Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Tips and Ideas from the Experts

Maggie Beer, Cook/Food Enterprise Barossa Valley
Christmas Menu

Roasted Turkey and Chicken with Stuffing
Salad (your choice)
Raspberry Jelly made with Sparkling Shiraz Wine (for the adults) and Apple Juice (for the children)
Traditional Christmas Pudding

  • Be organised, and relax
  • Prepare stuffing for poultry and the jelly the day before
  • Use the best possible ingredients you can get your hands on: organic, free range poultry.
  • For cooking turkey, cook in an oven bag for the first 2 hours in a moderate oven, 170degC, then split the bag open, collect the juices and put in the fridge. Skim the fat off and you can serve it warmed up.
  • For the remaining cooking time (20min-30min depending on size), brush the breast of the turkey with olive oil, and brown in the oven, with the oven turned up to 200deg C.
  • Rest poultry - turkey/chicken upside down for 20 minutes.
  • The jelly is made up to 2 days before with 3 punnets of raspberries, Sparkling shiraz boiled to give off the alcohol, sugar added and cooled, with gelatine leaves added.  I'm guessing a whole bottle goes in this!  Adjust with sugar to taste  (I would probably use about 1/2 -3/4cup).  Gelatine leaves probably 3?  Anyway cool it all and bung in the fridge for Christmas day.
  • If cooking a turkey breast only, use the skin of a ham to cover the breast and stop it drying out.  Alternatively a muslin cloth well brushed with melted butter will do the job.
Leo Schofield Food Critic

Baked Ham

His recipe for glazed ham comes from the late Joan Campbell (another top Australian cook)
  • Preheat the oven to 150deg C
  • Make a syrup from a small can of pineapple juice, 1/4 cup sherry, 500g brown sugar heated on stove until sugar dissolved
  • Skin the ham and massage into the fat a small jar of English mustard (or French if u prefer)
  • Dust all over with powdered cloves, completely covering it.
  • Pour the glaze around the ham, not over it, and bake in a moderate oven for half an hour
  • Baste frequently for another hour until a rich golden brown toffee like glaze is obtained
  • Serve with homemade chutneys or pickles.
  • I have made this before and put the glaze over the top, it goes too brown and burns easily. next time I will do it this way
Lyndey Milan, Food Writer and Cook

  • She cooks her turkey in the bbq-oven, using the skin from a ham as a cover  for the breast, which keeps it moist.  She puts the bird on a rack in an oven tray with water in the bottom.  I do this as well when roasting in a regular oven. Helps keep meat moist.
Ben Shewry, Owner/Chef Attica Restaurant Melbourne

  • recommends making a fresh lemonade of fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and lots of white rum.  Served over ice with mint leaves. Now that is the way to start off the festivities!!!
With reference to an article in The Weekend Australian December 18-19 2010 and heard on ABC radio this morning :0

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