Tuesday, December 18, 2012

our family christmas

We had my husbands family over on the weekend for our family christmas and yes it was on that particularly scorching hot day! I had to re-think my menu a little bit so I was spending as little time in the kitchen as possible and I was using the stove as quickly as possible. I know I said I was going to do a chicken ceasar salad but I just couldn't face bacon and eggs AND schnitzel in that heat. I'd found a recipe in the Christmas edition of the free Coles magazine (hey, you never know where you'll come across a decent recipe!) so after a few adjustments, things cooked and kept in the fridge and a quick pan fry later - it was done! And it was delicious, of course teamed with a few other things on the table. : )

chicken, haloumi and cherry salad


4 chicken schnitzels (either crumb your own chicken breasts or buy them crumbed)
1 bunch of aspargus
50g peppery baby rocket leaves
1 cup cherries
1 pack of haloumi

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, peeled and chopped in half
1 tsp dijon mustard
a pinch of caster sugar


This salad is lovely cold and the components of it can be made ahead of time and thrown together at the end!

About 4 hours before eating - place olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat and cook schnitzels together until cooked. When you take them out of the pan, drain them on  paper towel and leave to cool for about 30 to 45minutes and then cover with foil and keep in the fridge.

About 2 hours before eating - Fill kettle and put on to boil. Trim ends of asparagus and give them a wash. Place them in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. set aside for 1 minute. Drain and place in a bowl of cold tap water for 2 minutes. Drain, pat dry with paper paper towel then wrap and place in the fridge. Chop cherries in half and take out the pits, discard the stalks. Keep them in a zip lock bag in the fridge.

About 30 minutes before eating - Put dressing ingredients in a glass jar with a lid. Shake and set aside. Doesn't need to go in the fridge.

Just before eating - Get your platter ready. Wash rocket leaves and scatter over the platter. Place some olive oil in a frying pan and place over a medium high heat. Take out the asparagus and scatter over the platter. Slice the haloumi however you like and fry each side for 1 minute or until lightly browned. Take out your schnitzels and slice into strips. Scatter chicken, haloumi and cherries over your platter. Discard garlic and drizzle over dressing. Serves 6 -8 as a side.

The remainder of my menu included a mix of bread rolls served with organic butter; a seafood platter of oysters, a balmain bug and fresh prawns served with tartare sauce, seafood sauce and a gorgeous garlicky aoli. I also put together a small platter of smoked salmon with crostinis, baby capers and some dill. For dessert we had mini magnums plus! my Christmas sundae and let me tell you, it all went down an absolute treat! As you can see I got the kids to paint "Christmassy things" on the paper table runner and to save myself even more time we used paper plates for eating and paper bowls for prawn shells and I had arcopal bowls with lemon and water for finger bowls and apparently salt on ice makes it melt slower! : )

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends!
Eat, Drink, Be Merry!