Ideas for Christmas dinner

Barbequed Chicken

4 (100g) skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 (2cm) piece fresh ginger root, minced
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp white wine
4 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander

1. Preheat barbecue on high heat, and lightly oil cooking grate.

2. Rub chicken breast fillets with salt and pepper. Cook on hot barbecue for 10 to 15 minutes on each side, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

3. Remove from heat, set aside, and keep warm.

4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and sauté garlic for about 1 minute. Add ginger and mangoes and cook 3 to 4 minutes until mangoes are tender.

5. Add the cider vinegar and white wine.

6. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Stir in coriander, and remove from heat. Spoon frying pan mixture over the barbecued chicken to serve.
Rosemary and Basil Turkey

3/4 cup olive oil
1 head garlic, peeled and crushed
good handful chopped fresh rosemary
handful chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp Italian herb seasoning
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 whole turkey
1 Tbsp of plain flour
mushroom and herb stuffing if desired

1. Combine the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian herb seasoning, black pepper and salt. Set aside.

2. Wash the turkey, inside and out and pat dry. Remove any excess fat deposits. Loosen the skin from the breast. This is done by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Work it loose to the end of the drumstick being careful not to tear the skin.

3. Using your hand, spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin and down the thigh and leg. Rub the remainder of the rosemary mixture over the outside of the breast. Use cocktail sticks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat. Insert stuffing if desired.

4. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting tin. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Roast according to the weight of your turkey. Roast in a preheated 180° C oven. When finished, a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh should read 82° C and the juices should run clear when pierced with a fork.

Note:- The stuffing below goes very nicely with this turkey. Stuff both the inside cavity and the neck cavity before cooking. The stuffing can also be cooked separately and served as a side dish.
Mushroom & herb Stuffing
500g fresh mushrooms, sliced
100g butter
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1.25kg dried breadcrumbs
350ml hot chicken stock
2 eggs, beaten
4 apples – cored, peeled and diced
½ cup chopped fresh parsley

1. If you are cooking the stuffing, butter a 23x33cm baking dish and preheat oven to 190°C

2. Rinse, pat dry and quarter mushrooms. In large frying pan, heat the butter and add mushrooms, onion and celery; sauté 5 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in the mixed herbs, salt and pepper.

3. In large mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs with stock and eggs, then add mushroom mixture, apples and parsley – mix well. You can use the mixture to stuff the bird at this point or transfer the mixture to the baking dish.

4. Cover and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake 15 minutes longer to brown the top.
Stuffed Crown Roast of Pork

60g butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple – peeled, cored and chopped
60g (1 cup) fresh breadcrumbs
500g minced pork
250g pork sausage, casings removed and minced
handful chopped fresh parsley
½ tsp dried sage
1½ tsp salt
1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 pork crown roast – about 4kg

1. Preheat oven to 180°C

2. To make stuffing: Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When foam subsides, add onion and fry, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in celery and apples; cook (without browning) about 5 minutes longer. Scrape frying pan contents into a large mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs, minced pork, sausage meat, parsley, sage, salt and pepper. Mix together gently but thoroughly.

4. Fill the centre of the crown with the stuffing, mounding it slightly. Cover it with a round of aluminium foil and wrap the ends of the chop bones in strips of foil to prevent them from charring and snapping off.

5. Place the crown on a rack in a shallow roasting pan just large enough to hold it comfortably, and roast in the centre of the oven, undisturbed, for about 3 hours or until internal temperature of meat is 80° C. (Note: 30 minutes before pork is done, remove the foil from the top of the stuffing to allow the top to brown.)

6. Carefully transfer the crown to a large, heated circular platter. Let the crown rest for about 10 minutes, remove all foil, and then carve.

To carve a crown roast:
Insert a large fork in the side of the crown to steady it and with a large, sharp knife, cut down through each rib to detach the chops. Two chops per person is a customary portion accompanied by a generous serving of the stuffing
Roast Pork Stuffed with Prunes

2 pork fillets (about 175 g each)
1 large orange
50g sliced prunes
3 cm ginger, grated finely
6 lean bacon rashers
400 g new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 5 mm thick slices
2 leeks, trimmed and thickly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
2 red apples
2 cups (500 ml) dry alcoholic cider
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put the pork fillets on a chopping board and cut each in half lengthways, without cutting all the way through. Open the fillets like a book and press down to flatten slightly.

2. Finely grate the zest from the orange and set aside. Using a small, serrated knife, cut away all the white pith from the orange, then slice down between the membranes to remove the orange segments. Arrange the orange segments over the cut surface of one fillet. Top with the sliced prunes and ginger, sprinkle with the orange zest, then season to taste.

3. Place the second fillet, cut-side down, on top and gently press the fillets together. Wrap the bacon rashers around the pork and secure in place with kitchen string. Set aside.

4. Spread the potatoes over the base of a large roasting tin, then scatter over the leeks and carrots. Core and thickly slice the apples, then add to the tin. Place the pork-fillet package on top and pour in the cider. Roast for 1 hour or until the potatoes and carrots are tender and clear juices come out of the pork when it is pierced with the tip of a knife. Lift out the pork and vegetables, cover with foil and leave to rest and keep warm for 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, put the roasting tin on the stove and boil the cooking liquid over a high heat until it is reduced to about 2/3 cup (170 ml). Add the parsley and season to taste. Slice the pork and serve with the vegetables and the cooking juices spooned over the top.
Glazed Apricot Ham

8-9kg cooked leg of ham
2 heaped Tbsp (40g) of brown sugar
10-12 whole cloves
250g apricot jam
3 Tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau

1. Preheat oven to 180° C.

2. Remove skin from ham by cutting through the skin at the knuckle end of the ham, and loosening the skin at the broad end of the ham and pulling it gently away with fingertips. There will still be some fat left on the surface. Score the surface in diamonds or your own fancy pattern.

3. Rub ham well with brown sugar and stud with cloves in each diamond, or however it works with the pattern you’ve made. Cook in a large baking tray for 30 Minutes.

4. While it is cooking, melt the apricot jam and the Grand Marnier together over a low heat in a small pot. Remove ham from the oven after 30 Minutes and brush with this glaze.

5. Replace in tray and continue to cook for another 1½ hours
Spiced Leg Ham with Mango, Avocado and Chilli Salsa

1 large ripe mango, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
1 large avocado, halved, stone removed, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
1 fresh red birdseye chilli, halved lengthways, deseeded, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper
5kg (about 1/2) leg of ham, thinly sliced

1. Place the mango, avocado, chilli, coriander, onion, lime juice and oil in a medium glass or ceramic bowl. Gently toss until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl or glass.

2. Arrange the ham on a serving platter and serve immediately with the salsa.

Notes- You can make this recipe to the end of step 1 up to 1 hour ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Continue from step 2 just before serving the main. The mango, avocado & chilli salsa is also great with cold roast
Broccoli with Lemon Almond Butter

1 head fresh broccoli, cut into florets
60g butter, melted
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
30g slivered or flaked almonds

1. Steam or boil broccoli until tender, approximately 4 to 8 minutes. Drain.

2. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, rind and almonds. Toss with hot broccoli, and serve.
Spicy Seven Layer Salad

280g small shell pasta
4 carrots, peeled and cut into fine match sticks
1/2 head lettuce, rinsed, dried and chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
150g fresh or frozen peas
90g corn kernels, fresh or tinned
2 cups mayonnaise
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 clove garlic, crushed
125g grated cheddar cheese

1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Cool.

2. Place the carrots in an even layer in the bottom of a large glass bowl, preferably one that is roughly the same diameter from top to bottom. Cover carrots with a layer of lettuce. Combine the cucumber, peas and sweetcorn and spread in a layer over the lettuce. Cover with cold pasta.

3. In a small bowl stir together the mayonnaise, brown sugar, curry powder and garlic. Spread this carefully over the pasta. Top with grated cheese and then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Summer Berry Trifle

1 x 85g pkt quick-set strawberry & raspberry jelly crystals
14 bought jam rollettes, cut into 1cm-thick slices
80ml (1/3 cup) apple juice or sweet sherry
2 x 250g punnets strawberries, washed, hulled, halved
2 x 150g punnets blueberries
500ml (2 cups) vanilla custard
250ml (1 cup) thickened cream, whipped

1. Prepare the jelly following packet directions. Pour into a large container and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until set. Coarsely chop.

2. Place half the rollettes in the base of a 3L (12-cup) capacity serving bowl. Drizzle half the apple juice or sherry over the rollettes. Top with half the jelly and one-third of the combined strawberries and blueberries. Spoon over half the custard. Repeat with the remaining rollettes, apple juice or sherry, jelly and half the remaining strawberries and blueberries. Top with the remaining custard.

3. Spoon the cream over the trifle and top with the remaining strawberries and blueberries. Place in the fridge until required
Chocolate Log

melted butter, to grease
30g dark cooking chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 eggs
155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
2 Tbsp warm water
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
40g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
1 Tbsp plain flour
40g (1/3 cup) hazelnut meal
5 tsp caster sugar, extra
1 x 250g carton mascarpone
125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream
2 Tbsp Frangelico liqueur
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways, seeds removed
White chocolate leaves, to decorate (see notes)

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 25 x 30cm (base measurement) Swiss roll pan with melted butter to grease. Line the base and 2 short sides with non-stick baking paper to reach about 7cm above the edge of the 2 short sides.

2. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Stir occasionally with a metal spoon until the chocolate melts and is smooth.

3. Use an electric beater to beat the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl for 10 minutes or until pale and creamy.

4. Stir the water and bicarbonate of soda into melted chocolate. Sift the combined flour over the egg mixture. Fold in the hazelnut meal and chocolate mixture with a metal spoon until well combined. Pour into the lined pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until firm and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

5. Meanwhile, place a 50 x 30cm sheet of non-stick baking paper on a flat surface. Sprinkle with 4 teaspoons of extra sugar. Use the overhanging paper to carefully turn the cake onto the sugar on the paper. Remove the top sheet of paper from the cake. Trim the crisp edges of the cake. Starting with the long side closest to you, and using the paper as a guide, roll up the cake. Wrap in baking paper. Place, seam-side down, on a tray and set aside for 1 hour to cool completely.

6. Beat the mascarpone, cream, Frangelico and vanilla seeds until firm peaks form. Carefully unroll the cake. Spread with mascarpone mixture. Roll up. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Cover with baking paper. Place in an airtight container in fridge for 1 hour to chill. Top with white chocolate leaves to serve.

Notes:- How to make chocolate leaves: Use a small paintbrush to brush melted white choc melts over the undersides of washed, dried organic rose leaves. Place, chocolate-side up, on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper in fridge until set. Repeat to add a second chocolate layer. Once set, test one by peeling off the leaf – if the chocolate breaks, add a third layer of chocolate to all the leaves. Carefully peel off leaves and discard. Dust lightly with cocoa powder, then brush off excess. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use to decorate Buche de Noel. Time plan tip: Make this recipe up to 1 day ahead. Store in the fridge. Allow one hour cooling and one hour chilling time.

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