The Christmas Table

Christmas food

In the three years I've been inflicting my thoughts on the world in general you would have thought that I would have remembered to write down new recipes as I do them and to photograph the results; if I had, you'd be reading about Boned Stuffed Turkey Legs and Chicken Breasts stuffed with Glamorgan Sausage, both dishes that I made over the Christmas period. I also forgot to take a picture of my pork pie. To be honest, the turkey leg dish was because I couldn't be bothered to get up early on Christmas day to cook a whole turkey. By removing the legs, boning them out and stuffing them, I not only got an extra hour in bed but also got something that was simplicity itself to carve. The chicken breasts were stuffed with a mix of breadcrumbs, leek and cheese, and then wrapped in bacon. Both dishes received a good reception from the family.

Well, that's what I didn't photograph, so what about the photo above. Well that's stuff I remembered to take pictures of. The bacon and ham have had plenty written about them. The smoked salmon was done simply by dry curing a 1.3kg fillet of salmon in about 150gm of just salt for 8 hours and then cold smoking it for 24 hours with oak and beech. The sausage rolls were made using my 'roughest' rough puff pastry recipe filled with an adaption of my Thurlaston sausage recipe. I reduced the meat and increased the rusk and water as well as adding a little potato flour. This gives a softer texture to the sausage-meat that is nicer in a sausage roll. The mince pies were made using a pastry made from 8oz flour, 5 oz in total of butter and lard, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. It was made in the normal way by rubbing the fats into the flour and sugar and then mixing in the other ingredients; a little milk was added to draw the mixture together. I hate to admit it, but the filling was bought mincemeat. The pies were cooked for about 12 minutes at 180°C - this is one of those pastries that you take out before it browns so a dusting of icing sugar neatly hides its anaemic looks.

As mum provided the Christmas pudding, cake and a Pavlova, the only other real dish (other than nibbles) that I made was a lemon mousse - I'll write about that another time.


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