Christmas Dinner 2011: Salmon en Croute

We celebrate Christmas each year with the family across the street.  Over the years we have watched their kids grow old enough to babysit mine, and now mine are babysitting others.

Using a cookie cutter and a peppercorn for an eye, Miriam crowned each portion with a puff pastry fish.

We alternate houses every year and the host makes the entrée.  This year my long-time friend Miriam tackled Salmon en Croute, a seared salmon fillet with a spinach stuffing, wrapped in puff pastry.  To be certain, she nailed it!  They were beautiful to look at, delicious to eat, and very festive.

We started with an appetizer made by the young woman who was 9 years old when we met her.  Now, 20-ish years later, Julie blew us away with a cold pea soup shooter for a starter.  Spring peas have great potential to be bland and Julie showed us all she knew what she was doing when she gave this cool, almost creamy soup a subtle spicy flavor using cumin and chili powder and topped it with a small seared shrimp.  Again, beautiful to look at, delicious, and festive!

The Pea Soup Shooter with Seared Shrimp

My part was simple this year.  I made a butternut squash dish that was fairly basic but good.

I also made a greens dish which turned out quite nice.  I roasted kale with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and on top of that I put raw arugula that was tossed with truffle oil and lemon juice.  The combination of textures and flavors stood up nicely to the star of the show, the salmon en croute.

Roasted Kale topped with Arugula that was tossed in truffle oil and lemon juice.

Once again, our two families enjoyed a warm and fun Christmas with probably a little too much wine and some really great food.


POSTSCRIPT:  This posting will likely draw the 10,000th visit to my blog since starting it earlier this year.  Thank you for your continued interest and frequent visits to the site!  On the right hand side of my home page is a counter, if it says 10,000 even, that means you’re the 10,000th visitor!  Grab a screen shot and send it to me!


  1. Dang, we missed being the 10,000th viewer by well over 100. That’s what we get for being on vacation. We took a page from your book (OK, your blog) and came to Oahu, where we’ve had a totally splendid time, following your tips for getting the most out of our stay. Thanks for showing us how to live!

    Your Christmas dinner looks totally fantastic, every part of it.

    Happy New Year to you and yours. Laurie & family

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