Saturday, April 1, 2023

Christmas Dinner Sorted! Part Two: The Main Event, Plus a Showstopper Dessert

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The books we're reading, the vibrators we're using, the rants we're having and more in our weekly EDM.

When it comes to Christmas Dinner (or Christmas Lunch if that’s what you’re into!) this year, we’re looking for simple, stylish recipes that involve as little stress as is humanly possible.

Well, fire up the BBQ, because Julie Le Clerc has just the ticket! From summery starters to a show-stopping dessert and everything in between, we’ve got a beautiful menu for the big day, just for you!

BBQ Beef Fillet Medallions Caprese 

With a premium cut of meat like eye fillet, simple cooking is always the best way to make the natural quality shine through. Grilled steak paired with balsamic, basil, cherry mozzarella and tomatoes is a simple but sublime combination. 

Serves 6

  • 6 x 120g medallions beef eye fillet steaks, at room temperature
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 250g fresh cherry mozzarella balls
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Reduced balsamic vinegar

Preheat a barbecue to medium-high. Lightly brush beef steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place steaks on the grill and cook for 2 minutes on each side for medium rare or longer to your desired doneness.

Remove to a platter to rest for 5 minutes. Scatter with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil; drizzle with balsamic glaze just before serving.

Mango & White Chocolate Cheesecake 

This light but luscious cheesecake isn’t overly sweet and so makes for a refreshing dessert after a summertime Christmas meal. 

Using flavoured jelly crystals cleverly removes the need to deal with gelatine, as the jelly will set the filling mixture. 

Serves 16

  • 125g digestive biscuits
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 60g butter, melted


  • 85g packet lemon jelly crystals
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 500g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 100g white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 300ml cream, whipped  
  • 1 peeled mango, flesh coarsely chopped


  • 1 peeled mango, finely sliced lengthways
  • Fresh or freeze dried raspberries (optional)

Crush biscuits in a food processor or with a rolling pin on a board. Mix with the sugar and melted butter. Use the back of a spoon to firmly press into the base of a 22 cm springform cake tin. Wrap a paper collar around the inside of the tin to enclose the filling – this will also make the cheesecake easier to remove later.

Sprinkle jelly crystals over measured boiling water in a small bowl and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature. 

Put cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and use an electric mixture to beat until smooth. Beat in the white chocolate and cooled jelly. Chill mixture for 20 minutes, stirring every now and then. 

Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Fold in the chopped mango. Pour filling over prepared base and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight, to set. 

Release the springform tin and slide cheesecake onto a serving platter. Remove the paper collar. Twist the mango slices into spirals and place on top of the cake, to decorate. Scatter with raspberries, if desired.

Recipes, styling and photographs Julie Le Clerc, NZ House & Garden Food Editor

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