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Are you hosting an Xmas meal, if so what are you serving?

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JR8
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Are you hosting an Xmas meal, if so what are you serving?

Postby JR8 » Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:52 pm

Following on from a discussion earlier today re: home-made dishes of crab, cake and ice-cream, I was wondering what those who are hosting a Christmas meal are thinking of serving.

I'll start out by declaring that as much as I enjoy cooking and hosting, I find kitchens here generally so small that you can feel as if you don't have room to breath. For me this makes dishing up the classic A-Z multi-course meal a stressful challenge. In short, I do not relish 'my holiday' morphing into 8hrs in the kitchen. I've done it before and this year I would like to simplify it as much as possible.

I've previously done a 12lb roast turkey etc with all the trimmings, presentation 'show carving' etc, but being honest for the guests the, er, cultural significance (and work involved) seems a little out of balance with how it is received. So, KISS is the plan! I try and start this way each year, and seemingly other people's requests get added along the way. I think I will have to draw a rock-solid line on this, once again.

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So what I'm thinking is, to what extent I can break down the whole into separate parts. I have a good Xmas pudding that I can steam (1hr), so that's simple enough. Served with vanilla ice cream (prep: anytime beforehand) that might be all that's needed for dessert.

Starters: Not sure yet. I really like the idea of SMSs crab-cakes. No guests seem to be into green side-salads, and me too... so not sure what that might go with. Perhaps an almost savoury or sweet/sour chopped mango thing could work. ... don't know...

Then to the main. Turkey is the natural choice, but although untraditional, I've previously done a largish high-end roast chicken before, and it tastes much better (IMHO). Ideally I would like to get a boned+rolled joint, but I've not seen them here, and asking around has given no positive answer. It would be interesting to learn how to make a boned and rolled (B/R) poultry joint, but this is probably not the time to be experimenting :?

So, right now, I'm considering doing a B/R leg joint of lamb + stuffing + maybe 2 veg (the lamb is rich, so maybe new potatoes for no.1 rather than roast, and that'd be less work too, maybe simple peas+mini-carrots for the second) + gravy. I'm thinking also that tradition matters less, and good lamb should also fit everyone's taste better.

That's where my ideas are at right now. I'd love to hear what other people have in mind too, esp if they're a bit kitchen/time challenged too.

----
Some observations re: my task ahead:
- Needs to come with a 'No pork promise' ;)
- NTUC don't do boneless poultry joints, per their Xmas catalogue
- NTUC do a 2.2kg bone-in lamb joint for $65.50
- Jasons Xmas catalogue (lots of whole turkeys, hams) - nothing that will work. The front cover of the brochure pictures snow-crabs, oysters and prawns... but I see no fresh seafood listed inside.. ?
- Swiss Butcher. Boneless lamb leg, $40/kg, approx 2kg :o [That's more than their turkey! - But being boned that might well be cheaper than NTUCs bone-in lamb joint - who'd have thought].
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Are you hosting an Xmas meal, if so what are you serving

Postby PNGMK » Wed, 10 Dec 2014 10:14 pm

At least one supermarket (shop n save?) is offering a ham (0.8kg), Turkey (4.5kg) and some other stuff all cooked and delivered at a pretty good price.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Are you hosting an Xmas meal, if so what are you serving

Postby Girl_Next_Door » Thu, 11 Dec 2014 9:15 am

I came to know two whole sale markets, which i saw on some yahoo news. One is Allswell marketing in geylang and another is Fassler Gourmet. I have not tried either, but am thinking of going down to take a look. You might be able to find a few good seafood?

For me, I am serving foie gras (no talent needed), roasting some vegs and will probably order a turkey. I will make my own log cake, which consist of an entremet and cover it with coffee cream. Hopefully it taste good!

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Re: Are you hosting an Xmas meal, if so what are you serving

Postby nakatago » Thu, 11 Dec 2014 10:05 am

I'll be using the oven so I'm planning to put several dishes in there with a course or two on the stove top. I like cooking but I also do not relish slaving over a hot stove so there will be some engineering involved

barbecue ribs (beef or pork; haven't decided)
spiced/seasoned fries or wedges
special coleslaw
roasted vegetables
corn on a cob (TBD)
still thinking about getting some leg ham
for dessert: ube halaya, some leche flan if I still feel like it
and some craft beer

For obvious but unstated reasons, I won't be utilizing the same food sources as youse guys.

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Re: Are you hosting an Xmas meal, if so what are you serving

Postby Steve1960 » Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:06 am

JR8 I have had exactly the same experience last year, my wife just doesn't get the whole traditional turkey dinner thing and after slaving over the hot stove I got 'the vegetables were nice but I am not sure I like turkey, maybe it would be better with rice'! :x

So this year we are going to mix it up a little. My wife and the maid are going to cook some Filipino style food and I am going to cherry pick the bits of traditional Christmas my wife does like. The likes are Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, Brussel sprouts and honey roast ham so that will be the western contribution.

As for desert I agree Christmas pud is enough although forget ice cream, brandy butter or anything else it really must be custard :P

I am dribbling now just thinking about the food..........................

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Re: Are you hosting an Xmas meal, if so what are you serving

Postby nakatago » Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:35 am

Steve1960 wrote:JR8 I have had exactly the same experience last year, my wife just doesn't get the whole traditional turkey dinner thing and after slaving over the hot stove I got 'the vegetables were nice but I am not sure I like turkey, maybe it would be better with rice'! :x .


A lot of Filipinos would complain that they will go hungry abroad* because "there is no rice." Then they come back plump, as if it were Christmas and had just gone to 200 Christmas family reunions.


*Not me. I'm already used to not eating rice every meal.

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Re: Are you hosting an Xmas meal, if so what are you serving

Postby QRM » Thu, 11 Dec 2014 5:13 pm

This time we are not bothering with the mulled wine despite spending hours over concocting the perfect brew no one (mainly locals) would touch it, understandable I suppose because we are in the tropics :D

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Re: Are you hosting an Xmas meal, if so what are you serving

Postby Primrose Hill » Fri, 12 Dec 2014 9:10 am

Christmas meal as per last year - turkey with stuffing, brussel sprouts, roast spuds and mash (daughter's influence) and some other veg, maybe carrot puree. Dessert will be a small christmas pud with brandy butter (no one likes christmas pud in our family), then traditional trifle (with white rum), steam chocolate pudding that resembles the shape of christmas pud, the black cake that I will be baking (hopefully this weekend) and if I get time a chocolate log, homemade.
And we have 12 to christmas late lunch early dinner this year

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Re: Are you hosting an Xmas meal, if so what are you serving

Postby JR8 » Fri, 12 Dec 2014 9:36 am

nakatago wrote:A lot of Filipinos would complain that they will go hungry abroad* because "there is no rice." Then they come back plump, as if it were Christmas and had just gone to 200 Christmas family reunions.


Ha! Reminds me of my mother-in-law, last time I did the Xmas turkey lunch she took one mouthful and asked if she could have some chili sauce... :o :roll:
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Are you hosting an Xmas meal, if so what are you serving

Postby JR8 » Fri, 12 Dec 2014 9:54 am

QRM wrote:This time we are not bothering with the mulled wine despite spending hours over concocting the perfect brew no one (mainly locals) would touch it, understandable I suppose because we are in the tropics :D


re: Mulled wine.
Downtown (Little India and vicinity) you can get some huge cinnamon sticks, thick as broom handles and maybe 15-18" long. We had a pack when back in Europe and left one in the punch bowl to use as a stirrer, guests used to the usual sticks like a 4" pencil were like 'What is THAT!?'. Hehehe... quite fun...

I think mulled-wine falls into the category (with presentation turkey roasts) of being more trouble than it's worth...

--- Something I previously considered was how brew mulled wine without boiling off all the ($$$) alcohol. I like what the Germans do with gluhwein, they serve you a hot mugfull and only then add a generous shot of liquor to it... perfect to warm you up as you wonder around a snowy Xmas market ('weihnachtsmarkt' ??). You can feel the first swig of it going down, progressively pointing down your chest to how far the glow has progressed :cool:
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard


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