After several holiday dinners featuring western fare, our Christmas Eve dinner with family and friends was more Asian in nature. I had ordered a Southern ham to be delivered to our daughter’s college address just a day or two before she came home for the holidays, but an administrative mix-up meant we didn’t get our ham at all, and I had to resort to a “Plan B” for the Christmas Eve meal. Not to worry, “Plan B” is never a bad thing in these parts…
The full red tablecloth used the night before was replaced with more informal quilted red placemats, and the flowers and nuts re-used. Silver candles upped the holiday glimmer and just 8 guests made for an intimate and enjoyable meal. Snazzy napkin treatment courtesy of an overzealous crew member who I once had read a napkin folding book years ago and who never forgot the 20-25 ways one can fold a napkin… :)
We started with a winter melon soup with shrimp and bits of ham (sorry, no photo), then proceeded to a main course buffet that included a WONDERFUL roast duck that we re-heated from the deep freeze. A gift from our GM in Cebu, the ducks (we had two but enjoyed on different evenings) were from a small home purveyor called Duckk Rotiserrie of Mr. Timothy Go, in Cebu. Apparently Mr. Go went to Hong Kong to learn how to roast ducks and other meats and now offers them on a pre-order basis. They were delicious re-heated, and I can only imagine how good they would have been if we had them fresh and hot. I would definitely order this for myself again, Bravo Mr. Go! If curious, his contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mrs. MM had discouraged me from buying a fabulously fat and brilliant looking fresh goose at the Borough market in London a few weeks ago, but instead she arranged for a roast goose from Hong Kong that we also served at the Christmas Eve meal. There is absolutely nothing like the fat that oozes out of a roast goose, it’s fantastic! I completely agree that a roast goose is the quintessential holiday meal. We also had a rack of szechuan spiced lamb that I forgot to photograph on its own (a rib is on the plate in the top photo).
Some szechuan cabbage (poorly executed, if I may diss my own dish).
Some chili eggplant that was delicious.
Chinese greens with oyster sauce.
We also had some XO Fried Rice using a batch of XO sauce a la Bettyq that I made a few weeks before and placed in the freezer. This was a meal on its own. So rich and fragrant and festive.
Kinda weird to follow a Chinese/Asian meal with cheese, but we brought out a large cheese board nevertheless, as my nephew and others at the dinner are HUGE CHEESE FIENDS. Trust me, they decimated this cheese board.
Finally, a simple salad of ripe mangoes and strawberries, a good excuse to use the sterling silver berry spoons…