Want to really wow your holiday guests this year? Look no further than CB Events Planner, a full-service event-planning company guided by the combined creativity, experience and talent of Brazil natives Chef Leila Pires and Cecilia Baggio.
For the last five years, the pair has been working together to plan both large and small events throughout South Florida, whether they be intimate dinners with white-glove service, corporate gatherings, or grand wedding celebrations. By being involved from the initial planning stages to the very last details, they ensure that their guests will have memories that will last for years to come.
CB Events Planner has been delivering special menus created by Chef Pires for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. Centuries of immigration from Europe have had a big influence on Ceia de Natal (Christmas dinner in Brazil), mixing with tropical tastes and local customs to bring some delightful color to the table. Here, Pires shares her favorite holiday recipes: baked ham with tangerine glaze sauce and rabanada, which she says is a “must-have” on any Christmas dinner table in her home country.
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For the ham:
1 boneless ham (round)
2 cups natural strained tangerine juice
1 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tangerines to garnish
With a knife, carefully draw a shallow “diamond” shape on top of your ham. In a bowl, whisk honey and tangerine juice. Using a large spoon or pastry brush, smear the honey and tangerine mixture over the top of the ham. Place the cloves in the middle of the diamond figures. Place ham in the middle of a large pan, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 25 minutes at 360 F. Remove ham from the oven and transfer to a carving board or large platter. Slice and garnish with tangerines.
For the tangerine sauce:
8 tablespoons honey
8 tablespoons soy sauce
150 ml tangerine juice
2 small slices of ginger
2 tablespoons cold butter
Mix all the ingredients except the butter. Gently cook on low heat and stir. Reduce heat when ready and add the cold butter. Place in a small bowl and set close to the decorated ham.
For the Rabanada:
1 French baguette
1 cup sugar
1 can condensed milk
1 tablespoon amaretto (optional)
1½ cups whole milk
100 grams guava (optional)
Cut bread into 1-inch-thick slices. You should have 18 pieces. If you have more, adjust ingredients to compensate. Whisk together condensed milk, whole milk and amaretto. Coat the bread slices on both sides and leave in for 15 minutes. Remove slices, then coat both sides in the egg mixture.
Heat oil in a deep skillet until it reaches 330 F. Lift the bread from the egg mixture until it stops dripping, then pan-fry the pieces in the skillet on both sides until golden and crispy. Mix together sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. As the pieces are removed from the skillet, drain on paper towels, then dredge in the sugar mixture. Optional: Place melted guava on top of your delicious rabanada and enjoy!