Sunday, 2 January 2011

New Year's Day 2011 Lunch

Happy 2011 !!!

Happy New Year !!!!! \^o^/

How did everyone spent the last night of 2010 ? I spent mine by watching replay of America's Music Awards on Foxtel with my cousins, doesn't that sound fun ?
It seems like we are getting less enthusiastic on New Year's Eve as the years passed...perhaps old age is catching up... *yikes!*

Around 11pm, we walked up to the park nearby and wait for the midnight fireworks. The view we got was a bit far, but the best thing is we got to see all the fireworks - from Harbour Bridge, Sydney CBD buildings and even Darling Harbour  !
My apologies for the crappy photos though, too lazy to use a proper camera so the 2011 New Year fireworks photos are courtesy of my phone :P

Usually on New Year's Day, we would gather round at my aunt's place for lunch where she would cook a feast for us :)
But since she's not in Sydney this time, somehow the wooden spoon got passed on to me -___-;
In case you haven't realize by now, I rarely do a post on home cooking, simply because I really sucks at it !!
If you ask me to follow a recipe step by step (like baking) then it's no problemo, but ask me to cook and have to season and taste as I go ? Forget it....more than likely they are bland or over seasoned :P

After reading up cookbooks after cookbooks , finally settled on few recipes from Nigella Lawson's Express cookbook (express = super easy cooking and hopefully fail proof) and the latest Donna Hay magazine. 

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

The best part of this recipe from Nigella Express was that you just have to marinate the drumsticks overnight and bake in the oven for about 30minutes on the day.
Although the chicken remained juicy after baking because it had been marinated in buttermilk, there wasn't much flavour to it. Not sure what I've done wrong...hmmmm.

New Orleans Coleslaw

As suggested by Nigella, I've made this coleslaw with a twist to accompany the roast chicken. Buttermilk was used instead of the traditional mayonnaise / vinegar combo. I've toasted the pecan nuts before scattering them on top to add some extra crunch and flavour.
It was surprisingly very tasty and very simple to make, of course there were a lot of fine chopping and grating jobs, but totally worth the effort :) 
It is not as creamy as the standard coleslaw and quite refreshing.

Rump Steak Marinating

This next one I made was a hit at the table ( at least I think it was hahahaha !). The plate was demolished within 15minutes after it was set down on the table.
Get a good quality rump steak, trim the fatty bits (though I got complaints from the others when they saw me cutting off the fats LOL), grill for about 4 minutes each side, remove from heat and let sit in a shallow marinade of lemon juice & zest, thyme (I used lemon thyme) and crushed garlic.
The acid from the lemon juice will cook the meat further slightly, so the centre will be a bit rare still and that's how it should be served - medium rare.

Steak Slice with Lemon & Thyme

The meat was really tender and had lots of flavours, which was a surprise as it was only left in the lemon thyme marinade for no more than 5 minutes !
Drizzle with the juice that was left on the marinating dish and season with salt and pepper - YUM !

Roasted Kipfler Potatoes w/ Green Beans & Bacon

To go along with the steak slices, made this warm potato salad from a Donna Hay recipe. The original recipe called for specks, but couldn't find any so I've just substitute it with regular bacons. 
Bake the kipfler and sliced bacons into the oven and roast until both are crispy. Blanch some green beans (I used frozen beans :P) and toss them with the crispy potatoes & bacon right before serving, drizzle the mustard dressing and toss.
Nothing beats crispy bacons and crispy potato skins...mmm....It was really good !

Blueberry, Mango, Pomegranate & Lime
Eton Mess

This would have to be the easiest dessert I've ever prepared so far. Store bought meringue nests (it says so on the book LOL), whipped cream and fruits.
Nigella's recipe called for strawberries macerated in pomegranate juice, but I thought I'll make a Summery twist to it.
Mix mango (diced or use a fruit baller like I did) and blueberries, toss them in lime juice and leave for about half hour. The lime juice not only preserve the cut mango but also added zing to them. 
Whip some thickened cream till soft peaks forms and mix in fresh pomegranate seeds (can't really see them in the photo, but they are there...somewhere...). Crush the meringue nests (not to finely, big chunks are good) and fold into the cream. 
Spoon into a glass, top with mango/blueberry/lime, sprinkle some more crumbled meringue and top with lime zest.
( I had 2 glasses :P *ignore the calories, ignore the calories*).

I managed to pull through and survive my first ever New Year's Day Lunch cooking *phew*
Considering I've only had about 5 hours sleep the night before, lucky the foods turned out to be edible LOL.
As fun as it was to cook for 17 people, I think I'll pass the baton back to my aunt for next year's lunch....

I shall leave you with one more crappy shot of the fireworks over Pyrmont Point Park - the only one still visible after 5 minutes as our view of the others were obstructed by smokes :P


  1. Happy New Year Monica and that looks like a pretty spectacular feast to me! I must try that steak trick and the roast potatoes look awesome!

  2. Hi Monica! Happy New Year! Nice Lunch! The Eton Mess looks yummy! And I'd be one of those complaining that you trimmed off the fat from the Rump. :)


  4. The "mess" is my idea of a perfect home made dessert. I will be trying this myself, but being as our seasons are flipped, I'll be flipping the fruit to match the cold. Meyers lemon and pears?

  5. Nut : Hi Nut !! Happy New Year to you too ^_^

    Helen : hehehe, thanks Helen :P So far I haven't got reports that everyone fall sick after my cooking LOL

    Marvin : Happy New Year !! Are you guys gonna sign a petition for "Keep The Fat on The Meat" ? LOL

    Suze : Medium rare steak...mmm...GOOD....

    Tracy : that sounds delicious, meyer lemons and pears, or even spiced pears ? I'm still yet to find Meyer lemons here, they are a rarity down here :)

  6. ohh looks like u found yourself a nice spot! did u freakin made all that food?! i probably burnt the house down with the first dish already. good job!!

    Happy New Year!!

  7. hello monica I have browes through your blog and find it .... delicious !!Many thanks for all this sharing ; whay I love the most is to copy and paste my way <hat i see in some restaturant ; and I must admit that sydney is full of interest for me ! so mybe you xill once a dish you have eaten but refreshed by me !! If you like creative french food come and vist me you are very welcom cheers !!
    ps i have already interpreted some dishes od l'Assiette