Christmas lunch 2014

We got together with Jac’s family for lunch on Christmas day. This year, Jac’s and my contribution to the meal was seafood for the first course. Jac did most of the work, though I did help with plating up. We served the seafood cold: cooked prawns (heads off, tails on) with seafood cocktail sauce, a dozen oysters natural with fresh lemon (Tabasco optional), a whole crayfish, calamari rings with a creamy garlic sauce, and especially for me, a tangy ceviche made with fish, coconut milk, lime juice and zest, cucumber and pickled jalapenos.

Vegetables, crackers and basil dip We crunched on vegetables and crackers with basil and cashew pesto dip before serving the seafood.

Table setting Table setting

Prawns with seafood cocktail sauce, oysters natural with lemon and Tabasco (not pictured) and marinated calamari with garlic sauceWe served the prawns with seafood cocktail sauce, oysters natural with lemon and the crayfish on ice on one of our drinks serving trays. The marinated calamari with garlic sauce was in its own bowl.

Snapper ceviche The snapper ceviche was conveniently placed right in front of me – I ate loads of it!

The ceviche recipe was from Gourmet Traveller magazine and is actually for kingfish; Jac substituted with red snapper. She prepared the squid following a recipe for calamari salad from Epicurious – but she skipped the salad part. Jac got all the seafood from her friend’s shop, South Perth Seafoods – thanks for another great feed, Kylie.

Some of the crayfish meat Some of the crayfish meat

Main course consisted of three meats: a Christmas ham, mediterranean roast lamb served with yoghurt and mint sauce and salsa verde, a couple of succulent roast chickens, and duck fat roasted potatoes. We had a couple of salads – rocket, pear and Parmesan, and a layered salad with Mexican flavours, made with refried beans, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, sour cream, salsa and cheese. There was a jug of brown gravy too.

Eyeing off the lamb bone Eyeing off the lamb bone

Roast lamb, duck fat potatoes, roast chicken and ham. Roast lamb, duck fat potatoes, roast chicken and ham

Rocket and pear salad Rocket and pear salad. The Mexican layered salad tastes much better than it looks, so I haven’t included a picture.

After clearing the table, taking a rest and exchanging gifts, we moved on to dessert – trifle and homemade fruit mince pies. Jac’s brother’s wife Kelsie’s trifle was a beaut – layers of mixed berries, sponge, custard and limoncello jelly, topped with cream and toasted flaked almonds.

The trifle The trifle

Homemade fruit mince pies Homemade fruit mince pies made by Kelsie’s mum. They disappeared very quickly.

Trifle

This is NOT a complaint, but some years we end up with a huge amount of leftovers and get sick of eating them (end up freezing them). This year, I think we got the balance right. There was plenty to enjoy on the day and during the lazy days following Christmas, but without overdoing it – of course, it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without leftovers.

With time to cook, Jac got busy in our kitchen and used leftover prawns to make prawn and onion sambal to go with her first ever homemade nasi lemak. It was pretty good – I had seconds and ate more the next day! She’s keen to improve it and I’ll be right there to taste test, encourage and give helpful feedback. My first suggestion is that I get us some frozen pandan leaves to enhance the flavour of the rice next time (can’t get fresh pandan in Perth).

Jac's homemade nasi lemak with leftover prawns converted into sambal Jac’s first homemade nasi lemak with leftover prawns converted into sambal.
She also battered and fried snapper off-cuts which she didn’t use in the ceviche.

We actually forgot to take our container of Christmas ham home with us – I was devastated when we realised! But Jac dropped by to pick it up the next day, and then cooked up a batch of fried rice using some of the ham. We still have a chunk of ham left, calling me from a shelf in our fridge – there’ll be a couple of rounds of Christmas ham, cheese and mustard toasties in my immediate future.

Fried rice made with Christmas ham Fried rice made with Christmas ham, one of my favourite breakfast dishes

Hope you had a good Christmas. I’d love to hear about how you enjoyed/transformed your Christmas leftovers – feel free to leave a comment and upload a picture if you have one.

Just under a month to go, and I’ll be back at work. That long service leave has flown by.

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  • Nicole Jackson

    We went out to dinner at a Mongolian BBQ place. The one next to Cracker Barrel. It was not good. Next year I think I’ll do either lamb or maybe even a fried turkey.

    • What a shame the Mongolian BBQ wasn’t good! We usually eat turkey until we are sick of it, so I was glad we had chooks instead. And I love lamb.

  • Deborah Shane

    Those are sipping size oysters! A seafood lover like me could polish off half of them or more. The calamari caught my eye…looks delish…does it “cook” itself in lime or lemon juice like ceviche does? I had Italian leftovers from a friend’s Christmas Eve feast, and the best part of it was the 5 giant garlic prawns she served me with my salad! I am doing a capon for New Year’s…a rare treat.

    • Deborah, yep – pretty sure they were Tasmanian oysters. Jac and her brothers slurped them up. I think the ‘dressing’ did cook the calamari a little. Jac cooked them according to the recipe – in boiling salted water, uncovered, until just opaque, 40 to 60 seconds. Mmmm, giant garlic prawns sound great! I haven’t had capon. Not even sure we can get them here.

  • Happy Christmas – fresh seafood is the best way to celebrate!

    We didn’t actually have too many leftovers, and really just cobbled together a bit of a smorgasbord of bitsy meals over the next few days.

    • In previous years, dinner’s been a ‘carpet picnic’ – a selection of leftover bits laid out on the floor like a picnic. :)

  • Cindy M

    I thought I’d last posted in early January…apparently not! Love the *festive* table setting – especially the “crackers” (I believe they’re called?). Where to begin?? Duck fat potatoes…oh man. I must try – even if having to make myself. Basically this land-lubber doesn’t care for seafood, so I’d be having bits of roast chicken and ham. :-) But the seafood is very attractively displaced; I would have a couple of prawns. Rocket and pear salad, hmmm. I’d like to taste that! Spectacular trifle; what a beauty! And the fruit mince pies, yum yum. My father liked raisins and spices, but he never tried mince or mincemeat (pie or other). He died at age 54 (cancer), and for years I’ve often made mincemeat tarts for Christmas; such a unique and delicious taste, and I’m always sorry he deliberately missed out! Jak’s homemade nemi lemak looks tasty, as does the fried rice. You all sure know how to cook and eat!