The A to Z of Christmas food
Date: Monday, 10 December 2012
Seasonal fruits like avos, cherries and mangoes appear on every Aussie Christmas table as a welcome break from all the gluttony!
B for Brandy
Brandy butter is made by beating butter with sugar and rum. A dollop is served with plum pudding at the end of a Christmas meal in England.
C for Chestnuts
Combine various Christmas flavours in one dish by sautéing chopped chestnuts and bacon in a pan until golden and crispy, then serving over raw shells of Brussels sprouts as a salad.
D for Dregs
Leftover prawns and turkey? Fry celery, capsicum, onions and garlic, add paprika, white rice and tomatoes and keep adding stock like a risotto until rice is cooked. Throw in turkey and prawns and serve your Creole jambalaya!
E for Eggnog
A sweetened, custardy drink with alcohol is still popular in America throughout December.
F for Fruitcake
There’s nothing boring about Christmas cakes in the UK! Traditionally, Brits cover the dense, treacly fruit cake with marzipan, then hard royal icing, then decorate with holly leaves, robins or snowmen made from icing!
G for Goose
Goose used to be the roast of choice on Christmas Day, but turkey replaced it in the 16th century when people began to view geese as too ‘common’ and not as meaty.
H for Ham
Boil your ham in Diet Coke for a few hours, before smothering with soft brown sugar and hot English mustard, studding with cloves and roasting. Delicious!
I for Indigestion
You’re likely to feel very, erm, stuffed at some point this Christmas. Aid indigestion by starting each day with a fibre-filled breakfast, sipping peppermint tea after meals and snacking on probiotic yogurt.
J for Jam
Treat Christmas guests to toasted scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam! Want something savoury? Bake a whole brie smothered with apricot jam until gooey then dunk with chunks of crusty bread.
K for Kale
Kale is the trendiest vegetable of 2012, but it’s also incredibly good for you (low in calories, high in iron and full of antioxidants. Toss with spinach and rocket and serve with a lemony dressing and toasted walnuts.
L for Local
Hit up your local farmer’s markets just before Christmas to get the freshest, most seasonal produce! The food will last longer, taste better and you’ll have done your bit for your community.
M for Marzipan
Strong, almond-flavoured confection popularly used to ice Christmas cakes or rolled into animal figurines as gifts for New Year’s Day.
N for Nasturtium
Edible flowers such as nasturtiums are all the rage at the moment and there’s no better way to liven up a simple green salad on your Christmas table!
O for Oranges
Although kids’ stockings now tend to be filled with wrapped pressies, they used to contain oranges or coal (depending on whether the child had been naughty or nice).
P for Pavlova
Although the argument about the origins of this creamy meringue dessert continues, pavlova is still the number one summer sweet of choice in both Australia and New Zealand.
Q for Quince
Maggie Beer’s quince paste is a scrummy addition to any cheese platter while entertaining over the seasonal period.
R for Rocky Road
Make your own by melting dark chocolate in a bowl over hot water, stirring in crushed biscuits, pistachios, marshmallows and dried cranberries and leaving to cool in a lined baking tin.
S for Shellfish
Dip prawns and bugs into a mixture of yogurt, dill, capers, parsley, lemon and garlic, or drizzle your oysters with a dressing made from rice wine vinegar, honey, cucumber, chilli, soy and fish sauce.
T for Turkey
Can you believe that the UK consumes approximately 10 million turkeys every Christmas?! Make your own stuffing by mixing breadcrumbs, 1 egg yolk, sausagemeat, pistachios, sage and dried figs.
U for Unique gifts
Make your friends edible pressies this year! Homemade Thai curry paste in a pretty pot? Mango chutney? Chocolate chilli truffles? Give it a go!
V for Vino
Match wines to foods to really class up your Christmas. A pinot noir will go great with your ham, Turkey loves a crisp sauvignon blanc, while a sweeter, sparkly moscato will compliment your prawns.
W for Wassail
This hot mulled cider is all the range in Europe at the moment. Make a cold Aussie version by mixing cider, fresh ginger, apple slices, cloves, sugar syrup, brandy and ice.
X for Xmas pudding
This boiled fruity pudding is set alight with brandy on serving. Traditionally, small silver coins were tossed into the pudding mixture and the person who found them would get good luck.
Y for Yule log
This sponge cake rolled into a log and frosted is popular in French festive feasts.
Z for Zest
Whether you’re grating orange zest into your ham marinade, lemon into your stuffing or lime into your sangria, it’s definitely true that the aroma and flavour of citrus peel screams Christmas.