I found this delicious looking picture and recipe for biscuit-topped turkey pot pie. I love pot pie and it seemed so warm and hardy for the big night. I thought spiced cider would be good and a waldorf salad. Then for dessert chocolate-carmamel bread pudding. YUM! This actually is part of our Christmas Eve tradition. When I was young and we would drive to Iowa to be with my moms family on Christmas Eve, we always had bread pudding, so here is a re-vised version:)
Chocolate caramel bread pudding
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 c. heavy cream
1 ½ c. milk
2 TBL cocoa powder
½ vanilla bean (seeds scraped and pod reserved)
1 large egg
5 large egg yolks
¼ tea salt
½ c. sugar
7 c. challah bread, cut into 1” cubes
1 ½ tea unsalted butter
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz. caramel candy chews
Make the pudding: Place the chocolate in a large bowl and set aside. Place the cream, milk, cocoa, and vanilla bean seeds and pod in a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, and strain into the bowl of chocolate. Gently stir to combine and set aside. Whisk the egg, yolks, salt, and sugar together in a medium bowl. Pour the cream mixture into the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously until combined. Place the challah in a large bowl, pour the egg-and-cream mixture over the bread, and let sit, tossing occasionally, until the bread absorbs the liquid- about 30 min.
2. Bake the pudding: Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat a 10 inch deep dish pie pan with butter. Gently mix chocolate chips and the soaked bread together. Spoon half of the pudding into the pie pan, sprinkle with half of the caramel candies, top with remaining pudding and caramel. Tightly cover the pie pan with aluminum foil, fit it into a 10 by 15 in. roasting pan, and place them on the middle shelf of the oven. Fill the roasting pan with hot water until the level reaches half way up the sides of the pie pan. Bake for 40 min., uncover, and continue to bake until the liquid has set and caramel is melted- about 20 more minutes. Serve warm.
After writing all that out, it seems like a lot of work, but definitely sounds yummy!
I know I've seen Matthew Meads fabulous holiday magazine written about on many blogs. It really does have some fantastic holiday food recipes and gorgeous pictures! He has a web site too!