BALLOTINE OF DUCK for Christmas

Our family has decided on a much more casual Christmas this year and part of that is a cold meat and salad buffet. It will be the usual pork, turkey and chicken combo, but if you want something different what about this duck ballotine? It can be done the day before and although a bit more fiddly, it’s well worth the effort especially when all you have to do on Christmas morning is slice it.

CHICKEN KIEV

The Women’s Weekly published this recipe in one of their liftout features back in 1999. I thought it might be of interest as it gives step by step instructions on how to assemble the Kiev. It also came with a couple of useful tips about deep frying it – use a wide-topped deep frying pan, which is half full of well heated oil. If the oil is not hot enough the Kiev will absorb too much oil. Obviously an electric deep fryer takes away that worry.

BEEF ROLL-UPS IN CREAMY SAUCE

This another recipe from the Kraft Vegemite booklet. The vegemite is used in the sauce and not in the filling, which means you can add as much or as little as you like. I have doubts myself about using tinned vegetable soup for the sauce and don’t see why you couldn’t use mushroom instead.

MINCE PIES WITH POTATO PEA MASH

I think it’s the potato pea mash that attracts me to this recipe from the Woman’s Day, although I do like a good pie.  I can see a few other uses for the potato pea mash too – topping for a shepherd’s pie, as a side dish and what about fried up with an egg for breakfast??

MEATBALLS WITH RATATOUILLE AND RICOTTA RICE CAKE

This is a great way to jazz up fairly boring meatballs.  Ratatouille is a great vegetable side dish that goes really well with roasts and these meatballs.  The polenta/riccotta cheese cake finishes off the dish really well and makes it a just that bit more interesting.

BEEF AND BEANS and CHILLI BEEF ‘N’ BEANS

I decided that I could group these two beef and bean dishes together.  They are a little different, but as they both use minced beef and beans I felt they went together.  So take your pick….. the  Beef and Beans has bacon, chutney and butter beans, the  Chilli Beef ‘N’ Beans is spicier and has chilli, red kidney beans and the surprise ingredient of vegemite.