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A roast to good times

In the concluding part of this Christmas special, we hope to give foodies planning a lavish spread a helping hand or two

india Updated: Dec 22, 2012 17:02 IST
Serena Menon Serena Menon

Yesterday, we shared with you recipes of some easy to make cocktails and appetisers to get your Christmas evening started. In this second and concluding part of the festival food special, we bust some myths about recipes that are often considered complicated. Follow these simple steps to prepare roast duck or turkey, and end your meal with some dessert - chocolate sorbet and mousse or go traditional with the plum cake.


Cajun-spiced Turkey (Woodside Inn)


5 kg turkey
150 gm salt
20 gm black pepper
150 gm diced carrots
150 gm diced potatoes
150 gm diced onions
100 gm chopped garlic
30 gm thyme
100 ml refined oil
50 gm butter
50 gm celery

Ingredients for assembly
190 gm roast turkey as per procedure below
90 gm cranberry and red wine sauce
salt and pepper to taste
40 gm bok choy
10 gm thyme
10 gm chopped chives


Apply garlic and butter to turkey's skin. Apply Cajun spice, oil, salt and pepper, thyme and oregano to the flesh. Stuff turkey with potatoes, onions, garlic, celery and carrots, that are seasoned with salt pepper and olive oil. Wrap the turkey with foil and slow roast in the oven for five hours at 150-200°C. Remove and cool. Cut slices and remove stuffed vegetables. Serve with cranberry red wine sauce, accompanied by bok choy garnished with chives and (optional) zucchini cranberry muffin.


Christmas Traditional Plum Cake (Out Of The Blue)


1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup chopped cashew nuts
1/4 cup black raisins
1/2 cup mixed dry fruits
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup butter
3 eggs n 1 tsp

All spice powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon powder salt

On medium heat, melt 1/2 cup of sugar slowly. Keep stirring and let it turn a deep dark colour. Turn off heat and add about 1/4 cup water. The sugar will harden. Turn the heat back on and slowly heat the mixture until the sugar crystals dissolve. This will take around 10 mins. Let this cool and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Add 3 tbsp flour to the dry fruits and nuts and dredge completely to coat them. Leave. Mix remaining flour and baking powder, spices, and salt until well combined.

Beat the butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Add 1 egg and beat. Then add a bit of the flour mixture and fold. Add cooled caramel and dredged fruits and fold. Pour batter into a greased cake pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes until the top turns dark brown.

Dust with icing sugar when the cake is cool.

White Chocolate Mousse (Claude Sénèque, head chocolatier, Leonidas)


320 gm white chocolate
500 ml whipped cream (min 40 per cent fat)

Melt the chocolate at 40°C. To get the best results, keep the melted chocolate at this temperature.
Heat up 150 ml of cream on low heat and add it to the melted chocolate. This is known as a ganache. Make sure the rest of the cream is kept in the fridge at a cool temperature. Whip up the cold cream into a strong foam. Gently fold the whipped cream into the ganache.

Before serving, put the chocolate mousse in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Traditional Roast Duck (Chef Vicky Ratnani, Aurus)

1 whole duck (2 kg)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 orange
2 bay leaves

Ingredients For Glaze

1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp (30 ml) orange-flavoured liqueur
1 tbsp (15 ml) red wine vinegar
1 tsp (5 gm) granulated sugar

Ingredients For Orange Sauce
2 (30 gm) tbsp granulated sugar
2/3 cup (150 ml) duck stock or chicken stock
1/2 tsp (2 ml) grated orange rind
1/3 cup (75 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tsp (10 gm) corn starch

Method To Glaze

Mix orange juice, liqueur, vinegar and sugar. Set aside. With tip of knife, prick duck skin all over without piercing meat. Rub inside the cavity with 1/2 tsp (2 gm) each of the salt and pepper. Quarter oranges and squeeze juice into duck cavity. Add orange quarters and bay leaves. Tie legs together. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Place duck, breast side up, in roasting pan; roast in 400°F (200°C) oven for 35 minutes. Pour off clear fat and reserve for another use. Baste with some of the glaze.

Roast in 350°F (180°C) oven, basting with remaining glaze and pan juices every 15 minutes, until thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 185°F (85°C), 1-1/2 hours. Discard oranges and bay leaves; reserving cavity juices, transfer duck to plate and keep warm. Skim off and discard fat. Pour remaining pan juices into bowl.

Method For Orange Sauce

In a heavy saucepan, melt sugar over medium heat, swirling pan but not stirring, until colour turns amber. Remove from heat; stir in stock and bring to boil, stirring. Stir in reserved pan juices, orange rind, orange juice and salt; boil until reduced to about 1 cup (250 ml). Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tsp (10 ml) water; stir into pan and simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Serve with duck.

Chocolate Sorbet (Claude Sénèque, head chocolatier, Leonidas)


150 gm chocolate broken into tiny, equal pieces
150 gm caster sugar
30 gm liquid glucose
500 ml water


Melt the sugar, glucose and water together over a gentle slow heat and then boil for about two minutes. Pour on the broken pieces of chocolate. Stir until all melted and then cool and chill in fridge. The sorbet is now ready to freeze. To maintain the texture of the sorbet, keep churning it every 30 minutes in the freezer for three to four hours. Serve

Costliest Xmas meal in the world

It's being called the most expensive Christmas meal in the world. For £125,000 (Rs 1.1 cr approx), a party of four is being invited to tuck into a holiday dinner prefaced with a bottle of Champagne circa 1907, highlighted by a 50-carat gold-leafed turkey that ends with a dessert made with coffee beans extracted from the dung of an Asian civet cat.

Here's what London chef Ben Spalding of John Salt, proposes with Very-FirstTo.com a service that offers exclusive, luxury products and experiences to its members for The World's Most Ultimate Christmas Dinner. Spalding is donating 80 percent of his fee to the Cancer Research UK and Hospitality Action.

Key ingredients used

Diva Vodka: £2,000 (Rs 1.8 Lakhs)
Piper-Heidsieck 1907 Champagne: £37,000 (Rs 33 lakh)
Dry ice: £180 (Rs 16,000)
Pata Negra Ibérico jamón: £600 (Rs 53,500)
Bird's Nest: £100 (Rs 8920)
Almas Caviar: £5,000 (Rs 4 lakh)
150-year-old balsamic: £1,030 (Rs 91,882)
Whole White Alba truffle: £3,500 (Rs 3 lakh)
Poulet de bresse for stock: £2,500 (Rs 2.2 lakh)
Saffron stock: £500 (Rs 44,603)
Yubari King melon: £2,500 (Rs 2.2 lakh)
Dodine of rare breed turkey: £500 (Rs 44,603)
Wagyu beef: £4,500 (Rs 4 lakh)
Gold leaf: £6,000 (Rs 5.3 lakh)
Périgord truffles: £900 (Rs 80,200)
Akbari pistachios: £5,000 (Rs 4.4 lakh)
Kopi Luwak: £3,000 (Rs 2.6 lakh)
Amedei chocolate: £150 (Rs 13,000)

* Rates in Rupees are approximate

The menu

Sharpener: Diva Cocktail and Piper-Heidsieck 1907 Champagne

Bird's nest and Almas caviar 150-year-old balsamic and Pata Negra Ibérico jamón Served with 1949 Cheval Blanc

Whole white Alba truffle poached in poulet de bresse juice & Sargol saffron stock, Yubari King melon Served with 1988 Corton-Charlemagne, Coche-Dury

Dodine of rare breed turkey with Wagyu beef fillet and heart, wrapped in 50-carat gold leaf, Périgord truffles and Akbari pistachios Served with 1959 La Tache Whipped Kopi Luwak & Amedei premium chocolate with rare Densuke Watermelon eaten off a gold Ugandan vanilla plate Served with 1976 Chateau d'Yquem