Here is a holiday meal that your family will remember for years to come
December 21, 2005 - I put together these recipes to suggest a different kind of Christmas or New Year's meal for you and your family.
I have made these dishes for years and even the hard to please appetites in my household have come to look forward to having them when ever I manage to cook them again.
My suggestion is to make them ahead as far as is practical. The Wellingtons, soda bread, cocktails, Madeira sauce and brownies can all be made a day or two ahead. The only problem with that plan is making sure there are brownies enough left when its time for dessert at your dinner party.
If you assemble the ingredients for the peas and the chicken Wellington in advance of the party, you can have this feast on the table a half hour after your guests arrive. If you know your guests are always on time, you could even have it ready when they arrive, but that never works at my house.
When my guests arrive I like to get a drink in their hand as soon as possible to acclimate them to life at the Milligans'. After everyone arrives, I like to serve the salad and bread course. If you like wine with your meal, I suggest a semi-dry German wine to go with the fennel and orange salad.
I know that vertical food is the rage at present, but I still serve the chicken, champ and peas in different corners of the plate the way our parents did.You can keep your wine glass and drink the same wine you had with the salad, or dial in a dry German wine for the main course. It up to you, but these tastes go better with white wine than red in my opinion.
Before anyone starts eating, I encourage the cook to warn everyone they need to leave room for dessert because this stuff is so good you'll be groaning "ummm'' as you eat the B&B Brownies. Serve it with coffee or hot tea.
Enjoy your time off and your family this holiday season.