Did y’all see the Christmas edition of Fêted that came out yesterday? I thought I would give you some more details about the food and how the hell we actually pulled it off (hint, it was just an assembly job).
Course 1. Lychee bellini
For this I took a can of lychees, drained them, and then wizzed them up till it was just liquid. Then I shoved it in the freezer for a few hours and when our guests arrived I pulled out the now hard lychees and used a fork to scrape a small amount into each glass. Then I poured champagne over the top and bam, there was our first course.
Course 2. Salmon on crostini
The crostini you can make a couple of days in advance (cut up some french bread, brush with butter and garlic and then bake at 180C for around 15min), then just buy smoked salmon and assemble with some mayonnaise. Of course because my Mum is amazing she made the mayonnaise from scratch, you can seriously taste the difference.
Course 3. Asparagus and hazelnut crackers
Now this one is all about presentation. A very simple asparagus with roast hazelnuts on top, however when you hide it all under half a Christmas cracker it becomes magical!
Course 4. Margarita Strawberries
Now this was without doubt my favorite course for a couple of reasons. First because it is a brilliant and yummy (and drunken) idea, and secondly because Mum and I found the recipe when I was showing her around Pinterest for the first time. So as well as being a course that I will use in pretty much every meal from now on, it will always remind me of Mum time.
This is the recipe we found: http://www.buzzfeed.com/emofly/how-to-make-strawberry-margarita-jello-shots Although of course by the time we came to make it I had lost the damn thing (after the amazing Pinterest tutorial I forgot to pin it!), so we just winged it with some gelatin sheets and a bucket of tequila.
Course 5. Zucchini raw salad
This is beyond easy but looks beautiful (and like you put in loads of effort). Just thinly slice zucchini (the parents had some fancy slicer thing to do all the hard work, even if I did almost take my fingers off), add finely chopped olives and sun dried tomatoes. Then we topped with capers, pomegranate seeds and crushed pine nuts (crushed so they trick you into thinking its parmesan). Throw it all together with a nice lemon dressing and there you have it. Extra points for a cute plate.
Course 6. Lime sorbet with chocolate mint
Don’t be worried about the sorbet, we made it far too late in the day so it didn’t exactly freeze in time. But if you throw lime and sugar together it is going to taste great regardless. No real recipe here, we just averaged about five that we found on Pinterest and it worked out fine. However big warning here, even though it sounds good don’t whatever you do add watermelon … it is the worst decision you will ever make.
The chocolate mint is something special that Mum grows, it smells like chocolate and tastes like mint. Don’t ask me how it works, it is just amazing.
Course 7. Asian style duck wraps
Now the ease of this one depends on having a kick-ass asian supermarket just down the road. When we arrived on Sunday morning they were just pulling the glistening ducks out of the roaster, and they were full of all the spices we know and love. So all we really had to do was cut up the duck, cucumber and spring onion and then get Dad to slave over the stove and cook the pancakes while us girls got ready. It was served with a little pot of plumb sauce.
Course 8. Rocket, pear and Panasonic salad
Yes you read that right. When we were first planning the Christmas dinner we may or may not have been drinking wine, and I may or may not have spelled parmesan so badly that my phone auto-corrected it to Panasonic. So to stay true to the menu we printed and laminated some TV Test Cards and used that as our serving boards. The salad itself was as simple as you see below, rocket, pear and parmesan with salt and pepper and a little olive oil of course.
Course 9. Pea soup with goats cheese cigar
The pea soup was made by slowly cooking onions and garlic and then adding peas, stock and a little lemon juice then blending (very similar to this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/peaandmintsoup_81285). Because we managed to find the very cute glass bottles, we decided to serve cream on the side with the instruction to ‘pour me’.
The cheese cigars were inspired by a recent trip my parents took to the Grove and it is all things good. You take a sheet of filo pastry, add a thin smear of goats cheese and chives then roll up and bake. I think you could make the same thing with whatever flavours you want really, and it add that extra bit of something to the plate.
Course 10. Ham and potato Christmas trees
We send Dad on a mission early in the day to go and buy about $10 worth of thinly sliced ham from the deli up the road. What he came back with was about $70 of thickly sliced ham. But at least he came back with ham? So with our DELICIOUS AND EXACTLY WHAT WE ASKED FOR* ham all we needed was something cool to put on the plate. Enter the potato Christmas trees, very clever idea really and so simple to. All you do is stick some rosemary through the new potatoes and bake: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/4667/christmas+tree+potatoes
*Can you tell that Dad edited this post?
Course 11. Fruity Christmas lights
By this time we thought everyone might need something light – see what I did there? Mum made a raspberry coulis by reducing a frozen raspberries with a little sugar. The balls were watermelon, rock melon and a cherry in the middle; the benefit of Christmas in the summer!
Course 12. Pirated mango mouse
Mango mouse is a Christmas staple in my family, it is light and fluffy and almost like you are eating nothing at all. The classes were my great grandmothers and since we were just making up a theme as we went along Pirates was perfect for dessert, particularly since each glass had a different drunked pirate on it. So of course we just had to make personalised pirate flags to go in each glass!
Course 13. Chocolate Christmas trees
After borrowing the exactly right sized star cutters from our next door neighbours we managed to craft these beautiful snow covered trees out of a thin chocolate sponge. It has also become tradition to make chocolate initials for everyone at the table, a very simple thing to do and everyone loves having something of their own.
Course 14. The extra special Santa surprise
I knew that by course number 14 some people would have been stuffed, not me of course because I had been in training for weeks. So I decided that the last course should be a takeaway if they wanted to. So as a bit of a labour of love I made about a hundred tiny ginger buttons which then went into an individual ribbon wrapped box for every guest.