I have a slightly different take on the word seasonal this week. One that is usually associated with November & December... yep, it was Christmas at our place over the weekend. I love Christmas. Not the crazy consumerism, I hate that! But, getting all your loved ones together, and lavishing them with an amazing meal. That, I can get on board with. However, it is way too hot in Perth at Christmas time to even think about turning the oven on, let alone roasting a turkey for a million hours, so we always tend towards a non-roasted option - seafood, bbq, ham & salad, something like that.
But that all means, that although I have cooked some crazy feasts, I have never cooked a turkey roast. So this year I decided I was going to celebrate Christmas in July (with about a weeks notice...) I spent most of the week trying to track down a suitable turkey, and just as I was about to call it all off as I couldn't find anything other than the weird turkey loaf from the freezer section, I had a thought to try the amazing butcher I buy my Christmas ham from. Why I didn't put two and two together earlier I do not know! So with a hugggeee free range turkey buffe (bone-in breasts) sourced, I invited the usual suspects, and got planning!
Where am I going with this you ask? Well this weeks recipe was part of the Christmas in July feast, and I am still so excited about that darn turkey, that I'm going to share all of the meal with you.
But first, a little bit about cauliflower. I really, seriously, believe that cauli is one of the most underrated veges ever (on par with Brussels sprouts). I love it, but it has a really bad rap thanks to that funky smell that comes from overcooking (boiling is especially bad for that, with the bonus of making it mushy and tasteless - that's a lose-lose!). I am happy to eat it roasted with a touch of olive oil and salt, but there are many more great options too. In Australia, cauliflowers are in season from April/May to September, depending a little on your local climate. It's crazy high in vitamin C, with a healthy dose of vitamin K, and most of the B group vitamins as well.
Right, back to Christmas - we stared with Jamie's Mulled Wine, and smoked salmon toasts (Tassie salmon, dill, capers & cream cheese, on The Husbands soy & linseed loaf).
Then progressed to the main course. More mulled wine; cranberry & pistachio stuffed turkey breast; roast pumpkin wedges; Yotam Ottolenghi's Beans with many Spices and Lovage, thanks to my sister; and Saffron Cauliflower - (another Ottolenghi recipe, you could say we're a little obsessed...)
And then we rounded it out with sour cherry & chocolate fruit cake with brandy parfait icecream.
As I didn't change any of the recipes much, I won't replicate them here. All are linked below, with a couple of comments.
- Yotam Ottolenghi's Saffron Cauliflower
I 'only' used half the saffron, cos I'm not made of money, but otherwise, this was to the recipe. You end up with a kind of 'steamed' result, but I think this would be great if you took the foil off for the last 20 minutes and got some burny caramelly bits going on.
- The Italian Dish's Stuffed Thanksgiving Turkey
I replaced the pecans with pistachios as it seemed more Christmassy (I was pretty into theming, if you can tell...), and I had some great WA pistachios picked up at the Good Food & Wine Show a few weeks back. Also, it needed way longer than 1 hour in the oven, but that might have been because I started with a 5kg turkey buffe, not a 3-3.5kg one.
- Yotam Ottolenghi's Mixed Beans with Many Spices
- Ruby Violet's Brandy Parfait
As per the recipe - I don't mess with ice cream - but I did need twice as many egg yolks to get the right volume.
Did you celebrate Christmas in July? Or maybe Harry Potter's Birthday (also this week - July 31 for non-HP nerds)?