Wine ‘n dine – Christmas diner recipes part II

At Christmas a lot of people order a pre-cooked menu from a restaurant or caterer, but we prefer to make everything ourselves. OK, it’s a lot of work, but we just enjoy our time in the kitchen and it gives us a lot of satisfaction to be able to serve a fine, homemade menu. Read on to find out our Christmas Day menu.

Our Christmas Day menu

  • Amuses
    • puff pastry snack with tapenade (see this post for the recipe)
    • dried parmaham with eggplant dip (recipe below)
    • oysters in green curry (recipe below)
  • Soup
    • Roasted butternut squash, coconut and coriander soup (recipe below)
  • Main course
    • Loin of venison (recipe below)
    • Fondant potatoes (recipe below)
    • Parsnip purée (recipe below)
    • Juniper berry jus with wild mushrooms and Madeira (recipe below)
    • Creamy snap beans (recipe below)
  • Dessert
    • Christmas pudding with custard

Dried parmaham with eggplant dip (inspired by A recipe from Pascale Naessens)

Ingredients (for 6)

12 slices of parma ham, 1 eggplant, 3 cloves of garlic, splash of lemon juice, 4 cardemom pods (crushed), handful of coriander, salt and pepper

How to make?

  1. Puncture the eggplant with a fork.
  2. Wrap the peeled, whole cloves of garlic in some aluminium foil.
  3. Put the eggplant and the garlic in an 180°C oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Put the slices of parma ham on an oven rack and place them, alongside the eggplant, in the oven for 10 minutes.
  5. When the eggplant and garlic are cooked, scrape out the flesh out of the eggplant, mix with the cooked garlic, the lemon juice, the cardemom and the coriander. Season to taste.
  6. Serve the dried parma ham alongside the eggplant dip.

Oysters in green curry (inspired by A recipe from Pascale Naessens)

Ingredients (for 6):

18 oysters, 3 cm piece of ginger (finely grated), clove of garlic (finely grated), 1 tablespoon of green currypaste, 40 cl of coconut cream, 1 shalot (finely chopped), juice of a lime, basil

How to make?

  1. Open the oysters and sieve the liquid coming out of the oysters.
  2. Clean the shells and make sure the oysters don’t contain sand or pieces of shell.
  3. Fry the shallot, ginger and garlic in some olive oil, add the green curry paste.
  4. Add the oyster liquid and the lime juice and bring to the boil briefly.
  5. Add the coconut cream and boil until the sauce thickens.
  6. Turn off the heat and put the oysters in the sauce to warm them.
  7. Put the oysters in the shell, spoon over some sauce and garnish with some basil.

Roasted butternut squash, coconut and coriander soup (inspired A RECIPE FROM ‘At home at Highclere – entertaining at the real Downton Abbey)

Ingredients (for 6)

butternut squash (1,5 kilo), 2 oninons (cut in wedges), 4 garlic cloves (whole with skin), butter (40 gr), olive oil (3 tablespoons), 1,5 liter of vegetable stock, coconut milk (200 ml), 2 handfuls of coriander, salt and pepper

How to make?

  1. Cut the butternut squash in wedges, remove all seeds and put on a roasting tray.
  2. Add onions, garlic, butter (in knobs), oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Toss everything and put in the oven (180°C) for 1 hour.
  4. When cooked, remove the flesh of the squash, squeeze the garlic flesh out of the skins and purée the eggplant and garlic,
  5. Add the vegetable stock.
  6. Add the coconut milk and reheat.
  7. Season to taste and add the chopped coriander.

MAIN COURSE – FONDANT POTATOES (inspired by A RECIPE FROM ‘At home at Highclere – entertaining at the real Downton Abbey)

Ingredients (for 6)

6 large potatoes (peeled and cut into equally sized cylinders), 220 grams of salted butter, olive oil, 2 thyme sprigs, 2 rosemary sprigs, 1/2 crushed garlic, salt and pepper

How to make?

  1. Melt 20 grams of butter with the olive oil, add thyme, rosemary and garlic and fry the potatoes until brown on all sides.
  2. Put 200 grams of salted butter in an ovendish and melt in the oven (150°C). Add the potatoes in the melted butter and cook in the oven for 60-90 minutes.
  3. Remove the fondant potatoes from the ovendish and drain off the excess fat.


Ingredients (for 6)

1,2 kilo loin of venison, butter (50gr), olive oil (2 tablespoons), handful of thyme springs, 6 garlic cloves, 5 shallots (finely chopped), wild mushrooms (300 gram, cleaned and chopped), Madeira (75 ml), 12 juniper berries, game stock (700 ml), salt and pepper

How to make?

  1. Melt half the butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add the venison and seal on all sides until dark brown.
  2. Add the thyme sprigs and garlic, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer into an oven dish and cook for about 20 minutes (180°C),
  4. Remove from oven and cover in foil to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  5. While the venison is resting, make the jus in the pan you sealed the venison in.
  6. Melt the remaining butter and olive oil and add the shallots and mushrooms.
  7. Sauté for 3 minutes, remove the mushrooms and set aside.
  8. Add the Madeira and the juniper berries in the pan and simmer until reduced to half.
  9. Add the game stock and simmer for up to 15 minutes.


Ingredients (for 6)

parsnip (1,2 kilo, cut in dices), butter (25 gr), runny honey (1 teaspoon), whole milk (1 liter), salt and pepper

How to make?

  1. Melt the butter, add the parsnips and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and add the honey (make sure to keep stirring to prevent the parsnip from burning/sticking to the pan).
  3. Add the milk, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until the parsnips are cooked.
  4. Remove the parsnips from the milk and blend until smooth (you might have to add a bit of the milk to make the purée).

Main Course – Creamy snap beAns (inspired by a recipe from Pascale Naessens)

Ingredients (for 6)

600 grams of snap beans (cleaned), 2 onions (finely chopped), 60 ml of double cream, 4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped), juice from 1 lime, olive oil

How to make?

  1. Simmer the beans until nearly cooked in a large pan with just a bit of water and a good splash of olive oil.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until beans are fully cooked. Leave off the lid to make sure the water evaporates.
  3. Add the double cream to the beens, bring to the boil until the sauce thickens.
  4. Add the lime juice and season to taste.

Main course – Plate up!

  • Put some slices of the venison on a hot plate.
  • Add a quenelle of parsnip purée, the fondant potatoes and a tablespoon of beans.
  • Finish with the mushroom jus.

I hope I have given you some inspiration! Bon appétit…

Love, Kathleen


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