A Retrospective Christmas Dinner

Now it probably doesn’t seem all that retrospective, but our Christmas dinner was held about 2 weeks ago, before everyone when to spend actual Christmas with their mother’s and father’s and sister’s and brother’s. That is not to say that our Christmas dinner was not a family dinner. We’ve been together for so long that we’re as much a family as most I know, and a lot closer than some. As with a lot of families we have collected a few on the way, like brother’s who bring home girlfriends who are integrated seamlessly into the festivities like a puzzle piece that’s been missing. For the first time in a long time, we’ve all been in the same country for Christmas dinner this year. A recent arrival made our group complete with a much awaited flight from the motherland. We even had santa and his reindeer present. With the hand made stars and fiberoptic tree it was a wonderful night.

Now, enough with this frivolity! Onto the food! This year I decided on a much more relaxed style of meal. Some meals I had cooked previously, others were first time dishes which I will make again. So give some a go!

Entree: I love to make dip, it’s such a fantastic burst of flavour! For all the following dips, all the ingredients were simply placed in my food processer and blended until the desired consistency.

Satay Dip

  • 1 Cup peanut butter (crunchy)
  • Coconut milk
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Soy sauce

Coriander Pesto

  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 200g cashews
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pumpkin, Cashew and Parmazen Dip– As per previous posts 🙂 An old favourite

Candied Cherry Tomatoes

Now this one was interesting. I do need to invest in a candy thermometor… I believe I didn’t heat the sugar syrup enough to allow it to set, but it was still quite fantastic. I’ll try this one again in the future.

Ingredients:

  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/8 cup water

Method:

  1. Heat the sugar and water together until it simmers.
  2. Insert the toothpick into the tomato and use it to coat in the sugar syrup.
  3. Place on a basil leaf and refridgerate before serving.

Watermelon Salad– As per previous post. Yum!

Bok Choy Salad– This beautiful salad deserves its own post which I will come up with soon! It’s one to watch out for though!

Candied Yams– As per previous posts, an interesting dish which is often a crowd pleaser.

Roast Vegetable Salad– As per previous posts. I love this salad, such an interesting twist on traditional roast vegetables!

Glazed Ginger Ham

Now this ham was basically the centerpoint of my Christmas dinner plans. Last year a friend and I basted a turkey, this year I was intent on glazing a ham. I must say that it was rather a success. Hot and delisious that night and cold on sandwhiches for the following week for our group trip away.

Ingredients:

  • Ham on the bone. For 10 people the 4.5 kilo ham was more than enough.
  • 1/2 cup chunky ginger preserve
  • 1 tbsp hot mustard
  • 1tsp soy sauce
  • Cloves

Method:

  1. Cut the skin around the hock in a diagonal pattern and up the sides.
  2. Slip your fingers under the skin but over the fat and loosen it from the main ham. It should come apart quite easily. Remove and discard.
  3. Cut shallow diagonal lines across the turkey and then the opposite way to create. diamonds. You should not cut into the meat but just partly through the fat layer.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients together to taste and rub over the ham generously.
  5. Stud the ham in the intersections of the cuts.
  6. Bake at aproximately 200 degrees for 30 minutes, or until brown.
  7. Slice and enjoy at the table!

Citrus Tart As per previous posts. I adore this tart though I must say it looks so much better if you make the effort to create the candied fruits!

Grandma’s Chrismas Pudding– Oh this pudding deserves a post of its own. You may have to wait a little but it’s worth it, trust me.

I love Christmas dinner every year. I hope that next year, with us spread a little further across the country, we’ll still gather together.

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