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Christmas Feasting

Our Christmas Tree surrounded by presents and there were just 6 of us! …Kris Kringle gone nuts!

Our Christmas celebration this year was a much simpler affair; no big bird (turkey), no ham and basically a not so meaty spread to suit my small party of six. Putting on my festive hat this year was quite difficult as I felt quite unmotivated to do anything but chill out. However, as Christmas day drew nearer, I couldn’t ignore the tug of my apron strings; that baking itch albeit a small one begged to be scratched. So instead of christmas cookies, shortbread and chocolate truffles, I made do with good ol’ fashion rum-soaked fruitcake. 

Fruitcake covered with fondant…

…and more wrapped in fancy gold paper

Fruitcake aside, what shall I feed my party of six? After toying with food ideas, I decided on a comforting Mediterranean inspired feast and thus plucked out various dishes from my new book purchase – Karen Martini’s ‘Feasting’ and made up the following menu (with a few tweaks i.e. the persian fairy floss and ice cream were just my garnish/accompaniment ideas)

Everything looks good on paper but I botched a few of the dishes due to lack of planning, not reading the ingredients carefully or just rushing to put everything on the table. In particular, I misread ham hocks and bought pork hocks instead so the terrine lacked that smoky flavour but aside from that, I wasn’t too keen on the texture of cold meat and gelatinized stock. The other item which should have been awesome was the spinach, zucchini and pea fritters flavoured with assorted spices; they were way too soft – in my last minute rush to get everything on the table, I winged it and added too much liquid to  the chickpea flour batter…so green omelette anyone? 🙂

The rest of the dishes were alright and the winners for me were the Ricotta and Ocean Trout Tart ( I used smoked salmon instead) and I really enjoyed the caperberries adorning the tart; they were less salty compared to ordinary capers and complemented the flavour of the smoked salmon, finely chopped red onions and creamy ricotta nestled within crispy flaky filo pastry brushed with melted butter. Yum! Interestingly enough, my other favourite dish was the filo (again!) pastry strudel filled with sour cherries and more ricotta served with E’s homemade peach ice cream! 🙂 In the end, I didn’t make the cherry compote nor could I source persian fairy floss in my area. It tasted great without either 🙂

I know I didn’t quite deliver the full menu but the cosy, casual and ever loving company of my sisters and of course J, my wonderful hubby and not to forget E and Y (you know who you are) plus all the laughs made Christmas day enjoyable anyhow and let me not start on the awesome presents!  So CHEERS!! Hope ya’ll have a Merry Christmas and  a Happy New Year.

 Ricotta Filo Tart with smoked salmon and caperberries

 Orzo/Risoni pasta (NOT RICE!) with Crayfish Tail

Roast Duck served with a piquant rhubarb and ginger relish (no photo of relish)

prawns to go with the ‘green’ fritters

Ricotta and Cherry Strudel

mmmmmm…….strudel

and last but not least the Christmas Stollen:December’s Daring Bakers challenge

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1 comment to Christmas Feasting

  • Mei Ying

    It was a great feast Sze. The food was great and the company even better. =) Thank you for having us and for putting in so much effort (not only for the food, but also the Xmas tree and deco). =)