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Old 11-01-2011, 05:06 PM   #1
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Main dishes for the holidays that reheat well?

I know it's early to be thinking about my Christmas menu but I want to make something great and I have a few obstacles.... I have to travel to my future in-laws this year which is about a 2 hour drive. My fiance's parents and sister are all strict vegetarian but his grandparents and uncle are not. I want to make a delicious meat-containing main dish for the meat eaters. I told them I would handle the meat.... hoping that they would not try. My experience with their attempted meat dishes have not been very good. I could almost cry over what they did to last year's T-day turkey. Anyhow, what are some good suggestions of something delicous/impressive that I could make ahead and bring to them. I can use the oven to reheat but I know from previous holidays that there is very limited oven space so I know I can't hog the oven for hours to do a roast or whole bird. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 11-01-2011, 05:38 PM   #2
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Welcome to DC. A silly question, why not bring a dessert or side that all can enjoy? I assume that the grandparents and uncle have no issues eating a vegetarian Christmas meal since they have accepted the invitation. Holidays are stressful enough without taking issue with dishes one serves at a family dinner. If they made a turkey for T-giving last year, they obviously were trying to make you feel comfortable in their home. However, bringing food that is not something they would normally serve or eat might be taken as a slight in that you do not accept their choices to be vegetarians (for whatever reason). You are marrying into this family--are you sure you want to do this? Relationships with in-laws can be tricky--I would avoid introducing potential future conflict. A friend used to make a to-die-for veggie lasagne for Christmas at her vegetarian in-laws.

What is on the menu? Knowing that might help re: suggesting things that would go well with the other dishes on the table.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:39 AM   #3
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It sounds to me like you are, more or less, expected to bring the meat for the meat lovers in the group. If such is the case, have you considered simply(if finances allow) buying a spiral-cut ham or buying or smoking yourself, a turkey? These can be served at room temperature, and make it easy for the vegetarians to avoid the meat (whereas a casserole type dish may not be so obvious).
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:50 AM   #4
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Eggplant parmesan would be a good one. My SIL has gone and had tofurkey for Thanksgiving and the meat eaters enjoyed it.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:28 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. Yes, Claire, they do prefer when bring something for the meat eaters. It's easier for them to not worry about it and they know it's not exactly their specialty. And of course I'm happy to do it. And I know the meat eaters are certainly going to want meat so there needs to be meat option.

The spiral ham would probably work perfectly for this group. I like the idea of not having to prep anything when I arrive--thanks again for the suggestion!
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:09 PM   #6
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I know it isn't very traditional, but a cottage pie, or shepards pie holds up well for travel and reheats well. Also, having a seared off tenderloin ready to blast for 45min in an oven could be an option. . .I know you mentioned limited space/time, but a half sheet pan isn't too big, and a tenderloin not too long. You could have some seasoned crimini mushrooms, shallots, and potatoes(medium sized) all in there with the beef to cook at the same time. Just use the natural pan jus for the "sauce". Just bring a pack of fresh herbs to garnish.

Sorry for the crappy quality, but this was done with a smoked tenderloin, left over from a reception. Just re-heated and dressed up as mentioned above, but w/ crispy fried shallots.

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Old 11-06-2011, 04:24 PM   #7
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When I'm expected to travel with meat, I sometimes buy a turkey and have it smoked locally. My favorite local barbecue place will smoke it, and I find it comes out (does this make sense?) a fresher kind of smoked than one smoked many days or weeks ahead. And I, too, like tenderloin, rotisserie grilled medium rare. It can be sliced on-site and briefly heated without too much damage. And, just as in TAT's photo, it looks so good. I just left my deposit with my butcher for a whole tenderloin that he will trim, cut, double, and truss and have ready for me the day before Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:53 PM   #8
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If you can't get a locally smoked turkey, I've sent Greenberg smoked turkeys as gifts to folks for several years, after we got one as a gift. They were featured a couple years ago on Oprah's Favorite Things show, and are very good. No heating needed.

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