With all the travel and other stuff happening, Sunday became our family Christmas dinner and with only 4 days to prepare, we each were asked to bring a couple of dishes to the table.
For an occassion such as this, I would've preferred a month's notice, especially since no one else had confirmed what they were bringing to the table. The last thing I wanted was to prepare something someone else was bringing. So I had the SO call his genetic womenfolk to confirm their dishes, while I rummaged through my cookbooks for some inspiration.
And these are what I came up with.
Vol au vonts is one of those things that look incredibly complicated due to their tiny nature,
but it actually not that difficult to make.
I originally wanted to make my own vol au vont casings with puff pastry,
but couldn't find my round cookie cutter.
So I had to settle with store bought ones.Vol au vonts (from the Cook's Book of Everything)
Makes 50 mini pieces of vol au vonts
- 40gms butter
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 375ml milk
- 350gms of any filling you like: steamed asparagus, tuna, salmon, cooked mushrooms
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat and add the chopped spring onions, cooking them till they become soft.
- Add the flour and keep stirring while cooking them till it becomes golden brown. Do not leave it, as there's the potential to burn the flour.
- Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to get a thick creamy white sauce. This will take about 3-4 minutes. Season generously before adding whatever filling you want.
- Using a teaspoon, carefully spoon in the filling into each casing. You can add a sprig of finely chopped dill or capers on top of each one if you used salmon or tuna.
- To serve, pop them in the oven for 2-3 mins in a warm oven.
This salsa is one of my favorite things to make this summer.
Not only cuz it's easy and doesn't require any cooking,
but when served slightly chilled, all the juicy tomatoes and cucumber bursts with a touch of zesty tang.Fresh salsa (from Super Food Ideas)
Makes a bowl for a large bag of corn chips
- 2 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 small cucumber, finely chopped
- Half a red onion, finely chopped
- 1 small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Half a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and allow it to sit in the fridge 15 mins. The tomatoes will leak quite a bit of liquid in the process, so drain it off and serve slightly chilled with crispy corn chips.
And for the garden salad, throw in everything green and fresh.
And to accompany the greens, I made a wasabi dressing.
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 big squirt of wasabi
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 drops sesame oil
- Pinch of salt
Combine all the ingredients in a small jar and shake the shit out of it. Pour over salad.
The sister-in-law's offering
The dad-in-law's potato bake with a mouthwatering combination of cheese and bacon
The sister-in-law's dessert
Unfortunately the plum pudding isn't pictured,
but since it was store bought rather than the one my mum-in-law makes every year,
a lack of photographic evidence is fine. (^_-)-☆
Since the dad-in-law wasn't feeling well,
carving fell on the SO.
And he butchered it. (^_^;;)
My nibbles offering. Sugar and Spice Stars (from Super Food Ideas Christmas speciall 2009)
Makes 35 pieces
- 125gms butter, softened
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup plan flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup rice flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice, sifted
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, sifted
- 1 teaspoon rice flour
- 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
- Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer (or a whisk and a lot of elbow grease), beat butter, caster sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in the flours, mixed spice, cinnamon and extra rice flour.
- Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Using a 5cm star-shaped cutter, cut shapes from the dough. Re-roll scraps and repeat. Place prepared shapes on baking tray and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
- Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan forced. Bake for 20-25 mins until golden. Cool on tray.
Another session of over-eating and indulgence come and gone. (^_^)♪