In Christmases past I've made everything from turkey to lasagna, roast beast with Yorkshire pudding to crown roast of lamb. This year I'm throwing the classics and all good taste to the wind. We are having a White Trash Christmas Dinner.
Oh. I know what you're thinking, "That's nasty."
Well, yes, it is. It's also fun. And easy. And yummy, too.
There is such an assortment of foods to work with for one thing. As a main course I debated fried chicken, meat loaf, chili mac, franks and beans, baked spaghetti, all kinds of casseroles and even chicken 'n' dumplings. But the best and my favorite, is ShakenBake pork chops, so that's the winner. Side dishes abound and you can't get away from casseroles here. We will have The Green Bean Casserole. Add to that tater tots, candied carrots and baked beans and you've got a feast of good old American cooking.
And for dessert? I flirted with the idea of what is called "Ambrosia" in these parts but was called "Watergate Salad" where I grew up. This is tinned fruit salad and mandarin oranges combined with Cool Whip, nuts, tiny marshmallows and Jello powder. I can't make myself do it. So we're having box brownies with ice cream and Cool Whip.
Arguably White Trash-ish is making your own Irish cream. It's cheaper, easy and more potent to make your own. Traditionalists make it a month ahead of time and let it "cure". This has led to multiple batches being made over the holiday season in my house. It's too good. Once you have the first taste it just sits in the refrigerator calling your name. So I'll be making it tonight and hopefully it will make it to next Friday, when I'm sure a second batch will have to be made.
Here's a recipe:
750ml (3 cups) Irish whiskey
8 oz. dark chocolate chips
28 oz. sweetened, condensed milk
24 oz. evaporated milk
20 oz. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. dry instant coffee
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Melt the chocolate chips in a heavy pot. Turn off the heat, then stir in the coffee, vanilla and milks. Stir until totally blended. Let cool. Stir in Irish whiskey and heavy cream. Refrigerate. Shake or stir well before serving.