Christmas tips from producers at South Melbourne Market
Have you been asked to host Christmas lunch? This could help…
For many home chefs, Christmas is an exciting time. It’s an opportunity to whip out your best china, fire up the oven and show off your culinary skills to your family and friends. Somehow, the day always seems to creep up on you, so we’re giving you a quick reminder to start thinking about what you’ll serve up on Christmas day.
The NEFF Market Kitchen is located at the South Melbourne Market, and hosts free demonstrations for new and existing NEFF customers using the best NEFF appliances and local produce, so we’ve come to know a lot of the other market residents. The producers at South Melbourne Market know how to put out a good spread, so we spoke to the experts about how to impress your guests this year. Here’s what they had to say…
Emerald Deli’s owner Maria has been at the helm of this gourmet gem for over 30 years. This Christmas, she recommends using a grazing table to feed your guests. “A grazing table looks amazing on Christmas Day, becoming a feature in the household. You set it up, then let your guests eat as they please. This means you can spend less time in the kitchen, and more time enjoying the festive atmosphere” she says. This year, Maria recommends ensuring you have a good mix of soft and hard cheese, with triple cream cheese and cloth bound cheddar being her favourites. And don’t forget about smoked ham and turkey to make your grazing table look extra full. “To really create a wow factor for guests, make sure you stock up on lots of vibrant, fresh fruit such as juicy strawberries and sweet grapes, using Christmas colours such as red and green”.
South Melbourne Poultry
Michael from South Melbourne Poultry is an expert in all things chicken and poultry, with a focus of freshness and quality. After all, what is Christmas without the smell of a delicious roast chicken or turkey cooking in the oven. But this year, Michael recommends taking a different approach by purchasing their stuffed chicken rolls, a great alternative to the popular roast. They only take one hour to cook and are pre-stuffed, making it convenient for you to roast and carve up on the day. The chicken rolls come in four flavours, including sundried tomatoes with pistachio and cranberries with chestnut stuffing. “When it comes to Christmas, it’s best to keep things simple and make sure you are prepared ahead of time, so get your orders in before Friday 13 December to make sure you don’t miss out” says Michael.
Ralph’s Meat Company
Ralph’s Meat Company were voted South Melbourne Market’s favourite butcher for a reason. They have been serving up great quality, Australian meat for more than a century and always deliver service with a smile. This year, the team recommends a slow cooked lamb or pork, with meat that melts in your mouth. “When you’re seasoning your meat, don’t go to crazy. Use lemon, oregano, salt and pepper to make sure you are retaining the mouth watering flavours of the meat” the butcher says. It’s best to think ahead and make sure your meat is ordered at least a week in advance. You can get your butcher to put the meat in a vacuum bag, so it stays fresh in your fridge.
All the traders have mentioned the importance of getting your orders in early, so head to South Melbourne Market (or your own local market) to talk to the producers about your Christmas menu and ensure you impress your guests during the festive season.
While you’re there, why not visit The NEFF Market Kitchen to brush up on your culinary skills and get some recipe inspiration ahead of the big day.