Christmas goes classic
Celebrate the festive season in style
give your table old-world glamour with glowing candlelight, metallic accents and iconic Christmas greenery such as holly and snowdusted fir trees. Then serve up pork belly and roast lamb, instead of the usual ham and turkey, for a tasty twist on more traditional fare.
Preparation time 10 mins plus 6 hours freezing Cooking time nil
½ x 125g punnet blueberries ½ x 125g punnet raspberries ½ mango, finely diced
750ml bottle champagne, chilled Edible flowers, to garnish
STEP 1 Divide blueberries, raspberries and mango between 2 ice-cube trays. Top up with water until full, then freeze for 6 hours or overnight. STEP 2 When ready to serve, divide cognac among glasses, then put 3 fruit cubes in each glass and top up with champagne. Serve immediately, garnished with edible flowers.
MINI BEEF WELLINGTONS
Preparation time 15 mins Cooking time 35 mins Serves 8
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 380g 3cm thick-cut beef porterhouse steak, fat trimmed, cut into two 3cmthick, 16cm-long pieces Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground
black pepper, to season
25g butter, chopped
200g cup mushrooms, trimmed,
very finely diced
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
60g baby spinach leaves
2 Tbsp dried breadcrumbs 2 sheets frozen ready rolled
puff pastry, partially thawed 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten 2 tsp sesame seeds Flat-leaf parsley leaves, to garnish Dijonnaise, to serve
STEP 1 Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over steak to lightly coat, then season. Heat a large frying pan over high heat and cook steak for 4 minutes, turning every minute, until browned all over. Set aside on a plate to rest until room temperature.
STEP 2 Meanwhile, heat butter and remaining oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add mushrooms and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 6 minutes, or until tender and liquid has evaporated. Add spinach and stir until wilted. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside to cool, then stir in breadcrumbs.
STEP 3 Preheat oven to 220°C fanforced (240°C conventional). Line an oven tray with baking paper. Divide mushroom and spinach mixture in half, and spread down the centre of each pastry sheet, the same thickness as steak, then top with steak.
STEP 4 Brush exposed pastry with egg, roll pastry up over filling to completely cover and enclose, then trim off excess pastry. Transfer to prepared tray, seam side down. Gather in side edges of each, and press to seal.
STEP 5 Brush pastry with a little egg, scatter with sesame seeds and bake for 25 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden. Rest for 5 minutes, then slice. Serve immediately garnished with parsley, with dijonnaise on the side.
GARLIC, LIME AND HONEY CHICKEN WITH SRIRACHA MAYONNAISE
Preparation time 15 mins plus 30 mins marinating Cooking time 8 mins Makes 16
2 cloves garlic, finely grated Finely grated zest of ½ lime 2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground
black pepper, to season 1 skinless chicken breast,
cut into 1cm cubes
1 cup Kewpie mayonnaise
¼ cup Sriracha chilli sauce ½ mango, flesh finely diced Finely sliced red chilli, to garnish Micro herbs, to garnish
STEP 1 Put garlic, lime zest, juice, honey and oil in a large bowl and mix to combine. Season and add chicken, toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.
STEP 2 Preheat a chargrill pan over medium heat. Thread chicken pieces onto 16 small bamboo skewers. Cook chicken for 8 minutes, turning until charred all over and cooked through.
STEP 3 Meanwhile, roughly swirl mayonnaise and chilli sauce together in a small bowl. Transfer to a zip-lock bag, snip tip and pipe mixture among 16 shot glasses.
STEP 4 Spoon mango on top, then place a skewer into each glass. Garnish with chilli and micro herbs. Serve.
CRANBERRY AND HERB ROAST LAMB WITH MULLED WINE GRAVY
Preparation time 20 mins plus overnight marinating Cooking time 2 hours 15 mins Serves 8
125ml red wine
3 Tbsp cranberry jelly
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, finely grated 16 sprigs thyme
4 x 450g lamb shoulder mini roasts Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground
black pepper, to season Garlic mashed potato, to serve Green beans, to serve Watercress, to serve
MULLED WINE GRAVY
125ml red wine
2 tsp brown sugar 1 cinnamon stick
2 Tbsp cranberry jelly 250ml beef stock 2 Tbsp plain flour 50g butter, melted
STEP 1 Combine wine, jelly, vinegar, mustard and garlic in a large zip-lock bag. Arrange thyme on top of lamb down the centre and secure with kitchen twine. Add lamb to bag, massage to coat in marinade, and refrigerate for 2 hours or ideally overnight to marinate. STEP 2 Preheat oven to 140°C fanforced (160°C conventional). Line a roasting pan with baking paper. Arrange lamb in a single layer in pan and pour over marinade. Season. Cover tightly with foil. Roast for 2 hours, or until very tender. Remove foil, increase oven to 220°C fan-forced (240°C conventional). Return lamb to oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top, basting with pan juices halfway through cooking. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes. STEP 3 Meanwhile, make gravy. Pour wine into a small saucepan. Stir in sugar, cinnamon and jelly, then add 1 cup of pan juices. Bring to the boil and reduce by half. Add stock and simmer for a further 3 minutes. Mix flour and butter in a small bowl until a paste forms, then add to sauce and whisk until sauce is thick and smooth. STEP 4 Thickly slice lamb and serve on a bed of garlic mash with beans, watercress and mulled wine gravy.
To make garlic mashed potatoes, boil 2kg peeled potatoes until tender. Mash until almost smooth. Meanwhile, put 50g butter and 2 crushed cloves garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until butter turns light golden and is fragrant. Add 300ml thickened cream and bring to a simmer, then add to potatoes, mashing until smooth. Season. Serve.
PORK BELLY WITH BLACK PEPPER CHERRY CARAMEL
Preparation time 20 mins plus overnight drying time Cooking time 1 hour 55 mins Serves 8
1.25kg boneless pork belly 2 cloves garlic 2 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 tsp ground Chinese five spice 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil,
plus extra 1 Tbsp
2 leeks, trimmed, cut into
2 carrots, peeled, sliced
into 2cm-thick rounds
2 tsp fine salt
2 tsp sea-salt flakes Steamed baby corn,
sliced into rounds Coriander leaves and micro
herbs, to garnish
BLACK PEPPER CHERRY CARAMEL
¾ cup caster sugar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
STEP 1 Use a sharp knife or Stanley knife to score pork rind, in parallel lines, without cutting all the way through into the meat.
STEP 2 Put pork belly, rind side up, on a wire rack in the kitchen sink and pour over a kettle full of boiling water.
STEP 3 Pat pork rind dry with paper towel and put on a plastic tray, uncovered in the refrigerator, overnight or for 6 hours.
STEP 4 Preheat oven to 250°C fanforced (270°C conventional). Put garlic, fennel seeds, five spice and oil in a small bowl to combine. Rub all over the pork meat (but not on the rind).
STEP 5 Arrange leeks and carrots in a large roasting pan, cut sides facing up. Sit pork belly on top,
rind side up, covering vegetables. Rub scored rind with extra oil, then rub in salts. Roast for 40 minutes.
STEP 6 Reduce oven to 160°C fanforced (180°C conventional). Roast for a further 1 hour. Increase oven to 230°C fan-forced (250°C conventional) and roast for a final 15 minutes, or until pork is cooked when tested and rind is well blistered. Set aside for 15 minutes before carving into 8 pieces.
STEP 7 Meanwhile, to make black pepper cherry caramel, combine sugar, water and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, then cook, stirring occasionally, until caramel in colour. Stir in cherries and pepper, and remove from heat.
STEP 8 Spoon a little of the black pepper cherry caramel onto 8 small plates. Arrange leek, carrot, corn and pork on top. Garnish with coriander and micro herbs. Serve with remaining caramel sauce on the side to add as desired.
DARK CHOCOLATE AND COFFEE TART WITH FRUIT CAKE ICE-CREAM
Preparation time 25 mins plus 6 hours freezing Cooking time 35 mins Serves 8
Melted butter, to grease, plus extra
125g butter, chopped, chilled ¾ cup plain flour, plus extra 1 Tbsp ¾ cup self-raising flour
2 Tbsp icing sugar mixture
2 Tbsp iced water 1 Tbsp instant coffee granules 1 Tbsp hot water
395g can condensed milk 1 free-range egg
100g dark chocolate melts, melted Cocoa powder, to dust
8 Ferrero Rocher chocolates, halved 160ml coffee-flavoured liqueur,
FRUIT CAKE ICE-CREAM 1L vanilla ice-cream
1 cup fruit cake, crumbed 2 Tbsp brandy
STEP 1 To make Fruit cake ice-cream, put ice-cream in a large bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to soften slightly. Beat with a wooden spoon until almost smooth, then stir in cake and brandy until well combined. Return ice-cream to ice-cream container. Freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
STEP 2 Preheat oven to 200°C fan-forced (220°C conventional). Grease a 25cm (base measurement) loose-bottomed flan tin with butter. Put flours, icing sugar mixture and extra butter in a food processor and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
STEP 3 Add iced water and process again until mixture comes together to form a soft dough.
STEP 4 Roll out pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until large enough to line the base and sides of prepared tin. Trim edges. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, reduce oven to 180°C fan-forced (220°C conventional). STEP 5 Combine coffee with hot water in a large bowl until dissolved. Whisk in condensed milk and egg, followed by melted chocolate and extra plain flour and whisk again until combined. Pour into pastry case and bake for 25 minutes. The filling will puff up, but will deflate on cooling. Set aside to cool to room temperature. STEP 6 Slice tart into 8 wedges and arrange each on a serving plate. Dust with cocoa. Top with Ferrero Rocher halves, and a scoop of fruit cake ice-cream on the side. Serve a shot glass of liqueur on the side to pour over tart, or sip on it while enjoying your dessert. Serve immediately.
RASPBERRY, PISTACHIO AND LEMON FRIANDS
Preparation time 10 mins Cooking time 15 mins Makes 36
Cooking oil spray, to grease Plain flour, to dust, plus extra 1/2 cup 150g almond meal
11/2 cups icing sugar mixture,
sifted, plus extra to dust Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 150g unsalted butter, melted 5 free-range egg whites 36 frozen raspberries
2 Tbsp finely chopped pistachios
STEP 1 Preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced (200°C conventional). Grease 36 holes of two 24-hole 40mlcapacity mini muffin pans with oil spray, then dust lightly with flour.
STEP 2 Combine almond meal, icing sugar mixture, zest and extra flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Stir in butter.
STEP 3 Put whites in a large bowl, whisk until foamy. Gently fold through almond meal mixture in 3 batches until smooth.
STEP 4 Divide batter among prepared pan holes. Put a frozen raspberry in centre of each. Sprinkle with pistachios. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Set aside in tin for 5 minutes to cool, then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust with extra icing sugar. Serve.
Mini beef wellingtons
Garlic, lime and honey chicken
Cranberry and herb roast lamb
Dark chocolate and coffee tart