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Christmas Fixin's 2019

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8 hours ago, Gotters said:

Interesting, number of chefs you see that say this when cooking a steak !

A number of chefs also claim you seal the juices into meat when you sear it. 

 

If you think about it, the proteins and sugars will burn at the same temperature regardless of the oil they are suspended in. 

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Ooh, just sent my provisional Christmas menu to my wife. We will host her family as we do every year but will have to compromise on tradition given the difficulty of getting ingredients in Japan (sadly can't get black pudding - which is much nicer, by the way, than blutwurst) and the inadequacy of my oven (it can barely fit a chicken to roast, and it's not hot enough to do roast potatoes, yorkshire pudding etc.)

 

Currently considering the following:

Smoked salmon, prawn cocktail, ribs/chicken wings, asparagus/sausages in bacon

 

Mains:

Roast beef (seared in a pan then microwaved) or Beef Wellington (which I reckon I can just about get away with in my oven), a big ham (from Costco), chicken and leek pie (because I can make this a few days before).

 

Sides:

Potato gratin (again, my oven should just about rise to this), brussels sprouts (roasted, fried, or gratin), cauliflower and broccoli cheese, carrots (boiled in butter), salad

 

Desserts:

Mince pies (I'll have to make these from scratch because you can't get mincemeat over here), christmas pudding/cake,  trifle (although last year my custard curdled...)

 

Drinks:

Wine, Chu-hi, Beer, Whiskey&Milk, Shochu

 

Hope my wife allows me to go ahead with this plan.

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16 minutes ago, meatbin said:

 

:blink:

 

I assume its a combo oven thing.

Our menu is shaping up:


Canepes to start, mimosas/procecco/g&ts

Boned/rolled/stuff goose (stuffing undetermined), beetroots, roast potatoes, parsnips, some form of carrot puree, sprouts various sauces

Trifle, maybe xmas pud or pies, something else for the kids if they are being picky

 

Drinks: red wine (various), whiskey, whisky, watered down juice 

 

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Not a combo oven! Literally microwaved meat. I never thought it would work either but I followed a recipe I found on a Japanese site. Like I say it involves searing a block of beef on the outside then cooking in a microwave. It comes out perfectly: pink on the inside, perfect outside and really flavourful.

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On 04/12/2018 at 12:11, Gotters said:

Interesting, number of chefs you see that say this when cooking a steak !

 

Loads of chefs learn by just watching and blindly following their teacher/master. They're not really encouraged to question things, it's a 'shut up and pay attention to what I do' situation rather than an open discussion.

 

For example, loads of Italian chefs believe you need to have a massive pot of water to cook pasta that is 'as salty as the sea'. The Italian way of doing things is to keep doing them the same way your Nonna did, which is the same way her Nonna did, etc etc. Nothing ever progresses. That's why Italians were so offended by people like Massimo Bottura who actually looked at reinventing traditional recipes and trying new techniques and finding better ways of doing things. 

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On 02/12/2018 at 17:19, Oracle said:

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.  

 

I live in the south west of france, so we always have foie gras to start, get in all that gout-y goodness. I love a baked camembert, a pumpkin soup or smoked salmon/trout otherwise.

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On 05/12/2018 at 17:24, stephen129 said:

 

Loads of chefs learn by just watching and blindly following their teacher/master. They're not really encouraged to question things, it's a 'shut up and pay attention to what I do' situation rather than an open discussion.

 

For example, loads of Italian chefs believe you need to have a massive pot of water to cook pasta that is 'as salty as the sea'. The Italian way of doing things is to keep doing them the same way your Nonna did, which is the same way her Nonna did, etc etc. Nothing ever progresses. That's why Italians were so offended by people like Massimo Bottura who actually looked at reinventing traditional recipes and trying new techniques and finding better ways of doing things. 

 

Loads of salt in pasta water makes pasta taste better TRUFAX! you also put some of the water back in the sauce after the pasta is cooked as a seasoning step!

 

Now there are Italian roots in my family and was prolly passed down by my Nonna but my wife made pasta with too little salt in it and it didn’t taste nice... I don’t use much water mind so maybe that’s the bit you are debating?

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21 hours ago, Shimmyhill said:

 

Loads of salt in pasta water makes pasta taste better TRUFAX! you also put some of the water back in the sauce after the pasta is cooked as a seasoning step!

 

Now there are Italian roots in my family and was prolly passed down by my Nonna but my wife made pasta with too little salt in it and it didn’t taste nice... I don’t use much water mind so maybe that’s the bit you are debating?

 

Have you ever tried sea water? It's disgustingly salty. That's far too much salt for pasta imo. 

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On 09/12/2018 at 23:12, stephen129 said:

 

Have you ever tried sea water? It's disgustingly salty. That's far too much salt for pasta imo. 

 

Have you ever tried pasta cooked by an Italian ;)  It’s never over salted and I’m pretty sure it’s an expression to suggest you need far more salt than you expect to get it right rather than try some sea water and male it exactly as salty as that!

 

I’ve had loads of really bland pasta and it’s because the water has been under salted and when I’ve shown people how much I add they think I’m mad until they taste it! Never salt potatoes in the same way mind, a,ways find that odd as potatoes are much bigger but can’t take salt water like pasta can!

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I have ordered a beef fillet joint from Riverford so we are going to try beef wellington this year. Starter likely to be a simple baked camembert. Sides will be roast potatoes, sprouts (with chestnuts), roasted carrots and cauliflower cheese.

 

My wife is great with cakes, and has been feeding the Christmas cake with brandy for the last few weeks as well as letting her mincemeat mature. So no need to worry about dessert.

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So my wife is pushing back against my idea of making traditional Christmas cake and mince pies. 

 

In Japan a Christmas cake is a light sponge (I think the Americans would call it a Strawberry Shortcake), and my wife's argument is that her family will find a proper Christmas cake too heavy. 

 

I'm thinking of making it anyway, but I was wondering if I could supplement it with another traditional Christmas dessert that might be more amenable to her family. I can't really think of anything though... Anybody got any good suggestions? Google has not helped. Oh, and bear in mind I can't get most pre-made ingredients over here (eg mincemeat, pre-made pastry etc.) so would need to make the entire thing from scratch...

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My family always has sherry trifle at Xmas. I'm not really a dessert person but that's one I do like (I still don't tend to eat any because I'd rather stuff myself silly on roast potatoes and stuffing).

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On 12 December 2018 at 16:30, BossSaru said:

Perhaps a molten chocolate pudding? Something like this one should be doable in Japan, with access to an oven.

 

If your in Japan, just get down to Beard Papa and buy a box of their chocolate fondants. Making my mouth water just thinking about them.

 

My Japanese side of the family always liked stollen for Christmas. I'd make my own ganache and make truffles for everyone - they'd just have them with coffee  and/or liqueurs. After a few of them, the desire for a heavy dessert  pretty much evaporates.

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19 hours ago, Tourist said:

So my wife is pushing back against my idea of making traditional Christmas cake and mince pies. 

 

In Japan a Christmas cake is a light sponge (I think the Americans would call it a Strawberry Shortcake), and my wife's argument is that her family will find a proper Christmas cake too heavy. 

 

I'm thinking of making it anyway, but I was wondering if I could supplement it with another traditional Christmas dessert that might be more amenable to her family. I can't really think of anything though... Anybody got any good suggestions? Google has not helped. Oh, and bear in mind I can't get most pre-made ingredients over here (eg mincemeat, pre-made pastry etc.) so would need to make the entire thing from scratch...

Delice?

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Been looking at both videos earlier in the thread on how to do crunchy potatoes, the first guy adds tonnes of butter/fat which puts me off. I'm leaning towards the second video that uses infused oils instead, between that, the baking soda and the fluffing it looks to do the job.

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On 22/12/2018 at 14:29, Capwn said:

Been looking at both videos earlier in the thread on how to do crunchy potatoes, the first guy adds tonnes of butter/fat which puts me off. I'm leaning towards the second video that uses infused oils instead, between that, the baking soda and the fluffing it looks to do the job.

 

I've made both - if your aim is to make the best roast spuds with no other consideration the food busker version wins hands down

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I'm doing a small Christmas dinner tonight for a few friends - slow cooked gammon in mulled wine, roast potatoes, honey parsnips and carrots, and sprouts with bacon and chestnuts.

 

Kitchen currently smells of cinnamon and spices and amazing

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21 hours ago, Gotters said:

 

I've made both - if your aim is to make the best roast spuds with no other consideration the food ranger version wins hands down

 

Interesting. 

 

What wasn't so good about the Serious Eats recipe? (I've not tried it).

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23 hours ago, strawdonkey said:

I'm doing a small Christmas dinner tonight for a few friends - slow cooked gammon in mulled wine, roast potatoes, honey parsnips and carrots, and sprouts with bacon and chestnuts.

 

Kitchen currently smells of cinnamon and spices and amazing

 

It went ok! The carrots needed a few more minutes and making a gravy out of the mulled wine pork juices didn't quite turn out as planned (bit too salty, bit too thick), but it was edible and there are some leftovers so it's not so bad.

 

[edit] I did melt a colander though.

 

Happy Christmas food mans!

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So Christmas dinner turned out pretty well. Everything came together pretty well, precisely at 12.30, so I was super happy that I told everybody to arrive at midday. 

 

Everyone turned up at 2pm. :( 

 

My wife's dad (who lives 50 metres away) was too busy watching telly apparently.  

 

Then today my wife's mum asked for us to drop round some leftovers. While we tried to get them ready our dog shat all over himself. Then when I bought round the leftovers she decided she didn't want them because we hadn't unwrapped the ham and could we please bring the ham home and unwrap it first. 

 

Luckily my dad sent me a box of wine so it's all been like water off a(n alcoholic) duck's back.

Dinner.jpg

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What I cooked today,

 

 

Won't include every ingredient but essentially;

 

 

Squash and Cranberries, Carrots and Pistachios , Balsamic Sprouts

 

1545918285_WhatsAppImage2018-12-25at5_15_31PM.jpeg.ca2bce0c582d06f3741d2819e21b128e.jpeg

 

Roast potatoes, actually used the 2nd potato recipe in this thread. Was quite chuffed with these because they used no butter/fats at all!  

 

1613602386_WhatsAppImage2018-12-25at5_15_43PM.thumb.jpeg.677f4473f7aef710fdc113dbb3525b87.jpeg

 

 

Lamb Leg with Pomegranate molasses marinade 

 

1889742544_WhatsAppImage2018-12-25at5_15_54PM.jpeg.75a956993d8fe24d1778a561068b9334.jpeg

 

 

Mulled wine

 

1177094420_WhatsAppImage2018-12-25at5_16_03PM.jpeg.388ed9c0e6e168fdce1a2348689288b9.jpeg

 

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