Tue, Dec 21 2010
Something I never do is have family or friends for Christmas at home. We always go to my Dad's actually, where we spend most of the time talking about food, preparing it and eating it! Excitingly, this year we have 4 guests coming to our abode - where the three of us get in each others way as it is! Along with 2 neurotic cats it should be fun. But the aspect most anticipated for myself is the fact that I get to cook. And hopefully someone else will wash up! Classic turkey, stuffed under the skin with copious amounts of Yeo valley butter and herbs, cooked on a high heat entombed in foil. Goose fat potatoes, some good stuffing and one would hope not a sprout in sight. I really like classic flavours executed well at Christmas. For someone who is always having to think of new recipe ideas I like to keep a little to the straight and narrow sometimes! But alongside the turkey lurkey, we are having roast belly pork too. My preferred method of cooking it is to boil it first for about 30 minute, just in water, with a few bay leaves, some peppercorns and some sprigs of a punchy evergreen herb like rosemary. Pat it dry really well before roasting for around 2.5 hours until crunchy and incredibly tender. Use the stock to make some gravy while you are about it, too! Great vegetables like leek au gratin and buttered greens will round off the feasty proceedings, oh! and dont forget the stuffing. Just crumble cooked chestnuts and mix together with toasted almonds or macadamias, breadcrumbs and dried cranberries or cherries. bind with an egg and press into a tin. Use your eye to create the ratio of ingredients you think look right for you, after all, cooking is kind of a blueprint of your personality. Bake for 30 minutes whilst your turkey is having a little rest!
All I think it that you should not get too over zealous about cooking special things unless you feel totally confident. Christmas is a time to indulge, yes, but also to make the most of family, friends and yourself.