I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!
On Christmas day, I had my family & in – laws round for dinner, to celebrate Christmas.We were with 8 people. I went for a typical Sophie’s festive menu : alternative & mostly healthy but apart too. I hope you like my menu.
The meat is best stuffed the day before to give more flavour to the meat. The beet appetizers & the smoked salmon appetizers are also best made the day before for more flavour! The cranberry sauce & the deserts are best made the day before too! So, you don’t have to do a lot on the festive day itself so you can spend quality time with your guests!!!! That’s important too!
This was the menu:
Our house Champagne: Vranken Brut
**3 sort of appetizers:
1/ * Scottish Oak Smoked salmon, wasabi & fresh dill appetizers ( Fish ) ( 3 x served )
2/* Wild boar paté with home - made fig chutney ( Meat + Vegan & Vegetarian chutney ) ( 2 x served )
3/ * Beetroot appetizers on a bed of witlof ( Vegetarian, Vegan & Dairy – free! ) ( 2 x served )
Apple, apple cider & onion soup served with grated fresh Gruyère cheese ( Vegetarian, Gluten - Free )
Cranberry, apple, walnuts, shallots & rosemary stuffed organic pork loin served with croquettes, home-made cranberry, cinnamon & port sauce,
served with roasted carrots & onions ( Pork ) ( Cranberry sauce = Vegan & Vegetarian ) ( Roasted carrots & onions = Vegan & Vegetarian )
A vegan coconut Panna cotta with vanilla soy milk served with a raspberry coulis ( Vegan, Dairy – Free, Gluten – Free & Vegetarian )
Coffee/ Teas with biscuits & chocolates
It was a superb dinner & I will now share the recipes with you all.
Our favourite Champagne is Vranken Champagne Brut, Grande reserve, Reims, France!
This Champagne is named after the Belgian Paul Francois Vranken who went to France to create his own Champagne brand. He established this in 1976.
This company is situated in Reims, France.
His company is the 2nd largest Champagne & wine company in whole France.
1/ Scottish oak smoked salmon with wasabi & fresh dill appetizers ( Fish )
Recipe: For about 35 appetizers
38 fish-shaped sea cups aka toasts, Haust
200 gr organic Scottish Shetland’s oak smoked salmon, in fine slices, cut into fine pieces
200 gr fresh cheese spread with sour cream
1 tablespoon horseradish cream, wasabi style ( green )
fresh dill, about 2 tablespoons
juice of 1/2 lemon
a tiny bit of Maldon sea salt
To serve: extra fresh dill tops to top each appetizer
1. Take a food processor, place all the ingredients in it, all evenly divided.
2. Mix or pulse until you end up with a smother paste aka spread. Taste! It has to taste fabulous!
You must taste the salmon, the dill & the sour creamed cheese. The added wasabi gives it all a punch! Serve at once with this tasty Champagne Brut!
2/ Wild boar paté with my home – made fresh & dried figs chutney ( Meat ) + ( Chutney is vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free & gluten-free )
Recipe: For about 15 appetizers
200 gr wild boar paté
1. 30 minutes before serving, take the paté out of the fridge & out of its package. Place it on a chopping board to come to room temperature.
2. Now, cut it into smaller rectangle or square pieces.
3. Place it into lovely smaller sized appetizer plates & open your chutney.
4. Place a full coffee spoon of the chutney alongside the paté. Serve at once with the Champagne. Enjoy!
3/ Beetroot appetizers served in a witlof leaf ( Belgian endive ) ( Vegan, vegetarian )
Recipe: For about 20 appetizers
1 medium-sized beetroot with skin on ( mine weighted 250 gr )
4 tablespoons of walnuts, chopped into little pieces
30 gr of white breadcrumbs/ I used sourdough bread, no crusts!, shredded into little pieces
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of Maldon sea salt
4 teaspoons of a good red wine vinegar ( This enhances the flavour of the beetroot )
6 tablespoons of a good fruity EVOO ( Extra Virgin Olive Oil )
2 bigger witlofs ( Belgian endives ), the end cut off & leaves pulled apart/ cleaned
1. Cook your beet in boiling water until you can insert a knife all the way through. When you cook the beet, the beetroot must be covered completely by water before cooking it.
In my case, it took about 20 minutes.Drain well & let it cool off. When cooled, put plastic gloves on & peel the beetroot. Cut into smaller pieces & place in a food processor.
2. Add the other ingredients except the witloof. ( Belgian endive ). Mix everything until it al comes together. It will be this colour ( see picture above ). Taste! It has to taste fab!
3. Just before serving: Take a nice clean plate & place a lovely napkin on it. Fill each beginning of the witlof with this tasty mix. Serve & enjoy!
Note: I made this mix the day before serving so that all the different flavours could develop even more into each other !! This is worth it!
Apple, apple cider & onion soup served with grated fresh Gruyère cheese ( Vegetarian, Gluten - Free ) But you must make the recipe twice! I also made this the day before.
I already posted this recipe on my blog. You can find it: here!
Recipe: For 2 kg of pork loin/ These are 4 pieces of 500 gr organic pork loins
1. For the stuffed pork loins:
4 x 500 gr organic pieces of pork loin
extra: kitchen string & scissors
For the stuffing, for these pieces, you will need:
150 gr of seasoned croutons ( no herbs ) = 1 cup
240 ml of hot chicken stock = 1 cup ( home – made is the best )
2 cups peeled & cored golden delicious apples, cut into little chunks
2/3 cup dried apple sweetened cranberries
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, dry roasted in a pan for a few minutes, to add more aroma
2/4 cup finely minced shallots
4 tablespoons organic maple syrup
2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary, cleaned & cut into little pieces
Maldon sea salt
2. For the rosemary scented roasted carrots & onions:
2 kg of organic carrots, with grid on them, peeled & cut into smaller strips, each about 0.5 cm thick & about 6 cm long
white medium onions, peeled & cut into 4 wedges
2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, cut into little pieces
a fruity EVOO
Maldon sea salt
Extra needed: a large oven dish or 2
3. For the cranberry, port, orange & cinnamon sauce:
2 packets of Ocean Spray cranberries, well rinsed, cleaned & stalks removed
2 oranges, skin non treated, the juice & the zest finely grated
2 large cinnamon sticks
10 tablespoons of a good red lovely port/ I used Offley Tawny Port
150 gr of coconut blossom sugar or otherwise dark brown sugar
4. For the croquettes:
deep freeze croquettes, enough for 8 people & extra, ready to fry in the fryer
1. How to prepare the pork loins & how to cut them open to flatten them:
You take your pork loins, rinse them under cold water & pat them well dry on kitchen paper. Now, you trim off the excess white bits of fat. You must leave a bit of fat on for more taste.
On a large chopping board, place your pork loin vertically in front of you. Now, with a large & sharp meat knife, cut the meat vertically lengthwise almost all the way through.
Than, angle the knife & cut horizontally almost all the way through, on both sides. It will look like this:
Now, take 2 large pieces of clingfilm & place it all over the length of the meat. This how it looks before bashing the meat:
With the help of a rolling-pin, bash the meat several times until it all flattens, equally on all sides. Roll a few times with your rolling-pin all over the meat. Remove the cling film.
Add some sea salt & grinds of black pepper all over the surface of the meat. Set aside. It will look a lot like this:
2.Then, make the stuffing. Place the croutons in a bowl, into the hot chicken stock & let them absorb the liquid so they will get soft. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes.
Mash them with a fork. Take a large bowl & add the apples, cranberries, mashed croutons, cut up shallots, rosemary pieces, roasted walnut pieces & maple syrup. Mix well until it all is combined. Add some seasoning. It all has to taste fab! Add some extra seasoning if needed.
3. Fill your pork loins with the stuffing.
Place a few tablespoons of your filling onto the surface of your meat. See that you have a lot of stuffing left to fill the other 3 pork loins.
Flatten it all out with your clean hands. It will look a lot like this:
4. How to roll up the stuffed pork loins & tie them together:
Fold the both sides of the meat on the inside & carefully roll the meat up. Than, place kitchen strings around the rolled up meat & now & than tie a knot.
Finally, tie a knot all over the length of the meat. It will look like this:
Then, I do the same with the other 3 pork loins. Finally,wrap each of them tightly in clingfilm, place them on a large plate & place them in the fridge to use the next day.
5. How to make the cranberry port sauce:
Take a large cooking pot & add the cranberries, orange zests, orange juice, 2 cinnamon stalks & the port. Mix well & bring to the boil on medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes until most of the cranberries have burst but not all of them! Stir from time to time. Let the sauce thicken. When the sauce is to your liking, take off from the heat. Now, add the sugar. Stir well & place it on a low heat. Let the sugar dissolve. Taste! It has to taste a bit sour & not too sweet. That’s the way I like it! Let the sauce cool down. Place a fitting lid on & keep cool in the fridge until the next day. Leave the cinnamon sticks into the sauce until the next day. Remove them just before serving the sauce.
The day after: Prepare the rosemary scented carrot & onions.
Take a large oven dish, non stick I prefer. Place the carrots & onion pieces all over the dish in 1 layer. Scatter the rosemary pieces over it. Drizzle the fruity EVOO all over the carrots & onions. Add seasoning. ( Maldon sea salt & grinds of black pepper ). With clean hands, mix everything together. Like this:
When you are going to prepare the meat, take it out of the fridge & remove the clingfilm. In a non – stick oven dish, place the 4 pieces of pork loin. Preheat the oven to 160°C ( 320 F ) for about 10 minutes. I use a fan oven. Adjust the temperature if needed. Place the stuffed pork loins in the center of the oven. Place the other 2 oven dishes with the carrots & onions mix above & under the meat. If you use an oven dish that isn’t non – stick, you must rub them in oil to prevent burning.
After 25 minutes, check your meat. Check the inner temperature of each pork loin with a meat thermometer. With this tool, insert the meter into the thickest part of your loin & look what the temperature will be. If it is 60 to 62 ° C it is okay & ready, if not, ( in my case ) return to the hot oven to cook a bit longer. Normally, after 30 to 35 minutes , your pork loins will be tender,cooked through & will be pink on the inside. Check again, after 30 to 35 minutes. If they are ready, wrap them each individually 2 in aluminium foil to keep warm & to rest for 10 minutes. Check your roasted carrots & onions. You mustn’t burn them. Turn the oven temperature up to 220°C for about 10 minutes if you need to speed up the process.
At the same time, heat up your cranberry sauce. Heat up slowly. At the end, remove the 2 cinnamon sticks & discard. Fry your croquettes according to your packet instructions in your fryer. Warm your plates. After the meat has rested, take a large chopping board & place 1 pork loin here. Remove aluminium foil. Remove the strings with scissors, carefully. Cut the meat into thicker slices with a sharp & long meat knife. Serve everything on a warm plate & serve at once!
This festive main dinner is best enjoyed with a wonderful red robust wine like this Austrian red wine, Stiegelmar, heideboden 2008, Burgenland.
This wine goes so well with the cranberry sauce & other flavours too! It is a deeper & robuster wine. It has an alcohol percentage of 13.5 %. It is worth it! My family loved the wine a lot!
This wine is from a befriended wine sommolier who also has a wine website where you can buy this stunning wine!
Recipe: For 12 desserts
840 ml of organic coconut milk
300 ml of vanilla soy milk / I used Alpro
2/4 cups of organic coconut sugar otherwise light brown sugar
2 teaspoons of a good vanilla extract / I used home-made
2 x 3/4 teaspoon of agar agar powder ( is vegan & vegetarian)
raspberry coulis for 8 persons, to serve
1. Take a large cooking pot & pour the vanilla soy milk & coconut milk in it. Add the sugar too. Mix well with a whisk. Whisk everything smooth. There mustn’t be any lumps left.
2. Add the 2 x 3/4 teaspoons of agar agar. Whisk well. Leave the agar agar in the mix for about 10 minutes, to dissolve.
3. On a medium heat, bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer the mix for about 5 to 8 minutes or until the agar-agar is fully incorporated into the liquids.
4. Take your ramekins & oil them in. Remove excess oil with kitchen paper. Pour the mix into the ramekins not too full.Place them in the fridge for at least 4 hours to stiffen up & to cool down. I leave them overnight in the fridge for better flavour.
5. When you are going to serve them, take them out of the fridge. With the help of a sharp knife, go round all the ramekins & carefully flip them out with the help of the knife onto a nice dessert plate.
Serve a coffee spoon of the raspberry coulis alongside the Panna cotta in a swirl, just like this & serve instantly! Enjoy!
That was my menu! I hope you all loved it & enjoy the tasty recipes! I have had a lot of success with it!
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