An Early Christmas Lunch

I know it is only November, but thought I would have the girls to lunch, just 18 of them! Little did they realise that they would form the basis of my next blog.angels-and-santas

So himself, decided that the house had to be ready to receive everyone, and scurried down to the vaults to find Christmas decor, tree ( artificial I am afraid) and not forgetting the wreath for the front door, along with angels and santas and other such things.So whilst I pottered in the kitchen, he chilled wine, set tables, polished glasses and silver ware. His middle name is Jeeves ! He would have stayed and performed the butler roll, but was sent packing to the golf course.

I made an assortment of foods for the main course and just two desserts.

There was a chicken salad, made with chopped chicken, celery, asparagus, green onions, chopped walnuts and some chopped coriander, all  mixed with a sauce made with a mixture of 50/50 sour cream and mayonnaise, some lemon juice and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

Then, I made a modern twist on Blini with smoked salmon. I made several crêpes and sandwiched them together with smoked salmon that had been blitzed together with cream cheese and dill. This then looks like a cake and is served in wedges, along with a slice of lemon.

The next was with apologies to Yotem Ottolenghi, for the inspiration. A very healthy salad, it consisted of the following, and quantities are irrelevant. Cooked brown rice ( could be red rice) cooked quinoa, a mango – chopped, two avocados – chopped,  green onions -chopped,  pomegranate seeds, two grapefruits segmented and cut into bits, an orange zested and juiced, a couple of cloves of garlic – crushed , a cup of pistachio nuts – chopped , a can of chick peas , drained and a bag of rocket, mixed together with some olive oil. It is a very pretty salad and I thought about adding some cooked chopped beetroot as well, to give added colour, also chopped green celery would be good. Do not chop into tiny pieces, a bit of a pain to eat. I had such a healthy salad in Fischers the other day, it was fine in taste, but I gave up on eating it as the tiny pieces kept falling of the fork and apart from using my fork like a shovel, it was impossible to eat. My girl friend in Texas also cuts all of her salad ingredients into tiny pieces, again, too difficult to eat

Finally I made Kedgeree, this Anglo-Indian fish dish, which not only tastes just great, a  hint of curry, creamy and smooth but is so easy and can be made ahead of time and frozen.

Again I use anything fishy with no care to quantities, but to be little more helpful I will try to quantify here. The dish is basically in three parts. The rice, the fish and the curry sauce.kedgeree

Cook your rice ( long grain ) the way you prefer, I usually make it more of a Pilau rice, by sauteing some onions, adding some  dried but ready to eat apricots, maybe some sultanas, and some cumin seeds, salt and pepper of course.

Then you will need about 1 Kilo of fish,gently poached in either milk or white wine, flaked when cooled and any skin and bones removed. I used a mixture of smoked haddock, salmon, cod and some shrimp, but really anything will do. It is a good way to use some of the fish that has been lingering in the back of the freezer!  250 grams mushrooms sliced and gently fried, 6 hardboiled eggs, mashed gently with a fork

For the curry sauce, you will need 100 grams butter (unsalted is what I use,) or Ghee as it will not splutter on melting, 1 onion finely chopped, some garlic and ginger paste, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ground cumin, 2-3 tablespoons curry powder ( depends on your love of curry ) 1 tsp tomato paste, 100 ml fish or vegetable stock, salt and pepper,250 mls cream.

Melt the butter, fry the onion, add the garlic/ginger paste add all of the spices fry for a moment to release all of the flavour. Add the tomato puree and the sock and simmer to reduce and thicken. Add the cream.

Then,  just simply combine all of the above, taste adjust seasoning, put into an oven proof dish and bake for about 15 mins on a fairly hot oven to heat through, you can garnish it with some slices of tomato. If you wish to make ahead of time, put it into the dish, cover with cling film and freeze until ready to use. Defrost and when defrosted reheat for a little while in a fairly hot oven until heated through.

 

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