A festive feast

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This selection of recipes from Dairy Australia’s The Dairy Kitchen will ensure a tasty, versatile Christmas menu

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Christmas in Australia usually falls on a stinking hot day. While in the past many Australian families replicated traditional European meals for Christmas lunch, nowadays we have turned toward a more modern approach. Seasonal, fresh produce and foods suitable for our climate have replaced the hot roast with full trimmings followed by pudding for dessert. So this summer, even if you’re not celebrating Christmas, embrace light, bright and easy to prepare dishes that will still please the cocktail party crowd.

This selection of recipes from Dairy Australia’s The Dairy Kitchen will ensure a tasty, versatile Christmas menu. From simple festive favourites to more exotic mains, these recipes are sure to be special to share with friends and family.

For more ideas visit www.legendairy.com.au/recipes

Watermelon and Snow Pea Salad

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Ingredients (Serves 6)
1.5kg seedless watermelon, rind removed, sliced
100g snow peas, trimmed and finely sliced
150g Australian marinated soft feta cheese, oil reserved
1 tbsp fresh mint leaves
Finely shredded zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsps lemon juice
1/2 tsp caster sugar, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method
Layer watermelon, snow peas, cheese, mint and lemon zest on a serving platter.
Shake lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the reserved oil in a screw top jar until combined.
Taste and season with sugar, salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad and serve immediately.

Sweet Potato and Sage Bake

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Ingredients (Serves 4-6 as a side)
4 medium (1kg) sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup finely chopped sage leaves
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup thickened cream

Method
Arrange sweet potato, onion, sage and garlic in alternate layers in a buttered 7 cup capacity baking dish. Combine salt, pepper and cream and pour over potato layers.
Bake at 200C for 40-50 minutes or until potato is cooked.
Stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Spice Rubbed Lamb Ribs

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Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsps dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
4 x 4 point lamb ribs
1 ½ cups Greek style natural yogurt
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tbsp finely shredded mint
Lemon cheeks, for serving
Fresh mint leaves, for serving

Method
Combine cumin, oregano, paprika, garlic, salt and oil to form a paste and rub over the ribs to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Place ribs in a baking paper lined roasting dish, cover with foil and roast at 140°C for 2 hours. Cool to room temperature and chill until completely cold.
Cut ribs between each bone to separate. Arrange in a single layer on a baking paper lined tray and roast at 220°C for 15 minutes or until very crispy.
Combine yogurt, lemon rind and mint in a serving bowl. Serve hot ribs with minted yoghurt, lemon cheeks and extra mint leaves.

Egg Nog Portuguese Tartlets

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Ingredients (Makes 12)
3 egg yolks
2 tbls sugar
2 ½ tablespoons cornflour
1 cup Oak Egg Nog
2/3 cup thickened cream
1 sheet butter puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon sugar, extra, for sprinkling

Method
Whisk yolks, sugar and cornflour in a heavy based saucepan until smooth. Gradually whisk in the egg nog and cream until smooth.
Cook over medium heat whisking continuously until custard is thickened and just beginning to boil. Transfer custard to a bowl and press cling wrap onto the surface to prevent a skin forming.
Refrigerate until cold.
Sprinkle pastry with combined brown sugar and spice and fold in half. Roll up tightly along the longer side into a sausage shape. Using a serrated knife, cut pastry into 12 x 2cm rounds.
Roll out rounds on a lightly floured surface to a 10cm diameter and press into 1/3 cup capacity muffin pans. Spoon cooled custard into pastry cases and flatten slightly with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 200°C for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Cool for 5 minutes in pans before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

Falafel Chicken with Orange Salad 

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Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 chicken breast fillets
2 cups Australian natural yogurt
1x 200g packet falafel mix
Olive oil spray
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 Lebanese cucumbers
1 orange, segmented and juice retained
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tbsps chopped mint
1 spring onion, finely sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

Method
Slice chicken breast horizontally into 2 thin steaks.
Place 1 cup yogurt into a shallow bowl and whisk in enough water for it to reach the consistency of thickened cream. Dip chicken into the yogurt mixture, shaking off the excess and then coat in falafel mix.
Arrange crumbed chicken on a baking paper lined oven tray and spray with oil. Bake at 200C for 10 minutes, then carefully turn over and cook for a further 5 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Combine remaining yogurt with tahini and lemon juice to make a sauce.
For the salad, halve the cucumber lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Slice diagonally and place in a bowl with the orange segments and juice, chickpeas, mint and spring onion. Season to taste and dress with olive oil. Serve alongside chicken drizzled with tahini yogurt.

Chocolate Stuffed Gingerbread Cookies

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Ingredients (Makes 25 biscuits) 
125g unsalted butter
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsps molasses
1 egg
1 ½ cups plain flour
¾ tsp bicarb of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
80g dark cooking chocolate, broken into squares and each square halved

Method
Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses then gradually add egg, beating well until combined. Sift in the flour, soda and spices and stir into butter mix until combined into a very soft dough. Note: Don’t worry if the dough is really soft, it should still roll into balls easily.
Roll 1/2 tablespoons of mixture into balls. Take a piece of chocolate and sandwich a ball of dough on each side. Firmly press together ensuring the sides are sealed and roll into a ball.
Place balls on a baking paper lined tray about 5cm apart. Using a skewer, imprint Christmas patterns into the uncooked dough.
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 180C or until lightly browned and cooked through (they will be soft and cakey in texture). Allow to cool before removing from the baking tray and dusting with icing sugar. Serve cookies warm for a molten chocolate centre. Microwave cold cookies for 10-15 seconds to soften if desired.

A festive cheese board

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Ingredients
Blue cheese
Vintage cheddar
Washed rind cheese
Brie
Crackers
Strawberries
Cherries
Frozen grapes

Optional Extras
Sliced fruitcake, Mince tarts,
Candied hazelnuts, Handful of pistachios, Gingerbread, Port

Method
Matured cheeses are generally at their best when they are closest to their best before date, so keep the date you plan to serve the cheese in mind when choosing at the shops.
Take your cheeses out of the fridge one hour (20 to 30 minutes on a hot day) before serving and cover with a damp tea towel to stop them drying out. Serving your cheese at room temperature means you’re getting the full impact of their texture and flavour.
Place your cheese wedges or rounds on the board with a small knife for each.
Add crackers for your cheese.
Contrast the creaminess of the cheese with strawberries and cherries scattered around the board.
Sprinkle a few frozen seasonal grapes on the board to add some refreshing sweetness.
Decorate your board with gingerbread, fruitcake and mince pies – they’re the ‘tinsel’!
Add a handful of nuts for crunch.
Serve this decadent, festive board with port, sherry or your favourite dessert wine for a cracking good

Rosewater Roulade

Food. Indian Link

Ingredients (Serves 10-12)
6 egg whites
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 ½ tsps white vinegar
1 ½ tsps rosewater
1 tsp icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp cocoa, sifted
1 ½ cups double cream
2 tbsps icing sugar,
sifted, extra
1 ½ tsps vanilla bean paste
250g fresh raspberries
½ cup grated dark chocolate
Extra raspberries and
grated dark chocolate
for serving

Method
Line the base and sides of a 38cm x 25cm Swiss roll pan with a single sheet of baking paper, allowing a slight overhang.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar beating well between each addition. Sift cornflour over the egg whites and, using a metal spoon, fold through with the vinegar and rosewater. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake at 170°C for 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked. Cool in pan for 30 minutes.
Lay a clean towel on the bench, cover with a sheet of baking paper and dust evenly with icing sugar and cocoa. Invert meringue onto paper and carefully remove the top sheet of paper, cool completely.
Beat cream, extra icing sugar and vanilla bean paste until soft peaks form. Spread over meringue and top with raspberries and chocolate. Roll up along the short side and place on a serving platter, seam side down before chilling for 1 hour. Serve with extra berries and chocolate.
If fresh raspberries are unavailable, substitute seasonal fruit, such as mango, passionfruit, kiwifruit or strawberries.