Hartford House

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Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Filtering by Tag: Christmas Cooking

RE-INVENT YOUR CHRISTMAS LEFTOVERS

Leftover Cheese with extra Nuts, Dried and Fresh Fruit finished with Caramelised Sugar

Leftover Cheese with extra Nuts, Dried and Fresh Fruit finished with Caramelised Sugar

CHRISTMAS LEFTOVERS

In true festive-season spirit we serve all the traditional fare from honey-glazed gammon and succulent turkey to flambé Christmas pudding and hot brandy sauce. Our Christmas lunch table, as a matter of course, groans with abundance. Although my family is guilty of over catering, there is never any waste because what I enjoy most at this time of the year is the chance to be creative with leftovers. The more the merrier – to put a different slant on the phrase...

The kitchen door will hardly have closed on Christmas supper when it’s reopened for breakfast the following day. Vegetables from yesterday’s gourmet lunch can kick-start day two’s laid-back celebrations. I create an irresistible “bubble ’n squeak” corn fritter and serve it with scrambled egg to which I’ve added freshly-picked herbs. With smoked salmon rosette, cream cheese and the optional caviar, I add a final delicious touch. This, served with crispy, crunchy homemade bread drenched in butter, is scrumptious.

Lunch on the Day of Goodwill should be relaxed and stress-free. I could suggest recipes for pizza, pasta, risotto and quiche with all the leftover meat but, because my mom makes the very best glazed gammon, I choose to serve it on an elegant platter with a few mouth-watering salads. These include a creamy, spiced rice salad using the left-over rice. I wait 365 days for this treat! Its simplicity never ceases to impresses me.

Yesterday’s traditional eggnog – if you have leftovers, that is – can be frozen using the same method as you would when making ice cream. Serve this with fresh cherries and hot cherry sauce. You’ll never have made too much!

Christmas cake made into balls, drizzled with brandy and coated in crumbled shortbread and a dusting of icing sugar makes an unusual, morish treat.

One of my favourite flavour combinations is rich fruitcake with mature cheddar. The union of sweet and savoury tickles the taste buds while tantalising the appetite.

Most occasions call for a selection of cheeses and this, generally, results in many small portions of cheese leftovers.  Place the off-cuts neatly together and top with fresh or preserved fruit, nuts and hot caramelised sugar. This crispy, crunchy extravagance oozes splendid flavours.

I hope these unusual ideas help you re-invent your Christmas leftovers.

May the festive season be an indulgent, gourmet treat. Kiss your waistline goodbye – you have the whole of 2010 to get it back!

Happy cooking!

Take these recipes and try them.

santa hat

CHRISTMAS LEFTOVERS BREAKFAST
CHRISTMAS LEFTOVER LUNCH
CHRISTMAS LEFTOVERS DESSERT

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713

Hearty and flavoursome Christmas Lunch

Glazed Christmas Gammon garnished with pineapple rings and cherries / Jackie Cameron (p)

Glazed Christmas Gammon garnished with pineapple rings and cherries / Jackie Cameron (p)

Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

Christmas is about family and friends around one table, and a meal that will simmer in their minds for the year to come. Dishes, specifically for this occasion, should be hearty and flavoursome, depicting the Christmas spirit. The occasion, the table and the meal should say ‘Merry Christmas’.

Christmas lunch is one of the most stressful meals of the year but with adequate preparation it can be hassle-free.

Let me help you…

Spicy egg nog sets the tone when handed to guests on their arrival. It’s usually served to toast one’s health; and that’s what we all need for the coming year.

Sticking to tradition, I like turkey. It’s juicy and delicious if cooked correctly. Should you browse through Larousse Gastronomique - the world’s most famous culinary reference book – you’ll see turkey described as “a farmyard bird raised for its delicate flesh”. A rich, pungent and textured stuffing completes and complements roast turkey. I promise, your guests will be back next year!

A pickled or smoked hind quarter or shoulder of pork, commonly known as Christmas Ham, can be boiled or baked. The final touch is to stud the ham with cloves, and garnish with pineapple rings and cherries. Oh so pretty!

Christmas pudding is a must. Make it… buy it… but ensure it’s on your menu.

A simple, silky-textured brandy sauce will add zing to your rich dessert.

After the feast, coffee with shortbread is the perfect final touch. Shortbread, known by many to have originated in Scotland, is traditionally made in a round shape and cut from the centre in wedges. This symbolises the sun, a relic of the ancient New Year cake.

I explore as much as there is to know about an ingredient before cooking it. This, in my opinion, adds interest and depth to the product and the “relationship” with the components results in a superior culinary creation.

With these tips and the festive-season spirit, I’m confident your Christmas lunch will be memorable.

May the love and camaraderie generated during the next few weeks overflow into 2009 and beyond.

Take these recipes and try them.

EGG NOG
GLAZED CHRISTMAS HAM
BRANDY SAUCE
TURKEY STUFFING
SHORTBREAD

Post your comments and food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
033 263 2713