Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants This Christmas Season
Christmas dinners are full of sentiment, delicious and seriously filling!! It starts with the expectation of the dinner, then the gathering of hands to prepare and make it. During this timeline, there could be laughter, upsets, music, chatter ... but all is forgotten when you are seated at the table, appreciating all the aroma, colours, expectation right before you.
So, borrowing on a dish my mom has always made for Chinese New Year & marrying it with the tradition of a Christmas cracker, I made my own Christmas Cracker. This has been shared with friends over the years and every year, I just collect more memories with it.
Traditionally, the humble roast potato, gravy & bread sauce are the supporting actors. I have substituted it with arancini, white wine sauce (made with chicken stock) & focaccia croutons to soak up all that sauce.
It's different but it's no less gluttonous or amazing. Imagine a platter piled high with these Christmas Crackers, another platter with a mixed selection of arancinis, blanched green beans with hazelnut pesto, cabbage with tarragon butter, star anise glased carrots…aaahhhhh...
There are no rules and plenty of surprises - just what Christmas presents are meant to be!!
Mix the pork, turkey mince & toasted nuts together in a bowl.
In a frying pan, slowly sauce the onion until it turns golden brown.
Add in the pancetta and cook together till the pancetta is golden.
Leave it to cool slightly before adding to the pork-turkey mixture.
Next saute the mushroom until the liquid that is produced dries off. Leave it to cool slightly before adding it to the mixture.
Season & add the egg & cornflour.
Mix it all together and give it a good stir for about 2 minutes. You want the mix to be moist but not wet & sloppy.
Leave to rest in fridge for a few hours.
How to make
Take a piece of the tofu skin and let it sit between 2 damp tea towels for a minute or so. This will soften the skin making it easier to roll.
Laying a rectangle piece in front of you (about the size of a sheet of nori for making sushi)
Spoon the mixture onto the side closest to you, in a straight line. About the width of a banana.
Roll the skin over the turkey mixture to form a cylindrical shape
Seal the ends and the sides with a dab of slurry (made by mixing cornflour & water)
When all the rolls have been made, deep fry on medium heat till golden brown. This will be about 6-8 minutes, depending on the size of the cracker. You can test buy slicing a roll open or use a thermometer (75Deg Centigrade).
You can keep them warm & crispy in a heated oven whilst the other crackers are cooking.
In mom's version, she uses:
chopped belly pork
My version uses:
chopped belly pork
pancetta diced or cubed
mushroom rough chopped
nuts -toasted & chopped
onion - sliced