I hope that everyone is still half-drunk, tummy aching from the stuffed stomach, and most importantly, you still can’t form a coherent sentence. This holiday season had been crazy for me. To add to the chaos, my aunty and cousin from Vancouver came and visited us at the last minute.
Every year, I would bake cookies for my friends as Christmas presents. However for this year, since I will be cooking Christmas dinner for them, I decided to stay away from baking. Instead, I concoct little jars of pancake mix which they can bring home after dinner and prepare it for breakfast. I also gave my friends a lemon, whisk and cooking instruction so all of them are well equipped and ready to cook.
And yes I did this foolish thing and decided to cook everyone dinner. It is safe to say it will be the first and last time I do such thing. The good thing was I got Christmas’ eve off so this left me time to buy and prep all the ingredients. Some of the dishes I have prepped the night before so all I need to was to warm up and they are good to go.
These are the dishes that I made for Christmas:
These are Dorie Greenspan’s recipe. I made them a couple of days before the dinner. They keep very well in the freezer. All I did was pop them in the oven to cook and warm them up again when the guests arrived. They were the crowd’s favourite – warm, cheesy and savoury.
Green salad with lemon vinaigrette
This was only the vegetable/ vegetarian dish that I had. I bought a pack of “normal” salad and a pack of arugula, and combined them in a bowl. I love arugula – the peppery and sharp arugula goes very well with the lemon vinaigrette which is basically lemon juice and olive oil (and a bit of black pepper). I also found some neglected cherry tomatoes which I promptly added in. I was very surprised to find an almost empty salad bowl at the end of the dinner. Simple is good.
oink’s seafood marinière
This dish was inspired by Rachel Khoo’s moules marinières which I saw on TV. Instead of white wine, I used Somersby’s pear cider. My friends thought I have slaved hours over the pot of marinière. The truth is this was done in 20 minutes. I am still tweaking the recipe, once that is done, it will be shared with all.
Since I posted a picture of my laksa pesto pasta, it was one of the most requested dishes that my friends asked me to make. I made the pesto the night before, a layer of olive oil was added to prevent the pesto from turning brown and stored it in the fridge. I was not used to cooking 1.5kg of pasta so I was glad my friend Clara was around to help me.
Rosemary and garlic grilled chicken
I saw Jamie Oliver cooking this dish in his latest series – 15-Minute Meal. I love the simplicity and I don’t even need to marinade the chicken overnight. However what made this dish special was the garlic that I added in the pan. Everyone devours them with gusto.
I got the recipe from Rachel Khoo’s The Little Paris Kitchen. At the last minute, I decided to make this dish as it was a success at another Christmas’ lunch and I have more people joining the dinner. This is a very simple dish to make. And cream and potatoes will always be a crowd pleaser.
Fusilli with chicken sausage and carbonara sauce
This was the least successful dish as I scrambled the sauce. Still the kids love it.
For dessert, my friends brought lava cake, fruits and drinks. My friend Kelly also made some delicious nachos for us too. The kids cannot stop eating the nachos. Though we didn’t stay awake for Christmas to arrive (we are boring old farts), I was glad everyone enjoy the food. Happy new year everyone!