Since I have already had my Pre-Christmas Dinner for 2012 I thought I had really better publish the Menu from 2011! I had got all caught up in the hecticness of Christmas last year and by the time January rolled around I thought I may as well publish this in December as inspiration for anyone needing it for their Christmas cooking.
Christmas has, once again, got the better of me!
We had a starter of Lobster Thermidor I have to confess, I didn’t like it! I didn’t care for the herbs and the lobsters I’d bought, were rather disappointing little things. I didn’t have high hopes for them, they seemed too good to be true, and, while very impressive visually to serve, I thought they were rather lacking in the flavour department. As you will see above, my sister, being a vegetarian, got a square of puff pastry filled with creamy mushrooms and did not have to eat any defenceless sea creatures.
For our main course I took my inspiration from The 12 Days of Christmas and served roast partridge with pears and seasonal vegetables.
The partridge were shot specially for my by arrangement with our lovely local butcher. I have to say, I got rather squeamish about them and their little feet and had to draft in my father to sort that out for me. You also have to be careful to search out any shot that ti still in them. They’re tiny little pellets but they’re hell on the teeth if found that way!
I wrapped my partridge with streaky bacon, having rubbed them all over with a herb butter and stuffed them with a handfull of thyme sprigs and a clove of garlic. They are small and can dry out so the herb butter was generous and the bacon served to both add flavour and retain moistness.
The partridge and the pears were roasted at Gas mark 6 for 45-50 minutes. I erred on the side of caution with cooking these as I needed them to be cooked through. I knew from a trial run that a supermarket bought one took 45 mins but that was smaller than these wild ones.
Finally, for dessert we had a Clementine Syllabub. I had specially bought a sweet dessert wine to go in and with this. It proved undrinkable! However, as a dessert it was lovely.
It’s a brilliantly quick dessert to whip up. You simply whip a small (300ml) tub of cream with 4tbsp icing sugar and 200ml sweet wine until it forms soft peaks. Then you stir in a tin of drained clementine segments (mandarin segments will do just as well) reserving a few whole ones for decoration.
So, there you are. Hopefully it may provide a little inspiration if you are in need of any for your upcoming festivities. I will now try to get this year’s menu published at some point before Christmas Day!