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How about a trim Christmas dinner?

Sit down to a cool, crips shrimp and celery root salad with beef and roasted vegetables ready to serve. Well ahead, you can prepare the salad, the vegetables, the barley and brown rice pilaf, and the zingy grapefruit dessert.

ELEGANTLY TRIM CHRISTMAS DINNER

Shrimp and Celery Root Salad Roasted Fennel, Tomatoes, and Mushrooms Barley and Brown Rice Pilaf (page 184) Dry Sauvignon Blanc Black Bean Beef Fillet Sugar Snap Peas Winter Grapefruit Tart Cabernet Sauvignon

Shrimp and Celery Root Salad

1 to 1 1/4 pounds celery root 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1/2 pound shelled cooked tiny shrimp 3 to 4 cups watercress sprigs, rinsed and crisped Dressing (recipe follows)

Scrub and peel celery root and finely shred it into a bowl of water. Bring vinegar and about 2 quarts water to a boil. Drain celery root and add to boiling water; cook about 1 minute (to stop darkening caused by air). Drain; rinse with cold water and drain well. If made ahead, wrap air-tight and chill up until next day.

Arrange 1/6 celery root, shrimp, and watercress on 6 salad plates. Moisten evenly with dressing. Serves 6.

Per serving: 90 cal.; 10 g protein; 1.2 g fat (0.2 g sat.); 11 g carbo.; 168 mg sodium; 74 mg chol.

Dressing. Mix 1/4 cup rice vinegar with 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla) or soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies.

Black Bean Beef Fillet

About 1 3/4 pound narrow end section beef tenderloin, fat trimmed 2 tablespoon salted, fermented black beans, sorted of debris and rinsed 1 clove garlic 1 tablespoon Oriental sesame oil 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

Fold narrow end of beef under to make meat evenly thick. Tie snugly every 1 1/2 inches with cotton string.

Mash beans with garlic until smooth (use food processor or mortar and pestle); mix with oil and ginger. Smear over beef; if made ahead, cover and chill up until next day.

Place meat on a rack in a 9- by 13-inch pan. Roast at 450[degrees] until a thermometer in center registers 125[degrees] for rare, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes, then slice, discarding string. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 189 cal.; 21 g protein; 11 g fat (3.5 g sat.); 0.5 g carbo.; 190 mg sodium; 61 mg chol.

Roasted Fennel, Tomatoes,

and Mushrooms

4 heads (about 2 lb. total untrimmed) fennel 6 medium-size (about 1 lb. total) Roma-type tomatoes 12 large (2 1/2- to 3-in.-wide caps, about 1 lb.) mushrooms About 2 teaspoons olive oil 1/4 cup regular-strength chicken broth Salt and pepper

Rinse and drain fennel, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Trim discolored bases, bruises, and stems from fennel. Cut fennel heads in half vertically. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise.

Lightly oil a 10- by 15-inch rimmed pan. Lay fennel cut side down and tomatoes cut side up in pan. Rub fennel tops lightly with oil. Bake in a 450[degrees] oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim stems of mushrooms flush with caps. Rub tops of mushrooms very lightly with oil. After fennel has cooked 10 minutes, set mushrooms, stems down, close together in pan with fennel. (If pieces won't sit flat, put extras in another pan, 8 to 9 in. square.)

Bake until fennel turns dark brown on bottom sides and mushrooms are browned, about 25 minutes longer. Turn both over with a spatula. Continue cooking until fennel is tender when piereced, tomatoes are tinged with brown, and mushrooms are browned, about 10 minutes longer.

Remove cooked vegetables from the oven and add broth to the hot pan, tilting to moisten brown drippings. Serve vegetables hot, warm, or at room temperature. If made ahead, let stand up to 4 hours and reheat in a 450[degrees] oven for 5 to 8 minutes; add 3 tablespoons water to the hot pan after removing it from oven. Transfer vegetables with a spatula to a platter; use the spatula to scrape browned drippings into pan liquid, then drizzle liquid over vegetables. Serve with salt and pepper to add to taste. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 65 cal.; 3.6 g protein; 2.1 g fat (0.3 g sat.); 9.7 g carbo.; 120 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Winter Grapefruit Tart

1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup powdered sugar 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, in chunks Fruit topping (recipe follows)

In a food processor or with your fingers, whirl or rub together flour, sugar, and butter until the mixture holds together. Pat compactly in a 9-inch cake pan with removable rim. Bake in a 300[degrees] oven until tart turns a rich golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes.

While the pastry is warm, pour syrup from topping over it. If made ahead, cover and chill up until the next day. Arrange grapefruit segments from the topping neatly on pastry, and then scatter peel from topping over the fruit. Remove pan rim and put the tart on a platter; it can stand up to 3 hours. Cut into wedges. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 320 cal.; 3 g protein; 12 g fat (7.2 g sat.); 48 g carbo.; 119 mg sodium; 31 mg chol.

Fruit topping. With a vegetable peeler, cut yellow part only from 1 large (1 lb.) grapefruit. Ream jice from fruit; set aside. Cut peel into very thin slivers. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan, cover peel with water; bring to a boil. Drain off water; repeat step.

Add to peel 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 cup water. Boil, uncovered, on high heat, watching closely, until liquid is almost gone and syrup forms big, shiny bubbles, about 10 minutes. At once, add reserved juice; set aside.

Using a sharp knife, cut peel and white membrane from 2 more large (2 lb. total) grapefruit and discard. Into a strainer set over a bowl, cut segments free from internal membrane. Squeeze juice from membrane into bowl; discard membrane.

Combine juice and 1/4 cup orange-flavor liquer with peel mixture in pan. Boil, uncovered, over high heat, stirring until reduced to 1/2 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Pour syrup through a strainer; use syrup warm, or reheat if made ahead. Spread peel out on a plate. Cover and chill fruit and peel separately up until next day.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Holiday Entertaining special section; menu and recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Nov 1, 1991
Words:1075
Previous Article:Basic guidelines for the holiday bird or roast.
Next Article:Hearty holiday cookies.
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