My Christmas in July party is now a permanent fixture on the social calendar, with friends jockeying for a position at the table. I keep the numbers to a manageable 12 so that only leaves room for 10 guests. Since we have more than 10 friends, it means that the invitations get moved around from year to year. Invitations are becoming rather prized, and I only realized this when one friend actually delayed having an induction to give birth by a few days, in order to attend!
I do a different type of menu every year. This year I planned a degustation menu of 6 courses for a table of 12.
christmas in july
july 23 2011
olives ~ cheeses ~ oysters natural ~ almonds
home cured trout
leek, garden pea and broad bean timbale with persian feta heart garden lemon vinaigrette
slow roasted pumpkin velouté
chili parmesan crostini
Sous vide porcini stuffed quail
roasted baby tricolour carrots and broccolini
Assiette of desserts
Baby Christmas pudding with cardamom & vanilla ice cream
Spiced pear and mandarin zest mini tart tartin
Home cured trout timbale
The food seemed to please everyone. I was very careful to select dishes that I could almost entirely prepare ahead of time, allowing me to relax and enjoy the company of my friends.I anticipated that the desserts would be the biggest hit of the evening, as usual. But I was surprised when it was the cured trout timbale of green peas and broad beans that won the most admiration. I will make a point of publishing that recipe as a stand alone posting down the track.
The whole evening was very relaxed and enjoyable but now I have the next 10 months to think about what the next extravaganza menu will be! You should know me by now..... I'm already sketching the details in my mind.
|Sous vide porcini stuffed |
quail and accompaniments
|Adding the finishing touch of dutch cocoa|
to the individual tiramisu
|A trio of desserts|
Vanilla Cardamom Ice-Cream
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or a tsp or vanilla paste
10 whole green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
3/4 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1 cup thickened cream
Combine the milk and the cream in a large saucepan and add the vanilla and cardamon. Whisk a little to combine, then heat to a slow simmer for a couple of minutes, and remove from heat.
In another bowl, combine sugar and egg yolks with either a hand whisk or beaters until the mixture is thick and pale.
Strain warm milk and cream mixture and pour on to the egg/sugar mixture, and stir to combine. Return to saucepan and heat on a medium to low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil as this will cause curdling. It is much better to stay on a lower heat for longer if you are not sure.
When mixture is thick enough, remove from heat and stir until cooled. When it is room temp, place into ice cream churn as per machines instruction, then transfer to freezer. If you don't have an ice cream maker, just transfer mixture to a shallow dish, (I like an earthenware baking dish for this), and place in freezer. Return every 15 - 20 minutes and whisk the mixture to prevent large ice crystals forming. When mixture becomes as thick and creamy as ice cream should be, transfer to airtight container and return to freezer until you are ready to use it.
The other desserts featured here can be found on this blog here, here and here.
|Some of the fortunate 12 around the cosy table between courses|
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