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An Italian Christmas Dinner

creato da Maria Linardi ultima modifica 20/06/2008 15:12

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a slap-up festive dinner. We've made a place for you at our Christmas table and wish all of you a happy and peaceful Christmas

An Italian Christmas DinnerChristmas is coming and with it all the festive preparations. Houses are decorated with Christmas trees and cribs. Christmas lights glisten in the streets and shop windows are brimming with Christmas gifts and goodies. Traditional Christmas markets remind us of times past and age-old skills used to prepare presents for family and friends. Presents that would be exchanged at Christmas dinner. Let's sit to table and get a flavour of what Christmas is really like.

The Italian Christmas dinner, like all festive meals, is a lengthy and elaborate affair. Given the size of this annual feast we've decided to split it into two tasting sessions. Here you can savour two delicious courses and a vegetable side dish. In our other article you can bake your very own Panettone.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Chestnut crêpes with smoked cheese and prunes
250 ml milk
150 gr chestnut flour
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
Smoked provola cheese
Extra-large prunes
Toasted pine nuts
Thinly cut streaky bacon

Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Break in the eggs and mix. Thin the mixture with the warmed milk. Melt a little butter on a good non-stick pan and pour in some of the crêpe mixture. Cook on both sides and keep warm. Soak the prunes in warm water. Place 2 slices of cheese on each crêpe. Stuff the prunes with some pine nuts and put on the crêpes. Carefully roll up the crêpes and wind a piece of bacon around to secure. Heat in the oven until the bacon has cooked and the cheese melted. Serve warm with a glass of chilled white wine.

Glazed turkey
1 oven-ready turkey
500 gr boiled, peeled chestnuts
10 gr dried mushrooms
Herbs (sage, rosemary, bay)
orange peel
½ glass Marsala
½ glass dry white wine
beef stock
olive oil
50 gr butter
salt and pepper

Rinse and pat dry the turkey. Stuff turkey with herbs and chopped peel. Put in a large oven-proof dish and pour over some oil. Cook at 200°C until bird is golden brown then turn the oven down to 170°C and add the white wine. Cook for 2 hours adding beef stock as necessary. Add chopped celery, carrot and onion and cook for another 30 minutes covered with tinfoil.
While the turkey is cooking soak the mushrooms, then cook along with the chestnuts in some melted butter. Add a ladle of turkey gravy, the Marsala, salt and pepper and cook over a high heat until syrupy. Serve the turkey with the chestnut sauce and a bottle of red Trentino Lagrein.

Mashed potatoes with orange
500 gr floury potatoes
100 ml milk
4 gr nutmeg
200 ml orange juice
1 bay leaf
30 gr butter
100 gr lard

Boil the potatoes in their jackets. Boil the juice with the bay leaf until it has reduced by half. Cool, then beat in the oil until mixture emulsifies. Boil the milk with some grated nutmeg. Peel the potatoes and mash. Mix in the milk, juice, salt, pepper and butter. Serve piping hot with the turkey.

Christmas markets - - Traditional Christmas markets throughout Italy
Cribs - - The history of the Christmas crib
A Ramadan iftar at Abu el-Ezz - - December is also means Ramadan, the holy month of Islam

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