Gare to win in the kitchen

Anna Gare is planning ahead for this year’s Christmas festivities. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d446336
Anna Gare is planning ahead for this year’s Christmas festivities. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d446336

IT will be celebrity chef Anna Gare�s turn to host the family for Christmas this year and she is planning to celebrate the holiday stress-free at her Fremantle home.

�We do Luc�s (husband Luc Longley) family one year and my family the next,� Gare said.

�So I�ll be having all of my family over, and seeing as my mum�s signature dish is cauliflower cheese, I think I�ll probably be putting on the spread.

�But I�m going to do all day-before cookery so on the day I can just relax.�

The parent of four adult children and recently appointed Thermomix ambassador said she loved a freshly baked warm ham glazed with her dad�s homemade jam.

�I spark it up with a bit of cinnamon and alcohol, get it all ready and just pop it into the oven on the day,� Gare said.

�Then the secret is to put it into a polystyrene box (from a fish monger or vegetable store) and it will stay nice and warm and juicy for about an hour and a half and no flies can get in.

�That�s the only thing I really heat up, but other than that I�ll be doing terrines, a poached side of trout, and then probably three salads. And if I was doing seafood, I would recommend you do something like scallops that take two minutes to cook.�

For those preparing a turkey, Gare suggested rubbing it with butter and covering it with baking paper while cooking to prevent it drying out.

�A 5kg bird will take about four or five hours in the oven at about 160C,� she said.

�The best way to make sure it’s cooked is to use a meat thermometer and stick the thermometer into the deepest bit of thigh. It should be at least 75C , no less, to be safely cooked.�

Gare recommended turning turkey leftovers into a soup or Vietnamese-style salad, and loves �fried ham for Boxing Day breakfast�.

The budget-conscious can ease the pressure by replacing turkey with chicken, stuffing it with cranberry, fresh herbs and nuts.

�Don�t get stuck thinking you have to have all those traditional things like fruit minced pies and plum puddings, because they can cost quite a bit of money,� she said.

�I like a festive chocolate Pavlova; they�re really cheap with four eggs, a cup of sugar, a pinch of this, a pinch of that and you�ve got a pav. Or use fresh fruit which is cheap, delicious, and oh so Aussie.�

Gare said she would be releasing her third book and a clothing range in 2016 and working on her kitchen collection.

�I�m always writing more recipes,� she said.

�Every time I make something I write it down – if it�s delicious.�

Tanya MacNaughton