food for thought

by michelle

Christmas 2011

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I’ve already posted the pudding, but here’s the rest of our Christmas feast.

We started with some garlic prawns (shrimps) cooked in a generous mixture of olive oil and butter and about as much garlic as we could stand. The garlic was slowly cooked in the oil and butter, the prawns added last and seasoned with salt and pepper. Garnished with parsley they were served with a salad of finely sliced fennel dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Next we ate duck, with a cranberry and macadamia stuffing, slowly roasted on a spit and basted with orange juice, lemon juice, five spice and salt. To accompany the duck I made a sour cherry sauce. As well as a fresh green salad we had kipfler potatoes and beetroots roasted in olive oil with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper; sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips roasted in olive oil and balsamic vinegar; and mushrooms drizzled with olive oil, basil pesto and feta cheese.

To make the sour cherry sauce cut the duck neck and any spare bits of skin into small pieces and fry until rendered and caramelised then add shallots and cook them until just golden. Add 3 cups of red wine and 1½ cups of chicken stock and reduce this for a while. Strain through a fine sieve and return to the pot adding 1 cup of dried sour cherries, a cinnamon stick and 3 star anise. Reduce until only 2 cups remain and, if desired, thicken with a little cornflour.

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