Renowned TV personality and food expert Alton Brown is more than just a pretty face; he basically knows everything there is to know about food and the best way to cook it. So who better to turn to than him to see what will be on his Christmas table, how to roast a Christmas goose should you decide to go down that road, and how to avoid putting on weight during the holiday season? We caught up with Brown, whose new live tour, Eat Your Science, launches in Charleston in April, to see what words of wisdom he could dispense.
The Daily Meal: What dishes are traditionally on your family’s Christmas dinner table?
Alton Brown: We always have a roast of some kind — either standing rib roast or crown roast of lamb on Christmas Day. We also have the tradition of making and eating the aptly named "Christmas Soup" on Christmas Eve. The soup is a combination of Andouille sausage, red beans, potato, and kale cooked in a Dutch oven. We cook it before Christmas Eve mass and covered on the stove — it stays warm until we get home.
Do you do a "Christmas Brunch"?
No, but maybe I’ll make my chocolate bread pudding for breakfast this year.
What tips do you have for those looking to roast a goose instead of a turkey for Christmas?
Goose is a red-meat bird similar to duck. Perforate the skin of the bird before roasting by making several 1-inch cuts all over the skin and fat of the goose. This will ensure the goose’s skin crisps and that you don’t end up with oily meat. I prefer a hybrid steam-roast method for goose: Start in a hot oven, say 475 degrees, with about a cup of water in the roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes. Pour off any remaining water (most of it should have cooked off) and continue to roast to desired temperature.
What healthy eating tips do you have for those who are surrounded by delicious food all season long?
Portions, portions, portions. You can still have your favorite Christmas cookie, just not six of them. Fill up on winter vegetables (kale, collards, sweet potatoes, squash) whenever you can, so you’re less likely to overeat when treats are in front of you. Drinking lots of water or hot tea also helps keep me full in between meals.