Christmas Menu for a Group

Aperitif
Artichoke and Foie Gras canapés
&
Chive blinis with caviar and soured cream
Served with Kir Royale

Entrée
Oysters Served in a Variety of Ways
Wine: Bordeaux white wine from Graves

Plat
Brandied Roast Goose served with Green Beans and Garlic Roast Potatoes
Wine: Bordeaux Marguex or Malbec Wine

Fromage
Rocamadour served on a bed of lettuce
Wine:  Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc

Dessert
Buche de Noel
Wine: Bordeaux Sauternes


 Recipes


Aperitif




Artichoke and Foie Gras canapés served with Kir or Kir Royale
For 6 people
Ingredients:
12 small artichoke hearts
Olive oil and butter
12 slices of foie gras (30-40g each)
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Method:
Remove the seeds from the artichokes. Cook them in a pan for 3 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate. Place the slices of foie gras in the pan on a high heat for 1 minute and then place them on the artichokes. Deglaze your pan with a little balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over the canapes and serve immediately.

Chive Blinis with Caviar and Sour Cream
Ingredients:
150g plain flour
1 tsp salt
14g fresh yeast
150ml milk
2 free-range egg whites
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp olive oil
50g caviar
150g sour cream
Method:
Place the flour and salt into a bowl and add the yeast.
Place the milk into a pan over a low heat and warm.
Pour the warm milk into the flour, mixing thoroughly to form a thick batter. Set aside for one hour.
Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
Gently fold the egg whites and chives into the batter mixture.
Heat a small amount of the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
Add a spoonful of the batter and fry for 45-60 seconds, until golden underneath, then turn over and cook for 30 seconds on the other side. Remove the blini and place onto kitchen paper. Repeat this process with the remaining batter. Keep the blinis warm.
To serve, place a spoonful of sour cream onto each blini, top with a spoonful of caviar and arrange on a large serving plate.

Entrée
Oysters Natural served with lemon wedges and/or Oysters with Chill and Lime dressing
It’s nice to do a selection of both on a sharing platter allow about 6 oysters per person.
Quantities below are for 1 dozen oysters – adjust according to the number of oysters you are using.

Oysters with lime and chilli dressing
Ingredients
1 doz. oysters
1 long red chilli
1 teaspoon of white sugar
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp of lime juice
1 tbsp of fish sauce

Method:
For a dozen oysters, seed and finely slice half a long red chilli and combine well with a teaspoon of white sugar, a pinch of salt, 2 tbsp of lime juice and 1 tbsp of fish sauce. Serve each oyster in its shell with a dash of dressing on the top.
If shucking the oysters yourself, add any liquor obtained to the dressing
If you prefer cooked oysters you can serve Oysters Kilpatrick


Oysters Kilpatrick
Ingredients
2 cups rock salt
12 oysters, shucked
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
100g thin rashers rindless bacon, diced
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Lemon wedges, to serve

Method:
Preheat grill on medium-high heat. Place rock salt, in a thick layer, on a baking tray or heatproof plate. Arrange oysters (in their half-shells) on rock salt.
Sprinkle Worcestershire sauce over oysters. Top with bacon. Grill, on the salt, for 5 to 8 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon
Plat


Brandied Roast Goose served with Green Beans and Garlic Roasted Potatoes
This brandied roast goose recipe is very easy to prepare and makes a spectacular main course for guests. It’s an old-time Christmas favorite in many regions of Europe. This impressive roast goose recipe comes with its own Cognac fruit sauce, so there’s no need for an additional berry sauce.
Serves 6
Ingredients:
3.5 – 4 kg Goose, giblets removed
1 lemon, quartered and seeded
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup Cognac
300 grams dried fruit (apples, pears, raisins, apricots, cranberries, etc.)

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the goose on a rack in a large roasting pan. Stuff it with the lemon segments and garlic cloves, and then season it with salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, for 2 and 1/2 hours to 3 hours, until a meat thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh registers 80C. Loosely tent the goose with foil if it appears to be browning too quickly.
Transfer the roast goose to a serving platter and cover it to keep it warm. Skim the fat off the pan juices you may wish to reserve this for use another time.  Stir the pan drippings, 2 tablespoons of the reserved goose fat, 2 cups chicken broth, Cognac, and dried fruit together in a large pan set over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow the gravy to cook down for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the roasted goose with the warm brandied fruit sauce.
Serve with green beans and potatoes roasted with garlic.
Fromage

Serve small rounds of Rocamadour Goats cheese on a bed of lettuce.
  
Dessert


Buche de Noel
This easy buche de Noel recipe is easy to make. The light, airy vanilla-orange Genoise cake is rolled and filled with classic French-style chocolate butter cream to make a traditional Christmas log.

Buche de Noel Recipe
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients:
Genoise cake batter:
4 eggs (room temperature)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
2 teaspoons orange zest
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
Chocolate butter cream:
7 egg whites
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups plus 3 tablespoons butter, softened

Method:
To make the buche de Noel:
Preheat the oven to 200°C . Butter a 25 cm (10-inch) by 38 cm (15-inch) baking pan with a 2.5 cm(1-inch lip) (swiss roll pan) and line it with greased baking paper. Set the pan aside.
Beat the eggs for 5 minutes, until they turn thick and foamy. Add the sugar, orange liqueur, orange zest, vanilla extract, and salt to the eggs and continue beating for 2 minutes. Fold the flour, a few tablespoons at a time, into the whipped egg mixture. Once the flour is incorporated into the batter, stop mixing. Do not overmix or the cake have a rough tough texture when finished.
Gently spread the batter into the prepared pan. There will be peaks of batter; gently smooth over them, but do not press the batter down. Bake the cake for 10 minutes, until the cake is just set. Invert the baked cake onto a clean, dry kitchen towel and peel off the baking paper. Wait for 3 minutes and then gently roll the cake, still in the towel, starting at the 10-inch end. Allow it to cool completely.

To make the chocolate butter cream:
In a clean, completely dry bowl beat the egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Set them aside for a moment.
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil. Allow it boil until it has reduced into a slightly thickened syrup. Begin beating the egg whites on high speed again, and pour the hot sugar syrup into the eggs in a slow, steady stream. Pour the melted chocolate, espresso powder, and vanilla extract into the egg whites and continue beating them until the meringue has cooled completely, about 5 minutes.
Add the softened butter to the meringue, 2 tablespoons at a time, while beating on high speed, until all of the butter is incorporated into the frosting. If the buttercream becomes runny at any time in this process, refrigerate the meringue until it has chilled through and continue the process of beating the butter into the meringue.

To assemble the buche de noel:
Unroll the cake and set aside the towel. Evenly spread 2 cups (or desired amount) of the chocolate buttercream on the inside of the cake and following its natural curve, gently form it into a cake roll. Cut off the ends of the cake roll on the diagonal and reattach them in the center of the cake with a bit of buttercream to fashion a “branch” coming off the main Yule log.
Spread the exterior of the buche de noel with enough chocolate buttercream to cover it and gently pull a butter knife or small, offset spatula through the frosting to give the appearance of rough tree bark. Add a Pere Noel figure and meringue mushrooms to complete the festive look.
Chill the cake before serving it, and refrigerate any leftovers.
This Yule log recipe makes 14 servings.
Sauternes is a French sweet wine from the Sauternais region of the Graves section in Bordeaux.

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