Fact Sheet No by EZSsWy

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									Fact Sheet No. 12a, December 2008
Frankly Cooking      The Frank Moynihan Cookery School, 124 Killeen Woods,
                     Tralee, Co Kerry. Telephone/Fax (066) 7117095 086 2627855
                     e-mail franklycooking@eircom.net www.cookingwithfrank.com
In Association with Shannonside/Northern Sound Radio

This year plan for a happy, healthy, economical and palate pleasing Christmas, and how does
one do that? By planning, planning, planning.

Make out a 4 day menu cycle to include Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day
and 27th December.

Do your shopping and make out your list of requirements dictated solely by what’s needed
for these 4 days menus only. It is not the end of the world, shops will be back in full swing
on 28th December.

It’s a sad, but never the less true fact, that €4m of food is disposed of in refuse sacks every
Christmas between Christmas Day and New Years Day. Please don’t be a contributor to this
appalling mountain of waste.

Do try to ensure that your family will sit down to the festive table with a hunger and not with
a Mars bar in one hand and a marshmallow in the other.

Monday 1st December
In times past in most Irish homes, on Christmas Eve the family sat down to a meal of salted
fish in white sauce with lots of onions in it, plus boiled potato. I believe that was occasioned
due to the fact that the day was a day of fast and abstinence and if you would like to revert to
this practice I would be very much in favour. In our part of the country the fish in question
was Ling that was very heavily salted, it would be steeped overnight in several amounts of
cold water to remove the salt. Then on Christmas Eve it was brought to the boil in water
before finally being poached in milk for 8 to 10 minutes.

The fish was then removed from the milk, a large onion was roughly chopped and sweated in
12g of butter in a separate saucepan for 2 to 3 minutes. 12g of cream flour was added to form
a roux and then the cooking milk was added to form a beautiful, full of flavour, white sauce.
The fish was returned to this for 5 minutes – potatoes were cooked separately, peeled and
added to the sauce just before service. It was delicious, you may not be able to source Ling
today, but any smoked fish like cod, haddock or coley can be substituted.


Monday 8th December
Whatever main course you decide to have on the 25th, let it be the ‘Piece de Resistance’ don’t
start the meal with a heavy filling starter – leave that for another day. Over the years I have
constantly suggested a simple first course of ½ a grilled fresh grapefruit for adults and a glass
of freshly squeezed orange juice for juniors.

Cut the grapefruit in 2 even halves around the centre (not from stem to stern) with a
grapefruit knife dislodge the skin from the flesh but leave it in place, you might also run the
knife between the segments, before adding a dessertspoon of Jamaican rum, a teaspoon of
brown sugar sprinkled over the top. Put this under a hot grill for approx 3 to 4 minutes, until
the sugar begins to caramelise, then simply garnish with ½ cherry and serve on a doylied
plate, it will not fill you up and will actually activate the gastric juices. Allow 15 minutes
between the service of each course.


Monday 15th December
By all means serve a soup on Christmas Day, but make it very light in tone and content. I
give you here one of my favourite soups for this time of year.

Pears and Stilton Soup
1 onion                                      12g butter
4 medium sized ripe pears, cored, quartered and chopped
1½ pint chicken stock                        100g stilton
Salt and pepper                              Fresh chives, chopped
Juice of half a lemon

In a pot, cook the onion gently in the butter, without browning. Add the pears and the stock,
add a little salt and pepper. Simmer until the pears are very tender. Pass through the fine
blade of a vegetable mill or liquidise and sieve. Return to the pan and reheat, without boiling.
Add the stilton and stir until dissolved. Sharpen with lemon juice to taste and adjust the
seasoning. Sprinkle the chives over the top and serve. If you make this soup in advance,
reheat without boiling. It may be served without the chive if preferred.


A Pistachio and Apricot Stuffing
10 dried apricots, soaked for 2 hours then drained
75g unsalted pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
50g butter                                           1 large onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley                           1 tablespoon fresh sage
150g fresh breadcrumbs

Melt the butter, add the onion and cook until soft but not coloured. Add in the herbs, apricots
and pistachio nuts. Mix well together, add breadcrumbs and season to taste.



Monday 22nd December
If your family will sit down to roast turkey on Christmas Day, let me say three things to you
here:
    1. Do not stuff the body cavity
    2. remove the legs, have them boned by your butcher and then stuffed and cooked on
        another day.
    3. there is no need of coking bags or tin foil – rub the bird all over with a good quality
        oil – put into a hot oven with its breast down and cook for 20 minutes per 450g. For
        the last hour turn the bird with the breast up, allow to stand out of the heat for 20
        minutes before carving. It will be beautiful.

For me this year it will be lamb again and I recommend this because it is quick and easy and
absolutely no waste
Noisette of Lamb with a Red Wine Reduction

You will need the meat of 2 cutlets from the loin per person, ask your butcher to bone and
roll the loin in one piece, then have him roll it tightly, if there is a lot of fat on the outside
have most of it trimmed away. Then secure with string every 2 inches apart. When ready to
cook you have two choices, you can cut the noisettes between the string and fry in a hot pan
with a little oil for 3 to 4 minutes a side then finish in a hot oven for 10 to 12 minutes or seal
the entire piece of meat in a hot pan, transfer to a roasting tin and cook in your oven at 190°C
(gas 6) for 40 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes and carve.

These look very attractive served on a round of savoury mashed potato.
In the frying pan that you used for cooking initially, add one glass of red wine, return to the
heat and reduce by half, then add one cup of lamb based stock (brown) and again reduce by
half, finally stir in one teaspoon of tomato puree and one tablespoon of redcurrant jelly. Pour
this over the lamb before service.

								
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