Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Veritable Feast

A buffet set out on the pool table in the entertainment area,
made for easy serving.
The beauty of food served on Christmas day, is that you can also have some of the dishes again on New Year’s Day. My dear husband (DH) and I will be Darby and Joan on January 1; we’ll not be doing anything special as regards to meals. We’ll probably just loll about (don’t you just LOVE that expression, conjures up a relaxed, supine posture) in the garden and sip green tea. Ha!

However, for anyone reading this blog, who perhaps ate out at Christmas time, and who’d like to have dinner to herald in the New Year, here is my menu which you are welcome to emulate.
Christmas 2008 Menu

Roasted Gammon, with an apricot glaze
pineapple rings and cherries
Roast Chicken with Cranberry,
Apple and Celery Stuffing
Potato Salad with Dijon Mustard
Greek Salad
Three Bean Salad
Foccasia Bread
Malva Pudding and Custard
Lemon Meringue Pie and Ice-Cream
Demitasse Filter Coffee
Fresh Cream

Christmas gammon, glazed and decorated with pineapple rings and cherries

I scored the upper fat layer of a 3.5kg (7lb) Gammon with a sharp knife. I rubbed it with coarse salt (using my hands) and pressed cloves into the slits. I covered it with tin foil and cooked it in the oven for 2 hours. After removing the foil, I cooked it for a further forty minutes. When tested with a skewer and the juices run clear, I removed all the cloves. I painted a basting sauce of smooth apricot jam and a little brown vinegar onto the meat with a brush. I then secured the [fresh] pineapple rings on the meat and added a glace cherry in the middle. I painted the fruit with the remainder of the basting sauce and popped the whole dish under the grill for approximately 5-7 minutes. (Keep an eye on it; sticky char-grilled is delicious, burnt is not!)

My newly-tested stuffing recipe "made" the chicken

Next, I filled the chicken cavity with cranberry, apple and celery stuffing and secured the forcing with toothpicks. I seasoned the outside of the chicken, drizzled olive oil over and roasted it for about 1 1/2 hours. For the last five minutes, I turned on the grill to brown it. (Note: once again, be sure to watch this process, as mentioned above)

I baked a seperate ramekin with the surplus stuffing mixture. This is way it's also suitable for vegetarians

I’ve decided to post the two above cooking methods as well as the stuffing recipe today. At a later stage in the New Year, I’ll post the recipe for my diet-friendly Three Bean Salad and easy focaccia bread recipes. My sister-in-law brought the Malva pudding. You can find this recipe on Lynda’s blog. I will also post MIL’s delicious Lemon Meringue in the near future.

So without any further ado, here’s the recipe!

Cranberry, Apple and Celery Stuffing (http://www.backofthebox.com/)

½ cup butter
2 cups chopped celery
½ cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
2 tart green apples, cored and chopped
1 ¼ cups dried cranberries
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
4 cups dry bread crumbs
1 cup vegetable broth

In a skillet, melt the butter. Add celery and onion: sauté for 5 minutes
Remove from the heat; stir in next 5 ingredients and orange peel.
Place breadcrumbs in a large bowl; stir in sautéed fruit mixture.
Add vegetable broth; toss to combine.
Using your hands, stuff into chicken cavity.
Any remaining mixture, fill a greased ramekin and bake while you roast the chicken.
Serves 10

I often bake this focaccia bread when I have a buffet style meal;
it 's always a great hit

A taste bud teaser: my mother-in-law's divine Lemon Meringue Pie


  1. Your menu is great! I should have made your stuffing. I love Lemon Meringue pie. Does your MIL give out her recipe?
    Happy New Year!

  2. LOL! Dedene, I'm on your blog posting a comment and come back and you've posted another on mine. AND you're cooking up a storm in the kitchen! I loved the menu your niece and nephew made and the corrections by your FIL ;) My stuffing really went down well and is very easy to make. Yes, MIL gave me the recipe for her Lemon Meringue Pie and I'll post it sometime next week. Hugs Jo


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo