Oh, I almost forgot to share the Christmas dinner I made for 2016! In fact I haven't shared a Christmas dinner since my last post which was in 2014. So here it is.
As usual, it is a very hot Christmas here in Australia. Every year, I try to serve summer style dishes but with Christmas flavours. So here were some of my creations.
"Modern Bloody Mary". Clarified tomato water, tomato granita, injected cherry tomato, vodka.
"Pea and Ham Consomme". This is how it was served - an aspic of peas and ham made from the ham consomme, and garnished with chives.
... pour the consomme and the aspic starts to melt.
There are two methods to make consomme - the traditional whipped egg white raft method, or the more modern method of gel clarification. Gel clarification simply means - freeze the stock after it is made, then chop it into 1cm cubes and let it thaw over a cheesecloth lined funnel. The liquids thaw and drip out, whilst the gel holds all the particulate matter and can be discarded. It sounds simple to do, but in reality the amount of gel in the stock is critical. If there is too much dissolved collagen in the broth (which is what happened to me because I made the stock from ham bones), the gel will be too thick and no liquid will come out.
... and you are left with a wonderfully clear and clean tasting broth.
"Grilled Mushrooms with Mushroom Ketchup". The simplest dish on the menu, apart from the mushroom ketchup which was complex to make (3 days).
"Double roast chicken". The "double" refers to the fact there are two roast chickens in one. The first chicken is roasted, then a stock is made from the roast chicken. The stock is then reduced until it is concentrated, and a brine is made from it. The brine is then injected to another chicken and then slow roasted on the rotisserie until done. The resulting chicken has a real hit of chicken flavour, and the brine keeps the flesh nice and moist.
Duck fat roast potatoes. Triple cooked (parboiled, scraped, refrigerated, low temperature fry, rested, high temperature fry).
Grilled asparagus. Very simply done - peel the asparagus and grill over charcoal.
Slow cooked carrots with lavender, honey, and butter.
Christmas Pudding Cassata. I really suck at making desserts, I just can't get the presentation right. Rather than serve a heavy and filling Christmas pudding, I decided to make a Christmas pudding ... ice cream. It tasted nice, but it looked ugly.