A Christmas dinner for the Italians to remember!

Hip hip hoorah, I survived Christmas day! Wow, who would have ever thought it would be this tiring. With a Christmas eve dinner for ten and Christmas day lunch for eight I have literally been locked in the kitchen for the past couple of days and am exhausted, happy but exhausted. So my first ever English Christmas for my Italian family has officially been a success and the proof of the pudding is that there are not even any left-overs.

I kicked off Christmas Eve with a dinner of smoked salmon followed by beef wellington with ratatouille and a traditional christmas pudding and brandy butter to finish. With a little help in the kitchen from cousin Wendy I was able to prepare both these dishes whilst also fast-forwarding to Christmas day and stuffing the turkey in readiness to pop in the oven early the next morning.

The ratatouille was the first of the dishes to prepare and with our vegetables chopped we could focus our efforts on the task of rolling our wellington.

Ideally you need a good piece of Aberdeen Angus fillet for this dish but as I was unable to source this in time I asked my local butcher to provide the next best thing; a uniform sized piece of sotto filleto, which did the job nearly as handsomely. The fillet needs to be first cooked for 20-40 mins depending on whether you prefer your meat rare, medium or medium well. Once cooked leave the fillet to rest and chill in the fridge and move on to the next phase which is preparing the mushroom pate.

Finely chop the mushrooms and then fry off an excess liquid in a pan. You then layer up the mushroom on your fillet, wrap in prosciutto crudo and then finally in puff pastry. To finish and ensure a nice golden colour, glaze with a beaten egg before placing in a hot oven for a further 30-50 mins (again depending on size and desired cooking texture). The dish looks absolutely fantastic when it finally comes out all golden and delicious and our guests certainly seemed to enjoy it!

For Christmas day we moved on to a traditional roast turkey stuffed with a scrumptious little mix that I found in a Gary Rhodes recipe book; chestnut, apple, pancetta, lemon and sage stuffing. My piece to resistance, the English streaky bacon and chipolatas that I lovingly bought back from the last trip home and home made bread sauce to accompany the turkey.

I served my turkey with roast potatoes, mixed greens; broccoli, brussel sprouts and french beans, and the remainder of the ratatouille from the previous nights dinner, topped with gravy and cranberry sauce. I still cannot convince the Italians to eat everything together so they came up with an interesting combo of meat first followed by vegetables and bread sauce as a second helping. If it works for them who am I to judge?

For dessert we opted for a slightly healthier fruit salad after our Christmas Eve pudding and so we washed our turkey down with a melon, pineapple and pomegranate salad, panettone and of course my mincemeat pies and christmas biscuits.

All in all my first Christmas has been a labour of love but thoroughly worth it. Next year I shall however be inviting myself to someone elses house for Christmas!

One Response to “A Christmas dinner for the Italians to remember!”
  1. Federico says:

    Amazing dishes! As yummy as they look!

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