As you may guess, I’m spending most of my time in the kitchen today. I’m in charge of creating the most ridiculously delicious but oh so easy appetizers and will bake the showstopper of all showstopping desserts: a moist chocolate raspberry and champagne cake served with champagne and raspberry jelly.
Yes, you’ve read that correctly. There will be champagne in everything. (It’s Christmas so everything is allowed 😉 ) I will try and post about the crazy food I’m cooking as soon as possible, but please don’t be mad if it will take me a couple of days. (Given the celebratory mood and the amount of booze I don’t think I will be in much of a mood to write.)
But before I treat all of you readers with my Christmas culinary creations, let me first give you an account of all the things that happened yesterday.
On the 23rd of December most people go crazy. They still have to do some last-minute gift shopping, are on a mission to find the perfect turkey or are stressing over the appropriate Christmas table decorations.
I spent the 23rd of December watching television, putting together my Christmas outfit while singing along with Mariah Carey’s greatest Christmas hit and cooking some insanely yummy risotto.
You see, dear readers, I am a compulsive planner and control freak. Most of the time, this results in uncomfortable situations and anxiety attacks, but when it comes to Christmas Eve, my tendency to plan everything far ahead is actually incredibly beneficial. I had long finished all of my Christmas shopping and had put together the coolest decorations weeks ago. Hence, I could now sit back with a cup of coffee and an entire plate full of Christmas chocolate truffles and enjoy my day without having to stress about a seemingly endless to-do list.
I’m not trying to make you jealous or anything. I’m sure you had a lovely time shopping at the department store, filled to the ceiling with sweaty people all looking for that perfect Christmas gift.
Anyway, let’s get down to business.
I would like you to meet my Christmas outfit: A classy black and white jumpsuit, gold embroidered high heels and a fabulous roaring twenties headband.
We always celebrate Christmas with the family and since our family is really small, it is completely bonkers to opt for a breathtakingly beautiful night gown worthy of the Oscars ceremony. (Much to my dismay) So in goes a classy yet casual jumpsuit.
What do you think?
The only thing I am slightly worried about is the fact that taking it off to –let’s say- pee, takes rather a long time. (So maybe I should limit my alcohol consumption in order to avoid spending the entire evening in a tiny bathroom? Ah, who am I kiddin’. No champagne on Christmas is like a trip to Italy without flirting with a handsome Italian stranger: impossible.)
On to the pre-Christmas food. Last Christmas I was so pre-occupied with the food I would be serving on Christmas Eve, I almost forgot to eat. Not this year. I conjured up an incredible vegetarian risotto yesterday. A sweet paprika and harissa risotto with courgette and fried halloumi. Heavenly.
- 300gr risotto rice
- 2 round courgettes( one yellow and one green), finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 long sweet red peppers
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 ½ tsp harissa
- 125 ml white wine
- Vegetable stock
- 300gr halloumi cheese, cut into 0,5 cm slices
- Fresh basil.
- Put the sweet peppers, harissa, smoked and sweet paprika powder and garlic in a blender and mix until you get a smooth paste.
- Sautee the onion in some olive oil for one minute and add the rice. Fry for a couple of minutes.
- Stir in the sweet pepper mixture and add the glass of wine. Stir until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
- Add the chopped courgettes and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the stock, one ladle at a time and continue this process until your risotto is tender but not mushy.
- Fry (or grill) the halloumi.
- Stir some fresh basil through the risotto.