Of course it was worth it though – after all, if you can’t let your hair down a bit at Christmas then when can you? And you’ve already undone the hard work of the year’s diet by drinking, eating and making merry every night time and lunch time throughout December. Not to mention the countless tins of Roses, Celebrations, Heroes, Ferrero Rocher and shortbread that somehow find their way into your belly throughout the festive period. You might as well see out the year with a last, glorious series of meals. So I did!
Christmas eve eve dinner with Mum
- Starter: chicory with walnuts and gorgonzola and a honey and mustard dressing
- Main: Crab and tomato orzo pasta with cod – I saw this on Masterchef and so made up my own version, mixing white crab meat, roasted tomatoes, garlic and basil with orzo pasta. I topped it off with some parmesan cheese and a pan-fried cod fillet and it was delicious!
- Pudding: apple crumble
Christmas eve dinner
Hot smoked salmon filo pie – I saw a version of this on a Paul Hollywood programme but re-jigged the recipe to suit my tastes. I’ll post the full recipe in the coming weeks, but it’s a combination of hot-smoked salmon (usually sold in fillets and already cooked through the smoking process – a bit like smoked mackerel and really delicious – albeit rich), leeks, cream cheese and potatoes and seasoning encased in layers of filo pastry.
Breakfast was eggs benedict made with homemade english breakfast muffins, home-roasted ham, a burford brown poached egg and hollandaise sauce … plus a couple of glasses of bucks fizz. Andrew also likes tomato sliced on his. He also manages two of them for breakfast – he truly is the pig king! Of course, we need full tummies as we don’t normally eat Christmas dinner until around 5pm …
Christmas dinner was as follows:
- Starter: duck foie gras with brioche and homemade red onion marmalade
- Main: roast goose, pigs in blankets, goose fat roasted potatoes, sage and onion stuffing, carrot with peas and spinach, braised red cabbage
- Pudding: vanilla panna cotta with pineapple steeped in rum (recipe to follow in an upcoming post)
After we had finished that lot, all we were good for was a slump on the sofa in front of Doctor Who. But isn’t that what Christmas day is all about anyway?
As we had friends over, I did a buffet which included cold goose, ham and pigs in blankets; sausage rolls; salmon filo pie; twiglets, cheese balls, roasted peanuts and dry-roasted peanuts; pickles; homemade rocky road; fairy cakes, Christmas cake; cheese board. We barely made a dent in it, but the main thing is I tried to share the foodie love with others – it’s not my fault if they didn’t eat it and therefore we were forced to … boy, life is tough sometimes …
Andrew’s aunties and uncle came over for tea and cake (and I also managed to palm off some leftovers on them!) and they managed to polish off half of my Christmas cake! Well done Betty, Kate and Richard … and Andrew managed to make a dent in the fairy cakes as well!
New Year’s Eve eve
As we were off out for dinner I did a fabulous fry up for breakfast using all of the goodies from Frank Godfrey butcher, including poached burford brown eggs, smoked back bacon, black pudding, baked beans and toast. Scrummy!
We had dinner at the Paramount in Soho (at the top of the CentrePoint tower) and I had G&Ts and prosecco as a little aperitif before feasting on fennel, stilton and cobnut salad; venison with celeriac remoulade and pommes boulangiere (I also stole a couple of duck fat fried chips from Andrew’s plate!); and mont blanc for pudding, which included chocolate meringue with chestnut ice cream. Followed by more G&Ts! Lovely, but incredibly expensive as you pay for the view, so I wouldn’t go back again.
New Year’s Eve
So after the excesses of the night before, we decided to treat ourselves to a lovely bit of rolled sirloin from Morley Butchers in Crouch End and have a quiet night in. The menu for the last day of 2013 was:
- Starter: spicy prawn balls with homemade chilli mayonnaise and salad (recipe to follow)
- Main: rare roast beef, yorkshire pudding (seriously, look at the size of those beauties!), goose fat roasted potatoes and carrots, leeks and spinach with port-enriched gravy
- Pudding: vanilla creme brulee (another recipe to follow soon)
And of course, as well as eating all of the above I still had the usual chocolates and salty snacks, morsels of cheese and fruit – no wonder my reunion with the scales this morning was not very affectionate. So today, the first day of 2014, is a healthy one so that I can shed these excess pounds before I head to Sri Lanka at the end of this month.
Good luck to the rest of you who are trying to behave, and a very Happy New Year from It’s Not Easy Being Greedy. My new year’s resolution for 2014? To type up all of the recipes I have referred to in this post! Have a good one 🙂