Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Christmas menus

Big family Christmas at our place this year. Lots of cooking! And on the menu is:

Dinner today(23rd):

Entrée: Shrimp rémoulade, using fresh Sydney tiger prawns, the rémoulade made with herbs from the garden, Saskia Beer's horseradish mix, Maille wholegrain mustard, and home-made mayonnaise made with our chooks' eggs.
Main course: Chicken in a basil, oregano and white wine sauce, with fresh home-made pasta, green vegs, and lots of salads. Cheeses, too, from a Stilton to a French goat cheese.
Dessert: Paris-Brest cake(beautiful choux pastry ring filled with butter cream and praline). One of David's specials.

Christmas Eve dinner:
Entrée(and appetisers): Chilled duck foie gras from south-west France, white anchovies, Hunter Valley cacciatore, all served with crackers and our own home-grown green olives.
Main: Barbecued meats with various marinades and sauces, home-made bread, lots of salads.
Dessert: Raspberry and strawberry charlotte, with whipped cream. Also David's creation.

Of course each day we'll also be having aperitifs--Tokay, muscat, kir, and/or cocktails, plus good wines to accompany everything(and we'll definitely be taking Deborah's suggestions from previous post!)For non-alcoholic drinks, there's also deliciously refreshing home-made elderflower pop.

Christmas Day lunch:
Will be a stupendous buffet, accompanied by cocktails, French champagne, and a selection of good wines from Australia and elsewhere!
Cold course: freshly-shucked oysters, home-cured side of salmon with beetroot and orange glaze, cream cheese and dill side, with rye bread or crackers, and our butcher's lovely ham, served with home-made mango salsa(mangoes from Stanthorpe in Queensland).
Hot course: Rare roast rump of beef sauce cassis et groseille(blackcurrant and redcurrant sauce), home-grown small potatoes sautéed in duck fat, home-grown steamed snow peas, selection of other green vegetables.
Salads: Mushroom, tomato and basil, mixed green salad, couscous and pomegranate salad.
Dessert: Buche de Noel frangourou-style(as below), and home-made Christmas cake featuring dried fruit soaked in armagnac. The first traditional French offering is made by me, the second traditional English offering by David, demonstrating the true entente cordiale in our family!
Super easy, super delicious frangourou Christmas Log cake
(requires no baking, can be made Christmas Eve).
This was my mother's invention, we had it every Christmas when we were kids, and I still make it every Christmas.
1 packet sponge finger biscuits
200 g unsalted butter, melted
1 or 2 eggs(depending on how much mixture you have)
half to 3/4 cup hot strong sweet coffee(a good instant coffee works fine)
Cooking chocolate, melted with a little cream.
Crush all the biscuits, add the hot sweet coffee, the melted butter, and mix well. Add the slightly beaten egg(or two). You need to obtain a good stiff mix that you can easily shape into a log. That's what you do then--shape it into a log, and then put it in fridge till it is set. Meanwhile melt the chocolate over a low heat with a little cream, stir till all melted and glossy. Spread over the cake, on the top and sides. Put in fridge to set overnight. You can also decorate the top with angelica leaves, almonds, sugar holly, whatever you feel like!
To everyone I wish a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, and every other seasonal festivity, and a happy New Year! A bientot!


  1. It sounds utterly delciious. My seasonal wishes are late - but no less strong for that. I hope that every bite was perfect and that your family time was very special.

  2. Thank you, Gillian--It sure was lovely! A Christmas to really remember! Everything was delicious, the weather was perfect, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed being together! Happy New Year!