I mentioned that I was starting to feel more human not long before Christmas, and up to doing things like cooking after several months of being unwell and playing catch-up. Well, it’s a good thing I did, because we hosted Christmas dinner at ours this year.
It was a little (un)fortunate, but my siblings and their partners were away, and hubby’s family are interstate. So it was just mum, hubby, myself and the munchkin for Christmas. Unfortunate, because they were away, but fortunate because it meant we only needed to cater for four.
Historically, we’ve had pretty hot Christmas Eves and Days, and I couldn’t bring myself to deal with roasting or barbequing anything. Chilled or lightly grilled seafood totally was the way to go. It went so smoothly, and was so tasty without the usual food coma feeling post-meal, that I’d be completely happy doing something like this again, and not just for Christmas.
So that you can do this too, and for me to be able to remember how to do this again next time, here’s our menu and run sheet to seafood deliciousness.
- Oysters au naturel
- Crayfish (steamed and chilled) with Mimosa dressing
- Prawns (steamed and chilled) with prawn cocktail sauce
- Gravlax with horseradish cream sauce
I used a vacuum sealed bag for the cure, otherwise wrap it very well in clingwrap as instructed, and place it in a box or dish. A lot of liquid comes out over the next couple of days.
- Grilled scallops
- Fish Pie
I made this on the day, but the recipe says it can be made ahead to be refrigerated or frozen, then placed in the oven when you need it. Adjust your run sheet accordingly.
- Watermelon, feta and mint salad
- Sourdough Bread
- Basic cheese board
- Pannetone (get a good one – you get what you pay for) with ice-cream
- Pimm’s Cup
2 Days Before
Prepare the gravlax. Turn it twice a day until it is ready to serve.
Last thing in the evening, I made my ‘quick’ sourdough and left it to prove overnight. I found my recipe pretty forgiving even with the added yeast, but it can just as easily be made on the day if you have the time.
The Day Of
First (ish) thing in the morning, I turned out my dough, shaped it, and left it to rest/rise for a half hour at room temperature before baking. Given this is Australia and Christmas Day, ‘room temperature’ was mid-20s.
While the bread is resting, steam the crayfish. We did ours for about 8 minutes. We also cheated and bought cooked prawns (we like our fishmonger’s) otherwise these only take a few minutes as well, watch for the change of colour to orange. Chill over ice, then in the fridge.
1.5 Hours Before*
Note: I used a Thermomix for the Fish Pie mash (recipe from the EDC, parmesan omitted). If you are not using a Thermomix for this, adjust your start time to accommodate your mash method.
- Make the Mimosa Dressing and place it in the fridge to chill.
If using the Thermomix for the mash, while the dressing is reducing slightly on the stove, cut up your potatoes.
- Start the mash in the Thermomix.
- Prepare the fish pie.
If using the Thermomix, by the time the filling is in your baking dish, the mash will be ready or nearly ready (20-25min).
- Place the fish pie in the oven.
- Make the Horseradish cream sauce.
- Slice and plate the gravlax.
- Prepare and grill the scallops.
- Halve the crayfish, and plate with the prawns while the scallops are grilling.
- The fish pie should be done around now.
- Assemble the watermelon salad.
- Plate the oysters and scallops.