Xmas – a variety of options

STARTERS

Spiced parsnip soup with wild mushrooms (Serves 2)

Parsnip4 oz
Onion2 oz
Potato2 oz
Vegetable stock½ pint
Wild mushroom2 oz
Garlic1 clove
Curry powder (medium-hot)1 teaspoon

Peel and roughly chop onions, parsnip, potato and squash garlic. Pick mushrooms from stock. Roast parsnips, potatoes, onion and garlic with little olive oil and curry powder with salt and pepper at 180 deg C for 30 minutes. When soft put in pan and cover with stock to boil. Blend and finish with grilled mushrooms on top and swirl of double cream, yogurt or crème fraiche.

Smoked Salmon Tartare on Toasted Brioche (Serves 2)

Brioche2 slices
Smoked salmon4 oz
Capers1 oz
Salted/fresh anchovies1 oz
Shallot½
Parsley1 sprig
Extra virgin olive oilDash
LemonWedge

Finely chop all except brioche. Mix salmon, capers, anchovies and shallots with parsley, salt and pepper, and a little extra virgin olive oil. Toast brioche slice on both sides, mould salmon mix into a round shape and place on the brioche with little herb and lemon in middle.

Smoked Salmon Canapes

Cream cheese60g / 2oz
chives30g / 1oz
Smoked salmon112g / 4oz

Beat the cheese and chives and season. Lay out the smoked salmon on clingfilm slightly overlapping. Spread cheese mix on salmon and roll up tight. Chill. Remove clingfilm. Slice..

Melon Martini  Watermelon Shot (serves 4)

Honeydew melon1
watermelon¼
Vodka (optional) 
MintTo garnish

For the shot – peel (what about seeds? )and blend the watermelon and pass through a fine sieve. Chill before serving in a shot glass.

For the martini – peel and seed the honeydew melon. Take out 4 pearls. Blend the rest. Chill. Serve in martini glasses with a single melon ball on a cocktail stick. Garnish with mint. (add optional vodka)

Spiced Parsnip Cappuccino (serves 2)

butter30g / 1oz
Parsnips2
onion¼ medium
Garlic1 clove
Cajun spices1 pinch
Veg/chicken stock225ml / ½ pt

Dice the parsnip into quarter-inch pieces. Finely chop the onions. Paste the garlic. In a pan melt the butter and sweat the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the parsnips and spices and cook on a moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add the stock and cook until parsnip is softened. Blend. Add spices and season to taste. Top with frothed heated semi-skimmed milk and grated nutmeg.

Broccoli, Brie & Cranberry En Croute (serves 1)

broccoli1 large stalk
brie1 slice
cranberry1 teaspoon
Puff pastry100-120g / 3-4oz
Egg1

Make an eggwash with the egg. Trim the broccoli. Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water till soft. Cool quickly. Roll out the pastry, placing the broccoli, brie and cranberry in the middle. Eggwash and wrap. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown at 200 deg C / Gas Mark 6

MAIN COURSES

Roast Turkey & Stuffing

Turkey1
sage8-10 leaves
Sausage meat225g./ 8oz
onion1
white bread6 sclices
butter125g / 5oz
eggs2

Remove legs and bone from turkey, being careful to remove the sinews. Fill with stuffing (see below) and tie and cook for 1 ½ hours at 180 deg / Gas Mark

For the stuffing – chop the onion. Decrust the bread. Dice bread small. Sweat the onions in a pan with the butter until soft. Add the bread and sage. Mix the sausage meat, the eggs and the sage-and-onion mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Turkey, Stuffing & Cranberry En croute (serves 1)

Turkey escalope1
Cranberry sauce1 teaspoon
Puff pastry112g / 4oz
sage4 leaves
onion1 large
Sausage meat60g/ 2oz
butter60g / 2oz
egg2
White bread4 slices

Decrust and dice bread. Make an eggwash from 1 egg. Finely chop the onion. Seat the onion in butter until soft. Add sage and bread. Fold into sausagemeat and agg. Roll in greaseproof paper and bake in oven at 190 deg c/ Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes.

Roll out the pastry and place the cooked stuffing in the middle with cranberry on top and then the turkey on top of that. Eggwash, wrap and eggwash again. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes at 190 deg C / Gas Mark 5 until golden brown

Roast Poussin with Celeriac and Shallots (Serves 1)

Poussin1
Celeriac4 oz
Shallots2
Olive oilDash

Place peeled and chopped vegetable on roasting tray with oil and put poussin on top. Season and cook for 45 minutes until juices run clear.

ACCOMPANIMENTS & SAUCES

Gravy

Red wine112ml / ¼ pt
Chicken/veg stock225ml / ½ pt
cornflour2 heaped teaspoons
Tomato paste (optional)1 teaspoon

Don’t make the gravy till the turkey is cooked. When turkey is cooked, remove it from the tray. Drain off excess fat from turkey tray. (For extra colour add the optional tomato paste for 2 minutes before stock until it browns). In a separate pan, add what’s left to the stock and red wine. Bring to the boil. Mix the cornflour with cold water to make a paste and add to the stock to thicken. Pass through a fine sieve and season. .

Bread sauce (serves 1)

White bread2 slices
onion¼
Veg / chicken stock112ml / ¼ pt
butter30g / 1oz

Cut crusts off bread. Dice small. Dice onion. Sweat onions and butter in a pan on a moderate heat until soft. Add the bread and stock. Bring to the boil and mash until it thickens. Season. (You can add double cream if you want)

Baby Potatoes Roasted with Rosemary & Garlic (serves 2)

baby potatoes 175g / 6oz
rosemary 2 sprigs
Vegetable oilTo mix
garlic4 cloves

Mix the potato and oil and lay on a roasting tray and season. Roast for 20-30 minutes at 190 deg / Gas Mark 5. Add peeled whole garlic and roast for another 10 minutes. When ready to serve, add rosemary and toss through potatoes. ,

Nutmeg Bread Sauce (serves 4)

White sliced bread8
Milk¼ pt
Chicken stock¼ pt
Onion½
Nutmeg1 pinch / fresh grated
Garlic1 clove
butter1 knob –  2 oz

Chop onion and garlic. Cut crust off bread and dice. Gently cook onion and garlic in butter , add bread, grated nutmeg, milk and stock, bring to boil and cook for 5 minutes slowly. Stir or blend, season and serve.

To serve

Mix chestnuts with shallots and celeriac. Make rest for cooked poussin. Place nutmeg sauce in ramekin at side with braised red cabbage.

Black Pudding Mash (serves 3)

Stornoway black pudding2 slices
Maris pipers250g / ½ lb
Butter60g / 20z

Peel and dice potatoes. Boil in slated water till soft. Drain. Keep in pot to dry for 2 minutes. Roast the black pudding for 5 minutes in oven at 200 deg C/ Gas Mark 6. Mash the potato. Fold the black pudding into the potato along with the butter. Season

Braised Red Cabbage (Serves 2)

Red cabbage¼
Sultanas2 oz
Red current jelly2 table spoons
Red wine½ pt
Apple1 small green
butter2 oz

Thinly slice cabbage, soak sultanas, peel and dice apple. Fry cabbage in butter when soft and add sultanas and apple. Cook for 2 minutes and add wine and red current jelly. Cook slowly for 25-30 minutes in low heat stirring continuously.

DESSERTS

Pears Poached in Spiced Wine (Serves 4)

Pear (firm)4
Caster sugar100g / 4 oz
Red wine150ml / ¼ pt
Water150ml / ¼ pt
Brandy2 table spoons
Lemon2 strips of rind
Lemon juice1 table spoon
Cinnamon1 stick / 1 teaspoon of ground
Cloves6
Mint sprigsTo decorate
optionalServed cream or crème fraiche

Peel pears leaving stalk intact. Put sugar, wine, water, brandy, lemon peel, cinnamon and cloves in pan and heat gently stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Put pears in pan and bring the pouching liquid to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 25 minutes or until pears are tender. Turn them occasionally to ensure even cooking. Remove pears from pan, pour over poaching liquid and decorate with mint leaf imitating leaves from pear; serve with crème fraiche or soured cream.

Xmas pudding Ice-Cream (Serves 4-6)

Vanilla pod1
Double cream300ml
Milk300ml
Egg yolks3
Caster sugar175g – 6 oz
Xmas pudding3 oz

Scrape vanilla into milk and cream in pan – heat to boil. Mix egg yolks and sugar, beat till pale. When cream etc boiled add to egg mix beating all the time. Continue beating until cold, add crumbled Xmas pudding and freeze in a container (e.g. a ramekin). Stir well every 30 minutes until frozen. Use soon as at its best as soon as served.

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