Ok ok I know – my bad for not writing sooner but its been the usual manic time over the Festive period between shopping and cooking and wrapping and relatives and cooking and suffering from over-eating and making merry there hasn’t been much spare time but yes you are right I should have made time.
But enough – time to more forward – hoping you all had as good a Christmas as I did – I loved every moment of mine for many reasons, loads to be thankful this year so it was a really special time anyway even without the usual magic of Christmas and, of course, the good food:)
Only going to cover the actual Christmas day meal in this post and then I’ll write more this evening:)
Starters – Salmon Terrine Managed to pick up a full side of salmon for only £3 at Morrisons on the 24th. I wrapped this in foil with a knob of butter, a few dashes of lemon juice, a tablespoon of boiling water and sprinkle of dill. This parcel went into a hot oven for about 20 mins (I checked it at 15 but it was a thick piece and not done to my liking) and allowed to cool just enough to handle and flake into a bowl. While still hot I stirred in several large tablespoons of low-fat Asda cream cheese with garlic and herbs, some ready cooked prawns chopped into small pieces (at this stage I also considered chopping in some spring onion in but wasn’t sure about all the other guests liking it so I used them to decorate instead)
This mixture I then layered alternately with cooked asparagus in a bread tin mould which I’d already lined with smoked salmon ready for serving with a light salad and brown toast.
Main Course – Turkey Roast – “with all the trimmings”
Not going to dwell too much on this as there was no real rocket science to most of it so here’s the list of what we had and then I’ll expand on a couple of the items:
- Roast Turkey
- Baked Gammon – see below
- Sausages and Bacon
- Homemade Chestnut Stuffing – see below
- Roast potatoes and Roast Sweet Potatoes
- Various Mixed Vegtables (mainly steamed with no salt)
- Sprouts with Fried Bacon
- Homemade Bread Sauce and Gravy
Boiled this up in my slow cooker for about 3 hours in cider with a handful of cloves, peppercorns and a quartered onion before removing the skin/rind and smearing the fat with a mixture of clear honey and mustard and baking in a hot oven for about 35 mins to glaze over.
Chestnut Stuffing at the Top
Hardest part I find is peeling all the chestnuts to begin with, yes I know you can buy them ready cooked and peeled but buying them whole and raw from a market stall is about a tenth of the price (seriously – got loads more for less price) Chestnuts can be boiled or roasted/baked both styles give different flavours – baking tastes more nutty where-as boiled gives a more meaty type flavour – If I’m eating as a snack/saturday tea in front of the TV then I personally prefer to boil in heavily salted water and then eat while still hot with a knob of butter. But for cooking with I bake of in the oven – small slit *on the curved side* of the shell of each fresh chestnut and then onto a baking try in a medium oven for about 15 minutes until sizzling and cracking. Then there’s nothing else for it than to sit there for hours peeling them all (I did a large bag as I love the taste – brings back many happy childhood memories) Then just mix them (roughly chopped) in with bread crumbs, chopped onion, crushed garlic, mixed herbs and some pork sausage meat. Knead all this together with your hands (squidgy but the best way) then bake off in a hot oven for about 40 mins depending on how you have decided to present your stuffing – balls, block, candy bar etc – personally to accompany roasts I put mine in a pie mould and slice up:)
You cant have Christmas dinner without at least mentioning sprouts – I’m not a great fan (but will eat them) so I like to liven them up a bit with some bacon – boiled up the sprouts for a few minutes before draining and popping into a frying pan where I’d have some sliced up bacon frying in butter(ok so maybe I’m having a day off from healthy) to finish off:)
Of course Christmas dinner isn’t Christmas dinner without the pudding however the Wife’s families tradition is to have Christmas pudding on New Years so they don’t get over-stuffed on the day. deciding that this was a good idea so I needed an alternate which was light, fun and easy so settled on Baked Alaska with a home-made vanilla ice-cream, and of course Christmas crackers, Coffees and teas to follow.
Anyway, to anyone reading – I hope your Christmas was as happy as mine with plenty of good food and good cheer, here is to a second weekend of celebration over the new year and a fabulous 2012:)