Plenty of cooking for the holidays!
Every year I approach Christmas with slight apprehension. The truth is that I am not really a Christmas person. No matter what I think or feel, Christmas does turn up every year and I will always go with the flow and make the most of it.
December 24th is when I celebrate Christmas so I decided to fill the house with friends and family. It is impossible to cook a Swedish Christmas dinner for less than ten people anyway. The last couple of years there has been about 20-25 of us, plenty of cooking but also lots of fun.
December 25th is when the UK celebrate Christmas so time to shake of the Christmas eve tiredness, and sometimes a slight hangover and to indulge in a ham breakfast/brunch and turkey dinner with all the trimmings. This way everyone gets their favorite Christmas food.
I find what people eat at Christmas fascinating, maybe because it differs so much. A Norwegian friend of mine got a dreamy look in his eyes when talking about ribs of lamb, another friend used to have a carp swimming around in her bathtub as it needed to be killed just before eating, some eat goose and others rabbit.
Swedish Christmas food is a smörgåsbord of offerings and I cooked a minimalist version of my favorites. On top of the list is once a year indulgence, Janson’s temptation. Janson’s temptation is a very simple, yet naughty dish, it is anchovy, potatoes, cut julienne and double cream.
Layer potatoes and anchovy, add the double cream. Sprinkle over dried breadcrumbs, cover with slices of cold butter and bake in 180C or 356F until the potatoes are soft. It is wonderfully rich and so good.
I looked at my list of food to cook and decided to share it with you! It fed us well for two days and some, but not too many, leftovers.
- 150 Swedish meatballs
- 170 Cranberry sausage meatballs
- 3.2 kg ham
- Cold smoked, slow cooked, pulled pork, fennel and apple salad
- 1 whole side of beetroot cured, cold smoked salmon
- Beetroot and apple salad
- 4 basil and lemon pickled mackerels
- 4 wasabi pickled mackerels
- 25 mini sausages
- 1 large ovenproof dish of Jansons temptation
- 2 kg peeled and boiled potatoes
- 17 prawns on eggs
- Maple and chilli roasted chestnuts and Brussels sprouts
- 1 truffle brie
- 1 pot of stilton
- 1 mature cheddar
- Cinnamon, chipotle chile, cranberry and chocolate popcorn
- 4.3 kg bacon wrapped turkey
- Bread sauce
- Pigs in blankets
- Cranberry sauce
My cold was getting worse and on Christmas eve I mainly felt like going to bed but help arrived and everything got done in no time at all, amazing! Guests arrived and the party started. We had a brilliant time and almost all of the food went!
On Christmas day I smothered the turkey in truffle butter and covered it with bacon before roasting it.
The meal was finished off with Christmas pudding and brandy sauce (not for me) and a board game, perfect.
On boxing day I felt completely cooked out. My neighbor had invited us for a full English breakfast, complete with white pudding, yum!
It is tradition in our town to watch the Boxing day swim. It is very entertaining and no matter that the sun was shining, I will not be tempted to go in to the sea!
M cooked a curry from the leftover turkey and the last of the Christmas food was gone. I well and truly decided to feed my cold that is starting to ease up and I can feel the Christmas indulgence trying to settle around my waistline.
How was your Christmas? And what are you up to tonight? Any special plans?
I hope you had a lovely and relaxing time and feel ready for a truly exciting and foodie 2017!