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 12 Dishes of Christmas

Starters

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Bacon and Chicken Liver Pots

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
  • 12 Slices of smoked streaky bacon
  • 2 Tubs of frozen chicken livers
  • 1 Large or 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 1 Clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 50ml Brandy
  • 40g Unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp. Smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees C. Butter 4 glass ramekin dishes. Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the shallots and fry until translucent. Add the chicken livers and garlic, fry off for 5 mins, then add the brandy and smoked paprika. Season with salt and pepper,stir well, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes then place in a food processor or similar and purée until smooth. Line the ramekins with 3 rashers of the bacon so they overlap the edges. Spoon the liver mixture into each ramekin, fold over the layers of bacon to make a parcel. Place the ramekins on a baking tray and place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the bacon is fully cooked. Leave them to cool for 3 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, run a knife around the edges and tip out onto a plate. Serve with toasted triangles of bread, salad and the cranberry brandy sauce.


Ingredients (for the Cranberry Brandy Sauce):
  • 250g Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • 50ml Brandy
  • Juice and zest of an orange
Method:

Place everything in a pan and cook over a med heat until the cranberries are nice and soft. Cool for an hour then mash the sauce with a fork and refrigerate.

Prawn, Dill and Lemon Cream Stars

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:
Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Roll out the pastry, cut out with a cookie cutter and place onto a greased baking sheet.Melt10g of the butter and brush over the top. Put into oven for about 15 minutes or until cooked and golden. Let them fully cool on a rack.
In a pan heat the rest of the butter, add the prawns, garlic, salt and pepper and 1 tbsp. of lemon juice then cook until the prawn are done (for about 5 minutes). Add the dill and toss until it is all well coated. Put the créme fraiche into a bowl, add the lemon juice and the zest and stir until well mixed. Place a pastry star onto each plate, followed by a spoonful of the crème fraiche. Spoon the prawns on top, sprinkle the rest of the dill on top of each one and serve with salad garnish.

Turkey Soup with Cranberry Bread

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients (for the Soup):
  • 2l Turkey stock (raw turkey leg, whole onion, 2 carrots, bay leaf - 2½ litres water, 200ml white wine, bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, strain and keep back 2 litres)
  • Shred the meat from the cooked turkey leg and put aside.
  • 3 Carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 Sticks of celery, sliced
  • 1 Onion peeled and diced
  • 1 Clove of garlic, crushed
  • 200g Frozen soya beans
  • 200g Any other veg you want
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50ml Rapeseed oil
  • 100ml White wine
Method:

Heat the oil in a large pan then fry the onions until translucent for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook off for another minute then add all other veg except the soya beans. Fry off for a couple of minutes then add white wine, stir around then add the stock, adding the soya beans and shredded turkey last. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook for about ½ hour, making sure the vegetables are all cooked. Ladle into bowls and serve with the cranberry bread.


Ingredients (for the Cranberry Bread):
Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Place the flour, butter, yeast and salt into a bowl. Mix until you have a fine breadcrumbs texture, add the cranberries and mix in. Make a well in the centre and add the water. Mix together until a ball is formed, take out of the bowl and knead the dough for about 2-3 minutes. Lightly oil the bowl and put the dough back in then leave covered for 5 minutes. Tip it out of the bowl and kneed again for 2-3 minutes. Make the dough into a ball and place on a lined baking tray, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 1-1 ½ hours). Brush the top with a little milk and place in the hot oven and bake for about 35 minutes. Lift up and tap the bottom on the loaf - it should sound hollow.

Mains

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Roast Turkey and All The Trimmings

(Serve 6-8)

Ingredients:
  • Turkey weighing about 10lb, cleaned and patted dry
  • 1lb Smoked streaky bacon (8 pieces cut in half)
  • 8 Tangerines (4 cut in half)
  • 200ml Rapeseed oil
  • Chipolatas (2 per person)
  • 2 Whole bulbs of garlic, cut in half width ways
  • 1 tbsp. Salt and 1 tsp. White pepper

  • 1lb Sausage meat
  • 1 Tin of chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 50g Panko breadcrumbs
  • 100g Whole fresh cranberries, chopped up or ½ jar cranberry sauce
  • Mix altogether well, stuff some in the neck cavity of the bird, (this is under the flap of skin – not in the main cavity) put the rest in a small roasting tin
Method:

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C. Place the 4 whole tangerines inside the turkey, along with half a bulb of the garlic. Salt and pepper the whole bird. Place in a roasting tin then lay the whole bacon rashers over the top then pour over the oil. Cover the whole turkey with tin foil or your Roasteasy Mesh and place in the pre-heated oven. After 20 minutes turn the oven down to 170 degrees C. Cook the turkey for 20 minutes per lb. Take the half slices of bacon and wrap around each chipolata. For the last 45 minutes of cooking time remove the tin foil/mesh, baste the turkey with the oil and juices from the pan then place the rest of the tangerines around the turkey, along with the chipolatas in bacon. Put the rest of the stuffing in the oven at this point. Put your roast potatoes into the turkey. When the turkey has finished cooking remove it from the oven, place on your carving board or platter, cover and let it rest for at least ½ hour. Strain the juices and use to make the gravy. Serve with your choice of vegetables and a jug of real gravy.

Stroganoff Pudding

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients (for the Suet pastry):
Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees C. Grease a 2 pint sized pudding basin. In a bowl, mix the flour, suet, salt and pepper together then slowly add a little water, mix around then add enough water so you have a nice firm dough which will hold together. Split the dough into ¾ and ¼, roll out the ¾ big enough to be able to line the pudding basin with, leaving a little over the edge, then trim neatly. Roll the other ¼ out for the top of the pudding.


Ingredients (for the filling):
Method:

Toss the beef strips in the flour, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the beef and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan, add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, then mushrooms and fry for about 4 minutes. Put the beef back in the pan and add the brandy then stir well. Put the cream in, salt and pepper to taste then gently cook for about 5 minutes. Take off the stove to cool for a while. Spoon into the pastry lined basin,brush with some beaten egg around the top edges then cover with the dough top, pressing gently to seal. Cover the top with a folded piece of parchment paper on top or a piece of tin foil. Make a large pleat in the middle, tie to hold in place folding both sheets together. This will allow the pudding to expand as it cooks. Put on baking tray and bake for 1-1½ hours. Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge before placing a plate on top and turn over slowly - it should come away clean. Serve with a lovely pile of creamy mash potato and green vegetables.

Celebration Salmon

(Serves 6-10)

Ingredients:
Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C. In a pan large enough to take the salmon when shaped into a half moon, pour the wine in then the onions, salt and pepper and chopped dill. Give it a good stir, place the rest of the dill inside the salmon, put the fish into the pan and baste the fish all over with the liquor mix generously. Brush a sheet of tin foil with melted butter, cover the whole fish and tin, leaving a pocket above the salmon so the steam can get all around it. Make sure the foil is tightly sealed. Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 15 minutes per lb, plus another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes then remove the tin foil. Carefully lift the salmon out and put it on your serving platter, covering with the tin foil to keep warm. Place the pan with the remaining liquor on top of the stove and gently heat with a whisk. Slowly pour the cream in and whisk until the cream starts to thicken the sauce and is fully heated through. You may need to sprinkle a teaspoon of cornflour and whisk to thicken it a little more. Pour into a sauce boat and serve with the warm salmon. Serve with optional mashed potato and a green salad, pouring the sauce over liberally.

Desserts

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Light Christmas Pudding with Redcurrant Cream

Serves 6-8

Ingredients (for the Pudding):
  • 10oz Self-raising flour
  • 10oz Dark brown sugar
  • 10oz Softened butter
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 200g Dried fruit - a mix of cherries, cranberries, chopped mango and blueberries
  • Enough brandy to just cover the fruit in a bowl which should be soaked overnight
Method:

Grease a 2 pint pudding basin. Mix the sugar and butter until nice and fluffy, add the eggs, beat until mixed well, then the cinnamon and flour. Don’t overbeat but make sure it is well incorporated. Finally add the fruit and mix well. Pour into the greased pudding basin. Cover the top with a folded piece of parchment paper on top of a piece of tin foil. Make a large pleat in the middle, tie to hold in place folding both sheets together. This will allow for any expansion. Place an upturned saucer into a large saucepan then place the pudding on top of this. Pour in enough water that it comes half way up the basin. Put the lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down a little and cook for about 2½ hours, topping up the water when needed. Check the pudding is done by inserting a knife into the middle - if it comes away clean it is ready, if not, give it another ½ hour. Run a knife around the edge when cooked then place the serving plate on top and gently turn over. The sponge should come out, then serve with the redcurrant cream.


Ingredients (for the Recurrant Cream):
  • 600ml Double cream
  • 3 tbsp. Redcurrant sauce from a jar
  • 1 tbsp. Icing sugar
  • Handful of fresh redcurrants if available
Method:

Put the cream into a mixer along with the redcurrant sauce, sugar and if available, redcurrants then beat until thickened to your liking.

Christmas Mess

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
  • 900ml Double cream
  • 3 tbsp. Icing sugar
  • 4 Meringue nests broken up a little
  • 400g Pomegranate seeds (available from most supermarkets in tubs)
  • 100g Toasted flaked almonds
  • 4 Big wine glasses or sundae dishes
Method:

Beat the cream and the sugar until quite thick then add the pomegranate seeds and gently fold in. Do the same with the meringues and almonds. Spoon into each glass, decorate with a few more pomegranate seeds and almonds, along with a mint leaf or two.

Tangerine, Cinnamon and Cranberry Torte

(Serves 6-8)

Ingredients:
Method:

Grease 3 x 8”cake tins and pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees C. Beat the butter and caster sugar until doubled in size. Add the eggs and beat well then add the cinnamon then cocoa and flour.Mix well. Pour equal amounts into the 3 tins and place in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Then brush each sponge with a little brandy or rum and cool completely on a rack. Whip the cream with the icing sugar until peaks have formed. Once the sponge is completely cool, place the first sponge on your serving dish. Spread a thin layer of the cream over the sponge then spoon the ¾ of the cranberry mixture over. Lightly press the next sponge on top of this. Spread this with a thin layer of cream again, followed by the mandarins, which should cover the whole sponge. Finally place the last sponge on the top, spoon ½ the remaining cream on top and spread over, followed by the remaining ¼ of the cranberry mixture. Dust with icing sugar and serve with the remaining cream.

Sides

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Gilded Mincemeat and Apple Pies with Christmas Cocktail

(Serves 5-6)

Ingredients:
  • 1 Sheet pre-made and rolled sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 500g Jar of good mincemeat
  • Tin of apple slices, mashed up a little
  • 2 Packs of gold leaf (available in most supermarkets)
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 Deep holed muffin tin
  • 1 Pair of tweezers
Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Cut out each pie base with the cutter. Gently press into the muffin tin making sure it comes up the sides. Put a spoonful of the mashed up apple in the bottom, followed by a good spoonful of the mincemeat. Cut out the tops for the mince pies then brush a little of the beaten egg over the edges of the pies. Place the tops on and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Take out and cool completely before removing the pies from the tin. Using the tweezers, carefully remove small amounts of the gold leaf and gently place on the top of each pie. Using a child’s painting brush, gently press down. Serve with our exclusive festive Christmas cocktail!

Christmas Cocktail
  • Bottle of sparkling wine, prosecco, champagne, cava or similar
  • 30ml Cranberry juice per person
  • 1 tsp. Brandy per person
  • A few fresh cranberries, about 4-5 per person
  • 2 Sugar lumps per person

Place the sugar cubes in the bottom of the glass, followed by the cranberries. Add the brandy, then the cranberry juice and finally fill to the top with sparkling wine.

Candy Cane Christmas Cake

(Serves 8-10)

Ingredients:
  • 800g Mixed dried fruit made up with: cranberries, blueberries, chopped dates, apricots, sultanas and cherries. Soak overnight in enough rum to cover the fruit well.
  • 80g Glacé cherries (tossed in a little flour, this will stop them sinking to the bottom of the mix)
  • 250g Softened butter
  • 250g Dark brown sugar
  • 200g Plain flour
  • 100g Ground almonds
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Mixed spice
  • Zest of 1 orange
Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees C. Grease and line an 8-9” cake tin with extra greaseproof paper. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and beat, add the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice and ground almonds, mix well, add the rum soaked fruit, Glacé cherries and orange zest then stir until well mixed together. Pour into the prepared cake tin then place a piece of greaseproof loosely over the top, making a small dome. Bring the paper over the sides (enough to be able to tie some string around to hold it in place) and bake for approximately 3 hours. Insert with a thin knife to check that it is cooked, if not, leave for another 20 minutes. Leave to cool for 30 minutes, then remove from the tin and put onto a plate or into a container. Brush with about 60ml of rum or brandy every week until you want to ice and eat it. This will ‘feed’ it and will make it lovely and moist.


Ingredients:
  • ⅓ jar Apricot jam, warmed
  • Sheet of ready rolled icing
  • Block of ready-made icing
  • 300g Icing sugar made up with a little lemon juice to form a paste
  • Approx. 30 candy canes

Brush the whole cake with the warmed jam. Spread the pre-rolled icing over the cake as per pack instructions. Smooth over to cover the cake completely and cut away any excess. Spread a little of the icing paste around the edge of the cake (about 3” at a time) and gently press the candy canes vertically into the paste so they stick. Continue with this until the side of the cake is covered with the canes. Use the block of the readymade icing to make up shapes or figures to decorate the top in any way you like.

Gingerbread House

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:
  • 350g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp. Bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g Butter
  • 175g Soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 75ml Golden syrup, or for a darker colour gingerbread use treacle
  • 400g Icing sugar, a little water
Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Put the flour, ginger and baking soda into a bowl and rub in the butter. Add the sugar then the syrup and egg and mix together to make a firm dough. Place it on your greaseproof paper and roll it out to about 5mm thick. Using your chosen template, cut out the shapes - you will get a cleaner edge if you use a pizza cutter. Carefully lift the shapes onto your baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Leave for a couple of minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool fully. Use a mix of icing sugar and a little water to make a stiff(ish) paste for the glue to assemble the house – it’s best to make it up on a chopping board, for ease of movement once it has been decorated.