It’s understandable if some people are frozen with holiday anxiety. After all, it’s one week until Christmas, and we need all the help we can get. Unlike Thanksgiving, Christmas comes with all kinds of extra responsibilities and pressures, like shopping, mailing, holiday cards and parties – whether you’re giving or going.
I’ve really scaled down Christmas the last few years, to the point where I refer to it as Christmas lite. It feels better this way. But one of the things I always do is bake during the Christmas season, because it makes me happy to create food for people I love.
As for the actual Christmas dinner, I’m not hosting Christmas dinner this year, but if I were, I’d be tempted to try a standing rib roast, especially after looking at this week’s Tops ad, which features a culinary quad-tacular of holiday meats for Christmas dinner:
Creekstone Farms USDA Choice 100 percent Black Angus Beef Bone-In Standing Rib Roast @ $7.99 lb., Tops Own Honey Glazed Spiral Cut Ham @ $3.99 lb., Superior Farms Whole Leg of Lamb @ $4.99 lb., and Tops Own Stuffed Pork Roast @ $3.99 lb., “ready for the oven”.
And for those who just feel up against the wall, and as if time is running out, there’s always the option to purchase an entire ready-made dinner at Tops, your choice of either the Prime Rib of Beef for $139.99, or Glazed Spiral Ham for $89.99, including a slew of side dishes and dessert, of course. (Orders must be received in the deli department by Dec. 21 for the Dec. 24 pick-up.)
Some modified help in the bakery includes Tops 9-inch homemade cream pies, your choice of banana, chocolate or coconut, $10.99 each, and one dozen Tops homemade dinner rolls, either butter and egg, wheat or butter flake, all $3.99.
But today my thoughts turn to an appetizer I’ve been making for almost 30 years, found in a Bon Appetit magazine: Phyllo Triangles With Sausage and Mustard. They’re a great party food, because they’re delicious, elegant and you can make them ahead and pop them in the oven.
But speaking of popping, if I get a chance today I might pop by Tops to say hi to Dave Tappan from Q97, “Today’s Country”. He’ll be here today only (Wednesday) from 3 to 6 p.m. doing a live remote as he cooks up his famous cioppino with sour dough bread. Did I mention he’s giving out samples? True.
Hang in there, dear ones. Remember to enjoy the season and try not to stress. This time next week it will be all over but the leftovers. In the meantime, I wish you comfort and joy.
Phyllo Triangles with Sausage and MustardMakes about 25 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing and crumbled 1 cup whipping cream 1/4 cup Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 10 phyllo pastry sheets 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted melted butter
Cook sausage in a skillet until it’s no longer pink and fat is rendered, about 15 minutes. Strain through fine sieve, pressing to extract as much moisture as possible.
Drain on paper towels. Wipe out skillet. Return the sausage to the pan and stir in the cream, mustard and nutmeg. Simmer until the sausage absorbs the cream and mixture mounds on a spoon, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.
Butter two baking sheets. Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface (keep remainder covered with a damp towel so it doesn’t dry out). Brush the sheet with melted butter. Place another sheet on top and repeat with the butter. Cut crosswise into 5 strips.
Place a heaping teaspoon of the sausage mixture at bottom of 1 strip. Fold corner of phyllo over sausage and brush lightly with butter. Continue folding down the entire length of the strip, folding triangles back and forth, brushing lightly with butter after each fold, until you have a small triangle bundle.
Repeat with remaining strips.
Arrange on baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Brush with butter.
Place in preheated 350 degree oven and bake until golden brown and crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot or warm.
From Bon Appetit magazine, 1985.
This recipe sponsored by Tops Market in Weaverville and Redding.
Click here to order a sandwich online from the Weaverville Tops Market.
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2007 Chamberlain was an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, CA.