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La Belle Cuisine - More Lagniappe * Recipes

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."

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that little unexpected pleasant surprise.


Christmas Memories with Recipes:
Julee Rosso



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Recipe Source:

Christmas Memories
with Recipes
1994, Wings Books, a division of
Random House Value Publishing, Inc.


In our opinion, this is one of the very best Christmas cookbooks around,
and it is most definitely a bargain not to be passed up. It contains excellent
recipes and well-written nostalgia by some of the world's greatest cooks. To
name but a few: Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, Marcella Hazan, Lee Bailey,
Jacques Pépin, Martha Stewart, Robert Finigan and Maida Heatter.

Julee Rosso -
Old-Fashioned Christmas in Michigan

"I have never grown up, and I don't think I want to, at least not as far as
Christmas is concerned. But then I don't think that most of us ever do. My
childhood memories of the mystery and anticipation that surrounded the
most magical days of the year are as vivid as if they were yesterday and
not over thirty years ago.

"...After that annual shopping expedition we'd arrive home to find my dad
testing string after string of outdoor Christmas lights and my mom elbow
deep in flour and sugar, baking up a storm for our annual open house -
pinwheels, butterballs, whiskey cake [recipe follows], date nut pudding
[recipe follows], macaroons, toffee bars, lemon squares, fruitcake,
Christmas cookies, candy cane baskets, and taffy...
"We gathered in the huge cabbage-rose living room that had twenty-foot
trees in each of its corners. This was my grandmother's favorite treat for all
of us. In one corner her Harvest Tree was covered with fruit, tartan ribbons,
tiny baskets, straw figures, miniature gourds, nuts and strings of cranberry
and popcorn. In another corner the Spice Tree had gingerbread men,
pomanders, nosegays of rosemary, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks, and candy
canes. The Peace Tree was a vision of white with wild juniper, white doves,
dried sea lavender, angels, baby's breath, and a dusting of snow. Finally,
there was a silvery green Herb Tree laden with sprays of rose hips, lavender,
sage, lamb's ears, thyme, rosemary, and light-green and white ribbons
sprinkled with silver glitter.
"...Those years are long gone, and since that time there have been many Christmases in faraway place - some just like those you dream of having
as a child. We've found ourselves in Paris, New York, Vienna, Rome,
Monte Carlo, and the Caribbean at Christmas time, and while it is ever
so nice to visit other countries at Christmas, I'd give almost anything
for one of those Christmases in Michigan, just once more."



Serves 2

"A light and wonderful way to begin a Sunday any time of the year."

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
Fresh lemon juice to taste
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Put butter in a heavy frying pan or a shallow casserole. Place in an
oven set at 475 degrees F.
Meanwhile, mix milk, flour, and eggs lightly to make a batter.
When the butter has melted, pour the batter into the heated pan and
bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the Bismarck
on a plate.
Pour a little of the melted butter on the pancake and squeeze on a
little lemon juice to taste. Roll it up lie a loose jelly roll and sprinkle
with confectioner’s sugar.


* Sprinkle with brown sugar
* Forget the sugar and use a fruit or
maple-flavored syrup.
* Spread with a favorite fruit preserve or fresh berries.
* Lightly sprinkle with Grand Marnier.
* Fill with chestnut cream.
* Top with cooked link sausages after
4 minutes’ baking time.


Date-Nut Pudding

8 portions

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup coarse-chopped pitted dates
1 cup coarse-chopped shelled walnuts
1 cup heavy cream, chilled

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease well a 9-by-13-by-2-inch
glass or ceramic baking dish.
Cream the butter, gradually adding the sugar and beating until light.
Add the eggs, milk, flour, and baking powder; mix well. Fold in
dates and walnuts.
Turn into the prepared baking dish and place on the middle rack
of the oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until set.
Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with spoonfuls of
the cream, whipped to soft peaks, on the side.


Whiskey Cake

1 two-layer white or yellow cake
(select your very favorite)
2 1/2 cups coarse-chopped walnuts
3 1/2 cups grated dried coconut
3/4 pound candied cherries
12 egg yolks
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
3/4 cup rye or bourbon

Prepare cake and let cool for 2 hours. Split each layer in half.
Meanwhile, combine the pecans, coconut, and candied cherries
in a bowl. Set aside.
Place the egg yolks in a double boiler over simmering water. Beat
slightly with a whisk. Add the sugar, salt and butter. Cook until the
sugar is dissolved, the butter melted, and the mixture is slightly
thickened, stirring constantly. Do not let the mixture overcook or
the egg yolks will become scrambled.
Remove from the heat and add the rye or bourbon. Beat vigorously
for 1 minute with a wire whisk.
Pour the mixture over the pecans, coconut, and cherries and mix well.
Place one of the split cake layers in the center of a platter and spread generously with the frosting mixture. Top with the remaining layers,
spreading the mixture generously over each layer.
Refrigerate until frosting is set. Decorate the cake platter with holly.


 Whiskey Sauce

Makes 4 cups

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup hot cream
4 large egg yolks, beaten
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons whiskey

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Heat the cream in a medium saucepan until hot but not boiling.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter-sugar mixture, the
beaten egg yolks, and the salt. Beat until well blended.
Return the saucepan to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring
constantly, until the mixture is thick.
Stir in the whiskey. Pour into a sauceboat and serve hot with
mince pie. This sauce is also great on gingerbread, chocolate
, baked apples, and apple pies.


Scalloped Oysters

Serves 4

1 pint oysters
1 1/2 cups cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup oyster juice
1 tablespoon Sherry
Dash Worcestershire sauce

Drain the oysters, reserving the juice. Preheat the oven to 350
degrees F.
Combine the crumbs, butter, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle
one-third of the crumbs over the bottom of a 3-cup buttered gratin
dish. Cover with half the drained oysters.
Sprinkle another third of the crumbs over the oysters. Make another
layer over the crumbs with the remaining oysters.
Whisk together the heavy cream, oyster juice, Sherry, and
Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the oysters.
Top the casserole with the remaining one-third of crumbs. Bake
for 40 minutes.


Classic Turkey Stuffing

Enough for an 18-to-20-pound turkey

1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups Grand Marnier
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups chopped celery
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 pound spicy breakfast sausage or Italian
hot sausage, casing removed
1 pound herb stuffing mix
1 cup coarse-chopped pecan pieces
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored,
and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons dried thyme or
4 teaspoons fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with 1 cup of Grand Marnier. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt 1 stick of butter. Add the celery and onion and
sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
In the same skillet, cook the sausage, crumbling with a fork, until brown
all over. Remove from heat and combine with the celery-onion mixture.
Add the stuffing mix to the vegetables and sausage. Stir in the raisins,
liquid included. Add pecans and apples and combine thoroughly.
Melt the remaining stick of butter with the chicken stock in a saucepan.
Pour over the stuffing along with the remaining 1/2 cup of Grand
Marnier. Stir well; the stuffing should be moist all over. Season with
thyme or sage, salt, and pepper.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Christmas Memories with Robert Finigan
Christmas Memories with Edward Giobbi
Christmas Memories with Marcella Hazan
Christmas Memories with Jenifer Lang
Christmas Memories with Jacques Pepin
Christmas Memories with Helen Witty

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