Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Feast 2005

The menu:
~ Fresh Mushroom Soup
~ Mesclun Salad with Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette
~ Garlic Mashed Potatoes
~ Roast Turkey with Sausage, Sage & Onion Stuffing
~ Chocolate Volcano with Vanilla Ice Cream
~ Cranberry Cooler
~ Shiraz, Wyndham Estate Bin 555 2002

Kinda early for a Christmas dinner, but necessary knowing how insanely hectic Christmas Day itself could be.

Even yesterday (Sunday), I was running behind schedule with the food. We only started eating at 8.30pm (dinner was planned for 7.30).

It's the TURKEY's fault.
I saw the frozen birds at Carrefour, Midvalley going at RM12.90 per kg, two weeks ago. But guess what, they were all sold out when I went there on Saturday. And at most places, the birds were too big (above 6kg). I wanted a 3-4kg bird.

So yesterday morning, I went on a mad turkey chase and finally found a place with smaller birds. But the smallest were at least 5kg or just slightly under. And at RM15.90 per kg too. Oh well. Not like I had a choice. So I bought two (one of last night, and one for JH's party coming Friday).

From 11.00am:

1. The turkey. It took several hours in a water bath to defrost it.

2. The stuffing. Because I was running late, I had to cook the turkey sans stuffing (which saved me an hour). So I cooked this separately, and gave it some turkey flavour with stock made by boiling the bird's giblets and neck.

3. The roasting. I read that covering the breast with bacon keeps the breast moist. So I tried that and it made the bird look rather interesting. Into the oven it went for 4 hours. Did that tip work? More on that later.

4. The mash. I boiled the potatoes and roasted a clove of garlic.
Then I mashed them with butter and cream before leaving it in the fridge (it was still early).

5. The soup. I sliced the mushrooms, cooked them in butter with chopped onions till soft, addded chicken stock and pureed half the pot in the blender (so that there were fine mushroom bits as well as juicy slices). A dash of cream and I left it to simmer.

6. Dessert. At this point, it was already 7pm. I quickly melted the chocolate in a bowl over a hot bath (the bowl, not me, though I desperately needed one at that point). Then I creamed the butter and sugar, added eggs and flour, a dash of rum, and folded them into the chocolate evenly. Then into the muffin tray it went (I wanted to get ramekin dishes but didn't have time!).

7. The salad. The pre-packed salad leaves went into my salad bowl with cherry tomatoes and sliced onions. For dressing, I mashed a clove of roasted garlic into olive oil and stirred in balsamic vinegar with a pinch of salt. My favourite vinaigrette.

8. The drinks. It was a very very hot day. And keeping with the festive season, I mixed half a jug each of cranberry juice and 7-up. Juice from half a lemon, ice and we had a jug of Cranberry Cooler (copied this from Dome's menu).

9. The gravy. When turkey was ready, it was placed on a serving dish and garnished, while the meat juices went to a saucepan, and thickened for gravy.

The verdict:

We were stuffed (quite ironic, considering the turkey wasn't).

The soup was nicest, in my opinion. Maybe it's cos I love soup. And the fresh button and Swiss brown mushrooms made it really earthy and delicious.

The mash didn't turn out as smooth as I hoped it would. And it was perhaps too heavy on the garlic.

The salad was simple to eat. The way I like it.

The turkey and stuffing were okay. And the bit about bacon keeping the breast juicy - A LIE. The breast was like typical roast turkey breast - on the dry side. Maybe I should try roasting it breast down next time. The turkey was tasty though, and the stuffing quite unnecessary. I'd skip it next year.

The volcanoes exploded prematurely again - when I tipped them over. Upset. Even after baking it an extra 2 minutes. I really MUST MUST MUST get it right next time. And buy proper ramekin dishes for it too.

What a day. I was full and exhausted. But it was great fun.
I'm grateful it's only once a year.


Post a Comment

<< Home