Tag Archives: Christmas Cooking

Christmas – Jamon and Asparagus 'Wraps'

Gosh I love asparagus, which is just as well, because it’s crazily abundant at this time of year.

Most of our Australian crop comes from just outside Melbourne around the Gippsland town of Koo-Wee-Rup (which for my money takes the prize for the most splendid Oz town name) – an astonishing 97% of our entire crop in fact.

You’ve heard me bang on before about how imported out-of-season food is bad for your wallet, so make the most of this wonderful crop while you can – another month and it will be all gone. Continue reading Christmas – Jamon and Asparagus 'Wraps'

Christmas – Mark's Herbed Roasties

This is part of the $80 Family Favourites Christmas Lunch for 6 people.

Links to the full menu and prep guides will be published at the end of the week.

 

Over the last few years I have lost count of friends who have told me they feel nervous about cooking for me. This is a tremendous shame for many reasons: First of all, I would never, NEVER want my friends to feel nervous around me for any reason. Secondly, I cook so much and so frequently that I am pathetically grateful for a toasted cheese sandwich if it means I don’t have to do it myself. Thirdly, I’m not exactly a food snob – I haven’t reached that point where only the very best is good enough and if I ever do reach that point, I hope my friends bitch-slap me back to reality. Continue reading Christmas – Mark's Herbed Roasties

Christmas – Broccoli and Blue Cheese Gratin

This is part of the $80 Family Favourites Christmas Lunch for 6 people.

Links to the full menu and prep guides will be published at the end of the week.

 

A simple variation on broccoli in a cheese sauce, this makes Christmas entertaining memorable and just a bit special.

If you want to do as much as possible ahead of schedule, then make this the day before and store it, already cooked and in its serving dish, in the fridge, simply covered with a sheet of foil. From there, it’s a simple matter of heating it back up, covered, for 25 minutes in a hot oven. Continue reading Christmas – Broccoli and Blue Cheese Gratin

Christmas – Roast Pork with all the Trimmings

This meal is the main meal for the $80 Family Favourites Christmas Lunch for 6 people.

Links to the full menu and prep guides will be published at the end of the week.

 

Roast Pork is everyone’s favourite and many a family enjoys it at Christmas instead of turkey. You can buy both large and small cuts at this time of year and you are bound to find a joint of meat that suits your budget.

From slabs of budget-priced pork belly to fat standing rib roasts, the way you cook pork is much the same: turn the heat up for a half hour to get the crackling crisping up nicely, then turn the oven down to cook the meat slowly to tender perfection. Continue reading Christmas – Roast Pork with all the Trimmings

Christmas – Salmon Rillettes

This meal is the entrée for the $80 Family Favourites Christmas Lunch for 6 people.

Links to the full menu and prep guides will be published at the end of next week.

 

When we think of Christmas in this country, our thoughts are always intertwined with mid-summer eating. While we always give a roast bird some serious consideration because of traditions, the simple fact is that we have acclimatised to the realities of celebrating the occasion – Christmas in Australia is all about the seafood.

Which is all but impossible if you are on a budget. Continue reading Christmas – Salmon Rillettes

Christmas – Berry Clafoutis

This is the dessert for the $50 Christmas lunch for four.

Click here for the full menu plus step-by-step guides.

If you stick to traditional Christmas desserts, it’s likely you will spend a lot to get something worthy of a special occasion, so when thinking of a terrific but budget-priced dessert for this menu I went with something a lot less traditional.

Continue reading Christmas – Berry Clafoutis

Christmas – Lemony Green Beans

This is part of the $50 Christmas lunch for four.

Click here for the full menu plus step-by-step guides.

This proves that simple is best – green beans need nothing more than some lemon and olive oil to give it a lift, and next to the richness of the main course of duck, or the strong flavours of sweet potato and trout, this is a lighter side dish, a welcome contrast to your multi-layered Christmas meal. Continue reading Christmas – Lemony Green Beans

Christmas – Duck Salad

This is the main course in the $50 Christmas Lunch for Four.

Click here for the full menu plus step-by-step guides

I must begin this recipe with a very important disclaimer: To get in under $50, you MUST find a keenly-priced duck. Luckily, Aldi and Coles have 2.2kg frozen ducks for $12-$15 each right NOW. So go out and get one as quickly as you can, freeze it, and come back to this recipe later on. Continue reading Christmas – Duck Salad

Christmas – Sweet Potato Rosti with Trout and Horseradish Cream

This is the entrée for the $50 Christmas Lunch for Four.

Click here for full details of the menu plus step-by-step guides.

 

This lovely dish is a variation on blinis with salmon, making it kinder to your wallet and easier to make. Also it’s cheap, and don’t we love that.

You can make the rosti ahead of time, freeze them and then re-heat them just before you want them, making this perfect for entertaining. I’ve photographed them as individual portions but you could easily make one large rosti, cut it into wedges and serve it that way. Really, this is the ultimate in fuss-free food. Continue reading Christmas – Sweet Potato Rosti with Trout and Horseradish Cream

Countdown to Christmas – One week to go

There’s no point panicking now. Unless you are shopping for food, don’t go out. Tell your loved ones you’ll buy them something in the New Year sales. It’s a mad world out there.

Honestly, spare a thought for our hard working retail sector this week. It’s horrible. The simplest way you can help them is by going in knowing exactly what you will need to buy. And to do that, you’ll need a menu and a shopping list. This week, we focus purely on food shopping and a quick countdown and guide to cooking your meals.

Continue reading Countdown to Christmas – One week to go