WORDS: Chyka Keebaugh
PHOTOS: Lisa Atkinson
This three course Christmas feast, inspired by the Australian Summer, is a foodie's delight.
I think it is safe to say that when December hits many of us are all too consumed by ticking those things off our Christmas to-do lists.Buying presents, wrapping presents, sending out your Christmas cards, hosting Christmas parties, attending Christmas parties, buying more presents, rushing to finish work commitments before the year is out – it never seems to end. And then there’s the food too! What to do!? To help you out this silly season, I have put together a sumptuous three course Christmas meal that may make life easier.
Inspiration can some from anywhere. So, taking some cues from the gorgeous blues, reds and yellows in the David Bromley painting behind me, as well as the sun, surf and seafood culture that many Australians associate with Christmas, my three course Christmas lunch is a lobster with green and Russian salads, a Summer pudding and a cheese platter to finish. I am seriously in love with all the colours in these dishes; they’re Summery, fresh and vibrant.
Being a Melbourne girl, I love that we are surrounded by some of the most beautiful wineries in the world, and Christmas is a perfect season to celebrate that. I have paired each of these courses with wines from Yering Station in the Yarra Valley, Victoria. Victoria’s very first vineyard was planted at Yering Station in 1838, so it seems fitting that this three-course Aussie Christmas lunch features wines form Melbourne’s first vineyard.
Lobster with a green and Russian Salad
How stunning is this Lobster! The colours, texture and size of this crustacean are just amazing and such a treat to have on such a special day of the year – it definitely brings the wow factor to the plate and excites guests. I know lobster is expensive when you have to feed an entire family on Christmas day, so you can simply replace lobster with less expensive seafood like prawns or yabbies in the recipe and still have a superb meal.
To accompany the lobster, I’ve added two salads; a simple green salad and a Russian salad too. Paired with the Yarrabank Cuvee Sparkling, with its plummy tones and apple finish, it all makes for a delicious Christmas main meal.
Buerre Blanc Sauce for Crayfish
- 50g shallots, chopped
- 150ml white wine
- 50ml white wine vinegar
- 1 sprig of thyme
- ½ bay leaf
- 6 peppercorns
- 75m cream
- 250g butter, cut into ½ cm cubes
- Lime segments 10
- Chives chopped 50ml
- Salmon roe x 50ml
- Place the shallots, white wine, white wine vinegar, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns in a saucepan over high heat. Cook until the liquid reduces to 50 ml (just enough liquid to cover the bottom of the saucepan). Add the cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until creamy.
- Gradually add the butter, a few cubes at a time, whisking until the butter melts into the sauce. Season to taste with salt.
- Just prior to service add lime segments roe and chives.
Green Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
- Steamed Asparagus tip x 1b
- Steamed Snow peas x 100g
- Steamed Sugar snaps x 100g
- Continental parsley and mint2/3rdcup
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Steam your greens for five minutes. Put aside in bowl.
- Combine all vinaigrette ingredients and mix.
- Dress the greens liberally, serve.
- Kohlrabi -1cm dicex 100 ml
- Baby Carrot cut into 3rdx 10
- Baby Beets yellow quartered x 5
- Peas x 100 ml
- Herbs – tarragon and dill ¼ cup
Sour Cream Dressing::
- 1 cup olive oil
- 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 clove garlic, minced 1 pinch ground black pepper
- Cook potato in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Add carrots, cook for 2 minutes, then add peas and cook for 1 minute until everything is tender.
- Drain, refresh, pat dry and cool.
- Combine dressing ingredients, season, then toss well with vegetables and transfer to a portable serving dish.
Next up is a gorgeous Summer pudding dessert. Drizzled with mixed berries on top of the pudding and around the plate, this pudding goes perfectly with a the wild berry flavours and spices of a Pinot Noir. As you know, I am all about colour, and I just love seeing a nice full glass of red next to these gorgeous desserts popping with dark and bright reds.
Berry Compote Ingredients::
- 2kg frozen mixed berries
- 1 Ltr raspberry puree
- 150g Chambord
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of citric acid
- Pinch of cardamom
- Pinch of pink peppercorn, crushed
- 1kg frozen raspberries
- 1ltr x the jelly mix
- 1 x loaf of white sandwich bread
- 16 gelatine leaves
- Fresh berries for garnish
You will need a selection of 3 - 4 jelly moulds.
- Make the compote – combine the mixed berries and puree in a large saucepan over medium heat until berries soften and break down.
- To the compote add the Chambord, cinnamon, salt, citric acid, cardamom and peppercorns. Take off the heat.
- Set aside 1ltr of your jelly.
- Bloom the gelatine by soaking the leaves in cold water for approximately 5 minutes, then squeeze out excess water. Add the gelatine to the still warm mix that you have set aside and whisk through, then add around a third of the whole frozen raspberries.
- To assemble your summer pudding – cut the crusts off the bread and cut smaller pieces to fit your mould.
- Splash the mould with a bit of cold water to grease.
- Pour small amounts of jelly into the mould and then begin to layer the bread, alternating with jelly, so that the jelly is covering it completely at the end.
- You can make more moulds with the rest of the jelly – you will need 16 gelatine leaves per 1 litre of your mix.
- Refrigerate for 2 -4 hours before turning out onto a platter.
- Garnish with fresh berries
I love nothing more than sitting down with a beautiful cheese platter after a satisfying meal – in fact, some evenings I am known to skip the main meal and hit the cheese platter straight out! Cheeky I know, but you gotta live! I have Fresh Walnuts, Figs, Muscatels, Crackers and a delicious cheese.
I have matched all this back with the sweetness of the Viognier dessert wine that balances out all the flavours, and with wafts of candied peel and ginger spice in the wine, the combination is just divine.
Explore more of Yering Station’s selections here.
This article is sponsored by Yering Station.