Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas Turkey Curry - Easy Boxing Day Meal

With loads of leftover turkey from Christmas - what to do on Boxing day?  
Make a nice curry of course!
Nothing tricky, just a quick dinner ready in less than 30 minutes that looks good and tastes good too.  You can of course make this at any time during the year with leftover chicken from the Sunday roast.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Mulled Wine - How to Make the Best Recipe Ever

Some mulled wines can taste like medicine, which is not what I was looking for and neither are you I'm sure.  After searching many recipes, Jean-Christophe Novelli's was the one.  Lovely vanilla, star anise, cinnamon, lemon grass, cardamom pods, bay leaves and cloves, what's not to like?  
I did titivate his recipe, but only very slightly...... 
 He did add a pomegranate to his but I couldn't get one. So with my way of thinking as Port also begins with a 'P' I thought a glass of Port would substitute nicely!  I also added dark Muscovado sugar.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Best Cranberry and Port Sauce - Very Easy to Make

Seriously easy Cranberry sauce with port. This recipe makes enough for loads of people.
All you need is Cranberries, port, a saucepan and a few other bits and bobs and you'll have the best cranberry and port sauce ever!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Balsamic Glazed Beetroot and Carrots - Marks and Spencer Christmas Food

Another fantastic idea from Marks and Spencer this Christmas!  Beetroot and Chantenay Carrots roasted with a Balsamic and Honey Glaze.   Of course, as soon as I spied them I had to have a go at making them myself.
 Just a few minutes to mix up a bit of Balsamic vinegar, honey and a couple of other bits and bobs.  Minimal preparation - just throw the vegetables into a foil tray and your ready to roast.  
 Add the glaze towards to end of cooking - what could be simpler?......
Apart from popping down to your local Marks and Spencer of course! 

Friday, 16 December 2011

Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Goats Cheese - Recipe

Oozy goats cheese dripping down bacon wrapped chicken makes for a seriously good meal.  Serve with crispy garlic and lemon roast potatoes (link to my recipe below) or of course, whatever else you fancy.
 Very easy to do and can be prepared in advance, wrapped in cling film and stored in the fridge ready to cook later.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Twinings Tea - Nothing Quite Like a Nice Cuppa

Sometimes there's nothing quite like a nice cup of tea!

After indulging on all the lovely food over the Christmas period, I bet at some point, most of us will want a nice cup of tea......
Even if we do have it with more Christmas cake!  
 Twinings have a great range of Christmas tea gifts including a rather nice Mulled Spiced tea caddy
  Tea doesn't have to be just a drink you have in the morning, evening or whenever else you fancy.  Tea can be used in loads of recipes such as, tea bread or a cake made from fruit that has first been soaked in tea. 
Did you know you can even use tea leaves to smoke food?
You can buy tea online over at the Twinings website.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

How to Carve a Turkey - Colman's Masterclass Video

One of the best things about Christmas dinner (or any roast dinner for that matter) is the gravy.
I recently reviewed Colman's instant gravy paste and it certainly got the thumbs up from me!  To serve up professional looking plates of food on Christmas day, be sure to know how to carve your turkey!
 It's one of those jobs everyone wants to have a go at, but not many people actually know how it ought to be done.
 Colman's have come up with a Turkey Carving Masterclass Video, which is really worth watching.

Colman’s top 10 tips for carving the perfect Christmas turkey:

Once you’ve carefully prepared your turkey, leave it to stand for 20 minutes before you carve.

Put the turkey on a solid, clean chopping board and make sure you have a sharp carving knife and meat fork

Cut the kitchen twine off the legs and discard – try not to get your Christmas bests dirty as the twine can often spring off when cut!

Remove each leg by cutting through the joint where the leg attaches to the body.

Separate the drumstick and thigh by cutting each leg through the joint (wiggle the leg to locate the joint).

Don’t rush to remove the wings just yet - this will make the turkey very unstable for the rest of the caving – the wings act as stabilisers!

Run your fingers along the thigh and shred the meat from the bone – look out for the ultimate turkey gem – the Oyster, this is usually the butchers favourite

Using a knife and your fingers, loosen and remove the wishbone (this makes it easier to cut off the breast meat), and to make your wishes come true this Christmas pull the wishbone with your friends and family!

Carve the breasts across the grain. Cut only what you think you’ll need for the initial round of servings, leaving the rest of the meat on the carcass. The meat loses moisture once it’s sliced.

Monday, 12 December 2011

No Fuss Honey Roasted Parsnips - Perfect for Christmas Dinner

Honey roasted parsnips are so very simple to do, yet the supermarket will slap on more money just because they've done them for you.  Disposable trays are a marvelous idea and can actually be washed if you wish, so you can reuse them.  A perfect side dish for Christmas or Thanks Giving.

 I find there's no need to mess about parboiling the parsnips beforehand they cook up nicely without all that fuss.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas Cooking Ideas and Recipes for a Perfect Christmas

With Christmas just 2 weeks away, it's about time we all got a grip of what we're doing about the food!  Here are just a few ideas of nice things to serve before, with and after your Christmas dinner.

Starting with the Starter! 
How about Feta, Pistachios and Leaves Dressed in Honey and Balsamic?  
Now this is too easy to do and can be put together in next to no time.
If you’re having Turkey, what size do you need?
Based on about 500g per person:
 6-8 people: 4kg turkey
8-10 people: 5kg turkey
10-12 people: 6kg turkey
If you’re getting a big one – do you have room in your oven?  The tray you’re thinking of cooking it in may not fit your oven - yes that happened to me last year so it’s worth checking that now!  

I always aim to have too much turkey for sandwiches later on in the evening.  If you have way too much left, you can always make a curry on Boxing Day or even freeze some.  
The website ‘I Love British Turkey’ has defrosting times, cooking times and how to carve your turkey so that’s worth having a look at. 

I always like to have a nice bit of pork loin or gammon too.  Last year I baked cured pork loin with Madeira and Honey Glaze.
    The Vegetables: 
Flavoured butters can be made in advance as they will keep for a couple of months in the freezer.  I particularly like Jamie Oliver’s flavoured butter with Crispy Bacon, Chestnut and Sage.
    Or you might fancy Jamie’s Thyme, Cumin and Orange Butter to add to carrots.  Now that’s really nice! 
  Dessert:
Not everyone likes Christmas pudding, so if you fancy something different, what about a nice DarkChocolate and Orange Cheesecake with Grand Marnier?

What about these Tiny Toblerone Cheesecakes?
 Served with a Liqueur Coffee perhaps?

I hope this post has given you a few ideas.
 
Wishing Everyone a Very Merry Christmas

And All the Best for 2012! 
 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Seriously Good Coleslaw - easy to make

Coleslaw, easy to make for a Christmas or New Year's eve party.
I used to hate coleslaw and couldn't think why anyone would want to eat such a thing!  However, I suppose it's because I'd only ever encountered the stuff that comes in a plastic tub from the shop that was made at the very least, a few days ago.  Now when you have a go at making it yourself you end up with something completely different.
 With the addition of a few bits and bobs to the shredded veg you can whip up a great big bowl in next to no time.  If you are making it for a Christmas or New Years eve, party you can just double the amount.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Crispy Chunky Fish-Cakes with Tartare Sauce

You can't beat a nice chunky home-made fish cake served with Tartare sauce - again, home-made of course!
  Thick chunks of flaky fish coated with crispy crumbs - what's not to like?
These are big fat fish cakes and even greedy me couldn't eat two!

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