turkey schmurkey

Christmas is a time of traditions and whatever, but for me they're not the ones you're thinking of. In my family, Christmas isn't actually a big deal, except that it's a chance for us to have a big meal together. If you have a Chinese family you'll know that this is not an odd occurrence. 

The main problem for me with Christmas is that I absolutely hate turkey. I just don't get it. I've cooked it plenty of times, and quite well (if I do say so myself). It's not just the difficult-to-prevent dryness, I just don't think it tastes good. So it's not Christmas dinner that I look forward to, but the boxing day lunch that my friends and I have every year. And since I do the cooking, I can make sure turkey stays off the menu.

The picture above is of a massive 5kg piece of beef fillet. I mean, now we're talking. No boring turkey that has to be drowned in gravy to taste of anything. This is real meat. 

This is the rest of the lunch: Smoked salmon and asparagus quiche, Broccoli with blue cheese dressing, Carrots glazed with honey and thyme, Chilli cornbread, Grapefruit and avocado salad and Truffled potato and wild mushroom layer bake.

I was particularly proud of the potatoes. There was a serious amount of truffle oil in them, which automatically makes them amazing - unless you don't like truffle, in which case what is wrong with you?!

Making the pastry for the quiche was unexpectedly testing. I honestly did not anticipate exactly how impossible the Singapore heat would make keeping the pastry in one piece. So we ended up sort of patching bits of pastry into the tray, which made for a really ugly piece of cooking. BUT, but! It turned out to be really flaky and buttery, probably because I've recently become paranoid about overworking pastry, and now eschew any method that recommends using a food processor in making pastry. I found smittenkitchen's method the best, although I don't have the awesome handheld pastry blender she has. Definitely on my kitchen wishlist.

Dessert was red velvet cupcakes, which contained a rather alarming amount of red food colouring. We used Nigella's recipe from Kitchen, but she uses food colouring paste in that. I could only get the normal liquid-y type stuff, so while we were mixing it up I made the decision to dump the entire bottle in, because it just didn't seem to be getting quite red enough. Okay, I realise they look more black than red here, but you'll have to take my word for it, as I forgot to take one of the inside of the cupcakes. 

SarahBeef, ChristmasComment