A Christmas Feast the Linnaeus Family Way

364 days of the year, for the most part, we’re thinking design, style, interiors, exteriors, and how best to deliver an unforgettable holiday experience the Linnaeus Collection way. And on that one other day of the year? It’s all about celebrating family, friends and Christmas. Not that family and friends are ever far from our thoughts and we know Christmas means different things to different people. For us though it’s a time to put our own personal imprint on just about everything, from what to wear to how to set an inviting celebration table, what gifts to buy that say “I’ve really thought about you…’’, to a bespoke way to wrap them. It’s a balancing act between splurging on (or at least wishing for) that one special, extravagant thing and having our hearts melt when we open a handmade card.

We’re reminded about the joy to be had in just spending time with those we love amidst the chaos, noise and bubbling anticipation of what the day will deliver. And then there’s the food! So much of Christmas Day in our household is about the multicultural feast that somehow manages to come together just perfectly every year. It’s food lavished with passion, prepared by family members whose roots go back to Greece, Malaysia and Italy, overlaid with a touch of Aussie cuisine too, which, let’s be honest, is a mix of all of those influences plus heaps more. Georgia and Lynne (Linnaeus Collection marketers and 4th generation Aussies with a bit of Scottish, Irish and German heritage in their DNA) have contributed some of their favourites too.

Celebrating and blending heritage and traditions and sharing the joy of the festive season with as many as possible is the story of our Christmas. It’s why we’d like to share with you the recipes for some of the delicious food that will appear, as always, on our table this December 25. Here’s to you and those you love!

A safe, happy and joyful festive season from all of us.

PETER, NADIA AND THE LINNAEUS COLLECTION FAMILY

 

Our Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 125g butter
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 1 large orange (juice & zest)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup fine semolina
  • 6 cups self raising flour
  • 4 cups crushed walnuts or almonds
  • Syrup
  • 2 cups honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the oil, butter and sugar for 5 minutes
  3. Add orange juice, zest, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder and flour and combine all ingredients
  4. Remove the mixture from the bowl and knead until the dough becomes firm but is still soft to touch
  5. Create small oval shapes, approx. 6-8cm long and 2cm thick
  6. Place the oval shaped dough on a lined baking tray
  7. Bake for 30mins, then remove from the oven and let cool
  8. Make the syrup mixture by placing all syrup ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil then lower the heat to a gentle simmer for 20mins
  9. Dip the cooled biscuits in the syrup and sprinkle with the crushed walnuts or almonds to cover the whole biscuit.
  10. Finish with a dusting of cinnamon

STUFFED LAMB FOREQUARTER SHOULDER

Serves 10-12
Allow 30 mins prep + 6.5 hours cooking

Ingredients:

  • 1 forequarter lamb shoulder (ask your butcher to separate skin from rib bones to make a pocket for stuffing)
  • 6 lemons
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • Large baking tray
  • Cooking needle & thread to sew in stuffing
  • Stuffing
  • 1kg minced beef
  • 2 onions – diced
  • 6 cloves garlic – crushed
  • Spice mix:
  • 1/4 tsp pimento
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup pinenuts
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley leaves – chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint leaves – chopped
  • 50mls olive oil
  • 1 cup calrose rice (washed)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC
  2. Wash & clean the lamb forequarter
  3. Rub a generous amount of salt & pepper on the lamb, inside and out and set aside in a large baking dish
  4. Stuffing:
  5. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil n a large frypan and sauté onions, garlic, minced beef until mostly cooked.
  6. Add all remaining stuffing ingredients and season to taste
  7. Stuff the lamb with the stuffing mixture by filling the pocket
  8. Use the needle and cooking thread to sew the ends together to prevent the stuffing from falling out.
  9. Squeeze lemons over the top of the lamb and place fresh rosemary & oregano on top.
  10. Cut the squeezed lemons in quarters and scatter around the tray
  11. Add the water to the tray and cover with foil.
  12. Place in the oven for 10 mins then lower the temperature to 150ºC
  13. Bake at 150º for 6 hours
  14. After the 6 hours, take the tray out of the oven and remove foil
  15. To test if it’s ready, prick the lamb with a fork – it should be tender
  16. Finally, increase the oven temperature to 180ºC and place the uncovered tray in the oven to brown
  17. Serve and enjoy!

GRILLED SCAMPI & SCALLOPS

  • Fresh Scampi – butterflied open
  • Fresh Scallops
  • Can also use any sort of shellfish
  • For the sauce: based on 4-6 people but just multiply as needed
  • 125g butter
  • 5 garlic cloves crushed finely
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp soy sauce
  • Ginger finely crushed (optional) ½ tsp

Method:

  1. Melt butter in small pot on low heat until liquid and take off the heat
  2. Add all other sauce ingredients
  3. Preheat grill setting in oven (highest heat)
  4. Spoon sauce onto seafood
  5. Place under grill for 5 mins (scallops) and a little longer say 7 mins for scampi – aim is to cook until just cooked through but no longer
  6. Serve and eat immediately!

TWICE COOKED CRUNCHY POTATOES – (AS AUSSIE AS YOU’LL GET)

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 8 large brushed potatoes
  • Chicken salt
  • Deep fryer or pot filled with canola oil

Method:

  1. Peel potatoes and cut into even sized wedges (approx. 6 wedges per potato)
  2. Add potatoes to the deep fryer and fry for 5 mins
  3. Turn off the deep fryer / heat and leave the potatoes to soak in oil
  4. 20 mins before serving, turn the deep fryer / heat on and fry until golden brown
  5. Drain the potatoes and add chicken salt to taste

NONNA’S POTATO SALAD

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2kg Desiree Potatoes
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 large Capsicum (1 red + 1 green) finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch Shallots finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper
  • 220g Whole Egg Mayo (you can add more if you prefer a creamier texture)

Method:

  1. In salted water, boil potatoes whole until cooked and allow to cool
  2. At the same time boil the eggs until hard boiled and allow them to cool
  3. Once the potatoes are cooled, peel the skin off then cut the potatoes into 1-2inch cubes
  4. Mix all the ingredients together and add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Serve in a large bowl

NADIA’S MUM, JENNIFER’S FAMOUS TIRAMISU

Nadia’s Mum is Malaysian and her Dad’s Italian. It’s created a fusion of culinary expectations for Nadia’s mum who is forced by everyone in the family to make her perfect-every-time tiramisu at Christmas time as well as Nonna’s potato salad.

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet Savoiardi Biscuits (Sponge Fingers)
  • 600ml Thickened Cream

Coffee milk

  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup castor sugar
  • Coffee (1 tbsp instant)

Biscuit soak

  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup Tia Maria Liqueur (or more if you prefer)
  • ¼ cup castor sugar

Dusting

  • 1tbsp Cocoa powder or grated dark chocolate

Method:

  1. In a cup, make the coffee milk (¼ cup milk + ¼ cup sugar + 1 tbsp coffee)
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer
  3. Add coffee milk mixture to the cream whilst using the mixer and beat until thickened
  4. In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients for the biscuit soak.
  5. Here we are going to soak the Savoiardi biscuits (2-3 at a time in the mixture) and place into our serving bowl whilst layering with the cream. We want to make sure the milk has just absorbed through the biscuits but not too much as we don’t want them to be soggy. I usually soak them for 2 seconds each side of the biscuit as don’t forget they will continue to absorb more liquid.
  6. Layer the biscuits first then the cream to cover the biscuits (approx. 2cm thick) an repeat
  7. Continue this process until you have reached the top of your bowl with a layer of cream on the top
  8. Using a sieve, dust the top of the Tiramisu with the cocoa / chocolate and voila! Serve with a large spoon

BRÛLÉE BLOOD ORANGE WHISKEY SOUR (FROM GEORGIA & LYNNE)

(inspiration and video credit @join_jules)

Ingredients:

  • 60ml whiskey
  • 30ml freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • Ice
  • Brûlée orange: 1 blood orange slice, sugar & a blow torch

Method:

  1. In a cocktail shaker add whiskey, blood orange juice, lemon juice, and 1 egg white.
  2. Shake without ice.
  3. Shake again with ice.
  4. Double strain into a rocks glass.
  5. Garnish with your brûlée orange wheel & enjoy!

BAKED FESTIVE BRIE WITH CRANBERRIES, HAZELNUTS AND FIG JAM (FROM GEORGIA & LYNNE)

Cook time: 10 mins | Prep time: 10 mins | Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 200g brie, creamy
  • 30g fig preserve
  • 20g hazelnuts, chopped
  • 10g dried cranberries, chopped
  • 4 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • Honeycomb
  • Crackers to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to a 180C fan. Place parchment onto a baking tray with the wheel of brie in the middle.
  2. Score the top into 2cm squares and spread fig preserve on top. Add chopped cranberries and hazelnuts on top of the brie.
  3. Wrap the baking paper around the cheese and secure with twine. Add thyme and bake for 10 minutes. Serve with crackers and honeycomb.

 

*You can always pick fresh thyme in the edible garden at Linnaeus Farm or Far Meadow Cottage

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