My approach to Christmas is to do as much preparation as possible in advance and try and enjoy the day. Each Christmas Eve there is usually a multitude of jars and small containers in the fridge - they contain all the chopped up ingredients, sauces, dressings that will be needed the next day. This year we are all heading to my brother's house for Christmas Lunch - so I have it easy - I only have to take the salads - and yes I have all the prep. done for those already - I want to be able to get up in the morning and enjoy the kids opening their presents. Sure I still have a couple of things to do to get the salads ready - but the fiddly stuff is done.
Tonight I am making "our" Christmas - well really it is only for the grown ups - "The Darlings" will only partake of the salmon, and plain rice please, but that is the norm here anyway so it doesn't faze me at all. Christmas just isn't Christmas to me unless we have prawns - so tonight we are having Coconut Prawns, to be followed with some lovely barbecued salmon tails. I am using 2 large salmon tails - these are great to throw on the BBQ - they only have one bone in the middle - and they are cheaper than buying fillets. These tails were only $17.99 per kilo which is a considerable saving. Investigate at your local fish shop and see if you can get them - they are well worth it!!
Coconut Prawns with Chilli Lime Mayonnaise
From Taste.com.au The Ultimate Guide to Christmas
1 cup whole egg mayonnaise
1/4 cup lime juice
1 large red chilli, seeded, finely chopped
1 cup rice flour
3 eggs, lightly whisked
250g shredded coconut
1kg green prawns, peeled leaving tails intact, deveined
vegetable oil to deep fry
Combine the mayonnaise, lime juice and chilli in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until needed.
Place the rice flour, egg and coconut in separate bowls. Holding the prawns by the tails, dip them one at a time into the flour, shake off excess. Dip into the egg, then press firmly into the coconut to evenly coat. Transfer to a plate.
Add enough oil to a saucepan to reach a depth of 6cm. Heat to 170C over medium high heat (you can test this with a cube of bread - it will turn golden in 20 seconds.) Add several prawns at a time to the oil and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until golden. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the oil, transfer to a plate that has been lined with a paper towel. Repeat with remaining prawns, reheating oil between batches.
Serve prawns with Chilli Lime Mayonnaise.
Asian Style Salmon Tails
4cm piece of ginger, peeled
4 cloves garlic
1 large red chilli, seeded
1/2 bunch of coriander, including stems
1 pice of lemon grass - remove hard outer husk
1 tbs palm sugar
1 tbs fish sauce
2 x salmon tails that have had several sharp knife cuts placed over the skin.
In a food processor (or Thermomix bowl) place all the ingredients. Process until a finely chopped consistency. In Thermomix process for 20 seconds on Speed 7.
Place the marinade in a large ziploc bag along with the salmon tails. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour - longer if time permits.
Cook on the BBQ for approx. 20-25 minutes, turning once, or until cooked through.
Jewelled Rice Salad with Apricots and Almonds
From Good Taste Magazine - December issue
750ml hot water
1/2 tsp saffron threads
2 cups basmati rice
3/4 cup flaked almonds
3/4 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup chopped pistachios
Combine the water and saffron in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Stir in the rice. Reduce heat to low. Cook covered, for 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Set aside, covered for 10 minutes to stand. Use a fork to separate the grains. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool completely.
Meanwhile use a zester, or a vegetable peeler and a small sharp knife to cut the orange rind into thin strips.
Cook the almonds in a dry frying pan for 1-2 minutes over medium high heat until golden.
Add the orange rind, almonds, apricots, and cranberries to the rice. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
...........MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!