Eight Bells

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Dinner

Yes I know it's way too early and in reality this meal was eaten over a week ago (you can thank my terrible inattention to this blog over the last couple of weeks for that) but circumstances dictated that we had christmas dinner a little early this year.

To make things simple this year we cooked a deboned and rolled ham for the first time instead of a full leg. It is definately something we will do again. This ham glaze recipe is taken straight from the Cuisine magazine website and is one we have been using every christmas for about 5 or 6 years now.

Baked Ham with Palm Sugar & Kaffir Lime Glaze

1 whole leg of ham, cooked on the bone (or not in this case)
1 cup of palm sugar, grated
2 tablespoons ginger juice (grate the ginger and squeeze out the juice)
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
1 kaffir lime leaf, finely shredded
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 mild red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon five spice powder
Whole star anise

Cut a scallop pattern around the shank end of the ham skin. Working from there, remove the ham’s skin, using your fingers for ease. Score diamonds into the fat, but do not cut into the meat. Put the ham in a large roasting dish. Combine the rest of the ingredients, except for the star anise, and spoon over the ham. Arrange the star anise on top.Bake for 2 hours in an oven preheated to 150°C. Every 15 minutes, scoop up the glaze and baste the ham with it. At the end of this time, the ham will be beautifully golden brown and warmed right through.
Remember not to store a ham for long in plastic – it likes to breathe. The best way to keep it is to wrap it loosely with waxed paper – this protects the glaze – then to store it, in a dish large enough to contain it, in a muslin ham bag (these are sold in kitchen stores), or wrapped loosely in clean muslin.
The main course was just ham, new potatoes and peas. It was a nice light christmas meal which didn't put anyone into a coma for 5 hours afterwards, always a bonus.

You can play around with this recipe a little I used about double the amount of ginger and lime juice and used a large hot red chilli and left out the kaffir lime leaf.

Ajo Bianca de Malaga

This is also a borrowed recipe and comes from Ray McVinnie's 'Eat' book.

2 cloves of garlic
225g of finely ground almonds
150g of fresh white breadcrumbs
100ml of non-peppery extra virgin olive oil
About 3 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
1 litre of iced water
Flaky sea salt to taste
300g of seedless white grapes, halved

Put the garlic, almonds, breadcrumbs and olive oil into a food processor and pureé to a smooth paste. Add the vinegar and water and process until frothy. Taste and season with salt. Pat attention to the sweet and sour flavour and add a little more vinegar if necessary.
Serve each portion of soup with a small handful of grapes in the bowl.

Just a note re this recipe, make sure you select the light variety of sherry vinegar and our feelings were this would be better with just 2 tablespoons of vinegar rather than the 3 in the recipe.


This will make 30-40 blinis

7g sachet of dried yeast
A pinch of sugar
1 cup of warm milk
3/4 of a cup of buckwheat flour
1/2 a cup of plain flour
2 eggs separated
20g of butter
1/3 of a cup of oil
150g of creme freche
Lemon juice
Salt & pepper
Fresh chives, flat leafed parsley and thyme, finely chopped

Place the yeast and sugar in a bowl and grdually stir in the warm milk. Sift the flours into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolks and warm milk mixture and whisk until combined and smooth. Cover and stand in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Melt the butter, stir into the dough mix and then season. Place the egg whites in a clean dry bowl and beat until soft white peaks form. Fold one third of the egg whites into the batter until just mixed. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Drop 1 heaped teaspoon of batter into the pan for each blini. Cook for 1 minute until bubbles form on the surface, turn and cook a further 30 seconds. Place the cooked blinis on kitchen roll and continue until finished. Cool the blinis completely before dressing.
Mix the creme fraiche with a little lemon juice and the chopped herbs, spoon on to the blinis and add smoked slamon and caviar or pancetta. Leftover blinis can be frozen and served again.


At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Robbie said...

This blog is going the way of all blogs, ie the creator is getting sick of it.
FUCK YEAH !!!!!!
Fuck this, you should be watching the Aussies kick the shit out of the poms!!!


At 6:16 PM, Anonymous plk said...

I think robbie meant to say 'merry christmas'

At 4:08 PM, Blogger startrekker said...

Joyeux Noel a les deux Jules!!!!

Feliz Navidad!

Love from star


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