So the big question this week is clearly, what will you eat at Christmas? Apparently it’s unfashionable to cook turkey at Christmas, we should be all Neil Perry with poached salmon and prawns, sorry that’s salmon sous vide, with avocado and mango salsa.
And it’s too late to start looking for a goose – the highlight of a Christmas when my stepson Illya showed us what the Brits can do in the kitchen.
Here he is doing a bomb alaska.
But I love turkey and each year I wonder why we don’t have it more often. It can be cooked and served cold after all and the seafood, well that’s nice for an entree.
So while Chanukah is still going strong I’m busy planning Christmas lunch, I’m really not a great Jew. Apparently good Jews ignore Christmas – see http://http://www.jewfaq.org/Christmas.htm for details.
I grew up in a family that always celebrated Christmas, though never with pork or ham. Mum always cooked a turkey and she usually bought extra legs, which helped to avoid conflict but may have confused the kiddies.
I was the youngest of 4 children and when I turned 13 Mum declared that the Christmas lark was over. I was old enough to accept we were Jewish. So I asked if I would get Chanukah presents, but since clearly we weren’t observant Jews, mum pointed out that Chanukah is a minor holiday and I could forget that angle too. I protested loudly, but Mum insisted. We would do lunch and we would get small gifts only. This was really depressing given that we hadn’t ever got lavish gifts.
Then I grew up and fate directed me to the kitchen for a living. Eventually I became a caterer and my first gig was doing a wedding buffet. Amongst the dishes I served was mango-glazed breast of turkey. I wasn’t sure what glazed really meant but I liked the sound of it. It was a resounding success and rather cutting edge for 1983. Stop laughing!!
I don’t get to spend many Christmas’s with my Sydney family these days but my niece Sammy has taken up the mantle and my brother likes to tell me hers is better. He thinks I’ll be put be out! But I am a foodista and now a senior female. It’s all about passing the baton and recipes are only a starting point, you can take them where you like so I’m very proud.
Here’s my recipe for the mango sauce – cook your turkey (goose, duck or chicken) as you will – you can baste the turkey with or without the sauce and then serve remaining sauce on the side. This would go well with any fruit you like, but mangos are in season and are the perfect complement for poultry.
You will need a small bunch of fresh coriander – chop the stalks for sauce and keep leaves for garnish
1 Tbs chopped ginger
3 cloves garlic
1small finely diced salad onion
then add 2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp paprika
finely chopped coriander stalks
when its all bubbling nicely add
2 tsp honey and a slurp of wine
the chopped flesh of a very ripe large mango
No I can’t suggest the wine – I use what ever is available – sweet kosher wine is ideal. When you’re satisfied it’s well-cooked blend and serve with your turkey – coriander leaves to garnish.
I will serve latkes on the side and a crisp salad. http://www.smartfoodmama.com/festive-frying/
I’m thinking pavlova for dessert since I’ve never made one. My mother used to make a cheat’s cassata for Christmas – you’ve probably seen some recipes – let the icecream soften and then stir through mixed fruits and nuts – refreeze. But my Mum soaked the fruit in rum for about a month so this was not a dessert for the children, but a fab and boozy Antipodean way to avoid steamed pudding overload.
Whatever you do for Christmas I hope it’s delicious, even if it’s a sous-vide salmon.
Another Xmas – with Christine Bond!