My third installment of '12 Days Of Christmas, Food ~ Wine ~ Fun' is in honor of the jolly man himself, Santa Claus by way of a familiar story, or is it...
Twas The Night Before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
Pappa in his ‘night shirt, and I in my 'kerchief,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on in the yard there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash
To my surprise it was my cell phone
ringing, away on the front lawn
I dashed downstairs and flew out the door
I quickly answered in fear it was my son, who lives here no more...
"Hello Elizabeth", said an unfamiliar voice.
"Hello" I replied groggily. In shock, but listening I suddenly recognized the caller, "Mrs C is that you"? (eighteen years of celebrating Christmas at home with kids will do this to you!)
We talked for quite a few minutes, but as my tootsies were getting rather cold...back inside I ran. Climbing into my warm covers for a nights rest, I couldn't help but think of how my story would unfold.
I have been asked to blog
The 'anonymous' caller continued to explain how our spouses work so hard all year; it is only fair that we fill them with delectable goodies and treats in return. We also benefit ourselves! Have you ever wondered what
How about a little cranberry love for your health? They have a high nutritional value with antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties through fresh and dried alike! During the holidays cranberries are stacked and stored in markets everywhere, so stock up. They freeze perfectly, and can be used anytime up to six months, sometimes even longer if you are using them in dishes like this.
'Anonymous' mentioned her love for kitchen gadgets. She shared that
She went on to explain, not having some of the wonderful seasonings that Marc mentions in the post, and no time to ask any
The black cardamon (reminiscent of bacon) mention in his recipe was replaced with hardwood smoked bacon slices, and a using lamb loin over shanks as he had done. Wrapping each piece of lamb loin with a piece of the bacon, and insert a (soak in water for a few hours) toothpick to hold the two together. Hubby does not care for bacon, so I left his portion plain. The bacon however would flavor the sauce and surrounding ingredients.
Hinting that maybe some cranberry maple cookies for her spouses next return trip would be that right touch to help him recover from the traveling blues. Since his job is so demanding, she is always afraid he might storm in and say he is giving up to retire on the shores of sunny Florida. 'Anonymous' loves it up north, and would prefer he hang around there a lot longer.
Other 'Cranberry' Dishes-
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin (White Chocolate and Cranberry Stuffing)
Roasted Brussel Sprout Cranberry Slaw
Fig 'Cranberry' Cobbler
Good Things Catered- Cranberry Pastry Candy Cane
Go over to Marc @ No Recipes for his 'Braised Lamb Shanks in Cranberry', but I am posting his recipe according to my alterations...
3 lbs lamb shanks - 2 pounds of lamb loin, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
2 pods, black cardamom - 1 slice bacon per piece of lamb loin
2 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2″ knob of ginger grated
2 onions minced - 1 red onion, if you are using lamb loin pieces
3 Tbs sugar - 1 tablespoons of maple sugar
1 Tbs kosher salt (less if you use regular salt)
12 oz bag of fresh cranberries - half bag of cranberries, from freezer
Generously salt and pepper the lamb shanks - I lightly salted lamb loin pieces. Heat a large heavy bottomed pot with a lid on medium high heat until very hot, then add a splash of oil. Sear the shanks until golden brown on all sides. Turn down the heat if the oil starts smoking. When the shanks are browned, transfer them to a plate.
- I marinate lamb in seasonings below after I quickly brown the pieces, with 1/4 cup burgundy wine for two hours; transfer to Tagine to braise.
Add the cumin, cloves and black cardamom and swirl in the oil until you start to hear them pop. Add the garlic, ginger, onions, sugar, and salt and fry until soft and very fragrant. Add the cranberries, stir together, then nestle the lamb shanks into the cranberries and onions. Turn the heat down to low and cover with a tight fitting lid. Let this braise for 2-3 hours or until the meat easily pulls off the bone with a fork.
- Using bacon to wrap around lamb pieces, adding 1/4 cup beef stock, and about seven sliced grape tomatoes; then transfer to Tagine to braise for 45 minutes.
- I pureed some of the pan sauce, and spooned it onto the plate for party presentation, or individual plates.
Serve with rice. - I made couscous.
Next '12 Days of Christmas' post will be focusing on 'Traditions'...