Entertaining-recipes

3 Easy Christmas Cocktail Recipes

Confused about which cocktails to serve with Christmas celebrations? Help is at hand. Babe Scott, a.k.a. The Lazy Hostess has created a few easy Christmas cocktails for every occasion so you can have a go-to arsenal of Christmas cheer up your sleeve at all times!

The Christmas Cosmo will have all your girlfriends giggling; The After Dinner Mint drink is the ideal ending for any festive meal; and a medicinal dose of the Merry Morning After will re-energise you and get you going for the next onslaught of festivities.

Merry Morning After – makes 1

25ml Cognac
Hot black coffee
Whipped cream
1 tsp sugar

Add Cognac to your coffee mug, fill with coffee and sweeten to taste.
Gently float whipped cream on to, sprinkle with grated chocolate, and serve.

ChristmasCosmoChristmas Cosmo – makes 1

35ml vodka
35ml cranberry
15ml amaretto

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker half filled with ice cubes. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Makes on serving.

* If you want to give your cocktail a festive feel, before pouring dip the rim of the glass in cranberry juice and edge with red sugar. You can make the red sugar simply by adding red food coloring to regular sugar in a sealed container shaking and letting sit for half and hour or so.

AfterDinnerMintcocktail

After Dinner Mint Cocktail – makes 1

35ml whole milk or heavy cream
15ml green crème de menthe
15ml oz crème de cacao

Shake all ingredients for 8 to 10 seconds, until blended, in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Strain and serve in a martini glass. If you like, dip the rim of the glass in crème de menthe and edge with chocolate sprinkles.

The Lazy Hostess is available in all good bookstores, RRP $29.95.

December 16, 2013

Matt Moran’s Citrus-Cured Salmon Recipe

Save this recipe for Christmas: celebrity chef Matt Moran shares an elegant summer entrée of citrus-cured Yarra Valley salmon with caviar and baby beetroot from his show Paddock to Plate. Curing your own salmon is really straightforward, and is sure to impress guests around your table.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 small side of salmon (about 900g), belly trimmed
150 g white sugar
100 g table salt
20 black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
20 coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
1 lemon rind, finely grated on a microplane
1 lime rind, finely grated on a microplane
1 orange rind, finely grated on a microplane
½ cup dill, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons white sugar
3 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
500 ml water
8 baby beetroot, small tender leaves trimmed and reserved

To serve
2 oranges, segmented
Handful of endive leaves
Crème fraiche
50 g Yarra Valley salmon caviar
Juice of ½ lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper

Method

1. Mix sugar, salt, crushed peppercorns and coriander seeds, citrus rinds and half the dill in a bowl to combine well. Spread half the curing mixture in the base of a tray large enough to fit the salmon snugly. Place salmon, skin-side down, in tray, then spread remaining curing mixture over the flesh, rubbing in as you go. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to cure (you’ll need to cure for at least 12 hours for a light cure and up to 24 hours for a more intense cure).

2. To cook the baby beetroot, stir the sugar, vinegar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and then bring to the boil. Add the beetroot and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. To check if ready, pierce with a skewer, then set aside to cool in the liquid. Drain beetroot and peel (use disposable gloves if you want to avoid stained hands), cut into halves and set aside.

3. Rinse curing mixture off the salmon under cold running water, pat dry thoroughly with absorbent paper. Remove pin-bones with fish tweezers, then spread mustard over salmon flesh with the back of a spoon. Scatter remaining dill over and press to cover.

4. To slice the salmon, starting at one end of the salmon fillet, cut straight down through the flesh with a thin sharp knife until you hit the skin, slicing at 2mm intervals (don’t cut all the way through, the flesh should still be attached to the skin). To remove the skin, cut down through the first incision then slice between the skin and the flesh, keeping your knife flat and cutting along to remove the skin in a single piece (discard skin).

5. To serve: arrange six or seven salmon slices on serving plates, divide beetroot among plates and scatter the orange segments, endive and baby beetroot leaves over the top. Dollop with crème fraiche and salmon caviar, then squeeze the lemon over the top, drizzle with olive oil, season to taste and serve.

Paddock to Plate airs on Wednesdays at 8.30pm, The Lifestyle Channel on Foxtel.

November 19, 2013

Karen Martini’s Baked Oysters with Bacon and Horseradish Cream

These sexy baked oysters with bacon and horseradish cream from Karen Martini’s gorgeous new cookbook Everyday would make an impressive first course for a dinner party or a canapé for summer parties.

These oysters are a refined nod to the Kilpatrick. The oysters gently warm through but stay bright and plump and keep their vibrant sea flavour – Karen Martini.

Everyday by Karen Martini, published by Pan Macmillan, RRP $39.95

Makes: 24

Ingredients

2 dozen oysters (plump Pacific oysters are great)
1.5 kg rock salt
120 ml cream
100 g parmesan cheese, finely grated
15-cm piece of fresh horseradish, peeled and finely grated, or 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
freshly ground black pepper
80 g unsalted butter, cut into dice, chilled
60 g fresh breadcrumbs
1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4 slices of streaky bacon, fried until crisp
2 lemons, quartered, to serve

Method

1. Set up the oysters on a baking tray, stabilising each oyster on a small pile of rock salt so they can be served straight from oven to table.

2. Preheat the oven grill to high.

3. Mix the cream, parmesan and horseradish in a bowl and season with pepper.

4. Top each oyster with half a tablespoon of the cream mixture, a tiny knob of butter and a grind of pepper. Combine the breadcrumbs and parsley and sprinkle over each oyster. Place under the grill for 3 minutes until golden (the oysters should not be fully cooked).

5. Before serving, break over the bacon and serve with the wedges of lemon.
karenmartinieveryday

November 3, 2013