When it comes to creating the perfect festive spread, presentation is key. And there’s nobody better to give advice than professional hostess with the mostess, Mandi Goose, from Goose on the Loose.
Mandi and her business partner, Tessa Clark, are responsible for some of the region’s finest parties. they create food of distinction for an illustrious clientele, staging many ‘money-no-object’ events. They are equally adept, however, at creating menus for home cooks and have created a selection of new festive canapés.
Mandi says: “Whatever you are making, make it with style. Pay attention to your presentation and use great ingredients. You can’t create delicious food unless you’re using delicious produce. so make sure you source only the best. If you’re making bite-sized canapés, pack as much flavour into each one as you can.
If you’re having a party, you want people to take a single bite and say ‘wow’. And lastly, have fun, don’t take it too seriously, be creative, be daring, do the unexpected and use your imagination.“There are plenty of other festive dishes that are great for Christmas. I like to make small ravioli, which I fill with various fillings, then deep fry until crisp and serve them with a dipping sauce. Meatballs are also great. When I make venison cottage pie, I use any leftover meat to make them. I serve them in a Venison serving bowl – complete with antlers!”
Most people like to serve crispy duck in pancake rolls, but I prefer to serve it in small croustades, or cups of filo pastry. If you top your duck with small pieces of chopped mango, pepper and coriander,you create playful colours that look stunning. the flavours pack a powerful punch and they look great too. And, importantly, these crispy duck canapés are easy to make.
4 duck legs, well cooked and shredded,4 spring onions, 1 tsp of fresh ginger, Pinch sea salt and black pepper, 2 tblsp of chopped mango, 1 tblsp chopped mixed peppers, Handful of chopped coriander, Hoisin sauce
Mix all ingredients with enough hoisin to cover. Wrap in spring roll pastry or in pastry baskets.
VENISON COTTAGE PIE
At Christmas, I like to do things that are a little unexpected. Everybody does turkey, so why not do game? Game at this time of year is a real treat. And venison is as good as beef – if not better – in my opinion. these pies are seriously tasty and will get all of your guests talking.
Ingredients for the ﬁlling
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g venison, cut into small chunks
1 large onion, ﬁnely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and ﬁnely grated
2 garlic cloves, ﬁnely chopped
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato purée
3 rosemary sprigs, leaves ﬁnely chopped
6 juniper berries, crushed
250ml red wine
2 tsp plain ﬂour
300ml beef stock
For the topping
500g desiree potatoes
Lots of butter
Parmesan and breadcrumbs for grating
2 large egg yolks
Heat the oil in a large pan until hot.
season the venison and fry in the oil over
moderate to high heat for seven to eight mins until evenly browned.
Add the onion, carrot and garlic to the venison and stir frequently for another four to five mins until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée, rosemary and juniper and cook for another one to two mins, stirring constantly.
Pour in the red wine and let it boil until it is almost totally reduced.
stir the plain flour into the venison mixture and cook for a further one to two mins. slowly pour in the beef stock while stirring, and then bring to the boil.
simmer for about 20 mins, until the venison is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Mash potatoes and swede with lots of butter and place on top of cooled mince.
Add parmesan and breadcrumbs. Drizzle with olive oil and cook at 180C for 10 minutes or so until the meat is bubbling over the sides.
SLOSHED ESPRESSO PANNA COTTA & MRS GOOSE INFAMOUS SNOWBALL
Panna Cottas are not tricky – but they give your festive table a real ‘wow’ factor.
Ingredients (for 12 shots)
1 envelope unﬂavoured gelatine;
1 full cup milk
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 shots of Baileys cream
Chopped ginger glacé
In a saucepan, sprinkle gelatine over milk, let it stand for one minute. Warm over low heat, stirring until gelatine is dissolved.
Stir in the cream, sugar, espresso and Baileys.
Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat and pour into shot glasses. Refrigerate for at least five hours or until set.
Just before serving, why not garnish with chopped ginger glacé or coffee beans.
Snowballs are the perfect festive drink and have come a long way since their 1970s heyday, when people would simply serve Advocaat and lemonade. try this variation to give your drinks a kick.
Good quality chilled lemonade
Dash of lime juice and zest
Best quality vanilla ice-cream
Mix together two-parts Advocaat to four parts of lemonade (or more/less depending on how much alcohol youfancy consuming),
Pour over ice-cream and add a dash of lime juice, garnish with crushed shortbread and pistachio macaroon or glacé cherry.
Serve immediately in vintage champagne saucers. the result is creamy, refreshing and unusual.
Courtesy of Wolverhampton Magazine