WINE & FOOD CORNER BLOG

Wohlner’s Christmas Dinner Recipes and Menu Ideas
December 20 9:50 AM

Beef Wellington with Duxelle in Puff Pastry
Christmas Dinner Suggestions from Wohlner’s
Wohlner’s Prime Rib or Beef Tenderloin are often the center piece of many Christmas dinners.  To complete the meal from start to finish here are some other ideas for the evening:
 
Christmas Toddy
Robert’s Egg Nog with Paul Masson VS Amber Brandy
Christmas Starters & Appetizers
Ritz Crackers with Denmark’s Finest Havarti Cheese
Breton Crackers with Pickled Herring
Planter’s Mixed Nuts
Jumbo Gulf Shrimps with Cocktail Sauce  
• Relish Tray:  Our Family Manzanilla Stuffed Olives, Our Family Black Olives, and French Style Cornichons or Cocktail Dill Pickles
Bodega Tamari Reserva Torrontes White Wine pairs perfectly with these appetizers. 

The best appetizer I had in 2010
Beef Tenderloin Crostini at Loft 601.  Sliced rare beef tenderloin on a toasted baguette slice topped with  mushroom duxelle.  Wonderful!   A quick description of duxelle is a savory mushroom and shallot or onion reduction that is rather easy to make and works so well with filet of beef. 

The chef’s inspiration for this fantastic appetizer was probably Beef Wellington, the classic presentation of beef tenderloin and mushroom duxelle wrapped in puff pastry.  In French it’s Filet de Boeuf en Croûte.  And this appetizer, in turn inspires me to make a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day entree suggestion next:
  
Kinda’ makes you really hungry, doesn’t it!
Beef Wellington made easy with frozen puff pastry
Beef Wellington-The classic recipe calls for tenderloin of beef coated with mushroom duxelle to be wrapped in puff pastry and baked.  That all seemed too daunting because of the thought of making puff pastry.  Then the light went on and I realized that I can by frozen sheets of puff pastry, inexpensive, and frozen puff pastry is very easy to handle, even for a klutz like me.   Duxelle is easy to make.  It’s easy to bake the whole thing.  So now there’s nothing to stop me from making Beef Wellington.  It certainly has a WOW factor and it is festive food.

Some chefs first wrap the beef in a crepe pancake to keep the meat’s moisture away from the puff pastry.  More recently chef’s have been wrapping beef in very thinly sliced prosciutto and then apply the duxelle.  I’m thinking the prosciutto would add a nice layer of flavor. 

I searched the internet and found this recipe which describes the process.  RECIPE   I’ll leave to you to decide if you want to use the sauce in the recipe, or hollandaise, or another sauce, or, who needs a sauce.
 
Duxelle Recipe
Mushroom Duxelle
3 pounds Crimini or Button mushrooms,   
or 3 pounds sliced portabellas (on sale starting Weds.)
2 ounces butter or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons chopped shallots,(or 1/3 cup of finely minced onion)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation
Finely chop mushrooms with a knife. Heat butter in large skillet, add shallots and garlic, sauté till translucent. Add chopped mushrooms. Stirring regularly cook over low heat until all moister cooks out of mushrooms and mixture becomes dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate in an airtight container.  
 
Please note, the beef tenderloin is only on sale through Tuesday, 12/21; so cal and order it now..

Great beef tenderloin appetizer ideas for a party
You could make the following suggestions with some rare or medium-rare beef, even using some leftovers:
Beef Wellington Canapés –bake puff pastry, cut into squares, add thin sliced rare  beef tenderloin and a schmear of duxelle.  Please invite me to taste.
Beef Wellington Sandwiches with duxelle-using thinly sliced Wohlner’s baguette make small Beef Wellington sandwich
Beef Wellington Sliders with Duxelle-on a slider size bun with rare sliced roast beef and duxelle, maybe a drizzle of hollandaise sauce
Beef Tenderloin Sliders with Horseradish Mustard sauce
Beef Tenderloin Sliders with Blue Cheese Spread
 
Colorful Salads for Christmas (or anytime)
 
Red and Green Waldorf Salad:  Here’s Wohlner’s Christmas take on the classic and simple to make Waldorf Salad.  To get some Christmas color serve each person’s salad on a leaf of red radicchio or red cabbage.  Make the salad with diced red apples,  celery, dried cranberries, and dressing of mayo, cider vinegar and a spoonful of sugar. 
Feel free to add some seedless red grapes and diced dried apricots to the salad for even more color. 
Or add some fresh broccoli florets into the salad to sneak in some green vegetables and to add green color. 
Christmas Waldorf Salad in Red Radicchio Cups
2 cups cored, diced red apples
1 cup diced celery
½ cup raisins, dried cranberries, or dried cherries
¼ cup coarsely cut  walnuts  (pecans, walnuts or almonds)
6 leaves of radicchio or red cabbage, washed and left whole 
Options to add: Red Grapes, diced died apricot, cut dark green lettuce such as romaine,  cut broccoli florets cut to bite size.  Candied walnuts would be good, too.   
Salad Dressing
½ cup mayonnaise (or miracle whip)
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 to 2 Tbsps. sugar or sugar substitute
small pinch of salt

Prepare salad dressing, adjust cider and/or sugar to taste . Place all ingredients except the cabbage  or radicchio leaves in bowl, dicing apples last. Immediately pour dressing over ingredients and mix well to prevent apples from turning brown.

Place one cabbage/radicchio leaf on each salad plate, and place 1/6 of the salad on each radicchio or cabbage leaf cup.
 
Orange Salad with Cream Cheese with Pomegranate seeds.  Bright “supremed” orange segments, cream cheese, and brilliant red pomegranates seeds make this a festive and colorful Christmas or holiday salad.   Author and PBS Chef Jacque Pepin makes this  delicious and refreshing salad with oranges, Philly Cream Cheese(better if the cream cheese is whipped with a mixer or food processor), pomegranate seeds, and a simple dressing made of 1/2 cup orange marmalade, 1/2 cup orange juice, and a touch of orange zest.   This could also be a nice dish for a Christmas Day Brunch, and healthy, too. 

Citrus Salad with Pomegranate Seeds:   
Section (“supreme”) 4 oranges and 2 red grapefruit.  Peel and slice 3 kiwi.  Mix some orange juice and honey and drizzle over fruit.  Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts and/or shelled pistachios. 
Video on how to ‘supreme’ an orange and grapefruit.   Only 34 seconds:  Video

Christmas Dinner Side Dishes
When you have a busy holiday meal prepare a side dish casserole ahead of time, then just keep it warm or reheat it at the before serving.  These are good dishes to take when need a dish to take to someone else’s house.

Green Bean Casserole with French’s Onions
1 can French’s French Fried Onions
9 oz frozen green beans or 2 cans Our Family Green Beans
1 (10 3/4oz) can Campbell’s cream of mushroom
½ cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
Stir the soup, beans, milk, salt and pepper and ¾ can of onions. Pour into 1 ½ quart casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Stir mixture and top with remaining onions. Bake another 5 minutes.

Cream Cheese Garlic Mashed Russet Potatoes
Cream Cheese Garlic Mashed Potatoes
2-1/2 lb. Russet baking potatoes (about 7), peeled, quartered
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz. PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese
4oz. sour cream 
1 Tbsp. butter
1tsp. salt
Milk, Cream or Half and Half as needed for consistency
Method:
Cook potatoes and garlic in boiling water in large saucepan 20 min. or until potatoes are tender; drain
Mash potatoes until smooth.
In a small bowl mix cream cheese and other ingredients in a small bowl,
Stir cream cheese mixture into mashed potatoes and keep warm until ready to serve. 

Tips: 

  • Use a crockpot, set on low, to keep mashed potatoes warm until serving. 
  • Garnish with cut fresh chives.

Savory Blue Cheese and Leek Bread Pudding.  This sounds like something you might find at an elegant steakhouse such as Fleming’s, Mahogany or Omaha Prime.  Maybe bake in muffin tins as individual servings for a more elegant presentation.  Making this in a baking dish would be equally delicious.  Or, bake in a bread loaf pan and serve slices with Prime Rib or Beef Tenderloin.  This is a potentially an amazing dish which has my mouth watering as I think about it!  Maybe it is too crazy.  Maybe not.   Maybe we can test a recipe before Christmas. 

Potatoes Anna
Potatoes Anna is a simple recipe with just 3 ingredients; difficult to do just right but so good when you do!!!  Recipe   Also, America’s Test Kitchen did another version of this that maybe easier for the home cook. 

Ruth’s Chris Steak House Au Gratin Potatoes:

(Russet Potatoes, Our Family Grated Cheddar Cheese) Recipe
Sweet Potatoes with Brandy and Raisins
Christmas Desserts:
Red Velvet Cheesecake
Make a one layer 8” round Red Velvet Cake.  Also make 8” crustless Cheesecake (use Philly Cream Cheese).   Place the cooled cheesecake on top of the cooled Red Cake.  The red Velvet cake is the cheesecake crust, and the cheesecake acts as the frosting and filling.  How colorful and how good does that sound!

Egg Nog Bread Pudding with Brandied Dried Cranberries and pecans.  Use Egg Nog to provide memorable Christmas  flavors to comfort food.  Serve with Brandied Crème Anglaise sauce.
Christmas Morning Breakfast:
Egg Nog French Toast with Wohlner’s Fruit and Nut Bread. 
Use some egg nog and an extra egg as your milk/egg custard to dip thickly sliced bread.  Grate a little nutmeg over each French toast before pan cooking. Serve with warm grade B maple syrup.  If it is a brunch I’d mix in a teaspoon of bourbon in with some syrup, merely enough bourbon to add a little flavor, similar to using vanilla extract.  Hey, it’s Christmas!

Wohlner’s Breakfast Strata: Wohlner’s chefs prepare delicious egg strata for you.
 
Take & Bake Strata’s From Wohlner’s 
for Christmas Morning!
Cinnamon Sugar,
Ham & Cheese or
Sausage, Onion, Mushroom & Pepper
1 Pan Serves 6 to 9 People
 

Category: Holiday Meat Dessert
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Midtown Crossing
3253 Dodge Street
(ground floor of the Element
by Westin hotel building)
Omaha, NE 68131

Store Hours:
Monday thru Friday: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Phone: (402) 504-1025
Fax: (402) 504-9778
E-mail: wohlners@wohlners.com


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