A cook's Christmas: Lyndey Milan

By
Lyndey Milan
Added
05 December, 2015

A legend of the Australian food scene (and recent recipient of an OAM) Lyndey Milan loves all things Christmas. Her festive menu puts a unique spin on a traditional theme.

I love Christmas and everything about it. Christmas morning begins with champagne, shirred eggs and smoked salmon and gifts for the immediate family. Then my large family shares the load for our communal celebration, with pre-arranged tasks making things easier and so much more fun. We have all ages and invite 'waifs and strays' so we set a very large table with a traditional dinner rather than lunch (though personally I would be a fan of something different!). We gather around 4 pm so the little ones have had their sleep, we sip more champagne and explore our Kris Kringle gifts. Performances generally ensue before a not-too-late dinner.

We like to keep the heat out of the kitchen and cook two turkeys (one is not enough!) on the hooded BBQ and have perfected how to keep it moist. We place them on a rack in disposable foil trays over water, covered with the whole skin removed from the ham, which bastes the breast and keeps it moist as it cooks. The water underneath also helps, and forms the basis of a delicious sauce later. If you don’t have a ham skin use some muslin soaked in melted butter. Only turn on every second gas jet. Wrap the whole thing in foil until the last half hour and remove the ham skin or muslin so that the turkey will brown. Then it’s Christmas pudding, sago pudding and frozen pudding with all the trimmings. And amongst other wines, I always drink Australian sparkling shiraz!

Lyndey Milan's Christmas menu

Oysters with pico de gallo

Oysters are especially popular during the festive season and Sydney Rock oysters come into season in the New Year – or you could always use Pacifics. Given how popular Mexican flavours are, this fresh and zingy salsa makes a perfect accompaniment.

Prawns and scallops in kataifi with spicy capsicum skordalia

Summer is all about seafood in Australia. This recipe lifts prawns and scallops from the ordinary with the Greek kataifi pastry and a spicy sauce which works just as well with grilled fish, chicken or lamb.

Peking pork belly with pineapple pickle

Pork belly is the wonderchild of this decade. Forget the old sweet and sour pork, here’s a fool-proof way to make the pork crisp with a refreshing pickle to cut through the richness. This can also be cut in small portions and served on a Chinese spoon as finger food.

Barossa Valley chicken with verjuice

This chicken recipe makes a great alternative to the traditional turkey for Christmas for those who want a change or don’t need a huge bird. Try to get a two-kilo chicken for superior flavour.

Goat's curd with strawberries and toasted almonds

I always think red berries are festive at Christmas. This is a very pretty do-ahead dessert. You could use any berries in season.

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COOK RECIPES FROM LYNDEY MILAN'S TASTE OF AUSTRALIA

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