And so this is Christmas?

 

On the terrace at Channel 9 with Weekend Today hosts Jayne Azzopardi & Alex Cullen

Welcome,
It’s all happening it seems but I am reminded of that beautiful Christmas song “and so this is Christmas, well what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun”. Written by Donny Hathaway, as we sang it under the Christmas tree in Martin Place, we sopranos sang the alternate lyrics (in brackets)  which John Lennon and Yoko Ono added, in harmony for Verse 2 

And, so this is Christmas (war is over)
for weak and for strong (if you want it)
for rich and the poor ones (war is over now)
the road is so long (now)
and so happy Christmas (war is over)
or black and for white (if you want it)
for the yellow and red ones (war is over)
let’s stop all the fight (now)
It is incredibly moving and you can listen to John Lennon and others here It seem humans are always fighting and I am sure all of us wish for peace, along with food and shelter for those who lack it, as well as friendship, love and kindness. Christmas can be a sad time for many of us so it’s a good time to acknowledge that and see what each one of us can do.

It was therefore wonderful to be able to cook on Channel 9 on Weekend Today to  encourage people to hold BarbeCUREs to support Cure Cancer and important life-saving cancer research. I have put my recipes below as I received many requests and the segment is on my instagram page. Why not offer to host a BarbeCURE as a Christmas gift – it can be any time over summer.

I will also be on Channel 7’s Morning Show on Friday 22 December  with a last minute recipe which can also be a gift or something you use yourself on the Christmas table,  plus some leftover ideas. I haven’t got my call time yet but it is usually sometime after 10.30am but I will advise on my socials.

Tonight (Friday 15th) is the first night for Carols at the House with the Sydney Philharmonia Christmas Choir at the Sydney Opera House. The last two nights we have had full rehearsals in there and it is just wonderful with the orchestra, actor John Bell, soprano Julie Lea Goodwin and conductor Elizabeth Scott From 2 – 4.30pm on Sunday 17th it will be live-streamed on ABC radio so anyone can listen and download the programme. We are also premiering ABC Classic Choir’s “Summer Together”. Exciting.

This is my last newsletter of the year. I’ll write my next one between 8 and 12 January so keep an eye on your inbox. Make sure you scroll all the way down to the end of this newsletter for your Christmas card.

THE GIFT OF TRAVEL FOR CHRISTMAS?
Join me on one of my very special bespoke tours – more below. And, extending my offer for Christmas, anyone who books either of my tours – to Puglia or Morocco between now and 1 January  will receive  a copy of Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece cookbook and DVD AND Just Add Spice cookbook and Moveable Feast DVD or $150 worth of my bakeware range

As ever, keep up to date with me on Facebook and Instagram.  Please always feel free to email me with your requests or comments. 

May you have a safe and joyous Christmas– Lyndey x

 

L: with my niece Jenny and friend Jill (who told me about With One Voice Choir) singing in Sydney’s Martin Place

Recipes of the week

PLUM & APPLE SUNDAE
From TV chef Paul Flynn when I was shooting my Taste of Ireland TV series.
GET MY RECIPE HERE

Fun with Wine

 

Here’s another in my series, Fun with Wine. This time it’s about what to drink over the festive season. Just click on my photo to see the short video
If you would like to see more of my videos on both food and wine, subscribe to my YouTube channel 
HERE or follow me on Instagram.
You might also like to read my blog about Champagne and sparkling wine.

Christmas Recipes

On the set of my Contemporary Christmas TV show – all recipes on my website

I have tried and true recipes I like to cook for Christmas and I think they always bear repeating.

Seafood Recipes
Rillettes of Salmon with Horseradish Crème Fraiche and Mustard & Dill Pikelets
Smoked trout mousse with cucumber salad
Seafood platter with chimichurri sauce and chipotle mayonnaise
Snapper in a Salt Crust with Gremolata

For Traditionalists
Roast turkey with Italian sausage seasoning and vegetables

Honey-glazed ham with mustard and cranberry relish. You can watch me make it here. just scroll down through the clips
Roast Beef Rib with Spiced Salt and Anchovy and Parsley Bearnaise

Christmas Desserts
Frozen Christmas pudding
Sago Christmas pudding with custard and brandy butter This is very easy and if perfect if you’ve left it all to the last minute as it is best made on the day you eat it.
Simple Christmas Pudding
Christmas Zabaglione Semi-freddo
White Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse with berries in sparkling shiraz syrup
Raspberry Ripple Nougat Parfait

For the vegetarians the All Time Vegetarian Christmas Favourites.
Not forgetting those who are gluten-free or following a FODMAP diet here is a Gluten-Free Newsletter with links to all these.

Left-Over Ideas

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Christmas comes with such a great flurry of culinary activity and joy, then it’s over and those left-overs can hang on and on. Here are some ideas to help you transform ham, turkey and chicken into new meals.

Quick ideas

  • Mix up an Asian style dressing with lime juice, fish sauce, a little palm sugar, finely chopped fresh chilli, plus lots of chopped mint and coriander to toss through diced turkey.  Add some bean thread noodles for texture and serve in lettuce cups. You can also do this with left over salmon.
  • Stuff a split pide with sliced turkey or ham, avocado and tomato.
  • Toss warm cooked chat potatoes with chopped ham and a mustardy dressing.
  • Make a Spanish Omelette by combining lightly beaten eggs with ham chunks, a few semi-dried tomatoes, olives and chopped parsley. Pour into a large frying pan and cook over low heat until just set.  Finish under a hot grill and serve in generous wedges with salad or smaller squares with a drink.
  • Fill crepes with turkey, ham and mushrooms in light cheese sauce.
  • Grab a sheet of puff pastry from the freezer for a quick freeform quiche.  Place the pastry on a baking sheet, crimp to create a 1cm pie edge, pour over beaten egg, top with a few spoonfuls of ricotta, diced ham and a generous sprinkle of thyme.  Bake until crisp.
  • Toss ham strips through just drained pasta and mix with beaten eggs, finely grated parmesan and lots of black pepper for a speedy pasta carbonara. I like to add a little chilli for bite. Recipe here.
  • Combine chunks of chicken and ham with wilted leeks, spinach and a little cream, top with mashed potato and bake until golden.
  • Add sliced ham or turkey to an American-style chef’s salad with quartered hard boiled eggs, baby cos leaves, cherry tomatoes and avocado.
  • Transform leftover steamed rice and diced ham into Chinese fried rice.  In a hot wok toss ham with frozen peas and sliced green shallots.  Add rice and mix until heated through.  At the last moment, add omelette strips, a few drops of sesame oil and a sprinkle of soy sauce for authenticity.
  • Stuff croissants with sliced ham and cheese and grill until the cheese melts.  Serve hot with a salad.
  • Jazz up a risotto bianco with ham, chicken or turkey.  Add mushrooms too and, just before serving, stir through some rocket or spinach until wilted.
  • Rice paper rolls like Roast Duck Ricepaper Rolls
  • Make ham or turkey (or even fish) croquettes. Recipe here.

Roast Vegetables
Blend your leftover roast pumpkin, potatoes and sweet potatoes with chicken or vegetable stock to make a chunky veg soup. Top with any leftover herbs you have left over from Christmas cooking. Roast veg also makes for an easy frittata or quiche – all you need are eggs and cream or milk .as above. Herbs and leftover cheese grated from your cheese platter wouldn’t go astray in here either!

Leftover Roast or Poached Salmon
Flake leftover fish and remove all bones. For fish patties, add a cup of your leftover mashed potatoes, 2 eggs and leftover herbs (dill, parsley or coriander would be fab). Shape into patties, dip into flour, egg wash, panko breadcrumbs and fry until golden and cooked. You can also add leftover flaked fish to pasta or rice salads or stir through scrambled eggs for a luxe experience.

From Leith’s their Christmas Leftovers Recipes include Turkey Bahn Mi
and remember I will be creating a new recipe on Channel 7 on 22nd.

Christmas Tips

I always like to serve a non-alcoholic fruit punch along with other drinks for Christmas entertaining. My Mum and Dad had a great technique to keep your punch cold through the hot weather. Cut up some fruit & place it in a ring cake tin, fill the tin a quarter way with fruit juice & then place in the freezer.

When it is time to make your punch, warm the outside of the tin slightly so it will just pop out & then place into the punch bowl! It will keep the punch cool and melt very slowly, just adding to the flavour.If you are cooking pork this Christmas I have a step-by-step guide to make glorious Crackling Christmas Pork.

If you’re planning to cook fish, here’s How To Cook Fish with a Crisp Skin.
Or How to Tell if Your Roast Beef is Cooked.

Read my Ten Top Tips to Make Christmas Day Easy
Christmas Ham Tips & Tricks

And if you have really left everything to the last minute, here is my ultimate cheat’s Christmas recipe using Chinese roast duck Roast Duck with Cherry Sauce, Spiced Carrots and Asparagus.

Moroccan Culinary Tour



Visit the beautiful Atlas Mountains in Morocco

Join my next culinary tour to Morocco from Saturday 27 April – Wednesday 8 May 2024 organised with Carol Prior from By Prior Arrangement who has 40 years experience and peerless contacts there.

Taking in the best Morocco has to offer, this authentic gastronomic experience will see you visiting ancient palaces and medinas and enjoying exclusive dining experiences.

We will travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and then onto intoxicating Marrakech, the red city. On the way, we will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. Together, we will discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in humble local eateries and upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads.

Inclusions:

  • Personal hosting by me
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Meals as per itinerary: breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 11 dinners with ½ bottle of wine per person
  • Transportation throughout in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with professional experienced English-speaking driver, including related expenses and allowing for physical distancing
  • 4×4 pick up and drop off to and from the desert camp
  • Bottled mineral water and hand sanitiser in the vehicle daily
  • English-speaking local licensed guides in Rabat, Volubilis, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira with all entrance fees included to the sites visited with the guides
  • Atlas excursion including mules and the specialist trek guide
  • 2 cooking classes
  • Local tourist taxes
  • Porterage
  • Restaurant tips
  • Drivers and guides gratuities
  • Bank transfer and currency fluctuation fees

Testimonial: 
“It was the most amazing experience – sights, smells, and sounds of Morocco still a wonderful memory. Beautiful accommodation; outstanding local guides; perfect host in Lyndey Milan OAM; excellent meals of local delicacies; brilliant group camaraderie; and one-off experiences and all of this made easy peasy by booking though By Prior Arrangement.Perfect organisation – nothing for guests to do, apart from imbibe and enjoy. Outstanding value.”
Brenda September/October 2022

Cost $10,000 per person (twin share).
More information HERE, full itinerary HERE or email me or travel@bypriorarrangement.com with any questions.

L: traditionally baked bread and R: discovering spices in the souk

Puglia Culinary Adventure – May 2024



Frolicking fun in Puglia

Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata
Spend an unforgettable week with me learning the secrets of a deeply passionate and undiscovered region of Southern Italy. Puglia is the sun-drenched heel of the boot that spans two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian. Basilicata is its neighbour to the West. Both agricultural regions are abundant with healthy soil, over 50 million olive trees and a tradition of wine growing that has seen a fabulous dynamism in the last ten years. This area produces some of the most exciting food and wines on the planet. With award-winning Southern Visions Travel.

Trip Highlights 

  • An in-depth visit to the UNESCO site of Matera, with free time to explore and shop
  • Bakery visit in Altamura at a DOP bakery
  • Visit to the Trullo Capital, UNESCO Heritage Site, Alberobello
  • A hands-on cooking class with a Nonna and me 
  • Insider’s look at burrata cheese making from cow to table 
  • Salsa di Pomodoro tomato experience
  • Olive grove tour and oil tasting at an ancient olive oil estate
  • Private lunch at Li Veli Winery
  • Visits to Lecce and Ostuni (the White City)
  • A half day on the water from Polignano a Mare followed by a seafood lunch
  • Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces.

Testimonial
“What a wonderful trip we had with the boundlessly energetic Lyndey visiting  Puglia and Matera,  experiencing  up close what this area is renowned for…delicious fresh produce and fine wines!
We stayed in the most beautiful places and the team from Southern Visions, Ali and Max, could not have been more helpful I just loved every minute ! Thank you all..”
Marg 2018

Cost $7439 per person (twin share).
Full itinerary and enquiries here or email me.

L: Sunrise in Alberobello and R: Hands-on cooking class