So, over the last few weeks we have discussed and provided recipes for traditional Christmas food such as Brussels and turkey, albeit putting our own unique SK stamp on it.
In the last recipe of 2019 (hey even development chefs need a few weeks off) we’re suggesting you do something different this year and we’ll settle the debate which is one everyone’s minds and we’re not talking about what the number one song will be at Christmas (remember when that was a big thing?). But more on that later…
But first, while we are talking about being a little different, we thought it would be good to look at what will be on the menu on traditional Christmas dinner tables in other parts of the world.
The Japanese really know how do it in style and for them it’s all about fried chicken. Believe it or not, KFC experiences its busiest time of the year in the land of the rising son and it’s all down to an advert the fast food chain ran in 1974, with the campaign slogan ‘Kentucky for Christmas’.
We are not sure whether this led to a stampede of Japanese tourists to the state, but it certainly hasn’t done KFC franchisees in Japan any harm!
If the prospect of KFC on Christmas Day isn’t doing anything for you, how about suckling pig? In Puerto Rico, this is a national dish, known as Lechon, although it requires at least two people turning and watching the pig, often in the early hours of the morning so it is ready in time for Christmas dinner.
Perhaps that KFC now doesn’t sound so bad after all!
Or if you are in Greenland for Christmas, and let’s face it where better to see the ‘Big Man’ than in his own backyard, how about mattak (strips of whale blubber encased in whale fat) and kiviak (a dish of flesh from auks buried in sealskin for several months and served once it begins to decompose).
Can I get Zinger Tower Burger please!
Before we leave you with a recipe, we said we would settle a debate and that is Yorkshire Pudding with Christmas dinner? Apparently, many people think it’s a big no, no because Yorkies should only be served with a Sunday dinner and only then with roast beef.
Of course, you should serve Yorkshire Puddings at Christmas. There’s a reason why Yorkshire is known as God’s Own Country so if it’s ok with the Almighty, then it’s ok with us!
Finally, to the traditional Christmas recipe, depending on your point of view of course!
Porchetta, perfect roast potatoes and fail safe Yorkshire puddings
- Boneless pork belly 800-1kg
- Chopped garlic 30g
- Chopped flat leaf parsley25g
- Flaked sea salt 3g (plus extra for crackling)
- Fresh oregano 6g
- Fennel seeds 1tsp
- Olive oil 45g
- Red wine vinegar 15g
- Food grade string (butchers string)
- First set your oven to 180oC.
- Using a small sharp knife score the belly pork skin to about ½ a cm deep. Then using the sea salt season the skin making sure you get it in to the cuts you have just made.
- In a bowl mix all the ingredients to a paste then spread it on the meat side of the belly pork, not the skin side. Then roll your pork up making sure the fat side is on the outside. Then using the string wrap it up to form a roll, tie it tight so it doesn’t unroll during cooking. Place on a baking tray and cook for about 2 hours till the skin is crispy and meat is tender and juicy. Allow to rest.
The trick to perfect Yorkshire puddings is a combination of the batter, oven temperature and the fat. With this recipe and method you will be wowing your guests with perfect Yorkshire puddings.
- Plain flour 160g
- Milk 285g
- Eggs 260g
- Baking powder 5g
- First set your oven to 200oC 10-15 minutes before your batter is ready to use. Place a Yorkshire pudding tray in the oven with a tablespoon of rapeseed oil in each of the moulds.
- Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk till a smooth batter forms. Leave to rest for 20 minutes. Then carefully taking the tray out of the oven fill the moulds with batter, again gently place the tray back in the oven on the middle shelf and cook your Yorkshire puddings until golden brown. This is usually about 20 mins but may vary. Turn the oven down if necessary to stop them over cooking, Don’t be tempted to open the door until they are ready to come out and also don’t take them out too early as this causes them to collapse.
Perfect roast potatoes
What makes the perfect roast potato? Double cooking, surface area and loving attention.
- Maris pipers 2.5kg bag (unpeeled I think gives a better flavour)
- Jar of goose fat or duck fat
- Flaked sea salt
- Preheat oven to 180oc
- First depending on size cut your potatoes in half for medium ones, ¼’s if there large and keep whole if they are small so they all cook at the same time. The idea is to have a good surface are to get golden and crispy.
- Place the potatoes in a pan of cold, well salted water (when boiling potatoes always start in cold water) and place onto boil, once boiling leave for 5-10 mins until just cooked, drain in a colander, when the water has gone toss them in the colander to roughen the edges, these will give a great crispy edge.
- Then pour a thin layer of fat on a solid baking tray and then place the potatoes flat side down in the oil.
- Bake for up to an hour till golden and crispy turning any potatoes during cooking to make sure they are all crisp and even. Once cooked season well with flaked sea salt.