Author Topic: Its our turn to host Christmas... guess who gets to cook?  (Read 2422 times)

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Re: Its our turn to host Christmas... guess who gets to cook?
« Reply #60 on: November 24, 2014, 03:28:04 PM »
I'd be a bit on the iffy side with 4 roasted chickens at once, even though you make a great one! ;) Roasting 4 will have to have some timing adjustments especially if they are close together in the pans.

(eta: But if this is what you're comfortable with making, then by all means do it!)

I know people upthread have mentioned pork, pork roasts, even stuffed pork tenderloin.

If you're looking for easy, I've had great success with the pre-marinaded pork tenderloins, like these:

Although Hormel isn't the brand that I usually buy (I can't remember! One I like has a lovely garlic/lemon marinade) Plop them in a covered roasting pan (with space between) and bake according to directions. I put some vegetable stock in the bottom of the pan . . . this helps if you want to make a gravy.

Or, if you prefer, make your own marinade (marinade over night). Pork tenderloin is hard to screw up. Do use a meat thermometer.


Fresh garden salad (ingredients can be chopped 1-2 days in advance)

Mashed, baked, or roasted potatoes (mashed, use yellow potatoes ;),  can be prepared at least 3 days ahead of time and warmed stove-top or microwave before serving. Baked and/or roasted can be cooked in the oven at the same time the tenderloin is cooking. Baked? Use white potatoes, wash them up/pick out the eyes can be 5 done days before, let them sit on your counter and give a final rinse before baking. Roasted? Use red potatoes, wash them, cube them, let them dry then add any spices that you like. Store in a closed container in your fridge.)

A veggie dish -- how do you feel about brussle sprouts? I'm struggling for a good veggie dish that you can prepare in advance. :-\

Dessert? DD#2 made an awesome!!!! crescent roll single serve apple pie dish, served with vanilla ice cream. Let me know if you want the recipe.

Any way, that's my 2cents worth. Isn't it the truth about having a successful party, the hardest part is choosing the menu?

Good Luck! ;D

« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 03:48:13 PM by jpcher »


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Re: Its our turn to host Christmas... guess who gets to cook?
« Reply #61 on: November 25, 2014, 08:21:38 PM »

The trick with roasts is having them done at the same time as the rest of the food. Even with time / pound guidelines, large roasted chunks of meat can have a significant variation, depending on the temperature when it goes in the oven, shape, water content, the nature of your own oven, etc. If you haven't cooked a roast of that type and size before, you're risking have the meat cold by the time the guests are ready, or having the side dishes cool down while meat is finishing.

Four chickens in one oven will take more time than one chicken - but I don't know how different it would be.

For a roast, you might go with a cheaper cut of meat that requires long, slow cooking. Something like pork shoulder, or lamb shanks. That way, you can start the cooking a bit earlier than you think you need, and overshooting isn't a big problem. You can prep the meat in advance, and it requires little to no oversight while cooking.

That would pair well with the parmesan mashed potatoes, a simple green bean dish, a nice salad; go for simple sides, but with good ingredients.


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Re: Its our turn to host Christmas... guess who gets to cook?
« Reply #62 on: November 25, 2014, 08:42:30 PM »
I've never had a lot of trouble timing a roast.
Maybe I just got lucky.
(I did have trouble timing the turkey; it ended up done too early, so I stuck it in the cooler to stay hot.)

But, I also had a 10- to 15-minute time period of resting, so any side dish that needed fussy timing (i.e., was easily overcooked) could be ready to go, and then cook during that resting time.

Other side dishes (potatoes, etc.) can sit somewhere warm for a little while. (or, in the cooler)