Melanie’s Festive Cooking

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This festive season I did no cooking having been invited out both Christmas and New Year.

The pictures I did take were on my tablet which got stolen. So I was lazy and hardly cooked. Yesterday however, I decided to make my gammon, and as traditional festivities had passed, I decided on a non-traditional method, used a pressure cooker, abstained from the boring honey and mustard glaze, used molasses instead and went for the new craze where everything is pulled.
Pulled pork, pulled leg of lamb, pulled roast beef, brisket etc.
I also tried something new. Crunchy Coconut Chicken with Spicy Peach Sauce.
These recipes with Italian Stuffed Mushrooms are below.

PRESSURE COOKER GLAZED GAMMON

Ingredients
1 medium sized gammon (on the bone)
1 can coke
2 bay leaves
2 star anise
10 pepper corns
1 large cinnamon stick
1 Tblsp garlic and ginger
Water
Glaze
4 tblsp molasses
4 tblsp honey
4 tblsp soya sauce
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
(Bring to a boil in saucepan – using liquid from cooked gammon to thin out the glaze – it should be pourable but still thickish)

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Method
Place gammon in pressure cooker together with remaining ingredients and just enough water to cover gammon.
Cook on low pressure for 75 minutes. Then high pressure for 30 minutes.
The gammon must remain intact and not fall apart. Very gently transfer to roasting dish (careful it can break at this stage).
Gently pull off the thick fatty skin and give it to your fur babies .
Pour the glaze over the gammon reserving some for gravy.
Bake in preheated oven at 200 degrees until the glaze is just caramelized. Transfer to a platter.
Put roasting pan on stove and heat with remaining gravy.

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Make a slurry with 1 Tblsp corn starch and water and add to thicken. (if you find you don’t have enough gravy add a chicken stock pot and some boiling water).
You can then ‘pull’ you gammon apart as you like – it will be very difficult to slice.

CRUNCH COCONUT CHICKEN WITH SPICY PEACH SAUCE
Ingredients:
Servings: 4
½ cup cornstarch
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp black pepper
3 large egg whites
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
6 chicken breasts, cut into large strips
vegetable oil (for frying)
Spicy Peach Sauce.
1 can peach slices
1 Tblsp butter
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar.
1-2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce.
1 tsp kashmiri chili powder.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tblsp corn starch mixed with 2 Tblsp hot water (Slurry)
Add butter to pan, add garlic and fry till fragrant, add chili powder, chili sauce and ACV. Stir 1 minute. Add peaches and syrup to sauce,.Bring to a simmer and then add slurry.

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Method:
Mix cornstarch, salt, Cayenne Pepper and Black Pepper in shallow bowl; set aside.
Beat egg whites in medium size mixing bowl until frothy.
Place coconut in a shallow bowl.
Dredge chicken strips in cornstarch mixture; shake off excess.
Dip chicken in egg whites, then press chicken into coconut.
Turn over and press into coconut again to coat both sides. Heat oil in heavy pan (oil should be about 2 inches deep).
Add chicken to the hot oil in batches. Fry until cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Drain. Pour hot Spicy Sauce over just before serving.

Adapted from recipe of Best Recipes for Breakfast Lunch or Dinner/

ITALIAN STUFFED MUSHROOMS
Ingredients:
2 bacon strips, diced
4 large fresh brown mushrooms
1 small onion finely diced
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tblsp minced fresh parsley
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Italian seasoning

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Method:
Preheat oven to 200°. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.
Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels; drain.
Remove stems from mushrooms; set caps aside.
Finely chop the stems
Add onion and garlic and sauté till fragrant
Add chopped stems and sauté 1 minute.
Add parsley, oregano and parmesan cheese.
Cool slightly. Spread mixture onto mushroom caps.
Place in a greased baking pan.
Top with mozzarella cheese.
Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and bake 12-15 minutes covered until mushrooms are tender then grill till cheese crisps up.

Prepared, tried and tested by:   Melanie Kramar

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