If you like adding a touch of drama to your festive table this December, don’t miss out on the new black homeware range available from Poetry Stores, Noir, imported from Portugal. It is simply breathtaking and the perfect choice to pair with a few gold accessories.
I’ve had the pleasure of creating a timeless festive dinner spread in collaboration with Poetry Stores using these beautiful pieces of homeware and three recipes from the stunning book The Story of a House – Fables and Feasts from La Creuzette by Louis Jansen van Vuuren & Hardy Olivier. Most of the recipes are French-inspired and perfect for entertaining a crowd for a grand occasion.
Here are three of Louis and Hardy’s recipes from their book, fit for royalty:
Salmon Tartare (serves 4)
- 480 g smoked salmon, cut into 1 cm cubes
- 80 g cucumber, diced
- 80 g radish, diced
- a large pinch of toasted sesame seeds
- a large pinch of chopped pink peppercorns
- 120 g Granny Smith apple, diced
- fresh mint, chopped (optional)
For the vinaigrette:
- 100 ml apple cider vinegar
- 150 ml sesame oil
- juice of 2 large lemons
- freshly ground salt & pepper
Mix all the ingredients for the tartare. Make the vinaigrette by mixing all the ingredients together and serving with the tartare. The tartare is also delicious with finely chopped mint sprinkled on top.
Double Leg of Lamb (serves 12)
- 1 double leg of lamb or 2 individual legs of lamb
For the seasoning:
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) coarse salt
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped rosemary leaves, plus sprigs for garnishing
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups (500 ml) lamb stock or water
For the sauce:
- 1 cup (250 ml) dry red wine
- 1 litre stock from the oven dish
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cornflour
For the gremolata:
- grated or finely chopped peel of 4 lemons
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- a handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
Remove most of the fat from the leg of lamb, but not all of it, as it lends delicious flavour to the sauce.
With a sharp knife, make small incisions about 1 cm long and 2 cm deep all over the legs,. Make the seasoning by mixing the salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary and mustard. Rub it into the meat, particularly into the incisions, and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 200 C.
Place the legs in a large, deep oven dish. Combine the olive oil and lamb stock and pour over the meat. Roast uncovered for 20-30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 160 C. Cover with a lid or seal it tightly with foil. Roast for approximately another 90 minutes. Test the meat by inserting a meat thermometer close to the bone – it is done when the temperature is 60 C, as the flesh will still be beautifully pink.
Pour some of the pan juices over the meat, place it on a rack (so that the meat doesn’t lie in the liquid) and roast in a hot oven (200 C) for 5-7 minutes to form a lovely crispy crust. Turn off the oven and pour all the liquid out of the oven dish, but let the meat rest in the oven while you make the sauce.
Heat the wine and 3 cups (750 ml) of the stock over a low heat and boil it to let the alcohol evaporate. Stir the cornflour into the remaining cup (250 ml) of stock, stir it into the rest and cook the sauce until thickened.
Combine all the gremolata ingredients. Serve the meat with the gremolata sprinkled on top and the thickened pan juices in a separate jug.
Variation: Soak 2 handfuls of half-dried prunes in brandy overnight and add to the liquid in the oven dish about 40 minutes before you plan to remove the meat from the oven and serve it.
Fig Clafoutis (serves 6)
- 700 g purple figs
- 30 g soft butter, plus a little extra to grease the dish
- 120 g cake flour, plus 10 g for the dish
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk
- 120 g castor sugar
Heat the oven to 180 C. Cut off the fig stalks. Cut a cross into the top of each fig and press so that it gapes slightly. Grease an oven dish or ceramic dish (not too deep) with a little butter, sprinkle in 10 g of flour and arrange the figs in the dish. Beat the eggs, milk, sugar and butter together and sift in the flour. Fold the flour into the mixture.
Pour the mixture over the figs and bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve hot with a scoop of crème fraîche.
Get The Story of a House – Fables and Feasts from La Creuzette by Louis Jansen van Vuuren & Hardy Olivier available online from Poetry stores at R599.
All homeware, cutlery, glassware and accessories available from Poetry Stores, except small dessert plate. (Linen not included.)