The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Christmas-related recipes

These are mostly for my reference so I don't have to do the research every year just because I was too busy to write down what I used/did. Rob said the roast turkey lunch I cooked for Christmas '09 was my best yet, and I suppose that is a pretty good reason to take some time to make note of my recipes.

Fruit Mince Pies (Cooking Project #6)

Rob and I made a small batch of fruit mince pies a week before Christmas, but most of them were eaten by the time Christmas rolled around. I blogged about making fruit mince pies before but failed to take note of the pastry recipe. This pastry recipe is modified from this recipe, but we made it by hand instead of using a food processor, and we used a 410g jar of ready-made fruit mince (Robertson brand) which yielded about 17 pies. We used a 12-muffin pan because we couldn't find patty pans anywhere here in Tokyo; in fact, my muffin pan was brought over from Australia because I couldn't find muffin pans here except for individual muffin cups which were relatively fiddly to use.

300g (2 cups) plain flour
40g (1/4cup) icing
150g chilled butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
2-3 tablespoons of water

1. Combine the flour and icing in a bowl.
2. Using fingertips, rub in the butter to the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs.
3. Add the yolk and 2 tablespoons of water to the mixture, and stir until it clumps together. Add more water if it's too dry.
4. Bring the mixture together to form a rough ball.
5. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead until you have a smooth dough. Avoid overworking the dough.
6. Then proceed with making the pies as shown here.

Roast Turkey Stuffing

I have written a roast chicken dinner recipe before, but for Christmas, I wanted to put a little more effort into making the stuffing for the roast turkey. Quantities are only approximate - I generally used the same volume of onion, celery and carrot, all cut up to roughly the same size, and I seasoned it with herbs, ketchup, salt and pepper to taste. I went out on a limb with the ketchup but for some reason (fortunately for me!) it worked quite well with the stuffing. For roasting the turkey itself, I found this site quite useful. For our 4kg turkey (stuffed weight), I roasted at 170degC (fan-forced) for 145 minutes, breast-side down for the first 90 minutes.

some olive oil (1/2 tablespoon)

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
3 rashers of bacon, chopped
3 slices of bread, crumbed (use a processor)
some stock or water (1-2 tablespoon - just enough to 'deglaze' pan but not too much otherwise you'll end up with soggy stuffing)

1 egg

Parsley and rosemary

Tomato ketchup
Salt and pepper

Saute the onions until it is translucent and cooked. Add the garlic, celery, carrot and bacon and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft and the bacon crisp. Add breadcrumbs and stir well. Add the water/stock, egg and herbs and stir well to combine. Add tomato ketchup, salt and pepper to taste.

Sponge Cake for Trifle

No recipe here, just wanted to show off how well this sponge cake turned out. It's almost a shame that I made this sponge cake specifically for the trifle, because it would have made a nice decorated cake. I've posted a trifle recipe before.

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