Sunday, December 25, 2005

ETC: Eat Till It Hurts

It's late on Christmas evening. Tryptophan is still sluggishly circulating through our brains, and the thought of eating more turkey is a bit overwhelming. But we will. Believe it or not, we'll probably snarf a "goodnight sandwich" before bed. And a "good-morning sandwich" for breakfast. And so on.

But what to do when sandwiches start to lose their appeal and you've still barely scraped the carcass of your holiday beast? That's where Christmas in a Pan comes in.

By popular demand (okay, only one person actually demanded it), I asked
Rusty for his recipe for his trademarked dish, Christmas in a Pan. Bear in mind that this is a man who eschews maps, instruction manuals, and cookbooks, so all directions are approximate. Rusty, however, assures me that not only is this the best way to use up Christmas dinner leftovers, it's also nigh idiot-proof.

So here it is, in Rusty's own words.
Christmas in a Pan
Serves: Fewer than you'd think, because people tend to gorge themselves on this dish

Christmas in a Pan is better than Christmas dinner because you don’t have to think -- or even use a knife -- while you eat. You just eat until it hurts.

When you make Christmas dinner, try and make sure you have extra dressing, mashed potatoes, corn, and gravy. How much? I have no idea. Basically, look at the pan you will use (it should be about 4-5 inches deep), and then figure how much leftover food you are going to need to fill it.

Take the pan and add the gravy, turkey, and corn. I heat this mixture gently over a burner so that it is easier to mix. As far as consistency goes, you're aiming for a sort of medium-thick slurry. This is the bottom layer of CiaP.

Turn off the heat at this point and add a layer of roughly an inch or so of dressing. Then an inch or two layer of mashed potatoes.

Cover the pan with tinfoil and pop it in the oven. It takes a while to bake all this at about 350 degrees F. You have to keep checking on it.

Once it’s hot all the way through, pull off the tinfoil and thoroughly butter the surface. Then butter it some more. We’re talking dangerous amounts of butter here, people. At this point you can pop it back in the oven for a final 20 minutes to crisp it up. (Leave the tinfoil off.) You can also add some French-fried onion chips for that extra bit of flavour. It’s up to you.

Speaking of flavour, cranberry sauce is pretty good with this. Even if you don't usually like cranberry sauce, the sweetness cuts through the savoriness.
There you go, folks. Speaking from experience, I warn you: STOP EATING BEFORE YOU FEEL FULL. If you start to feel full, then it's already too late. May God have mercy on your soul.


Anita said...

Ok, I don't celebrate Christmas, and now I'm bummin' cause that concoction sounds DELICIOUS. I'm printing it out for next Thanksgiving . . .

Claire said...

It sounds awesome, but I have one question...

What, pray tell, is dressing?

Alice said...

Dressing = stuffing.

And I'm so sad that I found this now, because I should have made extra food so that I could be eating this right now. Sad!

Tammy said...

Heh, Anita, we make it at Thanksgiving, too, but Rusty still insists on calling it Christmas in a Pan.

Oh, rats! Sorry about that, Alice. I hope this doesn't sound like gloating, but I just finished my first helping of Christmas in a Pan and it was so magnificent I almost forgot my own advice to stop eating before I feel full. It was with great reluctance that I put my fork down. Rusty on the other hand is chowing down on his second helping, despite the fact that he KNOWS he's going to regret it in half an hour.

Anonymous said...

Okay that freaked me out, because where I come from dressing is an oil and vinegar/lemon juice/stuff mixture you put on salad.

Stuffing = yum though.

Also I have been loving your blog all year. Please don't stop now that you have blogged about 50 books.

Anita said...

I, being new to this blog, would really like to second Esther's comment about continuing your blog even though you've achieved your goal. I love it here already!

May I be so brazen as to suggest a post topic?

I'd love to know which books of the fifty you thought was the very best.

Tammy said...

Funny you should suggest this, Anita. Because I'm addicted to making lists, I started one yesterday. It should go up in the next couple of days.

Anita said...

Oh, I can't wait! I love lists and can't wait to hear what you thought about everything you've read . . .