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littlelegs

Christmas Fixin's 2019

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We do this every year don't we?! Well, we did last year at least, so I thought I'd start one for this year....

 

What's everyone making for Christmas Dinner?

 

This year, we're going for normal turkey and trimmings etc, but we've jazzed up the gravy a little (fully from scratch, fuck Bisto), using frozen bread sauce from last year to see how that tastes and my dad has a new penchant for smashing his roast potatoes half way through cooking, so we'll be doing that again. We're currently in discussion about what to do with the carrots.

 

I'm also going to attempt a gravadlax for Boxing Day following Nigella's recipe here: https://www.nigella.com/recipes/members/koukoutzakis-gravlax (it's not a community recipe as it says, it's actualy from one of her earlier Christmas TV specials).

 

We didn't get much of a Christmas last year as my dad got Norovirus halfway through the cooking, and then I was struck down half way through the eating.

 

So I am very excited to get my eating pants on and loaf all the way in.

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everybody will tell you they know how to make the best roast spuds (my mums were the best but never got near them whatever I've tried, hard to put rose tinted memories into actual real  ingredients though I guess) - best I've found after a lot of attempts is the food busker video below - these things have lovely crunchy armour plating and fluffy innards. as usual the par boil is key but his mix of oil, butter and duck fat gives that amazing crunch

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Gotters said:

everybody will tell you they know how to make the best roast spuds (my mums were the best but never got near them whatever I've tried, hard to put rose tinted memories into actual real  ingredients though I guess) - best I've found after a lot of attempts is the food busker video below - these things have lovely crunchy armour plating and fluffy innards. as usual the par boil is key but his mix of oil, butter and duck fat gives that amazing crunch

 

 

 

Yes! That's almost exactly how I make them, but normally I put them in hot duck fat. That fat mix sounds very interesting indeed...

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Going to my in-laws so don't think I'm doing much prep this year, although I'll help out once I'm there. I definitely be making some cranberry sauce to take over. It's another Nigella recipe: https://www.nigella.com/recipes/redder-than-red-cranberry-sauce , which reminds me I need to buy some more cherry brandy as I've used up the last bottle. Purely on cranberry sauce I think.

 

I usually make an apricot couronne for Boxing Day/evening nibbles too, so might do that again. http://paulhollywood.com/recipes/apricot-couronne/

 

Cranberry sauce and everything containing marzipan were always things I hated till I made my own and found they tasted a million times better. So it's either make it myself or go without and I don't like going without at Christmas!

 

 

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I've been considering making this recipe for quite a while.

 

There's some decent science behind it. I usually use the typical: boil, fluff, put in super hot oil, oven method which turns out roast potatoes better than I really need, but this recipe has intrigued me for a long time.

 

Also J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is a hero imo.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Gotters said:

everybody will tell you they know how to make the best roast spuds (my mums were the best but never got near them whatever I've tried, hard to put rose tinted memories into actual real  ingredients though I guess) - best I've found after a lot of attempts is the food busker video below - these things have lovely crunchy armour plating and fluffy innards. as usual the par boil is key but his mix of oil, butter and duck fat gives that amazing crunch

 

 

 

I've been using an oil mix since watching that video as well, but ducks are friends not food, so I use a bit of a different mix - Olive Oil, Butter or Margarine & Coconut Oil seems to give me something similar and I've been getting really crunchy outsides.

 

 

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We're having my parents and brother over for the first time this year. It's going to be something of a challenge to cook for seven, with only a convection combi microwave as an oven, but we'll manage. Lots of pre-cooking and heating up at the last moment I reckon.

 

I did a really good pulled pork a couple of years ago, which I'm planning to do again this year. Pigs in blankets, stuffing, apple sauce and good gravy.

 

Red cabbage with orange and prunes

Mashed sweet potato

Roast potatoes & parsnips

Sprouts & chestnuts

Carrots, haven't decided on how yet.

 

Mum's bringing the pudding and I'll probably have a tower of mince pies with plenty of cream to serve.

 

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I think the key with mixing butter and oil/fats for roasties is it gives you the lovely butter flavour but the oil raises the burning point, meaning the butter doesn't burn as it would on its own.

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On 28/11/2018 at 16:47, littlelegs said:

We're currently in discussion about what to do with the carrots.

The Tom  Kerridge recipe with star anise is incredible, make lots and lots.

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Maybe this is a thread hijack but anyway... 

 

I'll be hosting a soirée for our friends before Christmas. The actual Christmas Dinner on Christmas day I will help out with but it's very much my parents gig and I am just a roadie. 

 

But this soirée... People will arrive at different times. Maybe stay different amounts. We (me and my girlfriend) don't have the space in our house to seat the full Guestlist (10 including us) at once so I want to do a buffet. I want to keep topping up with nibbles, canapés etc. 

 

But I want it to feel Christmas dinnery! 

 

So pigs in blankets, obviously. Stuffing balls, yes. 

 

I'll probably still do turkey because most carnivores are quite happy to pick at meat. I'm thinking bread sauce as a dip, maybe Carrot and parsnip crisps. 

 

That kind of thing... Any ideas? 

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Make sure you have some veggie stuffing balls. As a veggie myself it's one of the things I miss most, because it just doesn't occur to me to eat it most of the time - it's so linked to stuffing a piece of meat. It genuinely is one of the things I look forward to at Christmas , because chances are I haven't eaten it for a whole year.  I'd be all over them, basically.

 

Roasted chestnuts would be good. I always try to do a few batches towards crimbo time.

 

Maybe try for a sprout show-stopper. There's got to be something cool you can do with them that would get folk's attention. I'd google pickling them or making a chutney from them perhaps - there's still time for that kind of thing (no idea if these things exist - just throwing out ideas). Some kind of sprout coleslaw could work too, I guess.

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For sprouts, I saw this on an episode of River Cottage once and have always wanted to give it a go:

 

Quote

1. Halve sprouts, which have been steamed for about 5 minutes, and place each half on top of a small slab of black pudding.
2. Secure the sprout and pudding with a small skewer or toothpick.
3. Coat each parcel in a batter of chestnut flour, freshly squeezed Clementine (mandarin) juice, and sparkling water, which makes the batter extra crispy.
4. Deep fry for approximately 45seconds, or until the batter is dark.

 

It's cheating, obviously, as anything served deep fried on black pudding has got to be delicious, but I admire the sheer audacity.

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10 hours ago, cowfields said:

Maybe this is a thread hijack but anyway... 

 

I'll be hosting a soirée for our friends before Christmas. The actual Christmas Dinner on Christmas day I will help out with but it's very much my parents gig and I am just a roadie. 

 

But this soirée... People will arrive at different times. Maybe stay different amounts. We (me and my girlfriend) don't have the space in our house to seat the full Guestlist (10 including us) at once so I want to do a buffet. I want to keep topping up with nibbles, canapés etc. 

 

But I want it to feel Christmas dinnery! 

 

So pigs in blankets, obviously. Stuffing balls, yes. 

 

I'll probably still do turkey because most carnivores are quite happy to pick at meat. I'm thinking bread sauce as a dip, maybe Carrot and parsnip crisps. 

 

That kind of thing... Any ideas? 

 

(Serve these however you want: on spoons, on sticks, on crackers, on bread, on biscuits, on lettuce cups, on platters

 

Beef carpaccio with horseradish

Smoked salmon, creme fraiche, dill, lemon on the side

Cheese, chutney

Prawn cocktail (old school)

Cocktail sausages glazed in something sweet

Blue cheese (i'd go for gorgonzola), pear, walnut

Baked camembert, white wine, garlic, thyme

Sausage rolls, apple chutney

Filo pastry parcels, spinach, feta

Fig, goats cheese, puff pastry

Brie, cranberry, bacon, filo/puff pastry

Vegetable crisps

Selection of nice bread

Brussel sprout salad (something like this: https://whatsgabycooking.com/shredded-brussels-sprouts-salad/)

Beetroot salad with pear and feta

Charcuterie board: salumi, prosciutto, iberico, finocchiona, capocollo, soppressata, chorizo, n'duja, pate

Pickles

Big plate of fruit that can go with cheese and ham

Aubergine 'caviar' dip: 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great ideas.

 

Next question - anyone want to come round and help make this? I'll pay you in leftovers, if there are any. My guests won't be allowed to mix with the help (that's you).

 

Frustratingly I have my work Christmas do the night before, so that cuts into prep time, but anyway. Thanks for the ideas. I'm super excited. 

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3 minutes ago, cowfields said:

Great ideas.

 

Next question - anyone want to come round and help make this? I'll pay you in leftovers, if there are any. My guests won't be allowed to mix with the help (that's you).

 

Frustratingly I have my work Christmas do the night before, so that cuts into prep time, but anyway. Thanks for the ideas. I'm super excited. 

 

I'll come.

 

My own post has made me hungry.

 

I usually go to my relatives for Christmas, but everyone is in random places this year. 

 

It's only me and my girlfriend this year and she hardly eats anything, even preparing a chicken and a few sides will be waaaaaaayyyyyyyyy too much food for us, but I kinda want to cook a massive spread of food.

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11 hours ago, cowfields said:

Maybe this is a thread hijack but anyway... 

 

I'll be hosting a soirée for our friends before Christmas. The actual Christmas Dinner on Christmas day I will help out with but it's very much my parents gig and I am just a roadie. 

 

But this soirée... People will arrive at different times. Maybe stay different amounts. We (me and my girlfriend) don't have the space in our house to seat the full Guestlist (10 including us) at once so I want to do a buffet. I want to keep topping up with nibbles, canapés etc. 

 

But I want it to feel Christmas dinnery! 

 

So pigs in blankets, obviously. Stuffing balls, yes. 

 

I'll probably still do turkey because most carnivores are quite happy to pick at meat. I'm thinking bread sauce as a dip, maybe Carrot and parsnip crisps. 

 

That kind of thing... Any ideas? 

 

The Serious Eats Yorkshire pudding recipe is amazing. You could make them in mini muffin tins and fill them as canapes.

 

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10 hours ago, stephen129 said:

 

(Serve these however you want: on spoons, on sticks, on crackers, on bread, on biscuits, on lettuce cups, on platters

 

Beef carpaccio with horseradish

Smoked salmon, creme fraiche, dill, lemon on the side

Cheese, chutney

Prawn cocktail (old school)

Cocktail sausages glazed in something sweet

Blue cheese (i'd go for gorgonzola), pear, walnut

Baked camembert, white wine, garlic, thyme

Sausage rolls, apple chutney

Filo pastry parcels, spinach, feta

Fig, goats cheese, puff pastry

Brie, cranberry, bacon, filo/puff pastry

Vegetable crisps

Selection of nice bread

Brussel sprout salad (something like this: https://whatsgabycooking.com/shredded-brussels-sprouts-salad/)

Beetroot salad with pear and feta

Charcuterie board: salumi, prosciutto, iberico, finocchiona, capocollo, soppressata, chorizo, n'duja, pate

Pickles

Big plate of fruit that can go with cheese and ham

Aubergine 'caviar' dip: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a fucking delicious spread! I want it all immediately. 

 

I like to coat cocktail sausages in honey and mustard. They’re really delicious. 

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Why on earth is it called Black Pudding. Oh you Brits :')

 

I've no idea yet what we will be eating for Christmas dinner, my mum's always the master chef but I'll definitely be helping her. Sadly today the entire family is going out for a Christmas goose but I am sick in bed and will miss it, been looking forward to it for weeks :(

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30 minutes ago, Illyria said:

Why on earth is it called Black Pudding. Oh you Brits :')

 

dresses it up a bit more than the rather literal blutwurst - I guess you know what you're getting in Germany but I like to think the black pudding gets people to try it, think its delicious, then just accept what it is afterwards.

 

I had a similar experience with 'dirty rice' recently, lovely but wouldn't have eaten it if I knew what made it dirty.

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13 minutes ago, Gotters said:

 

dresses it up a bit more than the rather literal blutwurst - I guess you know what you're getting in Germany but I like to think the black pudding gets people to try it, think its delicious, then just accept what it is afterwards.

 

I had a similar experience with 'dirty rice' recently, lovely but wouldn't have eaten it if I knew what made it dirty.

 

Sneaky! But then you have things like Spotted Dick which I imagine are a lot more edible than you make them sound. :D

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6 minutes ago, Illyria said:

 

Sneaky! But then you have things like Spotted Dick which I imagine are a lot more edible than you make them sound. :D

 

I think the problem there may be language altering or catching up after the dish was named way back when (as in a fluffy hand warmer being called a muff, but nobody now is going to M&S to ask for a nice warm muff to put their hands in).

 

 

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What are people thinking for starters?

 

normally we do one of the following:

 

soup

melon and ham

baked mini (ish) Camembert 

 

but this is the first time we’re hosting and having to juggle two kids and so are now considering a canapé starter instead and getting people to sit for the main meal and dessert with a cheese course afterwards.  

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3 hours ago, Oracle said:

Calories don't count at Christmas @stephen129 

 

Lol.

 

I'm not worried about the calories, it's just personally I don't like feeling painfully full, but each to their own.

 

Soups:

Beetroot and feta

Carrot and coriander, bit of orange

Spiced parsnip

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Likewise, but Xmas is one of the only times where a multi course dinner is any way justifiable. 

 

I think we’ll go with canapés instead as it will be easier to prepare. 

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Actually just thought of the perfect thing:

 

Prosciutto, grilled peaches/figs, mozzarella/buffalo mozzarella, reduced balsamic glaze or very high quality balsamic (very hard to find in the UK, you want one with a maximum of two ingredients, cooked grape must and wine vinegar, nothing else), extra virgin olive oil, toasted pine nuts, salad leaves

https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/roast-peach-parma-ham-salad/

 

Halloumi/Burrata, finely chopped chilli, honey

https://www.nigella.com/recipes/halloumi-with-chilli

 

Halloumi/Burrata, pistachio, candied orange/lemon zest

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On 29/11/2018 at 11:05, Gotters said:

I think the key with mixing butter and oil/fats for roasties is it gives you the lovely butter flavour but the oil raises the burning point, meaning the butter doesn't burn as it would on its own.

 

This is a common misconception according to Food Lab.

 

https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/09/does-mixing-oil-and-butter-really-alter-the-smoke-point.html

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I'm doing a Christmas dinner on Saturday for friends and I'm wondering what I can have prepared on the morning:

 

Ham can be boiled and left ready to be glazed in the oven for 30 mins

Brussels Sprouts blanched ready for frying

Par-boiled spuds ready for roasting

 

I'm going to roast some carrots and parnips too - should I par-boil these beforehand as well? 

 

Does that all sound okay? 

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