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10 Trader Christmas Tips

Wednesday 15th December 2021

From decorating the Christmas table to the best Champagne alternatives, Prahran Market’s Traders have got all the tips to help your festive season run without a hitch.

Start Christmas Day with the perfect breakfast – Marion, Q Le Baker

If you’re after a quick, easy and delicious Christmas breakfast, then a Croissant toastie is the way to go. My personal favourite is a generous layer of orange marmalade, followed by an even more generous layer of Hunted & Gathered’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. Fold the croissant closed and place in a sandwich press for a couple of minutes – breakfast is served. 

And, if you have leftover croissants a couple of days later (yeah, right?!), try making a Croissant & Butter Pudding. Nigella Lawson makes a beautiful Caramel Croissant Pudding or for something a little lighter try Tartine Bakery’s Summer Berry Pudding. My tip for best results – soak the pudding overnight before baking! 

Decorating your house with flowers – Diego, Flawless Flowers

I recommend keeping your flowers local this year. Ask your florist which flowers have been locally grown and not only will you be supporting local, you will save some money too.

If you have not tried it before, try Spruce as your bouquet foliage as it’s great to use and really Christmassy. Use the thicker pieces amongst flowers, mixing them with red blooms for a festive look, and the thinner pieces to decorate the table, whether it be scattered around, placed in with the napkin tie or even on the Christmas cake.

Snacks for entertaining – Michael, 53 Degrees East

It’s always nice to have some snacks around the room when entertaining and nuts are a great choice. Create your own mix with a selection of salted and unsalted nuts to cater to everyone’s taste. I recommend smoked and salted almond, cashews, Australian walnuts (these have a better flavour than the international varieties), toasted hazelnut, Brazil nut, pecans, and local macadamias (raw macadamias have a sweeter taste). To make your nuts last longer, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

The best Champagne alternatives – Max, Blackhearts & Sparrows

If you’re looking for a great sparkling wine without the Champagne price tag, try Cremant de Bourgogne this year. It is priced around $50-55 and the grapes are grown in Burgundy, south of the Champagne region. It is a fantastic alternative. Or, try a sparkling wine from Tasmania. You can get a great bottle for $40-50 and the cool climate makes the wines worthy of any celebration toast.

Get those prawns on the barbie! – Louise, Claringbold’s

A Christmas must is butterflied prawns brushed with garlic butter and finely chopped parsley on a very hot BBQ or hot plate. Place the prawn flat on a chopping board and, using a serrated knife, cut them lengthways and flatten them out. Remember to clean out the vein. It’s a bit of a process but totally worth it. Cook flesh side down first for 4-5 minutes and then turn over for another 2 minutes before serving. I recommend Skull Island Prawns this year.

Scoring your ham – Ash, Gary’s Meats

For the perfect scoring, use a small vegetable knife (with a sharp tip) and run it along the fat with the knife at an angle, slicing the fat 1mm deep. Make another slice about 4cm away, parallel to the first cut (with the same angle on the tip) and continue to score to cover the whole ham. On the same scoring lines you just made, run the tip of your knife along the lines again with the tip of the knife at the opposite angle. The goal is to create a “V” shape to make the scoring stand out. Repeat this action with the lines running perpendicular to the original lines. This will create lovely diamond scoring on the ham fat. 

How to cook the perfect turkey – Mark, Kevin’s Fresh Poultry

Before cooking, baste your turkey with a little olive oil and season to taste. Cook whole turkeys for 35-40 minutes for each kilogram that it weighs, remembering to baste the turkey in the pan juices every 30 minutes. When cooked, loosely cover the turkey and allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving.

If a turkey breast or roll is more to your taste, Kevin’s recommend cooking for 35-40 minutes per kilogram at 180 degrees, and allowing to stand for 20 minutes before carving.

The ideal roast potato – John, Pino’s Fine Produce

Kestrel potatoes make the best roast potatoes, so they are a must for Christmas lunch. Peel them and then boil until the outside just starts to break down. Drain them, add to a roasting pan and then drizzle with oil before putting them in a hot oven. Turn the potatoes during cooking to get an even crisp on the outside.

Don’t forget your greens – Cam, Damian Pike

Asparagus is a great Christmas veg. Buy good quality asparagus and don’t be afraid to ask your trader what’s good and what’s local. Usually with the good varieties, the fatter the better. We love Jolly Green Giant, and the great thing about it being a fat asparagus is that it is perfect to cook on the BBQ too.

I recommend keeping it simple and I often use Tobie Puttock’s recipe. Heat some olive oil and garlic up in a pan and remove when the garlic starts to sizzle and then add some lemon zest. Keep it warm while you snap the tough ends off the asparagus before blanching in batches for 45 seconds. When you remove from the water with a slotted spoon, add to the pan of hot oil. Add parsley and lemon juice to taste and season with salt and pepper before mixing and serving. Delicious!

A cheesy ending – Anthony, Maker & Monger

Always bring your cheese out of the fridge only 5 minutes before serving. The biggest misconception is that cheese needs to be served at room temperature but, in fact, most cheeses sweat out their flavour and texture when left out for a few hours. 

If you are a fan of the Monarchy, then nothing beats serving Stilton after your Christmas meal with your favourite fortified wine and a slice of Christmas fruit cake or pudding. If you lean towards being a Francophile, then you can’t go past Roquefort with a bottle of Sauternes or local Botrytis with Pain d’Epice (spiced gingerbread). Or, if Italian is your theme, I highly recommend Gorgonzola Piccante with a bottle of chilled Sparkling Shiraz and fresh honeycomb. The perfect end to your Christmas eating!

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