Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gourmet Goddess Christmas

This year I hosted Christmas lunch for the first time in well over a decade and I really enjoyed putting together the menu. There were seven of us, including two vegetarians and I decided to not do the traditional thing (frankly, I would much rather eat roasted turkey, ham and pudding in winter than at the height of an Australian summer).  I also dumped the idea of a formal setting - I wanted the day to feel relaxed, so I served the starters and desserts in the living room, where everyone could just help themselves. I set up the main courses as a buffet in the dining room and we just moved there when we were ready. The menu has a distinct slant towards vegetarian dishes and I think this worked on two levels - one, that the vegos were well catered for and two, that the meal was a lot lighter than a traditional Christmas menu, so you didn't feel hideous and over fed afterwards. As my guests arrived they were served a cocktail based on the Lychee Blush (see recipe posted on 4 December)

The Christmas Menu

Potato pancakes with hollandaise and asparagus
Prawns with chive and garlic aoli

Shitake and swiss brown mushroom pies
Turkey, cranberry and mustard pies

Roasted tomato and red pepper gazpacho
with lemon and mint gelato

Boned, roasted free range chicken
with macadamia and lemon stuffing

Twice cooked spinach and leek roulade
with cauilflower and parmesan cream

Sumac roasted pumpkin salad
with spiced almonds and pomegranate

Salsa Verde
Roasted kipfler potatoes with fennel and red onion
Sauteed asparagus with garlic butter

Balsamic strawberries with basil icecream
White chocolate, limoncello and passionfruit petit fours
Choc dipped strawberries with preserved orange rind

 I was very lucky to receive some beautiful food related gifts this year, which I thought I would share with you. Michael and I both received gift certificates for Aria Restaurant - I'm very excited about sitting in that beautiful dining room overlooking the Opera House and partaking of Matt Moran's gorgeous menu!

I also scored the iconic Spanish cookbook by Simone & Ines Ortega - "1080 Recipes". This huge tome was translated into english and has been considered the authority on spanish home cooking for over 40 years. (I think of it as the equivalent to Australia's "Cooks Companion" by the brilliant Stephanie Alexander) I spent some of yesterday flicking through it and there are just so many fantastic recipes. I have already decided that my next dinner party is going to have a Spanish theme.

Now, some may think that I might be a little mad, getting excited about receiving three lumps of salt for Christmas. But I did, and I am!! "Diamond Salt" is pure, fossilised sea salt, formed over 260 million years ago. It looks like chunks of rose quartz and needs to be grated into food. (If you have it as a table salt, you provide a small grater, so that guests can grate their own) The flavour is sublime. My lovely friend Mark brought this back from France for me and it is a very welcome adittion to the Gourmet Goddess kitchen.

Foodie Gifts

I hope all of you got spend Christmas day the way you wanted to and that you got to share some delicious food with good company like I did. And yes, I'm keen to host Christmas lunch again next year :)



  1. The day was every bit as brilliant as it looks and then some! Thanks for having me and I hope you love the ARIA experience x

  2. Looks wonderful! I love potato blinis, care to share your recipe?

  3. Thanks ladies - blini recipe coming soon Jaq :)