Since it was July and I had a long overdue lunch I thought why not do ‘Christmas in July’.
Nothing better than that Christmas spirit and why not flog it in another month – just because. My brother celebrates this every year to great delight and enjoys a large “mulled wine” hangover afterwards so I thought why not give it a shot – not for the hangover however!
Now I have a confession. I have never done a Christmas lunch. Well maybe a dish here or chopped up some vegetables there, but not a whole Christmas lunch. So I’m not sure if I really should be taking on this…particularly just because just because! in addition I have diners that don’t eat turkey or pork…. so beef it is – this time.
So the menu:
- Thai style pumpkin soup with coriander pesto
- Fillet of beef with parsley and mint salsa
- Carrots with preserved lemons and honey
- Good old roasted potatoes
- Our guests are bringing flourless chocolate cake (love guests that want to bring a dish! Welcome anytime!)
- All washed down with wine!
Now I have one more confession amidst all the fun I forgot to take photos (!!!) so yes I have taken the cheats way by sharing the photos from the cookbook – apologies they are so grainy. But overall the cookbook shot definitely looks way better than what I served up! These recipes are winners! Give them a try!
Thai style pumpkin soup with coriander pesto
- 2 bunches fresh coriander, root trimmed (leave a few leaves for garnish)
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 tbsp (80ml) olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp thai red curry paste
- 1 kg pumpkin, peeled, cut into small subes
- 2 cupes (500ml) vegetable stock
- 400 ml canned light coconut milk
- thinly sliced red onion and thinly sliced red chilli, to garnish
- To make the coriander pesto, whiz the coriander, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor. Slowly add 3 tablespoons (60 ml) of the oil to make a sauce consistency, adding a little warm water if necessary, then season to taste
- Heat the remaining tablespoon (20ml) of oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and stir for 1 minute. Add the ginger and curry paste and stir for 1 minute
- Add the pumpkin and stock, bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes, until the pumpkin is cooked. Cool slightly, then blend until smooth. Return to the pan, add the coconut milk and season, then warm through.
- To serve, pour the soup into bowls and swirl in a spoonful of pesto. Garnish with the onion, chilli and reserved coriander leaves
Fillet of beef with parsley and mint salsa
Serves 8. Prep and cook time 45 minutes + standing time
- 1.25 kg beet fillet
- 30g butter
- 1/2 cup (125ml brandy)
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped chervil and chopped mint
Parsley and mint salsa
- 3/4 chopped mint
- 1/4 chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped spiced gherkins
- 2 tablespoons baby capers, drained
- 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped (I decided to leave this out!)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees (180 degrees for fan forced)
- Trim beef and tie into a neat shape with string. Melt butter in a heavy baking pan on a high heat. Cook beef for 3 minutes on each side until browned. Add brandy and season to taste
- Roast beef for 25 minutes, basting frequently. Remove from oven and cool
- Place roast on a piece of foil. Sprinkle with combined herbs, roll to coat evenly
- Stand a room temperature for up to 2 hours (depending on what temp you want the beef when served) before serving sliced with parsley and mint salsa
- For parsley and mint salsa, place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Season to taste.
Happy cooking ! Happy Christmas (5 months early!)