Traditional French Christmas dinner
If you're not going to Paris for Christmas, you can always bring French Christmas home. Traditional french-style Christmas dinner isn't complete without Foie Gras. Foie Gras is well-known and popular delicacy that gives a gourmet touch to your holiday festivities.
How to make a traditional french holiday dinner?
- Champagne or Kir Royal.
- Cocktails, the fancier the better, are also now very fashionable to serve for special-occasion apéros.
- Amuse-gueules, of course, include everything from peanuts in a bowl to an assortment of elaborate canapés.
A traditional and easy way to start the feast is simply to serve that most loved and hated of French delicacies, foie gras, on sliced bread with a sweet wine. This is especially favoured in Paris and the south-west.
Escargots and oysters are also common choices. If you serve escargots in the shell and are going for total authenticity, don't forget to make it easy on your guests by setting the table with fourchettes à escargots.
Here is the traditional french entree you are able to prepare easily:
Artichoke with foie gras canapés
Ingredients (4 people):
- 8 small canned artichoke hearts natural
- olive oil, butter
- 8 slices of foie gras believed 30 to 40g each
- balsamic vinegar
- salt, pepper
- Drain the artichoke hearts
- Fry them in a pan 3 minutes on each side
- Put aside on a plate
- Sauté in a pan over high heat fatty liver slices for 1 minute and place them on artichoke hearts
- Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar
- Water the sofas and serve immediately
This part of the meal is the least traditional, or at least has the most variations. Goose and turkey are common main dishes, goose being preferred in Alsace and turkey in Burgundy, for example. Both often appear with chestnut stuffing; the French are particularly fond of chestnuts. Duck meat and gourmet ham also often make the menu as well as lobster, crab, or game meats such as venison or boar.
Following a refreshing green salad comes an assortment of cheeses (l'assortment de fromages) presented on a circular wooden board. The tradition demands that one offers at least three different types of cheeses: lait de vache (cow’s milk), de brebis (female sheep) et de chêvre (goat).
Cranberries also often appear in sauces and relishes on the réveillon menu if at no other time of the year. If you're cooking this year for a small family group, magret de canard with cranberry sauce will produce fewer leftovers but still appeal to French tastes.
Une bûche de Noël is the traditional desert, a buttercream cake in the shape of a log, topped with colorful little Christmas figurines, and cut in individual slices for everyone. But you can also finish your dinner with other traditional french desserts: French Almond Macaron, French Sweet Petits (mini-cakes) and of course delicious Belgian Chocolate by Leonidas.