Eating, drinking and left overs
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas Day with their familes, friends and loved ones. May the festive season be filled with peace, love and safe journeys for all.
This year I had the chance to try Dom Pérignon Vintage 2002 (RRP $299, $195.99 on special at Kemeny's) for the first time which my brother received as a Christmas gift. We conducted our own blind taste test amongst the family against one of my favourite affordable sparklings Henkell Trocken (RRP $18.99). Surprisingly we unanimously picked Henkell Trocken as our preferred drink and even though there was some notable difference in the taste I actually couldn't pick which one was the French champagne — even after my experience at the Annual Champagne Tasting. Henkell ended up being a bit sweeter on the palate for me and its fine bubbles floated slightly slower to the surface. The Dom Pérignon was a bit more effervescent on the palate and had a more taste of the land if that's an acceptable description. I enjoyed both but with the huge price difference I'll probably stick to the Henkell for now. I'd love to do a taste test amongst friends like Channel 9 did with Champagne Jayne to see who can pick a French champagne and if they like it better than Australian sparklings.
The Wallis Lake Sydney Rock Oysters ($14.99/dozen) from Nicholas Seafood were a great start. I usually get the larger pacific oysters, particularly Coffin Bay, but was pretty happy with these ones which were noticeably sweeter in taste although smaller. My dad purchased King tiger prawns ($22/kg) and Alaskan King Crab ($35/kg) from Coles which were actually pretty good in quality which I was surprised to discover and much cheaper than Sydney Fish Markets — he's always been a great bargain hunter. He also prepared and cooked his famous Crumbed prawn cutlets which I always look forward to as a special treat along with his homemade BBQ honey chicken wings and BBQ pork ribs. A leg of ham goes along way, many days at least, which went well with my mum's homemade potato salad — I'll have to remember including some chopped gherkins next time like Madam Char Char.
For dessert my brother attempted making the Molten Chocolate Pudding from the Bill Granger Every Day recipe book (p. 212). It tasted great but next time we'll have to watch the timing so it remains gooey on the inside. I finally reheated the Christmas Pudding made at La Brasserie Christmas Pies and Puddings Class which still tasted very nice and its been a family tradition to have Pavlova with fresh fruit and whipped cream at any special occasion. All these sweet delights were washed down with a yummy sweet dessert wine of Brokenwood Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008. As always there's an abundance of left overs which inevitably becomes a late Christmas dinner snack and Boxing Day lunch so nothing is gone to waste.
A symbol of fine champagne and premium pricing
Wallis Lake Sydney Rock Oysters ($14.99/dozen) from Nicholas Seafood, Sydney Fish Markets
King tiger prawns ($22/kg Coles)
Alaskan King Crab ($35/kg Coles)
Crumbed prawn cutlets
SIMON FAVOURITE :-)
BBQ pork ribs
Ham on the bone ($9.50 kg Coles)
My brother making Bill Granger's Molten Chocolate Pudding for the first time
Molten Chocolate Pudding with ice cream, fruit and shaved chocolate
Christmas Pudding made at La Brasserie Christmas Pies and Puddings Class
Selection of fruit
Pavlova with fresh fruit and whipped cream
Enjoying my Christmas pudding with a glass of dessert wine