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.
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
[That's more than their turkey! - But being boned that might well be cheaper than NTUCs bone-in lamb joint - who'd have thought].