I’m not French Creole, but I think a French Creole Christmas menu can be elegantly served for a preemptive holiday season dinner.
A traditional French Creole Christmas dinner pays homage to classic French cuisine by including ingredients from southern Louisiana prepared with French flair. It is served with grace accompanied by the finest in libations. Early New Orleans was almost entirely Catholic and the Christmas Eve meal was served after midnight mass. It is called a Reveillon, which is a long dinner, and possibly a party, held on the evenings preceding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The name of this dinner is derived from the French word for awakening, because participation involves staying awake until midnight and beyond. Originally, a Reveillon menu may have been more like a breakfast with egg dishes, breads and puddings, but could also include turtle soup, oysters and grillades of veal. In current times the celebration involves cuisine not normally eaten such as lobster, foie gras, fine chocolate, and the best vintage wine can be found gracing modern Reveillon tables.
Starters are an important part of the dinner. In addition to the requisite nuts and light cocktails, traditional French cheese puffs, Gougeres, are a must. Seafood is prominent, as eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic tradition of refraining from the consumption of meat or milk products on the eve of specific holy days. So, I think Shrimp with Beurre Blanc Sauce is befitting. To accompany that, in Creole tradition I’m opting for rice, French Rice Pilaf. Finally, a lovely side dish is Mushrooms Bordelais. To keep the tradition of fine chocolates on the menu, I served chocolate truffles for desert and topped off the holiday celebration with homemade chocolat chaud. Made with melted chocolate, hot milk, and whipped cream, it certainly isn’t your average hot chocolate recipe.