I wanted to blog the menu we organised as it was no fuss and very tasty – a good one to remember for entertaining. Links to recipes are included. I had some fun and wrote it up on our kitchen blackboard. Cass and I enjoy having Christmas at our place as we both like to cook and it means no driving on the day. As we only had 13 of us and for dinner, we decided to cook dinner rather than do roasted meats, seafood, salads and desserts. This turned out to be great, Cass and I did most of the cooking Christmas Eve and spent most of Christmas Day relaxing. Having a dinner also meant we didn’t eat a lot during the day and were hungry for dinner when the time came.
It suited the hot weather we have too as we planned meals best for a hot day. The menu was as follows:
Cheeses and jellied ham with home-made sour dough bread.
Jellied ham recipe from Delicious: http://www.delicious.com.au/recipes/jellied-ham/e87c735a-ef45-4ca8-acad-cbacafd28a5b
Ajo blano (white gazpacho).
The recipe Cass used is from the Moro cook book, but this Taste one is similar: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/28503/ajo+blanco
Polenta crusted mulloway with chive puy lentils in acqua pazza.
Any firm, white fish can be used. The polenta crust is done in the same way that you crumb fish – flour + salt and pepper, eggs (+ dash of milk optional), crumbs – but in this case polenta. Then shallow fry the fish in oil.
For the vegetarians, 1 cm thick discs of eggplant (2-3 per person) were cooked in the same manner as the fish above.
Cook the puy lentils. Mix through butter (be generous), salt and pepper, finely chopped chives and microplaned garlic.
Acqua pazza: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/fish-acqua-pazza (at home, we add a bit more chilli and use home-made chicken or veg stock instead of water)
Lavender yoghurt pannacotta with cold preserved nectarines. Served with a nectarine bellini.
Lavendar yoghurt pannacotta from Crichton’s Co-op: https://crichtonscoop.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/pannacotta-del-luna-lavender-yoghurt-panna-cotta/
To save going to the shops on Christmas Eve to get fresh berries, I served with some home-grown nectarines we had preserved in a light sugar syrup, put into plastic containers, and frozen. The defrosted nectarine quarters worked nicely with the lavender flavour of the pannacotta. Cass also had the idea to add about a shot of the leftover nectarine syrup into champagne flutes and top with Cava to make a nectarine bellini.