Welcome to the second blog on Christmas recipes. All these recipes came up through the brilliant twitter questions and answer session we had on Thursday. It was great fun and the third one we did this year. We definitely have more planned too.
So, on to the first recipe and a lot of you asked about ways of making your Brussel Sprouts really stand out. I love this recipe and think that it makes an already lovely vegetable even tastier.
One of the questions that I was asked a lot is what to do with left overs from Christmas and it seems that you want something other than a turkey curry! So, I have two recipes to share with you. The first is the Ultimate Turkey and Ham Sandwich and the other is a Turkey Satay.
THE ULTIMATE TURKEY & HAM SANDWICH
Personally for me there is no better sandwich than the one you can make around the festive period when the fridge is groaning with food but you don’t feel like cooking a full meal – you’ve been doing enough of that over the last couple of days. Obviously we all have our own quirky variations there are some members of my family who like a light smear of cold turkey gravy over the turkey or some soft ripe cheese. I’ve even seen fried or sliced hard-boiled eggs going in – whatever makes them happy I say…Serve your version of this yummy, moreish mouthful with a pile crisps and seize with both hands!
8 slices country-style or sourdough bread
50g (2oz) butter, at room temperature
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 little Gem lettuce, trimmed and separated into leaves
4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
350g (12oz) cooked turkey, thinly sliced
225g (8oz) leftover Christmas stuffing
350g (12oz) cooked ham, thinly sliced
4 tbsp red pepper relish or onion marmalade or cranberry relish
salt and freshly ground black pepper
crisps, to serve
Spread all the slices of bread with butter and then cover half of the slices with a layer of mayonnaise followed by the lettuce and tomatoes. Season to taste. Arrange the turkey on top followed by the stuffing. Add a layer of the ham and finish with the red pepper relish or onion marmalade or cranberry relish. Finish with the remaining slices of bread, buttered side down.
Arrange the turkey and ham sandwiches on plates and cut each one in half, then put some crisps on the side to serve.
Turkey Satay Vegetable Noodles
This recipe is great to use up any leftover turkey from Christmas Day. It packs a powerful flavour punch and is just the ticket after the excesses of the festive season. Stir-frying is a traditional Chinese cooking technique that’s very easy to master. To check if the vegetables are cooked, pierce them with the tip of a knife – they should feel as soft as butter.
275g (10oz) fine egg noodles
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large red pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
225g (8oz) fine green beans, trimmed and halved
175g (6oz) baby corn, halved lengthways
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g (14oz) can coconut milk
350g (12oz) leftover cooked turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
100g (4oz) crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp light muscovado sugar
juice of ½ lime
50g (2oz) cashew nuts, toasted and finely chopped handful fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
Place the fine egg noodles in a pan of boiling water and cook for 3–4 minutes, until tender, or according to the packet instructions.
Heat a wok until very hot. Add the oil and swirl it around the edges, then tip in the red pepper, green beans, baby corn and garlic and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, sprinkling over 1 tablespoon of water if the mixture is getting too dry.
Drain the noodles and add to the wok with the coconut milk, turkey, peanut butter, soy sauce, chilli sauce, sugar and lime juice. Stir-fry for another 2–3 minutes, until all the ingredients are piping hot.
To serve, divide among warmed serving bowls and scatter over the cashew nuts and coriander.
People also wanted to know what fish dish to serve as an alternative to Turkey and Ham. I really love this Gratin of Hake with Prawns recipe and for any of you fish lovers this would be a real treat on Christmas day.
Gratin of hake with prawns, spinach and pesto
It might seem like there is an overload of basil in this dish, but it gives the perfect contrast to the fish. Like most recipes using hake, our can replace it with other round white fish such as cod or haddock.
4 x 175g (6oz) hake fillets, pin boned and scaled
16 raw Dublin Bay Prawns, peeled and veins removed
125g (4 1/2oz) Toons Bridge Mozzarella cheese, grated
4tsp chilli jam
4 tbsp pesto
FOR THE SPINACH
225g (8oz) spinach, washed and stalks removed
50g (2oz) 2oz butter
1 pinch caster sugar
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), Gas 4. Place the hake on a baking sheet lined with non-stick parchment paper, season and carefully arrange the prawns on top. Sprinkle over the basil and then drizzle the chilli jam on top. Scatter over the mozzarella and season to taste. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
To sauté the spinach, heat a pan and add the butter. Once it has stopped foaming quickly sauté the spinach with the sugar until soft and wilted. Season to taste and drain well on kitchen paper to remove the excess moisture. Return to the pan and keep warm.
To serve, place a pile of the sautéed spinach in centre of each plate and using a fish slice, carefully arrange gratin of hake on top. Drizzle around the pesto.
We were also asked about a vegetarian option that you could serve and I love these Avacado Spring Rolls with Polenta and Chilli Jam.
AVACADO SPRING ROLL WITH POLENTA AND CHILLI JAM
1 onion (finely diced)
1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
9oz instant poletna
2 pts vegetable stock
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Fry onion and sage in 1 tbsp of olive oil for 3 minutes
Bring the vegetable stock to the boil. Pour the polenta into the vegetable stock stirring constantly. Cook for about 7-10 minutes or until it comes away from the sides of the pan.
Pour into a greased baking tray and spread with a pallet knife until about 1 inch thick. Leave to cool.
When cool cut 3 discs with a scone cutter. Fry in a little olive oil until golden or you can grill it. Keep warm.
2 red peppers (de-seeded and chopped)
4 tomatoes (diced)
2 onions (peeled and diced)
1 red chilli (de-seeded)
50g brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp tomato puree
Dash soy sauce
1 clove garlic (crushed)
Sweat peppers, onions and garlic in some olive oil. Cook for 2 minutes. Add chilli and tomato puree.
Place vinegar and sugar into a saucepan. Add tomatoes and soy sauce. Cover. With some water mix well and cook for 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool.
Blend in food processor to a puree and pass through a sieve. Season to taste. Place in a squeeze bottle.
Avocado Spring Rolls
1 pkt spring roll wrappers
1 avocado (peeled, stoned and cubed)
100g/4oz sun dried tomatoes
1 red onion (diced)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp pesto
1 tbsp chopped herbs – basil, parsley
Cook onion, sundried tomatoes and garlic in some pesto for 3 minutes. Stir in cubed avocado. Mix well. Add the rest of ingredients. Mix well. Season to taste.
Lay 1 spring roll wrapper onto the warm surface. Brush the edges with egg wash. Arrange the avocado mixture onto the wrappers in a cylinder shape. Fold up the bottom corner over the mixture. Then pull in the other corners. Roll up over the top corner.
Note it is important not to let the wrappers dry out before they are filled (also do not overfill). Then deep fry in clean oil at 180∞C/350∞F for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
To serve place 3 grilled polenta rounds around the plate. Cut the avocado spring roll in three carefully arrange the spring rolls on top of the polenta. Drizzle with chilli jam and pesto. Serve with a mixed salad. Enjoy.
Now, moving to dessert. I love a Mulled Fruit Trifle at Christmas and again this dish is a lot easier to prepare than you might think. It is the perfect dessert to round off a a great Christmas meal.