Tag Archives: potatoes

Christmas Roasts

With Christmas round the corner, we all have stuffed chicken or turkey on our minds. While Turkey is usually the centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinners, chicken, pork, lamb  roasts are popular for Christmas.

Roast lamb with apricot stuffing is matchless. Another good combination for lamb stuffing is bacon, garlic and rosemary or bacon and shallots. If you’re looking for an exotic Christmas Turkey, then ricotta cheese or orange and prunes stuffing maybe the answer.

Roast Chicken

A good stuffing, believe me, can transform the taste of your roast, so spend time preparing it. Experiment with herbs, nuts and other ingredients. Some of us like cubed bread and garlic as the stuffing, while others prefer, bread mix with onion, thyme and parsley. Any type of bread will work as long as it has a firm texture and has been dried properly. Your roast can have luscious flavours owing to the unique fillings. Whatever be the filling, it is a laborious process, but worth it anyway.

My all time favourite is Roast Chicken with Apple-Sausage Stuffing, Pan-Reduced Sauce and Roasted Vegetables. And it is pretty simple and straightforward to prepare too. Mushrooms pair well with pork, so try adding those to your stuffing this year.

Make use fo fruits. These can rev up the taste of the dish to unimaginable heights. Apples, cranberries, dried apricots, dried plums, raisins are a good choice.

Bread, chestnut, sage, pork sausage, cranberries is a typical stuffing and the first choice of many.

If you don’t want to make the stuffing yourself, buying readymade ones (of course a prior order is mandatory) is also a possibility. In  Mumbai too, many take orders and supply great roasts on Christmas. And of course Mumbai hotels and restaurants have great roasts on offer for Christmas.

Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce, Brussel Sprouts, Roast Leg of Pork with Parsnips, are available at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar. Chef Sanjana Patel at La Folie Lab is offering a traditional English Roast with Chicken supreme breast with Buttered beans, Roasted potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. Oh! this one is not to be missed.

Made at home or purchased, or savouring one at a restaurant, a roast is a must on Christmas. Yes, with a bowl of gravy, some roasted potatoes, carrots, broccoli and wine. Merry Christmas!

 

A recipe that I love to follow :

Pork, sage, onion and chestnuts stuffing

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions, peeled and quartered
  • 50 g stale bread
  • 200 g vacuum-packed chestnuts
  • 1 kg shoulder of pork, trimmed and diced
  • 1 bunch fresh sage, leaves picked
  • 3 rashers smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • sea salt
  • 1 whole fresh nutmeg, for grating
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange

Method-
Preheat your oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Blitz the onions in the food processor until finely chopped, then tip into a large bowl. Tear the stale bread into small chunks and whiz into breadcrumbs. Add these to the bowl, then crush and crumble your chestnuts in there too. Tip your diced pork into the food processor with the sage leaves, bacon, a level teaspoon of white pepper and a good pinch of salt. Finely grate in a quarter of the nutmeg, the zest of half a lemon and just 2 or 3 gratings of orange zest. Pulse until you’ve got some chunks and some mush, it won’t even take a minute, then tip into the mixing bowl.

Because the pork is raw, you’re committed to seasoning it well so add another pinch of salt and white pepper, then get your clean hands in there and scrunch it all up until well combined.

Take just under half of the stuffing out of the bowl to use for your turkey, then transfer the rest to a lovely earthenware-type dish that you can serve from. Use your hands to break it up and push it about, then flatten it all down. Pop it in the oven to cook for 50 minutes to 1 hour until bubbling and crispy. When done, you can pour away any excess fat before serving if you want to. It will be soft, juicy and succulent on the inside, then gnarly, crispy and chewy on the outside.

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A Celebration of all things Irish !

Irish House may keep opening outlets across the city of Mumbai, but each one continues to surprise you and has an aura of mystique about it. Stepping into one, never tires me. I was as gung-ho about exploring the Andheri West outlet, as I was when I had been to the first one in Lower Parel, several aeons ago.

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The characterstic décor and ambience greeted us. Teeming with people, this place was pulsating.  It seemed oh-so! Familiar and yet new. Loved it from word go.

Once seated, we settled for Drunken mushrooms. These oven roasted infused with tequila, topped with spinach, goat cheese n parmesan were the perfect beginning. Absolutely melt-in-the-mouth and with an array of flavours and textures in one dish. we were ready for the evening.

As I sipped my refreshing Kiwi & Lime Iced tea, I bit into the Wasabi japonica – rock shrimp tossed in wasabi mayo. Ooh! I was in for a huge disappointment. Gooey, doused in mayo, the shrimps had lost their taste, texture and flavour completely. Luckily the Irish Sergeant potato skins came to our rescue and revived our taste buds. The cheesy potato skins with corn, were familiar to my palate and I realised those were such a safe bet.

Goat cheese salad came next. Warm goat cheese with kalamata olives, goat cheese, plum tomatoes n parmesan croutons, salads are  my comfort food anyway and this one too proved to be just that. The crunchy salad with the tangy olives, soft creamy goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette teased our taste buds sufficiently. My palate was cleansed and ready for the next dish.

Traditional stuffed chicken in a pastry shell served with a rosemary merlot sauce indeed ended up being “our” chicken dish that evening and we were floored with it. Baked to perfection, the crispy pastry shell was an ideal complement to the chicken and the sauce added the right amount of flourish. We decided to share it as it seemed too big to relish alone. It was a sensible decision. After all the dark bottom Kahlua verrine was waiting for us. A treat for the taste buds, it was sinful as expected but not cloyingly sweet. A bit heady too, but just the right flavours. A winning combination.

The menu of course is exhaustive with typical favourites like Smokie’s Lamb pie, hearty burgers, Fish n chips, Hunter’s penne et al. Each dish is value for money, robust and filling. That’s what appeals to me about Irish House.

MINI-BURGERS

The sight of young people guzzling draught beers and enjoying themselves is common. Adds to the ambience actually.

All in all, a great evening, with foot-tapping music, refreshing drinks and delicious food. I want to go back soon!