Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holiday Traditions

For over 30 years now, I have been making the same meals for Christmas eve dinner and Christmas morning breakfast. I suppose that would make them Traditions. My family expects these meals. My older daughter, who now has a family of her own, is continuing some of the traditional recipes.

Christmas eve dinner consists of white posole, homemade flour tortillas, and, sometimes, a salad of sliced oranges and pomegranate seeds. While the posole is simmering, I make the tortillas using my comal. Homemade tortillas are much better than store bought ones. They are so tender that they melt in your mouth.

Simmering posole:

Finished soup with garnishes and tortilla:

Christmas breakfast is composed of cold blueberry soup, topped with a dollop of sour cream, eggs, bacon, and a sweet bread.

While I was cooking the posole, I was also making the Blueberry Lingonberry Soup. It’s not Christmas without this delicious chilled soup. In a moment of distraction, I accidently dumped a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns into the blueberry soup rather than the posole. I did manage to retrieve most of the pepper before it sank to the bottom of the pan. The blueberry soup was exceptionally good this year, so I’m wondering if a few peppercorns added an extra flavor level.

This year’s sweet bread was one of my favorites, scones from the Stone Lion Inn in Massachusetts. Years ago I discovered this recipe through the King Arthur Baking Circle, and it is better than any other scone recipe I’ve tried. I added mini cinnamon chips and pecans to the dough, and threw in a few mini cherry chips for color. The scones always turn out tender and delicious and can be varied by the addition of different fruits, nuts, and chips.

I’m sending along the scones to Cinzia at Cindystar for this month’s Bread Baking Day (25), Baking under the tree.


Blueberry Lingonberry Soup can be found here.


2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt (preferably Kosher)
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup dried fruit
1 1/4 cup heavy cream (more or less depending on type of flour and humidity)

1 - 2 Tbsp. melted butter for brushing top

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Measure dry ingredients and mix together in a bowl with a fork. Add dried fruit and mix so that fruit does not stick together.

Add cream and stir until a dough forms. Gather dough together in bowl and turn out onto work surface dusted with flour. Knead 8 - 10 times until dough holds together.

Pat dough into a circle approximately 10" in diameter and brush top with melted butter. At this point I sometimes sprinkle the top with coarse sugar. Cut dough into 12 triangles and place on buttered sheet pan (or use parchment paper on the sheet pan). Bake for 15 minutes until just golden. Transfer to cooling rack.

Makes 12 scones.

For dried fruit, you can add: dried cherries, chocolate chips, lemon chips, nuts of various kinds, other dried fruit of various kind, chopped in to raisin-sized pieces.

Can also make round with biscuit cutter.

White Posole

1 lb boneless lean pork (if using a large piece, cut into 1” cubes; I use boneless pork chops)

6 boneless chicken thighs, or 3 boneless chicken breasts.

½ medium onion

2 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons salt

12 peppercorns

6 cups water

2 1-lb cans golden hominy, drained

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 lime

crushed red chile pods, to taste


Salsa Fresca

Radishes, julienned

Green onions, sliced

Shredded lettuce

Diced avocado

Place the first 7 ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam from the surface. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the pork is tender. Remove the chicken thighs after 45 minutes, or the chicken breasts after 30 minutes.

After one hour, remove the pork. Strain the broth and return to pot. Shred the pork and the chicken and add to the broth. Then add the hominy, oregano, juice of one lime, and the crushed chiles. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Season, if necessary.

Serve in large soup bowls with garnishes.


Jacque said...

MMmm, that is a meal fit for a king! or at least a hungry family.

Looks delish!

Megan said...

Wow - homemade tortillas? I certainly would like to try those. But then I'd just have to get a tortilla press. :)

Happy New Year!

Cindystar said...

Judy, thanks for this lovely recipe, I love scones!
Sorry for my late answer but I am still on skiing vacation and internet connection is not always so good and fast!
All my best wishes for a joyfull 2010!