If you thought the festive season was about gift-giving or spending time with loved ones, you'd be wrong... it's actually about the food. Well, maybe that's just my opinion but it certainly ranks pretty highly in the RUSSH team's books too. Whether you're leading the charge in the kitchen on Christmas Day, or you're just want to make some festive snacks while you're back home for the holidays – it's the perfect time to try your hand at something new.
The RUSSH team have been itching to try their hand at a few festive dishes this summer, and we thought in the nature of giving, we'd share our top picks with you below.
Summer holidays in a Greek household are basically an endless rotation of eating and drinking. And while I’m not complaining (I was built for this kind of marathon, after all), sometimes there’s only so much lamb and potatoes that one can eat. A brave statement, I know. So, this year, I’m veering away from the dishes I know are always going to be on the table. For Christmas Day, I’ve been allocated dessert, and I’m making this delicious raspberry brown butter custard tart. It feels perfectly festive without the stuffiness of a ‘Christmas dessert’ (which, I tend to actively avoid when the dessert spread is laid out – sorry to those who like Christmas pudding).
For the days that follow, the menu is going to be all about fresh ingredients and bites that can be eaten while poolside. Fresh prawns are always present (in a bread roll, obviously), and I won’t be going without a tin of Bonilla a la Vista Patatas Fritas topped with chicken liver pate. I normally buy the City Ladder variety, but this year, I’m going to try and make my own. Jacques Pépin's recipe (with over 5,000 5-star reviews) is my top pick.
I love to cook, but rarely have the energy to do so. In theory Christmas would be a good time to reignite this passion, but I’ll be home with 10+ family members, and I don’t need that kind of stress in my life. For Christmas day I’ve been assigned dessert, specifically Tiramisu (my in-laws are Italian, and we’re doing pasta instead of Turkey). It’s a speciality of mine, and I always use this recipe from Sydney chef Mitch Orr. I love his approach to food and this always turns out perfectly. It’s not too sweet or rich — I prefer my Tiramisu boozy and strong on the coffee flavour. But one tip I’ll share is to top it with milo instead of cocoa powder. Delicious.
I’m also crazy for a good chip (I’m a Boulder Canyon girl) and some taramosalata (Fresh Fodder obviously, but when I’m home in Port Stephens the local bakery Two Bobs make their own and it’s 100/10). Not a recipe exactly but it’s my afternoon snack of choice. Best served with a cold glass of white wine.
This year I am in charge of dessert for Christmas, and to change things up a little bit (and challenge myself to something new) I will be attempting a tiramisu. In particular, I am planning to try my hand at the famed 10 William Street classic tiramisu recipe, which is irrefutably the best one and no, I will not hear out your argument to the contrary. I’m also looking for any excuse to recreate Lucky Dragon Supper Club’s ‘Fancy Bites’ – even if that means making a plate for an evening by myself. We're in the era of 'Girl Dinners' now right, this is acceptable?
As someone who doesn’t relish being in the kitchen it takes something pretty special to get me excited about cooking. Mostly I’m going for low stakes sides or desserts that don’t feel too disastrous if they don’t turn out.
I’ve been waiting for stone fruit season to make these sticky toffee doughnut peaches and Christmas feels like the perfect occasion to try them out. Honey carrots are also a festive favourite and I love the dash of spice in these ones by Kirk Muenzenberger.
Creative Studio and Campaign Manager
I don’t cook, but I have had a sudden urge to make gingerbread men. Something about binge watching a million christmas movies perhaps?
I’m keen to try a recipe from scratch (big step for me) and have heard that anything that Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats creates is amazing, so my one kitchen expedition for the year is in good hands.
Executive Fashion Director
Oh my gosh I love cooking so much, and I LOVE christmas cooking especially. I’m in charge of the vegetables this year and also the cocktails. I will probably make around ten veggie sides because I’m a bit OTT but this Ottolenghi potato and celeriac gratin will definitely be a feature and love this festive cherry french 75 to kick off the celebrations.
Assistant to Editor-In-Chief
I am a fiend for pasta, I have done a few pasta classes at the restaurant Barbetta, they’re amazing and also give you their recipes with their amazing sauces. My favourite is their Burnt Butter and Sage sauce with Gnocchi. When i’m not cooking pasta, I also love Nagi from Recipetin eats as i got her cookbook for Christmas last year and have put it to good use, one of my favourite recipes is Chinese Crispy noodles (chow mein) and Singapore noodles, as you can see I am clearly a big fan of anything noodles.