Hosts with the most: Top chefs dish up their tips and recipes for host­ing a stress-free Christ­mas

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - News - de­li­ For more great fes­tive recipes.


“If you make your own jam do it way ahead and store it in the fridge.”


1 x 8kg-9kg whole smoked leg ham 200g soft-set pineap­ple jam with lime, vanilla and star anise (see recipe op­po­site)

100g soft light brown sugar

2 tbs Di­jon mus­tard

Whole cloves, for gar­nish Us­ing a sharp knife, cut around the shank of the ham, about 10cm from the end. Run the knife around rind and un­der­neath the skin, then re­move it in one piece by run­ning your fingers be­tween the rind and the fat. Trim ex­cess fat on the sur­face of ham if it’s too thick, but ensure you leave a layer of fat to pro­tect the meat dur­ing glaz­ing.

Care­fully score fat in an even di­a­mond pat­tern, about 2mm deep. Stud the cen­tres of each di­a­mond with a clove. Place ham on a large bak­ing tray lined with bak­ing pa­per.

Pre­heat the oven to 180°C and re­move all oven shelves ex­cept the low­est shelf. Put the jam, sugar and mus­tard in a bowl and stir to com­bine well. Brush half the glaze onto the ham, in the oven and bake for 35 min­utes. Re­move from the oven and brush the re­main­ing glaze onto the ham, then bake for a fur­ther 15 min­utes. Baste the ham with the pan juices and melted glaze and cook for a fur­ther 15 min­utes. Re­peat this step twice more for a fur­ther 30 min­utes’ total cook­ing time. Re­move the ham from the oven.

Let the ham rest and cool in the tray for 30 min­utes, then trans­fer to a serv­ing board. Just be­fore serv­ing, brush some of the pan juices onto the ham to give it a lovely sheen.

Grip the shank of the ham like a han­dle and use a long, thin, very sharp knife to carve. Start by cut­ting a wedge of meat half­way into the ham and re­serve, then cut thin slices to ex­pand the cav­ity, en­sur­ing each slice has some of the glaze.

PER SERVE • 72G PRO­TEIN • 4G SAT FAT • 33G CARB • 28G SUG­ARS • 6395MG SODIUM • 570 CAL (2380KJ)


“This recipe makes dou­ble the quan­tity of jam you need for the ham – it won’t go to waste, though. It can be stored in the pantry for up to three months. Re­frig­er­ate it af­ter open­ing for up to a month.”

Makes 8 x 275g jars

1.5kg pineap­ple flesh (from about

1½ pineap­ples)

35g pectin (avail­able from Wool­worths) 1.5kg caster sugar

2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped Finely grated zest and juice of 4 limes 16 star anise

Whiz the pineap­ple flesh in a food pro­ces­sor until coarsely chopped. Mix the pectin with the sugar and place in a large heavy-based saucepan with the pineap­ple and vanilla seeds. Bring to the boil over medium heat, stir­ring con­stantly with a spat­ula to ensure it does not catch on the base of the pan. Re­duce heat to medium-low and cook the jam for 40 min­utes or until it reaches 103°C on a dig­i­tal ther­mome­ter. Be care­ful – the jam tends to spit and splat­ter as the tem­per­a­ture in­creases.

Once the jam reaches 103°C , re­move the pan from the heat and add the lime zest and juice. Stir well and leave to cool a lit­tle. Put two star anise into each of eight 275g ster­ilised jars, then la­dle or pour the jam into the jars. Store in the pantry for up to 3 months. Re­frig­er­ate af­ter open­ing and use within a month.


“This kitsch salad has made many come­backs. I’ve added lime, chilli and co­rian­der so it’s not a tra­di­tional ver­sion of a prawn cock­tail. Serve it as part of a shared ta­ble of dishes or plated in­di­vid­u­ally. Mar­i­nate the prawns a day ahead to save time on the day and prep the other salad in­gre­di­ents apart from the av­o­cado.”

Serves 8

24 un­cooked king prawns, heads removed, peeled and de­veined cup (80ml) olive oil

2 red bird’s eye chillies, chopped with seeds (op­tional)

2 gar­lic cloves, crushed Finely grated zest of 1 lime

1 bunch co­rian­der, leaves and stalks finely chopped sep­a­rately

250g cherry toma­toes, halved

2 baby cos let­tuce, leaves removed, torn into large pieces 1 av­o­cado, peeled and sliced 3 spring onions, thinly sliced on

the di­ag­o­nal

Cock­tail sauce

3 egg yolks

1 tbs le­mon juice

1 cup (250ml) light olive oil

2 tbs tomato sauce

2 tsp Worces­ter­shire sauce

2 tsp sriracha sauce or hot chilli sauce 1 tsp grated fresh horse­rad­ish or store­bought horse­rad­ish cream

½ tsp cayenne pep­per (op­tional)

1 tbs brandy

Put the prawns in a bowl with 2 tbs oil, the chilli, gar­lic, half the lime zest, chopped co­rian­der stalks and 2 tsp salt flakes. Mix well and leave to mar­i­nate for at least 4 hours or overnight to re­ally get all those flavours in there.

Mean­while, for the cock­tail sauce, com­bine the egg yolks, le­mon juice, 2 tbs warm wa­ter and a pinch of salt in a tall, nar­row mea­sur­ing jug and process well us­ing a hand-held blender.

While con­tin­u­ing to blend, add 1 tbs oil to the jug and process until it emul­si­fies, then add the re­main­ing oil in a thin, steady stream. Con­tinue to blend in an up and down mo­tion until you have an emul­si­fied may­on­naise. Add the re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents and blend well. Sea­son. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Pre­heat the oven to 150°C. Line a small bak­ing tray with bak­ing pa­per and place toma­toes cut-side up on tray. Driz­zle with re­main­ing 2 tbs olive oil and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Place in the oven for 10-15 min­utes to soften, then re­move and set aside at room tem­per­a­ture.

Heat a bar­be­cue hot­plate or pre­heat a grill to high. Grill the prawns for

2-3 min­utes, then turn and cook for a fur­ther 2-3 min­utes until slightly charred but barely cooked through. Slight char­ring and a just-cooked prawn is great – over­cook­ing, not so great. Trans­fer the prawns to a plate.

Ar­range the let­tuce leaves on a serv­ing plat­ter. Top with the sliced av­o­cado, toma­toes, co­rian­der leaves and prawns. Sprin­kle with the re­main­ing lime zest and sliced spring onion and serve with the cock­tail sauce.



“Mar­i­nate the pork early on Christ­mas Eve. Rub off the mari­nade early on Christ­mas Day, then leave the pork to dry out for a few hours, giv­ing more chance for that crack­ling to shine.”


1 tbs fen­nel seeds, toasted and ground 3 gar­lic cloves, crushed

2 tbs chopped fresh sage

1 tbs chopped fresh thyme

100ml olive oil

1 x 3kg pork rack

Ap­ple sauce, to serve Com­bine the fen­nel seeds, gar­lic, sage, thyme and oil in a bowl.

Us­ing a sharp knife, make 4mm-deep score lines in the pork skin, about 3mm apart. Rub the fen­nel seed mix­ture all over the pork. Trans­fer the pork to a dish and sea­son all over with salt and pep­per. Wrap the dish re­ally well with plas­tic wrap and re­frig­er­ate overnight.

Pre­heat the oven to 190°C. Line a roast­ing tin with bak­ing pa­per. Re­move the pork from the fridge and use pa­per towel to wipe off mari­nade and pat the pork dry, en­sur­ing you dry well be­tween the score lines. Leave for 1 hour to bring to room tem­per­a­ture.

Lib­er­ally rub 2 tbs salt flakes into the skin and scored grooves, then place the pork, skin-side down, in the pre­pared tin. Roast for 1¼-1½ hours until the in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture of the pork reaches 55°C on a dig­i­tal ther­mome­ter.

Re­move the pork from the oven and turn the rack skin-side up. Turn the grill on high and re­turn the pork to the oven, on the mid­dle rack, with the oven door open. Cook for 5-8 min­utes until the skin is crisp. Re­move from oven and rest for 15 min­utes, then serve with the ap­ple sauce. PER SERVE • 67G PRO­TEIN • 22G SAT FAT • 1G CARB • 0.5G SUG­ARS • 2420MG SODIUM • 820 CAL (3435KJ)


“Prep the tur­key the day be­fore, cover it and re­frig­er­ate it overnight. Re­move it from the fridge 30 min­utes be­fore cook­ing.“


1 x 1.5kg tur­key breast fil­let

16 fresh sage leaves

12 large, thin, round slices mild pancetta 125ml light olive oil

4 shal­lots, thinly sliced

150ml dry white wine

185ml chicken stock

¼ le­mon

60g un­salted but­ter, chilled and diced

Trim the tur­key breast and cut it into 12 even pieces. Cover each with plas­tic wrap and pound with a meat mal­let or rolling pin until about 8mm thick. Sea­son with pep­per only and place a sage leaf on top of each (re­main­ing 4 leaves are for the sauce). Wrap a slice of pancetta around each piece of tur­key, hold­ing the sage in place.

Pre­heat the oven to 160°C. Line a bak­ing tray with bak­ing pa­per. Heat 2 tbs oil in a fry­ing pan over medium-high heat. Place 4 pieces of tur­key in the pan sage-side down. Cook for 4 min­utes, then turn and cook for a fur­ther 4 min­utes. Trans­fer to the tray. Re­peat with re­main­ing tur­key pieces, 4 at a time. Place the tur­key in the oven and turn the oven off.

For the sauce, heat re­main­ing oil in the pan over low heat. Add shal­lot, a few grinds of pep­per and a pinch of salt and sauté for 5 min­utes. In­crease heat to medium and deglaze pan with wine, scrap­ing up any bits stuck on the base. Cook until the wine has re­duced by half, then add the stock and again re­duce by half. Squeeze in a few drops of le­mon and add re­main­ing sage. Bring to the boil, then whisk in the but­ter a cube at a time until smooth and shiny.

Serve tur­key with the sauce and a slaw. PER SERVE • 62G PRO­TEIN • 12G SAT FAT • 1G CARB • 0.5G SUG­ARS • 1290MG SODIUM • 625 CAL (2625KJ)

@dar­ren­purch­ese @Dar­ren­Purch­ese

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