Christmas Dinner 2010
Back to a traditional Sourville family Christmas this year, goose and all.
A bit of a retreat I suppose, but at least we didn't argue so much over the Christmas dvd's this year.
The 12lb goose turned out particularly succulent, cooked foil-wrapped, breast down at Gas 4 for 6 hours,
though we didn't turn it over to crisp up the skin.
Which we could have.
I made Quince and Hazelnut stuffing this year,
following the recipe
I used in my latest chumpkin,
with a bit less hazelnut (a scant cup of whole hazelnuts) more finely minced,
1 onion and
6 slices white bread crusts removed.
Though not too bad, I don't think I'd make it again, the hazelnuts make the stuffing just too grainy.
I'd be happy to work more with quince though. It's a nice cross between tart apple and pear.
Port Poached pears with Stilton and walnuts
- 4 ripe pears
- 1 x 75cl bottle good-quality port
- 2 x 18cm/6 inch cinnamon sticks
- 2 cloves
- 100ml/3½fl oz clear honey
- 100g/3½oz Stilton
- scant 100g/3½oz toasted walnuts or pecans
Peel the pears and transfer them to a deep saucepan, just large enough to take them all snugly.
Cover the pears with the port and add the spices and the honey.
Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and leave the pears to poach over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes until they are tender.
Remove the pears from the liquid and, when cool enough to handle,
cut them in half lengthways with a sharp knife and hollow out the cores using a teaspoon or a melon baller.
Slice a little off the rounded side of each pear half so they sit flat.
Return the pan of spiced port to the heat
and leave to boil rapidly until there is only four tablespoons left. Set this aside.
Preheat the grill to high.
In a food processor, blend together the Stilton and the nuts.
Spoon some of the mixture into each of the pear halves and place them onto a baking tray.
Cook the pears under the grill for five minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Place one pear half onto each plate and spoon over a little of the port and spice sauce.
www.eggnogrecipe.net used to be a comprehensive source of eggnog recipes, till it died :(
I chose this recipe 'cos we were in a bit of a hurry and this looked like the quickest,
even compared with the site's Easy Eggnog
I made a quarter of the published recipe,
and measured out the volumes in Imperial fluid ounces (worth 28.4ml - 20 per Imperial pint/10 per Imperial cup)
since those were the marks on the jug I used.
However, since I assumed the recipe's cup sizes to be U.S. (worth 236.6ml) as opposed to Imperial (worth 284ml)
I figured assuming the U.S. proportions of 8 fluid ounces per cup (16 per pint) would give me approximately the right quantities,
even though Imperial fluid ounces (28.4ml) are slightly smaller than U.S fluid ounces (29.57ml).
Oh, and I didn't have bourbon, so I just used brandy.
Here are the quantities I used:
- 3 eggs, separated
- 12 fl oz milk
- 4 fl oz double cream
- 5.5 fl oz brandy
- 3 fl oz sugar
- 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
It made enough for a couple of glasses for two of us.
- 12 eggs, separated
- 6 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy/ thickened cream
- 2 cups bourbon
- 1+ 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup brandy
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
In a large bowl and using a mixer ,
beat the egg yolks together with the sugar for approx 10 minutes
(you want the mixture to be firm and the colour of butter).
Very slowly, add in the bourbon and brandy - just a little at a time.
When bourbon and brandy have been added, allow the mixture to cool in the fridge
(for up to 6 hours, depending on how long before your party you're making the eggnog).
30 minutes before your guests arrive, stir the milk into the chilled yolk mixture.
Stir in 1+ 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, beat the cream with a mixer on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks.
In yet another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
Gently fold the cream into the egg mixture.
After ladling into cups, garnish with the remainder of the ground nutmeg.
Red Onion Marmalade
pickle sauce veg
You really need a large stock or jam pan for this - I only had a pan just large enough to hold all the ingredients,
which meant the reduction times were about double those advertised.
Fills about 4 jam jars
- 2kg red onions or regular onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 140g butter
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 140g golden caster sugar
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
- 75cl bottle red wine
- 350ml sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 200ml port
Halve and thinly slice the onions, then thinly slice the garlic.
Melt the butter with the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a high heat.
Tip in the onions and garlic and give them a good stir so they are glossed with butter.
Sprinkle over the sugar, thyme leaves, chilli flakes if using and some salt and pepper.
Give everything another really good stir and reduce the heat slightly. Cook uncovered for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The onions are ready when all their juices have evaporated, they're really soft and sticky and smell of sugar caramelising.
They should be so soft that they break when pressed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Slow cooking is the secret of really soft and sticky onions, so don't rush this part.
Pour in the wine, vinegar and port and simmer everything, still uncovered, over a high heat for 25-30 minutes,
stirring every so often until the onions are a deep mahogany colour and the liquid has reduced by about two-thirds.
It's done when drawing a spoon across the bottom of the pan clears a path that fills rapidly with syrupy juice.
Leave the onions to cool in the pan, then scoop into sterilised jars and seal.
Can be eaten straight away, but keeps in the fridge for up to 3 months.
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