I can almost hear the sleigh bells ringing at this stage! The kids have broken up from school; many many mistakes have been made I am sure following on from the invasion of the annual office party into every city, town and village and people are starting to lose their temper at the supermarket as everyone rushes out to get the things that they only buy once a year. Christmas mania is here; but not at Flavour HQ where we are the kind of calm and collected you only find where all overseas presents and cards have finally been posted; the meat for feasting has been ordererd weeks ago, and your veggies will be collected directly from the farm pre-ordered and pulled a mere two days before Christmas! The rest is just sweets, booze and cooking – simple!
Christmas dinner is the one thing I cannot help but plan literally months in advance! It’s my all time favourite meal of the year and everytime its my turn to host I like to try and do something a little different to keep it special and surprising for those that we dine with! Three days of feasting that I literally cannot wait for! Everyone has their own take on the perfect Christmas dinner, and for fear of me trying to teach anyone to suck eggs I thought I would share with you our Christmas feasting plans here at Flavour HQ more in case for anyone who maybe stuck for some ideas for one or more of their courses or meals over Christmas! There are no recipes written here yet, but if anyone would like me to send one or more of the recipes directly then just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook or Twitter and I will happily oblige!
Medium bodied red wine mulled with clementime, lemon, cinnamon and cloves finished with Cointreau and Brandy for an extra indulgent touch!
Festive Ham cooked in sweet fruit juices and spices for about 3 hours and then finished off in the oven studded with cloves and with a glaze made from homemade cranberry sauce, mustard powder and honey so it goes extra sticky and lovely! I’ll be serving this up with some fresh homemade soda bread (our recipe is here), baby potato and scallion salad, homemade carrot and fennel slaw, pickles and a leaf salad.
Desert is inspired by my recent trip to Belfast and a french patissiere in the Christmas market there: puff pastry tartlets, topped with thinly sliced caramelised applies and served up with a salted caramel sauce and ice cream.
Starting off the Christmas Day feast with an all traditional snowball (in memory of my Grandad who made a mean one) served in crystal glasses with a dressed rim of lime juice and icing suagr.
Starter: Choice of rustic wild West Cork rabbit terrine or a smooth chicken liver pate served with homemade red onion chutney, crostini, pickles and dressed winter salad leaves.
Mains: Slow roasted haunch of wild West Cork venison (marinaded overnight in port, red wine, garlic, rosemary, juniper berries, all spice berries and whole black and pink peppercorns) served up with braised red cabbage, duck fat roast potatoes, maple glazed carrots and parsnips, brussels sprouts with pancetta, garlic and chestnuts and served with a red wine and meadowsweet jus, homemade cranberry sauce and homemade horseradish sauce.
Desert: Winter Berry Trifle (blueberries, redcurrants and cranberry sauce), atop cointreau saoked ladies fingers and set in an orange and brandy jelly, topped with thick vanilla custard, whipped cream and white and dark chocolate shards.
MJ O’Neill’s special recipe spiced beef served with colcannon and plain mash, peas, carrots, portabello mushrooms, mustard and gravy.
I hope this helps to provide some inspiration for your Christmas feasts this year, or maybe for 2015 which, as we all know, won’t be long in coming around again – I already can’t wait!
Wishing all my supporters, friends, family and well wishers all the very best for a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmastime and with all good wishes for a great 2015!
Lots of of Love and a very Merry Christmas – Flavour.ie xxxx
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