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 hereIt 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 radioso 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.
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 HEREor follow me onInstagram. You might also like to read my blog about Champagne and sparkling wine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 gloriousCrackling Christmas Pork.
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.
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
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 email@example.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.
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.
“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..”