To all Foodycat readers and friends,
I wish you a very merry Christmas.
It's the two of us this year, and we are going to be doing a celebratory but non-traditional roast later today. We've decided to keep things pretty simple - I'm not even doing our usual spread of nibbly things, although we do have some blinis and caviar and whatnot.
Paul requested a Christmas cake, for nibbling with coffee, so I made my Caribbean-ish black cake (for the first time since I published the recipe, actually) using some of my boozy bottled cherries instead of bought canned ones. I only made a half quantity, which ended up as a 1lb loaf and a mini loaf. Plenty to keep us going! It's rich and gooey and incredibly boozy (the cherries have been in rum for over a year, the rest of the fruit soaked for a month).
And earlier this week I decided I wanted the sort of thing that usually gets made from Christmas leftovers, but as we aren't having a traditional meal I had to pre-empt and cook the bits from scratch. I boiled potatoes, halved Brussels sprouts and flower sprouts (cooked them separately but in the same pan without washing it out between times because there is no sense in making extra work).
Then I fried a sliced onion, several cloves of garlic and quite a lot of bacon in a shallow Le Creuset pan, and mixed those bits in with the cooked and drained vegetables along with a crumbled dried chilli. I heated a slosh of oil back in the Le Creuset (again, I didn't wash it out between times - it just had some oniony bacony juices in it and they weren't going to hurt us).
I piled everything back in the pan, pushing it all down well, and waited until I could hear the bits sizzling on the bottom of the pan, then sprinkled over a handful of cubed cheddar cheese and stuck it all in a hot oven. 15 minutes later it was browned and delicious, and calling to be topped with a fried egg.