My Belgian dinner coincided (purposely, of course) with my Christmas Eve dinner. This was Michaela's first Christmas so I wanted to have it at home, with close friends and family. I wanted to make a traditional Belgian Christmas menu, but not exclude other stereotypical Belgian dishes.
So my dinner menu ended up being a combination of both. I made traditional Belgian dishes such as carbonnade, endives and Brussels sprouts and Christmasy dishes such as speculoos and potato croquettes. I decided against making moules frites, a Belgian specialty, because only a couple of my guests like mussels and definitely skipped the roast turkey, the centerpiece of any traditional Belgian Christmas table, because I'm not particularly fond of turkey. I would have liked to serve Belgian cheese and Ardennes ham, but I wasn't able to find any at any of the stores I went to.
All in all my dinner was a great success.
My final menu consisted of:
- French bread with Boursin cheese
- Carbonnade a la Flamande
A delicious Flemish Beer Stew. Followed by:
- Lemon sorbet, to clean the palate, and then:
- Marcassin Des Flandres
Loin of Pork Braised in Red Wine, accompanied by:
- Aardappel Kroketjes
Traditional Christmas Fried Potato Croquettes
- Endives au Gratin
The most traditional of Belgian vegetables
- Choux De Bruxelles A La Flamande
Brussels Sprouts, Flemish Style
For dessert, we had the traditional Bouche de Noelle, or Christmas log. I originally planned to make it myself, but finally decided it was too much work (given everything else I was cooking) and bought it already made. It was good, though I'm sure a homemade one would have been better.
I also made speculoos, spice cookies that are traditionally eaten in Belgium during the Christmas season. I dropped them, so I didn't get to serve them, but I ate them nonetheless.
Beer, rather than wine, is the most popular alcoholic drink in Belgium. I found it to be pretty good.
Belgian Food Links
Recipes of Belgium Recipe Hound Ethnic Cuisine: Belgium Sally's Place Belgian Recipe Page Belgian Cuisine Wuzzle