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.

LIME MOUSSES WITH RASPBERRY COULIS

When I was growing up everyone had a lemon tree in their backyard. No one would have thought of having a lime tree, but like many people we now have one as well as the lemon in ours. Hopefully we’ll have enough of a crop this year to be able to make this luscious dessert.

BACON, EGG AND TOMATO PIE

The traditional egg and bacon pie in our family never has tomato or onion in it, so to me this is a very fancy version.  But if you must add the tomato my advice would be not to add too much as it can make it soggy – or just follow our example and leave it (and maybe the onion as well) out. Sometimes the old way is the really best way!!!!!

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.

CAULIFLOWER AND LAMB MINCE STEW

I think that cauliflower is a very versatile vegetable.  Traditionally we only had it boiled or topped with a cheesy white sauce, but these days I use it in lots of different ways.  Unlike broccoli it’s fairly firm and as long as you don’t cook it for too long it holds up well roasted, in curries, stir fries and stews.  As we mainly eat low carb, my favourite use is as a substitute for potato on top of shepherds pie.  In this recipe it’s combined with potatoes, lamb mince and spices, certainly a change from plain old boiled cauli……