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Published December 19th 2012
Christmas dinner made easy and simple
Are you fretting about hosting the Christmas dinner? Have you already dug a hole in your purse with all the Christmas shopping? Well, then this article might be of some help to you.
Hosting a perfect dinner isn't always about laying the table with the costliest of ingredients. It could be made wonderful and homely by wisely marrying items that complement each other to those that are cheaply available.
1. Pigs in a blanket
We get to choose the blanket here. And instead of the cosy pastry wraps, I choose bacon. Buy cocktail sausages from the supermarket. They make perfect finger foods because they are small and also are filled with meat. Buy half the amount of bacon to that of the sausages. Use a strip of bacon to wrap two sausages and a cocktail stick to hold it in place. Arrange them on a baking tray and sprinkle some brown sugar over it. Brown sugar compliments the salty bacon and also adds a good colour. Keep in the oven at medium temperature for about 30 minutes. Done!
2. Pineapple threesome
Pineapple has always been a mysterious fruit to me. While I love pineapple juice, I hate its meagre presence in Thai duck curry. Pineapple threesome is an unconventional starter and you will love it if you love the Hawaiian pizza. Buy a tin of pineapple chunks. Get some medium goats cheese and cut it into cubes to match the size of pineapple chunks. Pop them on to a cocktail stick and add a cherry on top of them all. For decoration purposes, you could stick the end of cocktail sticks on to a whole pineapple.
3. Pork roast with mushroom sauce
To hell with traditions! When everyone opts for a turkey roast, you go for the pork roast. Nothing can beat the taste of soft, moist slow roasted pork. And it is so easy to make. Set your oven to 220 degree Celsius. Rub pepper and salt on the meat. Make scores on the meat and hide bulbs of ginger and garlic in them for flavour. Leave it in the oven for 3 hours. You could leave in for longer if you need the meat to be softer. I the last one hour to go, add some sweet potatoes, leeks, onion to the tray. You could later use the well cooked sweet potatoes to make sweet potato mash or serve it along with the roast.
For mushroom sauce, finely chop chestnut mushrooms. Add a dollop of butter in the pan and when the butter is melted, add the finely chopped mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms until cooked and add a white wine enough to cover the mushrooms. Let the mushroom cook in the wine for a while. When most of the water content has disappeared, add cream (single white cream). Add salt and pepper to taste. Now here is a twist and this is completely optional. You could scoop over some fat filled stock from the pork tray and add to the mushroom sauce and this adds an amazing taste to the sauce. Allow the mixture to cook for sometime till you see fat clear up on the top. For a finer sauce, you could allow the mixture to cool and then give it a smoother texture with a food processor. Otherwise, give it a good stir and it's ready to serve.
If you have never made meringue before, this is not the time for it. Buy a packet of meringue and crumble it into relatively large pieces and add to a bowl. Add a tin of double cream and give a good mix. Chop some strawberries and add to it. Serve it immediately. This dish should not be allowed to stand as it can make the meringue go soggy and the dessert will lose all its crunchiness.
I do wish people would get it right! There has never been anything called Eton Mess. It has only ever been called ETON SMASH.
My family hails from Eton and several members have attended Eton College.
Eton SMASH is the only title for this delightful school dessert.
And .....Pork is a normal part of the Christmas meal - with the normal 'fight' for more crackling.
I do not understand why, when I subscribe to Adelaide Weekend Notes, there are links to British food which is a) seasonally irrelevant and b) reminds me of the 1970s with pineapple chunks, supermarket sausages and the radical touch of adding some of the pork juices to the mushroom sauce!
If this site has > Australian items then the title of the item should signal its provenance eg British Christmas dinner made ... then those of us on the other side of the world with know not to bother.