The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - MICHELLE ROWE

Mag­gie Beer Pen­guin, $49.99 IF I had to choose who I’d most like to come call­ing at my place over Christ­mas, Mag­gie Beer would rate a very close sec­ond to Santa Claus. A fes­tive spread pre­pared by one of Aus­tralia’s best-loved cooks would bring as much joy as tear­ing the wrap­ping pa­per off a sparkling jew­ellery trin­ket. The Barossa Val­ley-based co-host of the tele­vi­sion se­ries The Cook and the Chef will surely be tied up with meal prepa­ra­tions for her own fam­ily this year, but all is not lost. This fes­tive vol­ume serves up a feast of easy-topre­pare hol­i­day dishes to sat­isfy even the most picky of din­ers. How about swap­ping those plates of prawns with Marie Rose sauce for Beer’s white gaz­pa­cho with blue swim­mer crab as an el­e­gant Christ­mas lunch starter? And at least one tur­key can breathe a lit­tle eas­ier now that roast goose with marmalade and cumquat stuff­ing ac­com­pa­nied by goose-fat pota­toes has rock­eted to the top of the menu plan (per­haps with a nice side of figs with bur­rata and mint). Eversen­si­ble Beer has all con­tin­gen­cies cov­ered, from nib­bles to com­ple­ment pre-Christ­mas drinks and a light Christ­mas Eve sup­per through to a New Year’s Eve din­ner for eight. And could left­overs get more glam­orous than a lob­ster salad with pota­toes, pre­served ar­ti­chokes and tar­ragon may­on­naise?

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