Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Julie Biuso - My fave time of year ... just saying.

Make notes. Make notes. Make notes. It really does help. And there's the satisfaction of crossing things off a list!


My fave time of year ... just saying.
Okay, countdown time … I’m going to squeeze in as many festive recipes or Links to them as possible this week and next.
This week I’m in love with these lamb roasts with a golden crunchy crust and a gorgeous jus with red grapes, almonds and damson jelly. These will be on my table this Christmas day with jersey bennes AND crunchy spuds, just ‘cause we can! I’ve chosen them not just because they are juicy and tender and have great flavour, but because they are fast to prepare and cook in 15 minutes. Yay! More time to enjoy bubbly and yak with the family, which is what Christmas is all about (spending time with family I mean, not just enjoying bubbly!).
Roast Lamb with Lemon & Rosemary Crust

I’ll probably commit to the peas and pancetta as well, so that’s a quick green vege sorted. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake and buy ready-minted baby peas. They’re revolting! They smell and taste medicinal. Either grow your own – it’s a bit late now to be gardening for the Christmas table – so just buy a mint plant. Easy.
Peas with Pancetta
If you are looking for something a bit more exotic, check out the duck. This is no ordinary duck recipe … there’s quite a bit going on with chilli, lime, pomegranate seeds and hot red chilli … but watermelon and lychee cool things down. The pic is a bit munted – taken on a very old iPhone ­ but it gives you the idea. This is a great recipe for an outdoor lunch. Maybe add some seafood, some salads, and enjoy Christmas a new way. Roast Duck with Lychee, Watermelon & Watercress Salad

I’ve also done a run-down on bacon, the cuts and types of bacon and cures used, and included notes on pancetta. Bacon & Pancetta
And here’s a link to the best way of carving a ham. Carving Ham
I’ve used this method for years and I was confident enough to carve a slice or three for the late, very great, Maestro Luciano Pavarotti when I served him lunch a few years back. There’s nothing worse than feeling inadequate faffing around trying to slice a ham with people watching. Of course you need the correct knife – a long thin bladed one is ideal.

Talking knives, yep, tomorrow will be cut-off day for getting FURI knives ordered and guaranteed out to you in time for Christmas. If you missed the offer last week, I am running a special WHOPPING 20% OFF FURI KNIVES & DIAMOND FINGERS SHARPENERS. They make fab gifts, and are good for wedding gifts, special occasion gifts, or, as many people did last week, gift them to yourself or your partner to make cooking in 2018 a joy.
New season garlic is out in the shops, so get in and scoff it up. There are plenty of reasons to eat your fill. Do you know the 5 As? Read about it …New Season Garlic
Finally, a link through to one of last year’s popular Christmas salads Kumara & Pumpkin Christmas Salad.

And the glorious Pav pictured above? Here's the recipe. It is da bomb and many have imitated it, but this is the real McCoy with all the tips you need to ensure you have great success with a pavlova this summer.
Pavlova Paradise
And another version, and my fave way of serving Pav, filled with cream and yoghurt. It makes it less rich and the tang of yoghurt cuts the overall sweetness. A great result, I think. Lots more tips and pics here too. Pavlova Perfection

Have a great week … don’t rush around like a mad thing and send yourself into a spin …STAY CALM and carry on. A cliché, for sure, but handy to remember in the heat of the moment.

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