Christmas Festive Fun, Experimenting, Canapes, Turkey Con Chilli, Adaptation on Nigel Slater’s Trifle and more..
So how was everyone’s Christmas? I hope you all had a great time and are still enjoying the time off before the New Year kicks in! Although I’ve felt more of a build up to Christmas than 2012 celebrations this year?
Anyway I hope your all nicely perched somewhere warm and cosy, enjoying the festivities or like me revelling in Brit dramas like Great Expectations, having many a mulled wine, still finishing off the turkey with new recipes and well instead of an apple a day its more like a chocolate biscuit a day.. will eventually make my teeth fall out.
It was a significant Christmas for me this year, being my first married year and well cooking dinner for 15 people.. is no mean feat, but we did it as a joint effort. Battling out in the kitchen, finding places to fit dishes, all amidst a replay of christmas tunes on the tv.
We set out our living room (to fit around my pole) tables to seat everyone, it was a bit cosy and tight but all joined in with the merriment, aswell as playing pictionary (well done mum for winning the grand mince-pie prize), scrabble, monopoly, Downton Abbey for 2 hours and secret santa. But that’s what Christmas is all about, being with your nearest and dearest and well it was great fun and a pleasure to feed everyone.
We had a few canapes to start, pig’s in blankets and this year fig’s in blankets, roasted red pepper and sun-dried tomato palmiers (Lorraine Pascale recipe) and truffle parsnip & parmesan on bruschetta. All I made from scratch! ( I love giving myself more work!)
Although I realised I’m not too fond of truffle oil, its quite a selective taste and I’m not sure my palette agrees with it! I added a small amount, that was all that was needed!
The palmier’s came out well, slightly soggy around the eges, but tasted great. Maybe I would add some goat’s or feta cheese in the mix next time.
This year we delved into having a large turkey from our butchers and in addition a pork loin, boned and ready to be stuffed with Thomasina Mier’s recipe of a chorizo and apple stuffing. With a chilli kick! At first the stuffing didnt look so great, but tasted even better later on once the flavours had time to fuse.
We had rolled balls of stuffing enveloped in crispy pancetta slices, I made brussel sprouts three ways, with chestnuts & orange sauce, plain with butter and finally with chopped smokey bacon.. The chestnuts and orange butter were a great combination and my favourite, I shredded the sprouts, which made them easier to cook and adds a bit of a twist to the normal sprouts!
All accompanied with maple glazed parsnips and carrots, crispy skinned, duck fat roasted potatoes, special gravy made from the turkey juices and I made a butternut squash puff pastry pie with thin slices of butternut, mascarpone cheese and sage for veggies, which baked in the oven for an 1 hour but cooked beautifully, because the squashes were in thin slices and the creamy cheese sauce melted into it..
The dessert for me was my highlight in making, prior to the day I had made orange cake and carrot cake, cut these up to make the base of my trifle (well Nigel Slater’s Trifle, just with my own twist) , topped with custard, lemon curd and whipped cream, with little colourful physalis (caped gooseberries) to decorate.
Everyone loved this, you can use different cakes in the trifle I chose these versions, however Nigel Slater used a mince meat version. It was creamy, heaven in a mouthful.
Plus a chocolate chestnut cream roulade, using chestnut puree mixed in with the cream filling, gently rolled and covered in chocolate fudge, made to look like a log! There were no second’s left!
The day after comes the leftovers! What to do? I decided to try brussel sprout bubble and squeak with leftover veggies and potatoes mashed together, add flour and seasoning plus an egg to bind then fry lightly till cooked.This was great for breakfast the next day!
The turkey (aswell as being made into copious amounts of turkey sandwiches) I decided to try Jamie Oliver’s Turkey Con Chilli, full of spicy heat, butter beans, carrots, leeks and onions, all stewed and baked together slowly for 2 hours, so it soaks up the flavour. Delicious! With brown rice or in a wrap the day after for lunch. It even tasted better the next day!
So we shall see what’s in store for New Years, I did fancy making a beef wellington.. in the mean time let me know what you cooked for christmas and new year’s? Anything exciting?
I shall speak to you all again next week when normality resumes in 2012!