Master Chef Anna Austin shares some of her favourite Christmas recipes!
Christmas is in the air and it is the season of love, cheer, gifting and not to forget, some lip smacking delights! Put on your Chef’s cap as Ritz lists down some of your favourite Christmas recipes shared by the Master Chef herself – Anna Mathew Vadayatt!
Compiled By: Riya Sonny Datson
Anna Austin: Founder of the Cake Canvas – Happiness In A Box is a seasoned cake artist who has won multiple international awards. She was listed among ‘India Top 10 – Cake Masters India – 2017’, was the finalist for CMMA 2015 # Cake Oscars – Modelling Excellence Award and was also the winner of the Cake Masters Magazine Award, UK.
Lilly Kutty’s Duck Roast
Christmas was never complete without a trip to Kainady, the beautiful island village near Alappuzha which is sort of contained in a time capsule. Above all the festive experiences which bring fond memories are the smells that emanates from Ammachi’s kitchen and the best of them, was the aroma of one of our favorite dishes – Kuttanadan Duck Roast. The finished product served with love is closer to culinary heaven than the best of the best served in the loftiest of hotels. This yummy dish could be savored along with anything from Rice to Puttu to Palapam and Chapattis.
Kuttanadan Duck – 1 (Sliced into pieces as required)
(Approximate weight around 1.150 kg after dressing)
Onions – 2 big or 3 to 4 small to medium (thinly sliced)
Green Chilies – 4 (split in half)
Shallots – 4 medium or 5 small (ground to a paste)
Ginger – 1 inch (ground to a paste)
Garlic – 1 pod (ground to a paste)
Tomato – 3 big (ground to a paste)
Curry leaves – 1-2 strands
Coconut oil – as required
Masala Mix: (to be powdered)
Chili powder – 3 ½ tsp
Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
Coriander powder – 4 ½ tsp
Cinnamon – 4
Cloves – 6
Cardamom – 4
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Pepper corns – 6 – 8
Vinegar – ¾ tbsp
Salt – as required.
Marinate the sliced duck with vinegar and salt and keep it covered. Fry the sliced onions in coconut oil till they turn transparent and add split green chilies and continue frying till the onions are golden brown. (Take care not to burn the onions). Meanwhile in a separate pan, sauté the ground shallots for a few minutes, then add garlic paste to it and continue sautéing. Finally add ginger paste and fry till well done. (Use coconut oil as required) Keep aside the fried mix.
Once the onions turn golden brown remove half the amount and keep it aside. (To be added later just before pressure cooking and some for garnishing.) Add the powdered masala mix to the rest of the onions and sauté it till the raw smell disappears. Add tomato paste and continue cooking till the gravy thickens and the oil separates. You may need to add few teaspoons of oil in between this stage of cooking and remember to keep stirring. Put in the marinated duck slices along with the fried shallots, ginger and garlic paste and the fried onions. (Do remember to leave some for garnishing) Drop in curry leaves and mix everything well until the entire meat is coated with the gravy.
Transfer this to a pressure cooker along with ½ a cup of water. (You may use water to wash out all the masala paste from the sides of the pan into the cooker) Cook on high flame until you hear about 3 to 4 whistles and then simmer the flame and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. You may then open the pressure cooker and continue cooking till the gravy thickens to dark chocolate brown colour. Serve garnished with some golden brown fried onions.
Caramel Apple Pie:
Dedicated to those with sweet tooth cravings. Don’t miss this classic pie!
Short Crust Pastry:
Amul Butter : 150gm
Caster sugar: 15tsp
Salt : A pinch
Cold Water: 4.5tbsp
Apples: 4 (peeled, cored and sliced)
Cinnamon Powder: 0.5tsp
Egg : 1
Caster Sugar: 1 tbsp
Stew the apple slices in sugar by cooking over medium flame for about 5-7 minutes. Keep aside to cool. Sift the flour, caster sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and add to the flour. Using a knife, cut the butter and work it into the flour. Using a food processor, whip this on low speed until you get a mixture that resembles bread crumbs with no large lumps. Transfer contents back into the bowl. Using a knife, stir in cold water to bind the dough together. As mixture comes together, use your hands to make a dough, do not knead. Divide the dough into two equal parts.
Between two large pieces of cling wrap, roll out one of the pastry until it is large enough to cover the base of your pie dish. It should be 5mm thick. Roll this over a rolling pin and gently transfer it over the top of your pie dish. Gently firm the short crust pastry to the base and sides of the dish using your fingers and trim excess pastry that is higher than the sides. Fill this with stewed apples and sprinkle cinnamon powder.
Roll out remaining half of the pastry and using a rolling pin, transfer it to the top of your pie dish over the apple filling. Gently firm down the pastry and trim the excess. You could crimp the pastry around the edges using a fork. Glaze the top with a lightly beaten egg and sprinkle caster sugar all over.
Finally make a couple of holes on top of the pastry using a knife. Place on bottom rack of oven and bake at 175 degree for first 15 minutes to ensure that the crust of the pie is baked. Next shift it to middle rack and bake for another 15 minutes or until pie is golden brown.
Chocolate Fun Fondue
If you love chocolate, this is something you must incorporate into your dessert menu this Christmas! It can’t get any simpler than this.
Bitter Chocolate: 5gm
Whipping Cream: ¼ cup
Milk : 1/8 cup
Sugar 1 ¼ tbsp.
Golden Syrup: 1tbsp
Vanilla Extract: 1tsp
Nutella : 1/8 cup
Dippers Green/ Red apples, bananas, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, sponge cake bites, strawberries etc
Place bitter chocolate in a medium sized bowl and keep aside. Combine cream, milk, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to boil stirring often. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate immediately. Let the mix stand till the chocolate is melted and whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract and Nutella. Pour the mixture into a fondue pot and place the fondue burner set on low fire.
Arrange the bite size pieces of dippers on a platter or plates around the chocolate pot. Use a fondue fork/ bamboo skewer or salad fork to dip the fruit pieces /other dippers. The fondue mixture will hold for up to one hour on low fire. If it gets thick, stir in hot milk 1tablespoon at a time. Reheat the sauce if it becomes too thick.