange-balsamic-honey-mustard-and-clove glaze.  And that, Ladies & Gents, is the recipe that follows!

ORANGE BALSAMIC HONEY MUSTARD & CLOVE GLAZE

juice and zest of a large orange

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup honey

2 tbs ground clove

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Baste ham as it bakes, and pour remaining glaze over the ham as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Let rest.

NOTES: I used organic aged balsamic and orange blossom honey, but I'm certain any variation on this recipe with similar ingredients would taste just as amahz!!

YOUR (CHRISTMAS) GOOSE IS COOKED! (With Hanukkah Flair)

SHE©

SHE©

Every year for Christmas dinner, we make a traditional Jewish feast.  Though we are not Jewish, I think it turns out pretty authentic.  It consists of braised brisket, smoked goose, a noodle kugel, a vegetable side (this year was Parmesan-crusted baked green beans) and a rugelach for dessert.  It's truly amazing and we always take our time eating so we can savor every single, beautiful bite.  For the sake of this blog post, I am going to offer you the Christmas-inspired brine recipe I used on the goose prior to The Hubster smoking it.  It made for the juciest and most-moist goose EVER.  Shepen naches!

CHRISTMAS GOOSE BRINE

1 goose!

6 quarts cold water

One 12-ounce bottle amber beer, preferably Christmas blend, room temperature

1 cup kosher salt

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 pkg poultry seasoning (fresh thyme, rosemary and sage)

1 pkg star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup pumpkin pie spice

In a large pot, bring 1 quart of water to a boil over high heat. Add the beer, salt, sugar, fresh herbs and spices.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.   Pour the hot brine into a container large enough to hold the turkey (I use a clean and sanitized igloo cooler) and add the remaining quarts of cold water to cool the brine. Place the turkey into the brine, making sure it is entirely submerged. Cover the container tightly with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  When you're ready to cook (or smoke) the goose, remove from the brine and pat dry with paper towel.