The Christmas that just went…

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At work we made muchham glaze for the people. This involved a lot of booze...

At work we made muchham glaze for the people. This involved a lot of booze…

So there it was.

Christmas.

It came as quickly as a teenage boy… and then left feeling just as ashamed.

The Optimus Prime-esque light displays that were clearly trying to signal another culture from the depths of a very distant solar system will soon yield to the weight of more consumerism in the form of hot crossed buns and chocolate eggs which are seemingly the incubating spawn of chocolate rabbits which are both some how meant to tie into a religious celebration-slash-holiday.

We certainly did drink a bit of booze. Bloody Caesars were my choice de jour... everyone else mostly chose other drinks

We certainly did drink a bit of booze. Bloody Caesars were my choice de jour… everyone else mostly chose other drinks


I don’t really follow this whole thing at all.

But really, who gives a fuck.

What ever it is, it is a damn fine reason to get together with your friends and family, and possibly even a random cling-on or two. You share a drink (many drinks), some food (much food) and maybe a story about how two of your squad hooked up together at the same event last year (not appropriate when only family is in attendance). Just a damn good time really. Even carnies and people who hate everything else about life will generally still enjoy the time that is Christmas.

There was much food on the table... and also a fair bit of booze

There was much food on the table… and also a fair bit of booze


As a wise man once told me, “there are systems in place just so we can stand one another”, and I agree that this is definitely one of them.

Right now I sit on a hotel balcony, enjoying a little down time after having the craziest two months of my cheffing career to date, and I ponder how beautiful that whole silly season is* – the truly satisfying climax after the fore play and gentle caress of the trickle of summer function bookings through out the year. Dates are tentatively set, invites drawn up, weddings and birthdays and Christmas parties are all in the mix.

And then it’s on.

The slippery finger that is the rest of the year is inevitably followed by the fully blown orgy (black plastic and raspberry jelly included) that is the start of summer… the silly season… our glory days. Then, as quickly as it begun it is over again. We sit on our milk crates and designated small section of brick wall out the back of the restaurant and we admire those that are still among us…. Chaffed lips and post coital haze… enlarged sphincters… mental scars that will never heal…

Pav is a pretty solid Christmas dessert in Oz... As is trifle... we also added christmas pudding semifreddo to complete the 3-hit combo

Pav is a pretty solid Christmas dessert in Oz… As is trifle… we also added christmas pudding semifreddo to complete the 3-hit combo


Thank god for Christmas.

I fucking love this shit.

#beingachefisthebestshitever

And then all of a sudden I was here... writing this...

And then all of a sudden I was here… writing this…


*And, if I’m totally honest, I also ponder an Edward Norton in “Fight Club” or the Donnie Darko guy in “Donnie Darko” type catastrophe where the balcony crumbles underneath me and I’m done. Yes I have head issues.

Christmas Pate for New Years Eve

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christmas pate
Just three things;

You probably still have a few Christmas leftovers.

You’re probably going to need something to snack tonight on as you fill your face with ridiculous amounts of cheap domestic champagne (or should that be bubbles? I know it should definitely be bubbles. Not Mr Bubbles though – he was a very dirty man with some very nasty hobbies from back in the 80’s), so when you empty your stomach over the hedge at 1am there is actually something in there and you don’t end up turning yourself inside out like a dirty sock.

You really don’t care about my year in summary, so I’ll just get in and out plenty fast and leave you with one final recipe (and no unexpected pregnancy – that’s a different type of in and out) for 2016.

I would kinda hope that if you don’t have leftovers it would be obvious that you can cook some meat specifically for it… but hey, I’m certainly not holding my breath…. And you shouldn’t either, because if you do you could die from suffocating.

(Yep. I know that is 4 things. That whole counting thing gets me every time. And then I can’t even be assed to go back to the top of the page and change the 3 to a 4, but instead I write a paragraph about how special I am and you get to smile smugly to yourself as you realise your life aint actually that bad)

*must remember to be nicer to stupid people in 2016*

Getting it all together. This is way too easy

Getting it all together. This is way too easy


Blitz it up

Blitz it up


Eat it with crusty bread and pickled things. I really can't believe how easy that was

Eat it with crusty bread and pickled things. I really can’t believe how easy that was


CHRISTMAS PATE

250g leftover roast chicken or goose, roughly chopped
250g leftover Christmas ham, roughly chopped
½ cup of stuffing or a few cooked chicken livers if you have some
a few elves and/or reindeer if there are still some about and you need to get them the fuck out of your face
a bit of leftover Christmas cheer… although, that’s probably well and truly gone by now
¼ cup aioli
a handful of mixed herbs such as parsley, sage and thyme, chopped
100g butter, melted
seasoning (or just wait a little longer until the credit card bills start rolling in and then you can season it with your own glistening tears)

• Blitz meats in a food processer until you have a coarse paste
• Add all ingredients except butter and pulse until combined. Don’t go too far with the pulsing here because you want the pate to have a little texture
• Check seasoning. Cry a little more if it needs it
• Scoop pate into something that will hold it… enamelware seems to be quite trendy at the mo’. Top with a few extra herbs (if you have some left. It’s not like I told you to reserve some or anything. soz) and melted butter and place in the refrigerator to set for 15-20 minutes
• Serve with crusty bread and pickled things from the garden
• Seriously, happy New Year folks. Thanks for all of the fun in 2015. It’s been ripping!

A farm in the hills makes a pretty damn good setting to eat your pate

A farm in the hills makes a pretty damn good setting to eat your pate

Goose, Ham and Vanilla Semifreddo with Cherry Compote for “Extra Christmas”

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christmas goose, ham and semifreddo
Man, I really do love Christmas.

It’s not even because of all of the presents, or Jesus, but simply because it is the end of a mental mental mental time for us in the hospitality industry and it is a day that I get to spend with the people I love, eating some tasty food and drinking some tasty beverages that may or may not have the added advantage of being acoholinated.

So that, in a nut shell, is why I love Christmas. Of course, it would need to be in more of a metaphorical nut shell than an actual nut shell because a nut shell with this kind of pertinent information in it would be some kind of hybrid fortune cookie nut, would it not?

Moving right along… nice and quickly…

Today I shall be offering you, the reader, a couple of recipes for things that can make a very tasty and delicious Christmas meal. I know I am probably a few weeks late in presenting my Christmas recipe spread but that is definitely indicative of the organizational levels of my support crew here at foodisthebestshitever… but sometimes I do think one should not expect too much of an inanimate porcelain doll and a one eyed billy goat… and I also often consider that with proper advertising I could find myself a back end team that has the skills and knowledge to help foodisthebestshitever move forward into the 21st century… or even the late 20th century would suffice…

Anyway, here are some things that, once put on the table, will make a cracking Christmas lunch. Perfect for the person who loves a second Christmas, or someone who may have accidentally slept through Christmas day and is defo still going to be having a Christmas feast today or maybe, and I feel if I was going to try and do something sensible this would be it, we can just stow this away until next year and I can repost it a heap before Christmas and look super organized and cool.

Even now I still feel as though I have one ace up my sleeve (if indeed that is an actual metaphor); Once I launch this post into the cosmos of the world wide inter web super highway, it will be immediately caught up in the bureaucracy that is the millions of other crap recipes, Christmas stories and cheesy-assed photos that are filling your feeds and clogging up your hard drives. So there is a very high, like uni physics geek high, chance that no one will notice it this year (or anytime really) anyways!

Rocking.

The boys making "ninja bread men". Pretty cute

The boys making “ninja bread men”. Pretty cute

You know I love a good spread

You know I love a good spread

What you’re gonna need…

DRINKS

My friend the Espresso Martini

My friend the Espresso Martini

Something fruity is good for the pregnant people, ballet dancers or kids if there is some, but I prefer to start the day with a Bloody Mary… or two… OK, I like to have some Bloody Marys on Christmas day. Once I have my fill of tomato juice and I’m really feeling like I could take on the whole Empire all by myself, I might have a beer or two, and even start alternating every two or three drinks with an Espresso Martini – coffee and booze in the same glass was a really good idea of someones.

HAM

Out of the smoker...

Out of the smoker…

...and then into the pizza oven

…and then into the pizza oven

I smoked a leg of brined pork for a day over hickory chips and that made my ham. It was then glazed with peach relish and then placed in a med wood fired oven for approximately 1 hour. It was very very tasty when I removed it from the wood fired oven.

GOOSE

The goose is stuffed...

The goose is stuffed…

...and then got pretty tanned and sexy looking in the pizza oven

And then got pretty tanned and sexy looking in the pizza oven

I stuffed a goose with this stuffing recipe that I did have the foresight to post a day before Christmas at least. The goose went into the wood fired oven as well – 1 hour on medium heat and then another hour and a half with residual heat and the door closed. This was also very very tasty. In fact, many people commented that it was the tastiest goose they had ever eaten. Unfortunately for my low self-esteem I do not believe any one at the table had previously eaten goose, but that’s OK, I still agreed that it was very tasty indeed.

DESSERT

Vanilla semifreddo with cherry compote - just damn well delicious

Vanilla semifreddo with cherry compote – just damn well delicious

Sometimes I wish I was English so I could call dessert “pudding”, but as I am well and truly Australian that seems like a damn silly concept and something I will not be doing any time soon. That is the sort of thing I may start doing when I call capsicum “peppers”, or eggplant “aubergine”, or even call goose “tasty”.

Not going to happen.

Jennee made semifreddo and we had a few other things too. The semifreddo was the best. It went like this;

VANILLA SEMIFREDDO WITH CHERRY COMPOTE

Semifreddo
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or a splash of real vanilla essence)
2 cups thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks

• Whisk eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla until pale. Heat gently over a baine marie (water bath) and continue to whisk constantly until thickened slightly. Cool
• Once cooled gently fold whipped cream into egg mix
• Once just combined pour into a loaf tin or bowl lined with glad wrap and place in freezer for at least 4 hours
• Slice and serve with cherry compote or just spoon it straight into your face

Cherry compote
2-3 cups fresh cherries, pitted
½ cup sugar
a splash of some kind of cherry booze

• Simmer all ingredients over a medium heat until slightly syrupy but fruit is not fully broken down. Probs 10-15 minutes
• That’s about it
• Put it on your semifreddo or just pour it straight into your face for an excellent “late night stoned monkey” snack

christmas goose, ham and semifreddo
Merry “extra Christmas” or indeed, Christmas next year ☺