christmas feast BBQ snapper

Here is Australia we are blessed with long summer days and balmy nights to celebrate Christmas.  This year we have teamed up with pony rider to deliver a Christmas menu that will inspire you to get outdoors and cook on the BBQ . It’s a twist on Christmas flavours and something creative to enjoy with family and friends. Do yourself a favour, head over to the website and bag yourself a unique gift for your crew this year.  All you need to do is jump online.

I have been admiring some beautiful locally made ceramics for some time, and then we found out we had a common connection, Kelly from pony rider. So it was only natural that her plates, platters and mugs were to be showcased in our christmas feast. All the beautiful ceramics were made by @nic.ceramics you can find her on insta. The key to Christmas entertaining is being organised and using the best, seasonal produce you can lay your hands on. On this menu there is a few recipes that can be made a week before, freeing up some time for you to sit down and celebrate with your crew.  There is a time plan included so you can be super organised and not stressed.

I usually start with a drink that be non alcoholic and if you fancy some Christmas cheer, add your favourite spirit or liqueur.  Cinnamon always reminds me of Christmas time, and by simmering some blackberries and adding some lemon and maple syrup, it becomes a refreshing drink that can be enjoyed by all.

Simply cook the berries and set aside to cool, this can be done in the week before your feast and refrigerated for when the party is about to start.

Blackberry & Star Anise Spiked Gin

The colours of Christmas are also important when designing your menu, and the traditional green and red gets me every time. The vibrant greens, the reds and peach tones are play a part in a feast that is visually appealing as well as tasting delish. My top tip is to cook the tomato soup a couple of days before Christmas and refrigerate, so its really to pop on the BBQ, or make a week before and freeze. Defrost in the fridge two days before.

The menu –

Blackberry & Star Anise Spiked Gin

Fire Roasted Haloumi with Green Sauce and Pomegranate Jewels

Seafood Stew

BBQ Whole snapper with Limes and Tomatoes 

Easy ice cream with fire scorched peaches

Choc chip ice creams with chocolate coconut topping

 

 

Blackberry & Star Anise Spiked Gin

Serves 8

Prep time – 15 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes, plus 20 minutes cooling time

 

2 cups frozen blackberries

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup lemon juice

2 Star anise

1 cinnamon stick

240ml of your favourite Gin

Crushed Ice to serve

1.25 L Mineral water

 

1 To make the syrup, place blackberries, (reserve a few for garnish), maple syrup, lemon juice and spices into a small saucepan over a medium heat (either open fire or on the stove top). Stir till combined and heat gently for 8-10 minutes over the fire till slightly thickened and pulpy.  Mash with a fork to break up the blackberries.

2 Remove from heat and allow to completely cool. Fill glasses with ice, pour 30ml of Gin into each glass, spoon in 2 Tablespoons of blackberry mixture, and top each glass with mineral water.

3 Place a reserved blackberry onto the end of a stick or stirrer and serve.

 

Fire Roasted Haloumi with Green Sauce and Pomegranate Jewels

 Serves 8

Prep time – 15 minutes

Cooking time 5 minutes

 

2 Tbsp olive oil

750g haloumi sliced into 1 cm thick slices

1 small pomegranate, seeds removed

Micro sorrel leaves to serve

 

Green sauce

2 cups picked parsley

1 cup picked basil leaves

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, juiced approx ¼ cup

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

1 tsp caster sugar

 

1 In a blender place parsley, basil, oil and lemon juice. Blitz till smooth, and season with sea salt, cracked pepper and sugar. Set aside.

2 Build the fire till a medium heat is reached. Place a flat grill over flames to heat up. Or you can heat a frypan to medium high heat on the stove top.

Fire Roasted Haloumi with Green Sauce and Pomegranate Jewels

3 Drizzle olive oil over the haloumi slices and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes each side till golden brown. Remove and place directly onto a large serving platter. Drizzle with green sauce, scatter with pomegranate and micro sorrel leaves.

Fire Roasted Haloumi with Green Sauce and Pomegranate Jewels

Seafood Stew

The roasted tomato and tarragon soup can be made a few days before. Will keep for 3-4 days, covered in the fridge or frozen for 3 months.  Great idea to do this before hand, so its ready to go on the feast day. Easier to make this in the oven, as the tray will catch all the beautiful juices that you need to make the soup sing! But the final touches can be cooked over the open fire, or on the stove top.

 

Serves 8

Prep time – 15 minutes

Cooking time 1 hour 30 minutes

 

Tomato & Tarragon soup-

3 kg ripe tomatoes, core removed, cut in half

1 head garlic, cut in half

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

20g tarragon leaves, plus extra to serve

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 litre chicken stock

1 kg Kipfler potatoes, scrubbed, boiled

1 kg salmon fillets, skin on cut into large pieces

1 kg firm white fleshed fillets, skin on cut into large pieces

1 kg vongole

Berkelo sour dough bread to serve

 

1 Preheat oven to 180°c or 160°c fan forced. Line a  deep tray with baking paper and place tomato and garlic halves, cut side up on tray. Season with salt, pepper and tarragon. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 45-50 minutes till golden brown and very soft. The garlic may brown quicker than the tomatoes, check at 40 minutes and remove.

2 Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook potatoes over medium high heat for 10 minutes till just tender. Drain and set aside.

3 Squeeze out the garlic cloves into a large saucepan. Remove skins from tomatoes, and discard. Place tomato flesh and all the juices into the saucepan along with chicken stock, (we used home made, store bought is also fine).

4 Bring soup to the boil over medium high heat. Simmer 25 minutes till thickened slightly. Blend till smooth.

5 Add kipflers, fish and salmon pieces and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add vongole and cook for a further 5-10 minutes till vongole have popped open and fish is opaque.

seafood stew

6 Divide seafood and potatoes into serving bowls, and top with extra tarragon and cracked pepper.  Serve with  berkelo sour dough bread.

seafood stew

 

berkelo sourdough

 

BBQ Whole snapper with Limes and Tomatoes  

Serves 8

Prep time – 15 minutes

Cooking time 20 minutes

 

1 kg plate sized whole snapper, skin scored

1 bunch mint leaves or coriander leaves

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp lime juice

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

250g mixed heirloom tomatoes, halved

Extra limes to serve

Basil leaves to serve

Balsamic glaze to serve

 

1 Tie the bunch of mint leaves together with string to secure. Combine olive oil and lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Crank up the BBQ or build the open fire to medium high heat. Preheat a flat grill over the flames till hot.

brush with a bunch of vietnamese mint drizzle in olive oil

2 Cook snapper on the grill and baste with combined oil and lime juice, for 8-10 minutes each side depending on the thickness of the fish.

3 Place onto a platter and top with tomatoes, herbs, extra limes and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

BBQ Whole snapper with Limes and Tomatoes

Easy ice cream with fire scorched peaches

Serves 8

Prep time – 30 minutes

Freezing time 5 hours or overnight

Cooking time 15 minutes

 

600ml thickened cream

1 x 395g condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tsp vanilla extract

 

1 Line a 4 cup loaf tin with baking paper extending over the long sides (this will make it easy to remove frozen ice cream from container)

2 In a large bowl, beat cream with electric beaters till soft peaks form, stir in condensed milk and vanilla. Stir till combined. Pour into prepared loaf tin. Freeze for 5 hours or overnight. Can be made up to 2 weeks in advance.

Fire scorched peaches

8 firm ripe peaches white or yellow

2 Tbsp maple syrup

2 limes, halved

4 kaffir lime leaves, crushed

¼ cup shelled pistachios, chopped

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

1 Build the fire till medium high heat. Place peaches into a bowl and add maple syrup, juice of limes, lime leaves. Toss to combine. Place in a wire rack, or cook directly onto the grill plate.

fire scorched peaches

2 Cook for 6-8 minutes each side till golden and blistered. Place onto a platter, serve with ice cream sprinkled with pistachios and sesame seeds.

Easy ice cream with fire scorched peaches

Choc Chip Ice Creams with Chocolate Coconut Topping

This is a kids version of the easy ice cream, by simply adding some chocolate and coconut.

Makes 12

Prep time – 15 minutes

Freezing time 5 hours or overnight.

 

600ml thickened cream

1 x 395g condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup chopped chocolate

Chocolate Coconut Shell-

1 cup dark chocolate, melted

1 Tbsp coconut oil

½ cup shredded coconut

 1 In a large bowl, beat cream with electric beaters till soft peaks form, stir in condensed milk and vanilla. Stir till combined. Pour into 100ml ice cream moulds. Freeze for 5 hours or overnight. Can be made up to 2 weeks in advance.

2 Melt chocolate and coconut oil together in a small saucepan over slow heat on the fire or on the stove top.

3 Remove ice creams from moulds and drizzle with chocolate. Quickly sprinkle with coconut. Serve.

Choc chip ice creams with chocolate coconut topping

Time plan-

If you make the tomato soup and ice creams before your feast, you will be well in front to being organised for the day. All the other times use as a guide, so you can spend time with your guests and not be stuck in the kitchen. Delegate jobs to family members and get the kids onto jobs, such as picking herbs. Ask a helper to light the fire or BBQ and be on BBQ duty.  Cook one or two of the dishes for a family meal in the weeks before Christmas and give them a test run, that way you can tweak and add some of your own flavours and see what works best for you. You will then be confident that your timings will be spot on. And remember to enjoy yourself!

3 days before your celebration-

  • Cook the tomato soup, cool completely and refrigerate.
  • Make the blackberry syrup, cool and refrigerate.
  • Make the ice creams, either in the loaf tin, or in the moulds. Freeze till ready to eat.
  • On the day of your celebration.
  • 3hours before – prep all seafood and boil potatoes for seafood stew. Drain and set aside. Cut tomatoes for snapper and set aside on fridge. Cut pistachios and combine with sesame seeds for dessert- set aside.
  • 1 hour before entrée – make green sauce and set aside. Pick herbs for snapper and haloumi.
  • 30 minutes before guests arrive- cut peaches and drizzle with kaffir lime leaves and maple syrup. Refrigerate.
  • 15 minutes before guests arrive – pour blackberry syrup and gin into glasses and when ready to serve top with ice and mineral water.
  • 10 minutes before serving the entrée- heat up the BBQ and slice haloumi. Cook and place directly onto a platter- scatter with pomegranates and herbs and drizzle with sauce. Serve.
  • 20 minutes before serving the stew- heat up the tomato soup and finishing cooking the stew- add seafood, potatoes, and finish with herbs.
  • While stew is cooking, cook the snapper on the BBQ and baste with the herbs. Top with prepared tomatoes, herbs and drizzle with balsamic and limes.
  • 20 minutes before serving the dessert- melt chocolate and add coconut oil. Set aside. Heat the BBQ and roast the peaches.
  • unmould loaf ice dream, and place onto places with a couple of peaches, sprinkle with sesame pistachio mix and serve.
  • unmould ice creams and drizzle in chocolate, sprinkle with coconut to serve.

Enjoy this crazy season with family and loved ones. Gratitude to my great mate Kelly for her enthusiasm when it comes to entertaining. Loved creating this menu with you, its easy to be inspired when you are surrounded with such talent. x

Special cred goes to Chris for his stunning photography, awesome day- you captured the moment every time. x

Bella, thanks for all your cooking and laughter!

 

food and recipes by @janeecollins on insta  from sizzleandswirl

photography by Chris Searl   

homewares by pony rider 

ceramics by Nicky Crowley 

bread by Berkelo 

seafood by @oceana_traders on insta.

location @campseabird

krinklewood rose @krinklewood

applewood gin @applewooddistillery

 

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