Having an award winning chef in your kitchen for Christmas is a luxury that few of us can afford. Luckily for you, Woolworths have teamed up with chef Luke Dale Roberts to bring you a range of amazing, ready to cook products with all the hard work and trickery already done. With minimal fuss you can cook up a feast in your own kitchen, it really couldn’t be easier.
I was invited to the launch of Woolworth’s Christmas 2012 range a while back and I was given some samples of the products to try out at home, here’s how it turned out.
For canapes I went with the gorgeous Beetroot & Vanilla Salmon Gravlax. I served it on seed bread toast with baby leaves, creme fraiche, julienne beetroot and snipped chives. Make sure you remove the gravlax from the fridge and hour before serving so it gets to room temperature, it’s flavour comes out better that way.
For mains I went with the Lamb Shoulder Supreme, which is stuffed with a mix of dried cranberries, capers, pine nuts and rosemary. All you need to do is remove it from packaging, rub with olive oil, wrap in a double layer of tin foil (shiny side in) and cook for 2-3 hours in a 160 deg C oven. Carve and serve with some of the pan juices drizzled over, you may also want to adjust seasoning to your liking.
For sides I made some roast potatoes and green beans. Peel, cut and boil the potatoes in some salted water. When they start to go soft, drain in a colander and shake it up a bit, to roughen up the surface of the potatoes. Let it stand for a few minutes to steam off as much moisture as possible. Pop in a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake at 180 deg C for about 20 minutes or until golden.
For the green beans, I just flash fried them in a pan with some olive oil, garlic, salt and black pepper with a squeeze of lemon juice. Keeping things simple is often best.
I used a probe thermometer to check the roast for doneness. When I removed it from the foil after cooking it was a bit pale, so I browned it under the grill element of the oven for 5-10 minutes.
For desert I went with the decadent Chocolate Orange Fondant.
When making a fondant from scratch it can be a tad tricky to get the consistency just right, you want the centre to ooze out the dark, gooey chocolate when cut open. These came out perfect, and was easy enough to prepare.
Heat up the oven to 190 deg C, pop the little cups on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let it cool for 2 minutes before turning them out.
You will notice the little folds in the cups, these are meant to be pulled apart gently(see pic bottom left) to make it easier to turn out the fondant. Be gentle here guys, handling a fondant is still a delicate afair.
I served it with some whipped cream with sugar and some vanilla paste added to it.
I was really impressed with the quality, taste and ease of use of these products. If you still have no clue what to do for Christmas lunch and would like to impress your guests, this might just be your saving grace.
Here are some pics of the final dishes.
Beetroot and Vanilla Gravlax
Lamb Shoulder Supreme
Chocolate Orange Fondant
Happy festive season to you all! I sincerely hope the Mayans were wrong, as I have a rather long list of foods I want to devour this holiday and I would hate to have to cut it short.