Lyndey Milan laughs when I ask which she personally will cook of the two Christmas menus she has prepared for LifeStyle Food: “It is like trying to choose between your children.”
On offer in the two-part Lyndey’s Cracking Christmas is her version of a traditional turkey dinner, as well as a seafood and beef alternative rich with spicy touches.
But she insists that even though making an almond gazpacho with seared scallops and smashed broad bean, mint and fetta on tortilla triangles might sound complicated, the dish is quite simple to construct.
“The thing that really concerns me about Christmas is it’s the time of year when people who aren’t used to entertaining actually do cook and they get really stressed out,” she said.
“So what I wanted to do is say ‘Hey, guys, there are a couple of easy options. If you do want to go the whole traditional thing, your turkey does not have to be dried out and horrible. Or if you are not into that whole Anglo-Saxon traditional thing, let’s look at alternatives. They are both relevant.’”
She said that Christmas was so tied up with tradition and emotion that for many the choice would be to make the traditional menu.
“I did a suckling pig and a whole smoked salmon one year and my sister looked and said ‘I don’t like it if it is not traditional. I don’t care if I have to do all the work.’ So for me it will be the turkey.
“There is always a lot of family vested in Christmas. My mother had this pathetic plastic tree she used to put lollies on and licorice bullets around the bottom. It is yellow plastic and looks like a dead tree but we have to have that in my family because it is what we have done since we were little.
“It is part of our family tradition.”
Milan has just started shooting a new series called Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Australia. It will show late next year after another new show Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Ireland has screened on 7Two and LifeStyle Food.
Lyndey’s Cracking Christmas part one airs on Monday at 5.30pm on LifeStyle Food. The second part is the following Monday.