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Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Mince Pies

Simple, seasonal classic. Thanks to Delia Smith for the pastry recipe. The, half lard, half butter combination creates that beautiful flaky texture. The tinsel decoration is optional. To our American friends there is no meat in this dish despite the filling being called mincemeat. The mixture is actually chopped dried fruits sugar and spices.

 

Ingredients (Makes 24)

  • 350g plain flour
  • 75g lard
  • 75g butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 450g of mincemeat
  • small amount of milk
  • icing sugar

Method

Sift the flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt, add the lard and butter in small chunks and rub the fat into the flour until you get fine crumbs. When you get to this stage, add a little water and start mixing with your hand,  keep adding a little more water and keep stirring until the dough forms a nice ball. Put the ball of dough in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 mins.

Remove from the fridge and cut the dough in half, actually 60% and 40% chunks (one for the base of the mince pies and one for the slightly smaller top.) dust a work surface with flour and roll the larger part out as thinly as you can, and use a 3inch pastry cutter to create the bases of the pies, placing them in a greased pie tin. Spoon the pre-bought mincemeat equally into the pastry bases. When that’s done, roll out the other 40% of the dough, again as thinly as possible, then cut the tops of the pies out using a inch cutter. Brush the pies with milk and bake them in a pre-heated oven for 30 mins. Leave them to cool, then dust with icing sugar. Best served at Christmas time with a cup of tea.

 

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Slicing Turkey

Just a quick tip that my Dad gave me for cutting turkey. Remove the whole breast rather than trying to slice it from the bird, then slice across the grain (if that makes sense) This just holds the structure together better and stays succulent for longer.

This was cooked at Christmas by my Dad.

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Thanks to everyone in Chicago for making my Christmas a really tasty one. All the cookies shown here were made by my stepmom and the recipes were handed down to all the children with a family gift: a bound copy of family recipes. Some day, when I make the cookies myself, I’ll share the recipes.

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Roasted Vegetables

This was a truly excellent accompaniment to our Christmas dinner. The vegetables were home grown which really makes a difference. Plus it’s really satisfying to eat something you’ve grown yourself.

Ingredients

  • beetroot
  • squash
  • turnips
  • parsnips
  • olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Chop the vegetables and place them in a large baking tray. Liberally coat them in olive oil, and season them with salt and pepper. Place them in a hot oven (200 C) for about 90 minutes and serve.


Slice the vegetables and place on a baking tray. Add

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This was our starter on Christmas day. Really tasty, the horseradish sauce mixed with some mayonnaise  really did make this dish. The quality of the salmon is crucial, and this was top quality salmon bought from suffolk food hall.

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Christmas Dinner

This is a photo of my Christmas dinner. So good. Turkey, vegetables, cranberry sauce, bread sauce and chestnut stuffing. Thanks to my Dad for cooking this.

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Bread Sauce

Seriously this is one of my favourite things to eat. We only have it at Christmas, but always prompts the question, why do we only have this once a  year? Very simple to make, goes so well with turkey or chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 110g of coarse breadcrumbs
  • 10 – 15 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50g of butter
  • 1 pint of milk
  • a few black peppercorns
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Method

Chop the onion in half and put the cloves in it. About 7 or 8 in each half. Add the onions, the bay leaf and the peppercorns to a saucepan pan with the milk. Bring this to boiling point, then remove from the heat and leave for two hours with a lid on it. After a couple of hours, remove the peppercorns, the onion and bay leaf. Add the breadcrumbs to the milk, seas0n with some salt and pepper and  heat on  a low temperature until the breadcrumbs have soaked up all of the milk, add the butter and serve warm.

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