Christmas is almost here, and if you haven’t quite finalised your Christmas menu, we’ve got the perfect dish for every course. You’ve probably got a lot of work ahead of you, so cutting a few corners on the starter so you can focus on the main is the way to go. This is what makes our Peach & Haloumi Skewers the perfect starter.

The perfect main has to be able to be prepared in advance with plenty of festive flavour. Our Rolled Pork w Pancetta, Apples, Prunes & Chestnuts fits the bill, as you can prepare it the day before, leave it uncovered in the fridge so the skin dries our and voila: perfect crackling.

For the perfect side, our Cauliflower Tabouli is a tried and tested favourite. Not only does it look beautifully festive with the green herbs and red pomegranate seeds, but it’ll go well with almost anything.

And finally the perfect dessert? Pavlova of course!



The Perfect Starter: Peach & Haloumi Skewers

These Peach & Haloumi Skewers make the perfect starter for two reasons. Reason one: fried cheese. What’s not to love? Reason two: they’re super easy. Given you probably have a turkey, potatoes and pudding to prepare, the faster you can throw together the starter, the better.

Prep Time10 minsCook Time10 minsTotal Time20 mins

 4 ripe peaches
 250 g haloumi cheese
 2 tbsp honey
 2 tbsp dukkah
1

Deseed the peaches and cut into 2cm cubes. Cut the haloumi into similar sized cubes.

2

Thread peach pieces and haloumi onto skewers, alternating between the two.

3

On a hot grill, grill the skewers on all sides until slightly charred.

4

Meanwhile, heat the honey in the microwave in a small ramakin until runny.

5

Once the skewers are cooked, place on a serving tray. Drizzle over honey and sprinkle with dukkah.

Yields4 Servings

Ingredients

 4 ripe peaches
 250 g haloumi cheese
 2 tbsp honey
 2 tbsp dukkah

Directions

1

Deseed the peaches and cut into 2cm cubes. Cut the haloumi into similar sized cubes.

2

Thread peach pieces and haloumi onto skewers, alternating between the two.

3

On a hot grill, grill the skewers on all sides until slightly charred.

4

Meanwhile, heat the honey in the microwave in a small ramakin until runny.

5

Once the skewers are cooked, place on a serving tray. Drizzle over honey and sprinkle with dukkah.

Peach & Haloumi Skewers


The Perfect Main: Rolled Pork w Pancetta, Apples, Prunes & Chestnuts

For those who aren’t huge fans of turkey, this rolled pork is a great option. Get your butcher to prepare the pork and score the skin for you. If you’re feeling super sneaky, give them the stuffing and ask them to roll it for you. The key to perfect crackling? Dry skin. Make sure you pat the skin dry before placing in the oven, and if possible, leave the pork uncovered in the fridge overnight to really dry it out.

Prep Time30 minsCook Time1 hr 30 minsTotal Time2 hrs

 1.5-2kg pork loin, boned and ready to roll
 100 g piece of pancetta, diced into 5mm cubes
 1 brown onion, finely diced
 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
 ½ green apple, peeled and finely diced
 50 g pitted prunes, chopped
 100 g roasted chestnuts, chopped
 4 slices of white bread, crusts removed, diced
 ¼ cup soft butter
1

Preheat oven to 200C.

2

In a large saucepan, fry the pancetta in a dry pan until golden and crispy, about 5-10 minutes. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.

3

Add the apple, prunes and chestnuts to the bowl and stir to combine. Add the bread and butter to the bowl and using your hands, squelch the stuffing together until well combined.

4

On a clean board, lay pork our flat, fatty side down, with the longest edge parallel to you. Ensure pork is of even thickness – you may need to slice through the thickest part of the meat and use a meat hammer to ensure it is even.

5

Create a sausage shape with the stuffing in the middle of the pork, running parallel with you. Roll up pork into a cylinder and secure with kitchen string.

6

Place pork on a baking tray and bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes until the crackling is golden. Reduce heat to 180C and cook for a further 60 minutes or until cooked through. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Yields8 Servings

Ingredients

 1.5-2kg pork loin, boned and ready to roll
 100 g piece of pancetta, diced into 5mm cubes
 1 brown onion, finely diced
 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
 ½ green apple, peeled and finely diced
 50 g pitted prunes, chopped
 100 g roasted chestnuts, chopped
 4 slices of white bread, crusts removed, diced
 ¼ cup soft butter

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 200C.

2

In a large saucepan, fry the pancetta in a dry pan until golden and crispy, about 5-10 minutes. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.

3

Add the apple, prunes and chestnuts to the bowl and stir to combine. Add the bread and butter to the bowl and using your hands, squelch the stuffing together until well combined.

4

On a clean board, lay pork our flat, fatty side down, with the longest edge parallel to you. Ensure pork is of even thickness – you may need to slice through the thickest part of the meat and use a meat hammer to ensure it is even.

5

Create a sausage shape with the stuffing in the middle of the pork, running parallel with you. Roll up pork into a cylinder and secure with kitchen string.

6

Place pork on a baking tray and bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes until the crackling is golden. Reduce heat to 180C and cook for a further 60 minutes or until cooked through. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Rolled Pork w Pancetta, Apples, Prunes & Chestnuts


The Perfect Side: Cauliflower Tabouli

This is a family favourite. We honestly can’t go to a family function without someone bringing a version of this delicious side. The green herbs and red pomegranate seeds make it the perfect side for Christmas Day too. If you’ve never cooked with pomegranate molasses before, it kind of tastes like lime cordial concentrate. But it’s delicious in dressings and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s usually available from most delis and gourmet food shops these days.

Prep Time30 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time1 hr

 1 large cauliflower
 2 tbsp olive oil
 ¼ cup slivered almonds
 ½ bunch of chives
 1 bunch of coriander
 ½ bunch of parsley
  cup currents
 1 pomegranate
Dressing
 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
 ¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1

Preheat oven to 180C.

2

Pull all the leaves off the cauliflower and discard. Cut into quarters and using your knife, cut the very tips of the cauliflower off so that you have very very small florets and lots of crumbly bits. Transfer to a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake in a moderate oven until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

3

Meanwhile, lightly toast almonds in a dry pan until beginning to brown. Set aside.

4

Finely chop the chives, and moderately-finely chop parsley and coriander. Place in a large bowl with almonds, currents, 3/4 of the pomegranate seeds and the cauliflower.

5

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and add to the cauliflower. Mix well and check seasoning. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter over remaining pomegranate seeds before serving.

Yields8 Servings

Ingredients

 1 large cauliflower
 2 tbsp olive oil
 ¼ cup slivered almonds
 ½ bunch of chives
 1 bunch of coriander
 ½ bunch of parsley
  cup currents
 1 pomegranate
Dressing
 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
 ¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 180C.

2

Pull all the leaves off the cauliflower and discard. Cut into quarters and using your knife, cut the very tips of the cauliflower off so that you have very very small florets and lots of crumbly bits. Transfer to a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake in a moderate oven until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

3

Meanwhile, lightly toast almonds in a dry pan until beginning to brown. Set aside.

4

Finely chop the chives, and moderately-finely chop parsley and coriander. Place in a large bowl with almonds, currents, 3/4 of the pomegranate seeds and the cauliflower.

5

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and add to the cauliflower. Mix well and check seasoning. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter over remaining pomegranate seeds before serving.

Cauliflower Tabouli


The Perfect Dessert: Christmas Pavlova

There’s really nothing better than a good pav in the summer time. Mangos are in peak season, strawberries are cheap, what could be better? It’s a staple on many Melbourne Christmas tables for a reason. The only trick is allowing the pavlova to cool down slowly to ensure that dry crust and gooey center. Leaving the pav in the oven while it cools ensures the perfect end result.

Prep Time20 minsCook Time1 hr 15 minsTotal Time1 hr 35 mins

 6 egg whites
 pinch of salt
 5 ½ cups caster sugar
 1 tsp vanilla extract
 1 tsp white vinegar
 3 tsp corn flour
 whipped cream & seasonal fruit to serve
1

Preheat oven to 150°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw a circle roughly 25cm on the paper.

2

Use an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add sugar a little at a time at a time, whisking after each additional. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whisk on high for 3 minutes until stiff peaks form.

3

Combine cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence, add to meringue and whisk until just combined.

4

Pour meringue mix into the center of the circle and using a spatula, spread out evenly and form into the pavlova shape.

5

Place pavlova in the oven and reduce the temperature to 120°C. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until the meringue is completely dry. Leave the pavlova to cool in the oven.

6

Once the pavlova is completely cooled, place one on a serving plate and spread with whipped cream and decorate with fruit.

Yields8 Servings

Ingredients

 6 egg whites
 pinch of salt
 5 ½ cups caster sugar
 1 tsp vanilla extract
 1 tsp white vinegar
 3 tsp corn flour
 whipped cream & seasonal fruit to serve

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 150°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw a circle roughly 25cm on the paper.

2

Use an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add sugar a little at a time at a time, whisking after each additional. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whisk on high for 3 minutes until stiff peaks form.

3

Combine cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence, add to meringue and whisk until just combined.

4

Pour meringue mix into the center of the circle and using a spatula, spread out evenly and form into the pavlova shape.

5

Place pavlova in the oven and reduce the temperature to 120°C. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until the meringue is completely dry. Leave the pavlova to cool in the oven.

6

Once the pavlova is completely cooled, place one on a serving plate and spread with whipped cream and decorate with fruit.

Christmas Pavlova