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Being the cook on Christmas day can be both fun and frantic. There’s a lot to prepare like the table settings, the perfect drink to accompany lunch and, of course, what you’ll actually be cooking.

But there’s no need to be too frantic, we asked Australian chefs including Maha’s Shane Delia, punk princess of pastry (and former Masterchef contestant) Anna Polyviou and Smith & Daughters Mo Wyse and Shannon Martinez about their favourite Christmas dishes to share with friends and family.

Shane Delia’s Chemen cured kingfish, preserved lemon and pul biber, black cabbage

Shane Delia's Chemen cured kingfish. Photo: Maha/supplied
Shane Delia’s Chemen cured kingfish. Photo: Maha/supplied

Serves: 10

Fish:

  • 750g Hiramasa Kingfish

Skin and clean the fish. Remove bloodline, cure for 24 hours

Slice the fish in 3mm slices (75g per serve)

 

Chemen Cure:

  • 300g paprika 200g fenugreek 75g coriander 75g cumin 400g salt
  • 400g sugar

Mix all spices together

 

Black Aleppo dressing:

  • 50g black pul biber (aleppo pepper)
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 5 brunoised shallots
  • 1 whole preserved lemon diced (steep overnight)

Combine ingredients raw and drizzle over fish when plated

 

Garnish for the top

  • 1/2 Bunch kale Kewpie mayonnaise Lemon balm
  • 50g salt
  • 10g all spice

Mix 5 parts salt with 1 part five spice in a separate bowl
Deep fry kale leaves ensuring they are crunchy (not brown) and they keep their green colour
Season fried kale with 7 spice salt mix
Place on top of fish when serving

To assemble

Place sliced fish on plate
Gently drizzle dressing over fish
Small dollops of kewpie mayonnaise on fish, place pieces of fried kale on top of fish Garnish with wood sorrel

 

Mo Wyse and Shannon Martinez’s Sangria crumble

Smith & Daughters Sangria crumble. Photo: Smith & Daughters/supplied
Smith & Daughters Sangria crumble. Photo: Smith & Daughters/supplied

When making this, use any fruit that’s in right now and affordable: plums, quinces, pears, apples, anything that’s your favourite. It’s awesome served with saffron custard or your favourite vanilla ice cream.

* This recipe (along with recipe for the saffron custard) is available in Smith & Daughters A Cookbook (that happens to be vegan) published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $48.00. 

Serves: 4–6 

Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F).

Filling:

  • 375 ml (121/2 fl oz/11/2 cups) red wine, any variety
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) Pedro Xímenez sherry (or brandy works, too)
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 star anise
  • peel of 1/2 orange, white pith removed, cut into strips
  • peel of 1/2 lemon, white pith removed, cut into strips
  • 115 g (4 oz/1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) pears

 

Place 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) water and all of the filling ingredients except the pears in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then remove from the heat and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes for all the flavours to infuse.

To prepare the pears, cut off both ends and peel. Cut into quarters, then remove the core by cutting around the seeds. Place the cut pears in an ovenproof dish that is large enough to fit the pears in a single layer (it’s fine if a few are resting on top of each other). Pour over the infused wine and cover the pears with some baking paper, pressing the paper down onto the surface.

Poach the pears in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until a knife slips through the flesh without too much resistance. Once the pears are cooked, remove from the poaching liquid and set aside in a bowl. Pour the poaching liquid into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the liquid has reduced by half and is beginning to look a little syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Crumble:

  • 100 g (31/2 oz/1 cup) ground almonds
  • 225 g (8 oz/11/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 115 g (4 oz/1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 115 g (4 oz/1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • 185 g (61/2 oz) cold butter
  • 45 g (13/4 oz/1/2 cup) flaked almonds

 

To make the crumble, combine all of the ingredients except the butter and flaked almonds in a bowl and mix well. Add the butter to the bowl and rub it into the dry mixture using your fingertips, until it resembles rough breadcrumbs with chunky bits through it. Gently stir through the flaked almonds.

 

To bake:

Place a layer of pears on the bottom of an ovenproof dish or individual ceramic moulds, then cover with the crumble mixture. Now personally, I like a 50/50 fruit to crumble ratio, cos let’s face it, the crumble is the best part! Very lightly press down on the crumble mixture to make sure it’s filled any gaps between the pears. Make sure not to press too firmly though as you still want it to be a bit rough and bumpy. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden and the juices from the fruit are beginning to bubble up around the edges.

 

Anna Polyviou’s Ginger Ninjas

Anna Polyviou's Ginger Ninjas. Photo: supplied
Anna Polyviou’s Ginger Ninjas. Photo: supplied

Serves: 15

Cooking time: 20 mins

Gingerbread:

  • 800g Plain flour
  • 60g Baking powder
  • 5g Ground ginger
  • 15g Mixed spice
  • 5g Salt
  • 2 Lemons, zest
  • 100g Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200ml Honey
  • 180g Soft brown sugar
  • 125ml Milk
  • 4 Eggs

Royal icing:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 700g Icing sugar, sifted
  • Food colouring of your choice

 

Pre-heat the oven 160C. Sift the flour, baking powder, spices and salt together and set aside. Melt the butter, honey and brown sugar gently in a small saucepan, just until it has melted. Set aside to cool. 

Place the dry ingredients and lemon zest in a mixing bowl, add in the cooled down liquid and mix using the paddle attachment on slow speed. Once mixed together, add in the eggs, one at a time to form a dough. 

Put the dough on a lightly floured bench and form into a flat rectangle. Wrap in cling wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Roll out the ginger dough to 0.5cm thick. Use cutters to cut out the ginger men. Place on the baking tray and brush with the milk. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, transfer to a rack cool.

To prepare the royal icing, separate the eggs and place the egg whites into your Kenwood Chef Sense mixer bowl and use the whisk tool to beat the egg whites. Add the icing sugar a cup at a time mixing on slow speed until combined. When finished, place a slightly wet cloth on top of the icing to stop it from drying out.

To make different colours, divide the royal icing into different bowls and add the desired colours to each bowl. Make sure to mix well.

Use a small icing bag for each icing colour to decorate the Ginger Ninjas.

*You can find more of Anna Polyviou’s recipes online by joining Kenwood’s K Club.