THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS EVE
The Christmas Eve celebrations are always the best pop-up event for fun, laughter, a little craziness and food of course. This was our 10th and booked well in advance of December, even. We have Christmas songs, always the same ones because they are just fun. Rockin' Robin (which I hold fast is a Christmas song), Jingle Bells, All I want for Christmas and Last Christmas. The night begins with everyone popping their balloons. It's my answer to christmas crackers. In them are a small gift, a riddle, a number for the dirty Santa game and snow and glitter. The dirty Santa gift picking. It gets nasty and it's hilarious. Always on par with Boxing Day sales in terms of snatch and grab.
The staff in the kitchen this year was minimal, but efficient. I did miss my usual elves - Dave and my daughter Bell though.
The food this year....
Goat's cheese with pumpkin chutney on toast rounds toped with roast red pepper.
Mackerel gravlax with horseradish mayonnaise, cucumber on toast rounds topped with a caper.
deep fried Smoked cheese and spring onion balls
We had a two choice starter for pork eaters and non-pork. The non-pork version was a strip of sourdough bread, toasted with olive oil and fresh grated tomato, brie cheese with smoked salmon, roasted peppers with beef pastirma, basil cream with tongue, dotted with pickled cucumber and onions.
The pork version was meat sourced from my trip to Granada in Spain and Amsterdam. Iberica pork with brie, hand cut, Iberica salami reserve with red peppers and Black Forest ham with pesto cream.
The 2nd starter had everyone asking if the recipe was in my Punjab cookbook. It isn't but it will be in the Singapore cookbook under the Eurasian section. This was chicken Mulligatawny soup. Roasted chicken bones and meat, cooked for stock, my home made Madras curry powder, celeriac and carrots and raisins, topped with fried onion and garlic.
The Main course was beef tenderloin. I sous vide it first with thyme, salt and pepper. Then flash fried it on the night to get a crust on the meat. The sauce was made from 1.5 bottles of port and beef marrow stock. A shaving of stilton on the beef was topped off with a pastry hat - a sort of beef Wellington deconstructed. This sat on caramelized onions. We served this with carrots cooked in whiskey and brown sugar.
Potato cubes with truffle mayonnaise completed the main course.
We finished off with chocolate and orange sponge cake and cointreau cream, topped with pismaniye (a tahini candy floss) and caramel hazelnut.
Every table had a small bubble container and the air was filled with little magical Christmas Eve bubbles.