Some families prepare a large turkey or ham feast on Christmas Eve, but my family saves the big meal for Christmas Day, and indulges in a hot pot of soup of stew on a cool Christmas Eve. This Christmas Eve menu includes posole, and flavorful mexican stew of pork, hominy, and fresh veggie toppings. The menu is especially easy on the cook, as most of the items can be prepared ahead of time so that they, too, can enjoy a relaxing Christmas Eve.
Start the evening out by feeding your hungry crowd an appetizer of these delicious and crunchy baked tortilla chips. Using a pizza cutter to slice the corn tortillas into triangles seems to be the most efficient way of making the chips beautiful and uniform. You could make these chips early in the day, store in an airtight container, and serve that evening to save a little time.
Here is the accompaniment for your baked tortilla chips. It is a very eye-pleasing, low calorie salsa with bright red and yellow tomatoes and fresh green cilantro, which adds to the holiday theme. This salsa can easily be prepared up to two days in advance, and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.
Here is the main event. Posole, a mexican-style stew with pork and hominy, is hearty, satisfying and very eye-catching as it is usually topped with shredded green cabbage and bright red sliced radishes. Make a large pot of this delicious stew, and allow it to simmer (with the lid on) until you are ready to eat. Your family or guests can continue filling their bowls with warm stew until they are content.
This whole grain corn bread is a wonderful accompaniment for the main dish, the posole. For some reason, corn bread seems to go well with any soup or stew with a mexican flare. This recipe uses whole-wheat flour for increased fiber content. If you prefer your corn bread a little sweeter, include a small amount of warm honey on the table.
Christmas is a time when chocolatey, sugary sweets and desserts abound. This may cause panic for those who are really trying to watch their waistline. Instead of making a gooey, calorie-laden dessert, indulge in these naturally sweet baked pears, stuffed with wholesome dried fruits and nuts. Only a very small amount of sugar is used in the syrup, and the rest of the sweetness occurs naturally from the fruits and orange juice used in the dish.
Finish off the evening with a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Including a mini candy cane with each serving adds a hint of mint flavor and a lovely finishing touch to the meal (all the while adding only a few additional calories). The hot chocolate comes together very quickly, so it will not be a huge burden on the cook.