Monday, January 5, 2009

Cooking for Christmas

So Christmas day I originally decided I'd do dips then I was told this Aunt was bringing tzaziki, Yiayia would bring her tarama (a given) so I wasn't really left with much. Mum said not to worry about it so I decided to do some canapes.

Something simple and that can be prepared the day before as I knew I wouldn't have time on Christmas day before everyone arrived. Therefore I went back to a few classics, caramelized onions with sour cream tartlets and also braised mushrooms with thyme, garlic and onion tartlets.

I started the toppings the day before and did the shells the following day. I didn't know how much raw ingredients to buy so I ended up getting $9 of mushrooms and about $5 worth of onions.When I started to cook them down and they softened they looked like nothing and I was worried I wouldn't have enough for my tarts, but little did I know that I would only use half of each mixture in the end.

I cooked both the mushrooms and onion mixes over a low heat for about 2 hours just to make sure they were as soft as possible without them burning. Once I had finished in the fridge they went ready for the next day.

Once I arrived home on Christmas day I was assisted by my amazing Yiayia while I made the tartlets. I wasn't sure how large to cut the shortcrust pastry and the first few were a tad large, but it was my Yiayia who started cutting them smaller as a test, and in that batch, of course hers turned out beter (who can beat your Yiayia). From then on the small tarts turned out fantastically.

I reheated the mushrooms and garnished with grated paresean and parsley, but the onion mix I kept cold and put a small dollop of sour cream.

As everyone arrived so late when I started serving canapes the mains were also being placed on the table and I got a bit frustrated as everyone started picking at the cut ham...hmmmmmm but they evetually went and were given the thumbs up....even by Yiayia :)

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