A down under Christmas is typically hot. Many Christmas traditions come from the northern hemisphere, where it’s a very different story temperature wise. Although many of us still like to bake a ham, serve up roast veggies and dish out the gravy, many others have started integrating dishes into their Christmas spread that suit our warmer climate.
For instance a major feature of many Aussie Christmas meals is seafood, especially prawns. Here a few more ideas you can slip in to your repertoire to help adapt your Christmas menu to the Australian summer:
These recipes are for 6 people so scale them up or down depending on what you need:
A soup served cold. It sounds French, but it was invented in America by a French chef.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 8 leeks, white part only thinly sliced
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups cream
- 1 bunch of chives, thinly sliced
- Melt butter and gently sauté leeks (5 mins) then add potatoes and begin to cook through (2-3 mins).
- Add stock and bring up to the boil and then simmer on low heat for half an hour.
- Puree the soup - be very careful as potatoes hold heat very well and are very hot.
- Return puree to pan, stir in the cream and cook on a low heat for a few minutes.
- If you want a thinner soup add more stock.
- Allow soup to cool down to room temperature, cover and place in fridge to chill.
You can make this soup a day or two before you serve it - in fact, it tastes better this way!
Smoked trout canapes
Smoked trout has a less fishy flavour than smoked salmon, so it is more accessible to more people.
To prepare these hors d’oeuvres many combinations of creamy dairy and herb will work well. For example: crème fraiche and chives, cream cheese and parsley, sour cream and dill
Add your dairy plus herb mixture to a blini, volauvent, ultra-thin wafer, crunchy rye cracker or toasted ciabatta then drape some smoked trout on top. Super easy and super delicious!
Persian Watermelon Salad
Watermelon used as a savoury item adds an amazing freshness to this salad.
- Half a watermelon, seeds removed flesh cut into 3cm cubes
- 1 red onion very thinly sliced and blanched in ice water
- 250gms feta cheese, cubed
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes (whole or halved up to you)
- 1 bunch of mint, roughly chopped or ripped
- Splash of rosewater
- Handful of lightly crushed pistachio
- Extra virgin olive oil to dress
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss to mix.
Goes great with BBQ meats or roasted poultry.
Coconut Curry Prawns
A light and fresh dish inspired by the flavours of India.
- Half a kilo of cooked prawns, deshelled and cleaned
- 200gms coconut cream
- 1 heaped tablespoon Madras curry powder (or less if you have sensitive guests!)
- Handful of sliced almonds (lightly toasted or not is up to you)
- Handful of desiccated coconut
- Bunch of coriander, leaves removed from stalks
- Combine curry powder and coconut cream in a bowl and mix very well.
- All curry powders differ, so make sure to taste your sauce and add more curry powder as needed. Pour curry sauce over the prawns and toss to combine.
- Sprinkle almonds, coconut and coriander on top.
- Serve as is or with some warmed up pita bread, any type of rice or with rice vermicelli noodles.