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 Festive Feasts

Starters

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Warm Potato, Watermelon and Feta Salad

(Serves 6)

Ingredients:
Method:

Cut the baby potatoes in half then boil them until cooked and keep them warm. Using a large plate or bowl, simply place the rocket in, followed by the potatoes, then the watermelon. Finally add in the feta then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing all over and serve. For the dressing simply mix the juice of a lemon, 1tbs Dijon mustard and 2tbs olive oil together.

Pumpkin Soup with Pumpkin and Spelt Bread

(Serves 4-6)

Soup Ingredients:
  • 2lb Diced pumpkin of choice
  • 2tbs Oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 50g Cashews
  • 2 Pints chicken or veg stock
  • 2tsp Salt
  • ¼tsp Cayenne pepper
  • Handful of toasted pumpkin seeds to scatter on top
Method:

For the soup simply heat some oil and fry off the onions until soft. Add the pumpkin and cashews, followed by the stock, salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 25-30 minutes. Let the soup cool for a while then either process in food processor or use a hand blender to achieve the desired consistency. Scatter the toasted pumpkin seeds on top as a garnish. Serve with the spelt bread and butter. Alternatively you could make your soup with one of our soup makers.


Bread Ingredients:
  • 500g Wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 15g Softened butter
  • 1 Pack of Easy Bake or fast action yeast (usually 7g)
  • 50g Pumpkin seeds
Method:

For the bread mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until it makes fine crumbs then add the yeast then the pumpkin seeds. Measure 400ml of warm water in a jug. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the warm water. Mix until it forms a soft dough, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it with your hands for approximately 10 minutes or use a stand mixer with dough hook, until the mixture smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into whatever shape you like and place on a sheet of greaseproof on a baking tray. Cover the dough with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Bake it for about 35-40 minutes until the bread is risen and golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. If desired, shape the dough into 8-9 pieces and shape into rolls. Brush with a little milk and when doubled in size bake for just 15-20 minutes. Alternatively you could make the bread with one of our bread makers.

Mixed Cold Meats for an English Charcuterie

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:
  • Salt beef, thinly sliced
  • Smoked chicken, thinly sliced
  • Tongue, thinly sliced (or a combination of meats of your choice, but should be at least 3)
  • Rye bread, thinly sliced
  • Horseradish cream (3tbs horseradish sauce beaten with 100g cream cheese and 2tbs cream fraiche)
  • Cornichons
  • Stuffed pepper dew peppers (at least 2 per persons
  • 3tbs Good quality piccalilli mixed with 2tbs quark (non-fat soft cheese)
Method:

For this extremely simple recipe which feeds the whole family simply slice your meats thinly, display on a pretty platter and spoon out your favourite selection of pickles and dips.

Mains

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Sausage and Bacon Cassoulet

(Serve 4-6)

Ingredients:
  • 50ml Olive oil or duck fat
  • 8 Toulouse sausages (or similar good quality sausages)
  • 500g Smoked bacon lardons or chopped smoked streaky bacon
  • 2 Red peppers, sliced
  • 1 Tin of cannellini beans or haricot beans
  • 1 Tin of black eye beans
  • 2 Large sliced onions
  • 4 Garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 400ml Red wine
  • 2 Tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 3tbs Tomato puree
  • 500ml Chicken stock
  • 1tsp Cayenne pepper
  • Chopped flat leaf parsley to serve
Method:

Heat the oil in large frying pan or stock pot. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat then add the sausages and bacon. Fry until the sausages have browned a little. Add the garlic and peppers and fry for 2 minutes. Pour in the red wine, reduce for 3 minutes then add the tomatoes, tomato puree, chicken stock, cayenne pepper, beans and chicken stock. Stir well then transfer into an oven proof casserole or pot, cover and place in the oven. Cook for approximately 45 minutes. Sprinkle over the parsley just before serving.

We think this dish tastes better reheated the next day – be careful to reheat properly. Serve with creamy mash potato or chunks of crusty bread.

Alternatively, turn this dish into a vegetarian option by replacing the meat with Quorn, mushrooms or tofu.

Gammon with Bubble and Squeak

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
  • 1kg Smoked gammon joint, soaked for an hour, water changed
  • 500g Baby potatoes, halved, cooked and kept warm
  • 300g Shredded savoy cabbage
  • 1 Large onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 100g Butter
  • 300ml Milk made up with 500ml fish stock or water (800ml in total)
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1tbs Dijon mustard
  • Salt and crushed black pepper
  • 30ml Olive oil
  • 1tbs Dijon mustard
Method:

Place the joint in a pan large enough to make sure the gammon joint is covered with water, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 1½ hours, making sure you keep the level of water topped up. Alternatively use your pressure cooker to cook it. Once cooked, let it cool for about ½ hour before you slice it. Whilst this is cooking start preparing the rest of the dish. Using a pan big enough to take the onion and cabbage, bring 1inch of water to the boil. Add ¼ of the butter to the hot water followed by the onion then the cabbage. Place the lid on and cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Drain and keep warm. Place the warm potatoes in a large bowl, crushing them a little with a fork or potato masher. Add the cabbage and onion, then then rest of the butter and Dijon mustard. Beat 1 of the eggs with some salt and black pepper then pour into the mixture, crushing and mixing together. In a frying pan big enough to hold the mixture, heat the oil gently then add the potato and cabbage mixture. Let it cook until it forms a nice golden crust, then gently turn over and don’t worry if it falls apart. Carry on gently frying until thoroughly heated throughout and a nice colour has been achieved, then divide into 4 and place a portion on each plate. Serve with the sliced gammon and some pickles.

Winter Kedgeree

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
Method:

In a large frying pan, heat the milk and water until hot but just under boiling. Place the haddock fillets in the liquid and gently poach for approximately 5 minutes on one side. Gently turn the fillets over and continue to poach for another 3 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm. Add some more water to make up the remaining fish cooking liquid to 600ml again. In a sauce pan, add the oil and curry paste then gently heat up and cook off for about 3-4 minutes. Pour the fish liquid into the sauce pan, add the rice, bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook until tender. Add the chopped up Brussels sprouts then add the cream and stir through. Turn out the rice onto a large serving dish, cut the haddock into bite sized pieces and gently mix through the rice. Poach the 4 eggs until cooked but ensure the egg yolk is still runny. Pop the eggs on top of the kedgeree then sprinkle with a little black pepper and serve.

Desserts

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Baked White Chocolate and Blackberry Cheesecake

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:
  • 150g White chocolate chunk biscuits, crushed
  • 90g Melted butter
  • 900g Full fat cream cheese
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 Eggs, beaten together
  • 300ml Double cream
  • 150g White chocolate
  • 400g Blackberries
  • 50g Icing sugar, plus extra for decoration
Method:

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a deep 23cm springform tin. In a bowl, mix together the crushed biscuits and melted butter, press into the lined tin then place in the fridge to cool. In a small bowl, place 100g of the white chocolate broken into pieces and either place it on top of a pan of simmering water or into a microwave and gently melt, then allow to cool a little. Put the cream cheese, vanilla extract, sugar and double cream into the bowl of the stand mixer and whisk together for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until smooth and well incorporated, followed by the melted chocolate. Pour into the tin on top of the biscuit base and smooth over the top. Place in the oven for 30 minutes then turn the oven off. Leave the tin in the oven for about 1½-2 hours to cool. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for about 4 hours or overnight. Take a knife and gently go around the edge of the tin to loosen the cheesecake. Simply release and carefully edge the greaseproof paper from the bottom and put onto a cake stand or plate. Place 150g of the blackberries into a small saucepan. Add the icing sugar and heat until soft, crushing with spoon if necessary. Leave to cool. Decorate the cold cheesecake with 250g of the blackberries on top then pour over the rough coulis. Grate the rest of the white chocolate over the top and a little icing sugar if desired.

Cinnamon and Plum Puddings with Mulled Wine Sauce

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
  • 200g Dark brown sugar, plus 50g
  • 200g Margarine
  • 4 Eggs
  • 200g Self-raising flour
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • 4-6 Ripe plums, halved, de-stoned and sliced
  • 150ml Mulled wine, or red wine and ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 50g Dark brown sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
Method:

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease 4 large ramekins. Beat the sugar and margarine together until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat for about 3 minutes then add the flour and cinnamon. Mix until well incorporated but don’t over beat. Sprinkle the extra 50g of sugar on the bottom of each ramekin, followed by the sliced plums. Spoon over the pudding mix. Place in a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes away clean when inserted. Whilst the puddings are cooking place the wine, sugar and juice and zest of the orange in a pan. Gently heat until the sugar has dissolved then turn the heat up a little and carry on until the sauce has reduced by about 1/3 and has become thicker. When the puddings are finished, run a knife around the edge to release them then turn them out onto a plate. Pour on the sauce and serve with some thickened cream or ice cream.

Lavender Toffee Apply Shortcake

(Serves 6-8)

Ingredients:
  • 250g Butter, at room temp
  • 270g Plain flour
  • 2tsp Baking powder
  • 220g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75ml Sour cream
  • 2tbs Dried lavender, crushed a little in a pestle and mortar
  • 2lb Eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced, tossed in lemon juice or opt for 2 tins of apple slices
  • 250g Brown sugar
  • 125g Butter
  • 800ml Double cream (200ml for the toffee sauce, 600ml for filling)
  • 1tbs Icing sugar
Method:

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 9inch cake tin. Beat the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy then add the eggs and beat. Add the sour cream followed by the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the crushed lavender and mix well. Pour into the prepared tin smoothing the top and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove and place on a cooling rack and let it cool completely. In the meantime, place the brown sugar and butter in a pan and heat until they have melted together and start to bubble. Take the pan off the heat and add 200ml of the double cream and stir well until it is all incorporated. Let it cool. If using fresh apples, place them in a pan with ½ inch of water. Cover and bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle heat until well softened but still retaining their shape. Then let cool completely. Whip the cream with the icing sugar and chill. When the shortcake is fully cold, use a serrated knife to cut it in half horizontally. Spread half of the cream on the bottom, spoon over half of the apple, then pour over 1/3 of the toffee sauce. Place the top half on and spread the rest of the cream on the top, followed by the rest of the apple. Pour over the rest of the toffee sauce. Sprinkle with the lavender and sugar mix.

To decorate simply mix 10g crushed lavender with 20g sugar then place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes then let cool.

Sides

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Sticky Pumpkin and Marshmallow Kebabs

(Serves 1 kebab per person)

Ingredients:
  • 4 Large marshmallows (per person)
  • 3 Chunks of pumpkin (per person)
Method:

Soak the kebab sticks in water for 10 minutes.Blanch the pumpkin chunks in boiling water for 3 minutes. Thread 4 marshmallows and 3 pumpkin chunks alternatively. Cook the kebabs over a bonfire, barbecue or on a baking sheet in an oven. Sprinkle with the following options if desired: chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles, melted toffee, chocolate or any other sweet sauce.

Why not add some extra chunks such as fudge?

Hearty Winter Potatoes

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:
  • 100g Unsalted butter
  • 1kg Large potatoes, peeled and cut into 4 or 6 pieces
  • 1 Each of red, orange and yellow peppers, cored and sliced
  • 2 Large onions, peeled, cut in half and sliced.
  • 3 Fat garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 600ml Double cream
  • 12 Anchovy fillets, preferably the fresh ones in a tub
  • Salt and pepper
Method:

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the onion. Cook gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add the peppers and garlic then cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the anchovy fillets and double cream, heat through then add the cooked potatoes. Mix until everything is well covered in the sauce. Transfer to an ovenproof dish keeping to a single layer. Add salt and pepper to taste, place in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes and let them brown on top before serving.

Gruyere, Chive and Walnut Buns

(Serves 6-8)

Ingredients:
Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Rub the butter into the flour. Add salt, yeast then water and mix until a ball of dough forms. Roll the dough out into a rough rectangle about 12inch long and 9inch wide. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top followed by the walnuts and chives, then finally the sugar, leaving about ¾inch margin around the edge. Starting at the bottom edge, roll up to make a rolling pin shape. Cut into 6-8 equal pieces and place into a buttered 9 or 10inch baking tin. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove for about 45 minutes-1 hour. Just before placing it in the oven, brush it with the milk all over. This will give you a nice glaze. Bake for about 35-45 minutes. Leave it to cool for a while, then tear apart and serve. Best eaten warm.

Mulled Wine with Baked Tangerines and Shortbread

(Serves 4)

Mulled Wine Ingredients:
  • Bottle of red wine of your choice
  • 2 Tangerines sliced into 4 slices
  • 1-2tsp Cinnamon or 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 100g Dark brown sugar
  • 1tbs of the tangerine zest from below
Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the wine in sauce pan then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil then cover the pan and turn down and simmer for 30 minutes. The lid will stop too much evaporation. Serve in heat proof glasses with the warm tangerines and shortbread.


Roasted Tangerines Ingredients:
  • 1–2 Tangerines per person zested (put zest aside) peeled and left whole
  • 50g-100g Dark brown sugar
Method:

Place the peeled tangerines on a greaseproof sheet covered baking tray, sprinkle over the sugar and place in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Let them cool a little before serving.


Shortbread Ingredients:
  • 4oz Caster sugar
  • 8oz Butter (must be butter not margarine)
  • 12oz Plain flour
  • 1tbs Tangerine zest
Method:

Cream the sugar and butter together, add the flour and zest then mix well. Leave to chill for 30 minutes in the fridge. Roll the mix into a large ball and onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out to about 1/2inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter,cut into your desired shapes using up all the mixture. Place them onto a lined baking sheet about 1½inch apart to allow for slight spreading. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Let them cool completely and serve them with the tangerines and mulled wine.