There are no shortages of special occasions that might require a more elegant menu this time of year. Since I’ve been asked to tape another guest chef appearance next month, and they requested I make a holiday and/or special occasion recipe, I thought I’d come up with some ideas, and let YOU decide which one you

would like to see me make? Let me know what looks good to you and why in the comment section below, and be entered to win a copy of my mini eBook Party Accomplished! Share this blog post on facebook and Twitter for more entires (limit 3 entries per person). I’ll put the name of each entry in a hat, and Tatjana will be here to draw the winners name on December 15th! If you already have a copy of the book, I will  be happy to email

it to anyone on your gift list you would like to send it to. As for which menu will I cook on the show, I can’t make any promises since ultimately the decision will be made by the producer, but I’m sure she would be as interested as I am to hear your thoughts. Here are my top contenders….

  
SPECIAL OCCASION MENU PLAN:

Roast Beef
with
Roasted Mixed Vegetables
and
Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

-or-

Seared Duck Breast with Cherry-Pomegranate Sauce
and
Stir-Fried Cabbage, Carrots, Peppers & Mushrooms
and
Cinnamon Rice Blend Pilaf

 -or-

Apricot-Pecan Stuffed Roast Pork Loin with Apricot Sauce
with
Maple Glaze Brussels Sprouts & Pancetta Hash
and
Smashed Carrots Tinged with Orange & Herbs


If you are a premium member you get to download this menu plan for free as usual, but if your not, you can either upgrade to premium membership or purchase the menu with recipes in my shop. Credit for the Apricot Stuffed Roast Pork Loin (I have not photographed it yet myself) goes to DailyCrave@wordpress.com.

PS: Don’t miss the SALE! You can save 10% on premium membership gift certificates in every price range until December 24th ($25.00 minimum purchase does apply). They make great stocking stuffers, hostess and holiday gifts to help someone you love avoid holiday mayhem and get the New Year off to a great start. 

PPS: Jeweler, Jodi Zuletta, generously designed an exquisite pendant to benefit my Save the Children’s Hunger Crisis Relief Fund. Complete your holiday shopping and Save the Children at the same time – one gift will put a smile on two faces! 

BY THE WAY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

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  • December 6, 2011
    10:02 am

    I vote for the duck. (Although I would eat each and every item you posted, of course.) I think seeing how to prepare duck–which is a slightly more esoteric meat than roast beef or pork loin–would be fun for the show, and plus duck is delicious! (But oh, I want to make that brussels sprouts hash…)

    Reply
    • December 6, 2011
      2:11 pm

      My only concern about the duck breast is that it is hard to get, and the show is really to support the local farmers market, but the same recipe is great with rack of lamb too.

      Reply
  • December 6, 2011
    11:31 am

    I think the duck would be best for a TV appearance. It looks very festive and duck is not something that most people cook on a regular basis, making it more “fancy”.

    Personally, I can’t wait to try the roast beef with horseradish mash. YUM!

    Reply
    • December 6, 2011
      3:08 pm

      Premium members will be able to download this menu plan (with recipes and heat to eat instructions) tomorrow. Everyone else can buy it in the shop as of today.

      Reply
  • December 6, 2011
    11:54 am

    Oh Jewels the duck looks EXQUISITE!!! Painting with flavor AND a feast for the eyes as well.

    Reply
    • December 6, 2011
      3:09 pm

      Thanks Jodi, coming from you that is a real compliment!

      Reply
  • December 6, 2011
    8:03 am

    My goodness, difficult choice, all looks so awesome and delicious.

    If I had to pick only 1, it would be the duck. Looks so festive, presentation delightful, yummie. Love to Tatjana.

    Reply
    • December 6, 2011
      1:58 pm

      You and my father, Dom. It is really yummy. We had it for Christmas dinner last year. Love to Alan. xo

      Reply
  • December 6, 2011
    11:08 am

    Well, I have to say they all look good…I’m going for the Roast beef or the Duck.. they look the best..Duck :)

    Reply
    • December 6, 2011
      2:12 pm

      I’m pleasantly surprised! I didn’t realize so many of you would eat duck – it’s a hard sell to my clients (until I talk them into trying it).

      Reply
  • December 6, 2011
    11:43 am

    I have never made Duck but that looks so good i think I’ll have to give it a try!

    Reply
    • December 6, 2011
      3:09 pm

      Duck breast is particularly easy to cook, the trick is not to overcook. Sear it and it cooks very fast.

      Reply
  • December 6, 2011
    8:32 pm

    i agree with the duck. 1) i don’t eat pork or roast beef. let’s face it, i get sick of chicken. it is nice to see other poultry recipes! 2) i’m allergic to oranges…so i’ll pass on that dish. 3) i’m very curious about cinnamon rice. i would never think to combine the two of these ingredients! 4) the color combination of the duck meal reminds me of the holidays. 5) you said that the show is supposed to support the local farmers market? i think the stir-fried cabbage meal is perfect for that!

    -pammers :)

    Reply
  • December 6, 2011
    8:39 pm

    Thanks Pamela – cinnamon is a wonderful savory spice as well as something sweetened with sugar for cinnamon buns – definitely try it in rice or couscous (without sugar).

    The stir-fried cabbage is a side dish to go with the duck (which appears to be extremely popular) rather than a meal in itself, so I think you may be onto something there – that can play a supporting role in the farmers market portion of the segment.

    Reply
    • December 7, 2011
      8:51 am

      At my favorite Persian restaurant, they make this incredible saffron rice with cinnamon and raisins…thanks, Pamela and Jewels…I’m drooling now!!

      Reply
      • December 7, 2011
        9:02 am

        Mmmmmmm, I’m going to have to try that saffron rice Suzanne! Love all those layers of flavor and exotic spices adding savory and sweet together.

  • December 7, 2011
    8:49 am

    While I think the duck and roast exude “special occasion,” the apricot pork loin seems more accessible to the average cook. Last Sunday, I made your divine apricot lamb chops and commented that the sauce would work perfectly with pork tenderloin for those who are intimidated by lamb.

    Reply
  • December 7, 2011
    1:48 pm

    As a vegetarian talking here… I have to say that they all look SO good LOL. I have to vote for the duck. The colour, the presentation, the elegance of it is begging to be on holiday tables. It’s the time of year people will want something extra special yet achievable to serve their family and guests. Stunning.

    Reply
    • December 7, 2011
      4:57 pm

      Sorry no vegetarian option here Rachel, but the sauces for both the duck and the pork would be delish on tofu. Mix some of the herbs into some cornstarch, then dredge the tofu, season with salt and pepper, and shallow fry it.

      Reply
      • December 7, 2011
        5:53 pm

        There are delicious looking to THIS vegetarian though! LOL

  • December 7, 2011
    8:34 am

    Definitely the seared Duck…it says “Christmas”.

    Reply
    • December 7, 2011
      8:53 am

      The show is taping after Christmas, but I agree – it makes a great Christmas presentation. I also like serving it for Valentines Day. You can make the sauce in advance, and the duck takes just minutes to cook off, so it is an easy way to impress your other half.

      Reply
  • December 7, 2011
    8:45 am

    As a Brit, I’m voting the roast beef all the way…though it was hard, as all the others look too delish aswell!! x

    Reply
    • December 7, 2011
      8:55 am

      I haven’t figured out yet how to make it good TV yet though, probably need to add something else to make while it is roasting.

      Reply
  • December 7, 2011
    8:59 am

    I think this would have been my first choice too, Suzanne. I agree it is more accessible, the making of it will make for interesting TV, the sauce is to die for, and the presentation is gorgeous. I’m making this for my family while they are visiting.

    Reply
  • December 7, 2011
    11:58 am

    I say the duck too. It looks AWESOME

    Reply
    • December 7, 2011
      4:27 pm

      Quack quack!

      Reply
  • December 7, 2011
    12:55 pm

    I vote for the duck. To me serving duck says special occasion. I think cooking duck intimidates a lot of people, so making it on the show would help get others comfortable with it.
    I do appreciate you wanting to keep to local ingredients, so I would vote for whatever you can get around showtime. All three dishes look delicious.

    Reply
    • December 7, 2011
      4:41 pm

      I’m duck crazed too, and have been known to make a complete glutton of my self eating an entire duck.

      Reply
  • December 7, 2011
    12:59 pm

    I’d have to vote for the roast beef, simply because it is readily available and familiar to most families, and root vegetables are in season now for purchase at farmer’s markets. Also, it’s traditional comfort food. The horseradish is an unexpected twist on the standared mashed potatoes making it more special-occasion-worthy. (Horseradish is also a great remedy for cold symptoms and improves circulation…both helpful in the Northeast this time if year.) Bon appetit! :0)

    Reply
    • December 7, 2011
      4:42 pm

      You know, I’m just now becoming a big fan of horseradish – experimenting with it in a few recipes. Someone told me it is really good in Yorkshire pudding batter.

      Reply
  • December 7, 2011
    1:28 pm

    That menu sounds amazingly good! :o The duck in particular is calling to me. And happy birthday to your dad! :)

    Reply
    • December 7, 2011
      4:53 pm

      Ding, ding, ding – do I hear a duck win coming on? I had no idea how popular it is. No one, other than my dad and me, will eat it in our family and I’ve never had a client ask for it.

      Reply
  • December 7, 2011
    3:00 pm

    I vote for the apricot pork. I like the entire meal. The sides look as lovely as the main dish. The duck looks really great, but for some reason I’ve always felt intimidated about cooking duck. I actually don’t eat pork, but I can see myself using this recipe & technique on poultry. Yum!

    Reply
    • December 7, 2011
      4:59 pm

      Great minds think alike, Kim – just bought a pork loin to make while Tatjana is home. I want to photograph it anyway.

      Reply
  • December 7, 2011
    3:30 pm

    I vote for the duck. If I’m out to dinner and it’s on the menu, it’s what I order. It looks fantastic and festive as well.

    Reply
    • December 7, 2011
      5:01 pm

      It really is so simple to make when your only dealing with the breast, too.

      Reply
  • December 8, 2011
    6:27 am

    Definitely the duck breast. It has that nice sense of “umami” especially with the warmth of the cinnamon blend rice pilaf.

    Reply

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