Still having no kitchen in sight, eldest daughter invited us to Christmas in Hobart with breathtaking views from the heights of Bellerive. It was magical but also the hottest Christmas I have ever had in Tasmania - 36C (96.8F)
I managed to prep all of my two dishes using a small (and I do mean small)bench top oven and the thermomix. I elected to do a rolled roast loin of pork and a hazelnut meringue from the Christmas 2015 issue of Australian Country Style magazine (their photo on the left as I failed to get one simply because it was all about enjoying the moment let's face it). The recipe in the magazine is on page 82 and called Slow Cooked Pork Loin Stuffed With Pistachio and Pickled Raspberries but my version used black currants instead as they are what we are picking from the garden at the moment. The beauty of pork is that it lends itself so well to a great variety of fruits; apricot, prunes, pear, apple and certainly black currants, in fact I think the black currants offer a better robust choice over the raspberries.
The black currants were soaked in balsamic vinegar for 24hrs and then strained reserving the black currants for the stuffing mix. A couple of tablespoons of brown sugar were added to the vinegar and then it was simmered down to a syrupy reduction for glazing.
The stuffing is a combination of torn breadcrumbs drizzled with butter and roasted to golden combined with slow sweated chopped onion and mixed with chopped bacon and pistachios for lovely nutty crunch and tangy black currants.
After stuffing and tying the loin it was placed on quartered red onions to keep it off the bottom of the pan and white wine added and some water which later goes on to become a final sauce with the addition of some left over glaze.
The recipe was a bit involved but it is worth buying a back issue just for this recipe alone if you missed a copy but you'll definitely want it for the Roasted Hazelnut Meringue with Boozy Cream and Berries.
Again, the black currants were king in this recipe too and so under-rated by folks who just want to add lots of sugar to them and turn them into jams or cordials.
There is no better way to top off a special but somewhat weighty meal than with a light meringue and fresh fruit and this version is like eating Ferrero Rocher and all the best fruits of summer.
The roasted hazelnuts were divine and a zesting of lime rind, exquisite. So easy but big impact among your guests. Above right is the version from the magazine.
Teddy stuffed a turkey and put a whole orange in the cavity that infused a wonderful subtle citrus flavour into the meat (and oh that view of the harbour as we cooked and dined!)
Every window was open and cross current breezes captured and chased in each room. The sky brilliant blue and the water reflecting the same. Our setting, red and gold.
Our glassware the Ritzenhoff Champus that I have been collecting for her each year for the past 12 or so years. They are individually designed by different designers and I stuck to a gold theme which has come together into a lovely and practical collection. We drank soda water most of the day for it was even too hot for champagne!
You can get a digital download of the Christmas 2015 issue here for just a couple of dollars. I am not affiliated in any way or receive kick backs, I just include the link because it is a bit hard to find and I found it to be a particularly good issue with interesting stories and great recipes.