It’s that time of the year again: Holy Christmas! The holiday we all love and hate at the same time, the one that makes us feel a genuine happiness mixed with anxiety, because “ohmygod Christmas is in two days and I still haven’t bought any present!” Always. The. Same. Story.
Luckily the 25th of December finally arrives, we take a seat at the table and in just one, neverending meal we eat the amount of food that could feed a person for a whole month. “NEVER!”, you might say, because you are always careful about what you eat, as a good athlete. However, listen to me, sometimes you should treat yourself and enjoy a tasty meal. It won’t be the Christmas lunch to ruin that nice body shape you worked so hard for. If you are too scared to find too much extra weight on the scale you’ll just have to train a couple times more. Maybe even ending the year with a bang, by participating to the We Run Rome, a race of 5 or 10k on the 31st of December that allows you to run watching some of the best monuments and places of interest in the capital.
But let’s go back to our main topic, food. If we want to treat ourselves, at least we must do it right! For this reason I have in store for you an appetizer, a first course and a second course that are tasty and different from the usual christmassy recipes.
PUFF PASTRY CHRISTMAS TREES FILLED WITH ITALIAN SMOKED HAM CREAM
Doses for 10 canapés:
2 packages of rectangular puff pastry 10 capers 50 gr of speck (Italian smoked ham) 20 ml of single cream 60 gr of spreadable cheese (like Philadelphia) 1 teaspoon of Brandy
Unroll the pastry, and with the help of a tree shaped cookie cutter, or a knife, cut the small trees. Put them in a baking tray over a layer of baking paper and cook them in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. To avoid the pastry to rise too much, you can cover it with another layer of baking paper and put some dry raw beans on top of it. While the pastry is in the oven, wash the capers and mix them with the cream, the Brandy and the crumbled ham. Ad the spreadable cheese and mix again until you get a smooth cream. Spread the cream over a canapé and cover it with another one like a sandwich. If you’d like, you can decorate the canapé trees using a sac à poche (if you don’t have one, you can find on the internet how to make one your own) and drawing, for examples, balls or ribbons as the real Christmas trees.
CREPES WITH MUSHROOMS AND FONTINA CHEESE CREAM
Ingredients for 4 people:
-Crepes 3 eggs 250 gr of flour (00) 40 gr of butter 500 ml of whole milk A pinch of salt
-Filling 300 gr of béchamel sauce 500 gr of mushrooms (the kind you like most) 20 gr of EVO oil A slice of garlic A pinch of salt and pepper 200 gr of fontina cheese
First thing first prepare the crepes dough: melt the butter and leave it to cool down a bit, beat the eggs in a bowl, add the milk and the salad and mix everything using a fork. Sift the flour directly in the bowl and mix quickly. Put this mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. At this point, wash and cut the mushrooms and cook them in a sauté pan along with the garlic and oil, once they are done, remove the garlic and mix half of the mushrooms with the béchamel sauce until you get a smooth mixture. Add salt and pepper as required and leave the mix on the side while you cook the crepes in their specific pan. Now, cut the fontina cheese into small cubes and fill each crepe with some mushrooms cream, some of the mushrooms we did not mix and the cheese cubes. Fold the crepes twice in order to obtain a triangle, put them in an oven pan and cover them with the remaining cream and mushrooms, warm them up in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 3-4 minutes before serving.
PORK LOIN WITH HONEY AND GINGER
Ingredients for 4 people:
700 gr of pork loin 100 gr of smoked bacon 2 cm of ginger 1 slice of garlic 2 twigs of thyme 2 twigs of rosemary 4 spoons of EVO oil Salt and pepper as required
Pan-fry the bacon with the oil, then put it on the side. In the same pan brown off the pork loin turning it from time to time to avoid burning, add the ginger in slices, the garlic and the honey and season the meat by continuing to turn it. Add the bacon and the spices, salt and pepper. Pour a glass of water and leave to cook covered for about 50 minutes, keep turning the loin from time to time to avoid burning
until it’s ready.
Are you ready to astonish your relatives? Enjoy your meal and above all MERRY CHRISTMAS!