Festive Christmas recipes > Honey parsnips and carrots

Ingredients >
1kg parsnips, that’s about 6-8 medium ones
1kg organic carrots again about 6-8 medium ones
115g good beef dripping, goose fat or lard
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
2-3 tbsp clear, runny honey

Method >
Peel the parsnips and top and tail the carrots. Split them in half from top to tail, then cut into eighths, leave the core in the parsnips.
Heat the dripping or fat in a baking tin in a hot oven, 220° C, Gas Mark 7, for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the parsnips and carrots, bring back to the boil and simmer for one minute maximum, or they will start to fall to pieces.

Drain well, then carefully lay in the very hot dripping, season well with salt and pepper and return to the oven.
Cook for 25 minutes, then carefully turn over and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, until crispy on both sides.
Pour on the honey, and cook for a further five minutes to glaze. They will burn very quickly so keep an eye on them. Serve piping hot and golden brown.

Serves: 6-8.

Festive Christmas recipes > Roast turkey with apricot stuffing and honey glaze

Ingredients >
1 x 5 kg Bronze turkey, with giblets and the wish bone removed
2 Large carrots, peeled
1 Large onion, peeled
2 Sticks of celery
1 Leek
2 Bay leaves
2 Organic chicken stock cubes (Kallo)
½ Bottle dry white wine
½ Pint cold water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2oz Melted butter
2 Teaspoons cornflour
4 Teaspoons cold water

Method >
There really are only two ways to cook a turkey. Roasted and part roast and part steam, the latter I prefer for two reasons.
One is that not only does the bird cook much quicker, but also the meat stays very juicy and succulent.
The next thing to worry about is the stuffing, traditionally the neck is filled with one stuffing, and the cavity filled with another.
I just like to fill the cavity with one stuffing, the important point to remember is always stuff the turkey when it is fully defrosted, and make sure to cook through well.

Once the bird is cooked then simply glaze with the honey, lemon and mustard.

Serves: 8-10.

Festive Christmas recipes > Christmas Yule Log

Ingredients >
125g caster sugar
4 large eggs
35g cocoa powder
5 g fresh ginger
2 tablespoons hot water

135g mascarpone cheese
20pcs whole chestnuts – precooked
25g icing sugar
80g berries

100g milk
25g glucose
45g water
60g sugar
250g dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Line the base and sides of the tin with non-stick baking parchment.
Whisk together the sugar, the eggs and the fresh ginger until thick and creamy.
Sift the flour and cocoa then fold in with the hot water and place in the tin.
Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
When the sponge is cooked (it will be springy to the touch) take it out of the tin, turn it out of the parchment and sprinkle with little icing sugar.
Roll the sponge (while it is still warm), using the paper for guidance.

Peel the chestnuts and chopped.
Beat together the mascarpone cheese and the icing sugar until fluffy.
Add the chestnuts and berries and stir all together.
Unroll the sponge, pulling the paper out, and spread the filling over the Swiss Roll.
Reroll carefully.

Warm the milk, the glucose, the water and the sugar together.
Add the dark chocolate (cut in cubes) until becomes glazed.
Leave to cold.
When cold add the above chocolate glaze all over the Swiss Roll.

Festive Christmas recipes > Griddled Pears with Brie

Ingredients >
500-750g round creamy Brie
7 tsp poppy seeds
5 large pears, ripe
extra virgin olive oil
green salad leaves

Method >
· Preheat the grill. Cut the cheese to 10 wedges; coat with 5 tsp of the poppy seeds. Lay on a baking tray.

· Cut each pear into four slices, skin and pips intact. Brush with olive oil. Preheat a griddle pan until very hot. Place pear slices in the pan and griddle for 3-4 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining slices.

· Grill the coated cheese for about 1 minute until it holds its shape. Serve pears, Brie and salad on individual plates with a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle remaining poppy seeds and ground pepper over pear dish.

Serves 10.

Festive Christmas recipes > Stuffed Salmon

Ingredients >
2kg fresh salmon, scaled and filleted
2 tbsp olive oil
175g couscous, soaked in 240ml boiling water
2 lemons, grated rind and juice
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 egg, beaten

Method >
· Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas mark 4. Place the couscous, half the lemon rind, the lemon juice, red onion, garlic and chopped parsley in a bowl. Add the egg; season. Stir until well combined.

· Place a salmon fillet, skin side down, on a board. Spread the couscous mixture evenly on top. Lay the other salmon fillet, skin side up, over the couscous. Secure with string and drizzle with olive oil.

· Weigh the salmon parcel. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes per 1/2 kg. Leave to stand for 15 minutes. Preheat grill to high. Grill fish until the skin is crisp and golden. Transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with the remaining lemon rind and extra parsley. Serve with steamed broccoli or green leaf salad.

Serves 10.

Festive Christmas recipes > Chocolate Roulade

Ingredients >
225g plain chocolate, high in cocoa mass
4 eggs, separated
100g caster sugar and a little extra for sprinkling
300ml fresh cream
225g natural chestnut puree
4 tbsp icing sugar and extra for dusting
2 tbsp orange liqueur

Method >
· Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Line a 23cm x 33cm swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper. Break up 50g of the chocolate in a bowl and set it over a pan of hot but not boiling water until melted.

· Pour the chocolate in a thin layer onto a marble slab or a cold flat surface and leave to set. Holding a sharp knife at an angle of 45 degrees, shave off the surface of the chocolate to form curls. Place on greaseproof paper to set.

· Melt remaining chocolate as above. Whisk egg yolks with caster sugar until pale and thick; stir in the chocolate. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture. Spread out into prepared tin and bake until risen and firm.

· On a greaseproof paper, sprinkle some caster sugar. Turn the roulade onto the paper and carefully peel off the lining paper. Cover the roulade with a warm, damp tea towel and leave to cool.

· Whip the cream until it holds its shape. Reserve a cupful for decoration. Mix chestnut puree, icing sugar and liqueur together; fold in the whipped cream.

· Spread chestnut cream over the roulade to within 1cm of the edges. Roll it up from the short end using the paper. Dust with icing sugar, spoon the reserved cream in the centre and scatter the chocolate curls on top. Refrigerate until needed.

Serves 10.

Christmas Fun

Posted On November 2, 2008

Filed under Entertainment

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Reasons Why a Christmas Tree Is Better Than a Man

A Christmas tree doesn’t care how many other Christmas trees you have had in the past.

A Christmas tree doesn’t care if you have an artificial one in the closet.

When you are done with a Christmas tree you can throw it on the curb and have it hauled away.

A Christmas tree doesn’t get jealous around other Christmas trees.

A Christmas tree doesn’t care if you watch football all day.

A Christmas tree doesn’t get mad if you tie it up and throw it in the back of your pickup truck.

A Christmas tree is always erect.

Even small ones give satisfaction.

A Christmas tree stays up for 12 days and nights.

A Christmas tree always looks good – even with the lights on.

A Christmas tree is always happy with its size.

A Christmas tree has cute balls.

A Christmas tree doesn’t get mad if you break one of its balls.

You can throw a Christmas tree out when it’s past its prime

You don’t have to put up with a Christmas tree all year.

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