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    Sunday, December 15, 2013

    Christmas Treats for the Yuletide Table

    Christmas Treats.
    Only 9 days till the big feast

    Here are two recipes that you may like to prepare for Christmas Day
    Or the day before...or the Day after

    First the Meringue Roulade
    This recipe came from Tony Astle from Antoines Restaurant in Parnell
    Thank you Tony for sharing this
    It is so easy and a real crowd pleaser
    My guests thought, I was ever so clever!

    5 large egg whites at room temperature
    340 gms white sugar
    1 tsp white vinegar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    30 gms cornflour

    Wet and line a sponge tin with baking paper
    Set oven 180c

    Beat egg whites to stiff peaks
    Add 340 gms white sugar quite quickly
    Beat full speed  for 2 minutes

    Add 1 tsp white vinegar and 1 tsp vanilla extract
    Straight  away, turn machine down and
    Fold in 30 gms corn flour 
    Combine well quickly be careful not to lose that air

    Pile into prepared tin
    Spread roughly
    Place in oven bake for 12 minutes only
    Remove and cool to room temp 
    Sprinkle plenty icing sugar on a sheet of baking paper
    Then invert meringue onto paper
    Spread with stiffly whipped cream leaving about 2 inch space at far end
    Roll as a sponge roll
    Serve in thick slices with some beautiful berries

    Christmas Bark is not a New Zealand tradition, but it doesn't take long for us to introduce new foods to our feast. This a lovely gift to take to a friend.
    So pretty and so so simple to make

    I saw this recipe on a Facebook Friends post.
    A link from the New York Times
    Submitted by a gentleman called Tom Faglon.

    Those Pomegranate Seeds are just like glistening jewels
    Set in Dark Chocolate with pieces of Crystalised Ginger
    Then finished off with a sprinkling of crunchy sea salt flakes

    The first time I made it, I ceased the chocolate.
    I forgot about adding cold and wet into hot chocolate
    So, when I made it yesterday I was more careful and cooled the chocolate
    a little and dried the seeds.
    Voila, it worked

    Nigella has a foolproof way of removing those seeds from the Pomegranate
    Cut it in half
    Over a large bowl
    Bash it with a big wooden spoon
    after the third bash they will start to fall out
    Just like ruby rain
    Keep on bashing
    Squeeze the fruit to get the rest of the juice out
    Turn them into a sieve and drain the juice
    Set that Juice aside, I have a recipe for it at the end of this post
    A Christmas Cocktail

    Gently dry the seeds, so that when added to the chocolate they won't seize it

    So let's start
    Line a small baking tray with baking paper
        •    200 grams dark (bittersweet) chocolate pieces (1 cake)
        •    40 grams finely chopped crystallized ginger 

        •   The seeds of a fresh pomegranate  (1 cup)
        •    6 grams flaky sea salt (1 teaspoon)

    Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it
    Either over a pan of simmering water
    being careful not to let the bowl touch the water
    Or do as I did, whack it into the microwave
    Keep stirring it till it cools slightly

    Add the ginger, then
    Add half of the pomgranate seeds
    Quickly turn out into the prepared tray
    Spread quickly to a thin  layer
    Throw the rest of the pomegranate seeds over the top

    Sprinkle with Sea Salt
    Chill for at least an hour

    Break up into pieces and devour

    Now for the  Christmas Cocktail
    Grab a glass
    Add several Ice Cubes
    2 parts Vodka
    1 part Cacao White Liqueur
    1 part Pomegranate Juice

    Sip away
    Merry Christmas Everybody

    Wonderful Summer Nicoise Salad - Perfect for Christmas entertaining. All the right colours.

    Salad Nicoise is a favourite of ours.
    Perfect for boat food.
    Canned Tuna, black olives, red onions, green beans, Boiled eggs, Tomatoes Potatoes, a few Capers and some chopped herbs
    All dressed with a tasty French Dressing
    All of the food groups just about and it's so fresh and clean
    This  particular version is outstanding

    And the beauty of it is you can prep early in the day.
    I assembled about an hour before.
    All ready, sit down have some drinks
    Off to the table and serve.
    Wonderful summer food
    So I have decided to re-post this blog.
    This salad is perfect for entertaining.
    I made it last night and everyone loved it.
    There is quite a bit of prep but once assembled thats it.
    An all in one meal
    We washed it down with some Champagne.
    That was a really good idea

    By the way the amounts can vary. That's up to you
    This is a guide line

    Anna Gare, is best known as a Judge on Junior Masterchef Australia
    Also she is in a programme called "The Best in Australia".
    It has all the right ingredients, but treated differently
    The tomatoes are roasted for the extra flavour.
    The red onions Caramelized.
    There is mayonnaise on the potatoes and eggs...I would normally use French Dressing
    I also used my marinated olives to scatter over the top
    And beautiful fresh Seared Tuna, drizzled with a Nicoise style salsa

    Serves 4
    4 x 120g tuna steaks
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Olive oil

    1 egg per person, hard boiled, peeled and quartered

    500 g small new potatoes boiled
    Little French dressing

    200 g stringless green beans

    Roast Tomatoes
    4 large Ripe tomatoes quartered or 8 smaller tomatoes.
    They are usually sweeter

    Sea salt
    Little sugar
    Olive oil
    Fresh thyme

    Caramelised Onions
    2 purple Onions finely sliced
    11/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
    1 tablespoon Sugar
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    Sea salt and pepper

    2 Cloves roasted Garlic finely chopped ( I used raw garlic)
    2 Anchovies finely chopped
    2 egg yolks
    1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    ¾ cup Olive Oil

    1 tablespoon baby capers
    1 tablespoon Italian Parsley chopped
    1 small Tomato deseeded and finely diced
    4 Anchovies finely chopped
    1 part of Lemon juice
    2 parts of Olive Oil
    Salt and Sugar to taste

    As many Black Olives as you like


    Place tomatoes onto baking sheet and sprinkle with salt & thyme and slow bake for 45 mins in 120 deg oven. This will intensify the flavour.
    Put aside.

    Cook potatoes whole in a pot of salted water and blanch beans in the same pot towards the end.
    When cooled cut potatoes & beans as desired.

    Caramelize onions by putting olive oil, sugar, salt, red wine vinegar and onions all into a pot and cook on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are just cooked through- they should be soft and shiny.

    Make dressing by combining yolks, lemon juice, anchovies, garlic & mustard.
    Whilst whisking, slowly drizzle in oil.
    I did it in the food processor

    Lightly brush Tuna with oil salt & pepper then sear on high heat, 2 minutes per side.
    Don't overcook it. As it rests it continues to cook.

    For Salsa, mix all ingredients together and taste for seasoning and citrus factor.

    Dress potatoes & eggs with some mayonnaise 
    Place on desired platter
    Then add in layers, first onions, beans, then tomatoes. 

    Just before serving, sear tuna and place on top, then drizzle over with Nicoise Salsa.
    Throw olives over the top