Friday, September 5, 2008
Friends for Dinner
At Christmas time we were given two hams on the bone. We used one over Christmas and put the other one in the freezer. We remembered about it a few weeks ago and so thought we better have some friends over for dinner to eat it up. We did that last weekend.
The guests bought nibbles, but I also opened a jar of olives and made some roasted spiced nuts to snack on as pre-dinner nibbles. I simply tossed some raw mixed nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds and brazil nuts) with some tumeric, cumin powder, salt a little oil and my secret ingredient of about ½ tbsp of brown sugar. You then roast them in the oven at 180c for about 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
I studded them ham with cloves and glazed it with a mixture of marmalade, brandy and orange zest and juice. It was delicious. My mum has always glazed our Christmas ham with pineapple juice and brown sugar, but I really liked the tang of the marmalade glaze. We had the ham with a delicious roast pumpkin, orange and hazelnut salad (tossed through greens) and cous cous to which I added roasted cashew nuts, almonds, drained chickpeas, fresh herbs, sliced roasted red peppers and some ground cumin. Cous cous is great for entertaining as it doesn’t have to be piping hot when you serve it – room temperature is better.
Pudding was delicious. I made the plum and cardamom steamed puddings pictured above. The recipe was a Ray McVinnie recipe from Cuisine. I made the puddings in individual ramekins. You put a spoon of plum jam and some drained, canned plums in the base and then made a cardamom and ground almond sponge to go on top. They were served with orange custard which was flavoured with orange zest and orange blossom water. I also served whipped cream on the side. I made the full recipe and I got 10 mini puddings, so you could easily just make 2/3 of the recipe. When I make individual steamed puddings, I put them in a roasting dish, pour boiling water to come about half way up the sides and then put tin foil over the whole dish (spray the tin foil with an oil spray) and put in the oven for about 25 minutes.
If you love steamed pudding you need to make these as they are one of the nicest I have made. They freeze really well too – just cover well with gladwrap and pop in the freezer. They defrost successfully in the microwave. Find the recipe here.