Christmas is a time of sheer indulgence, great food is always a way to ease any unwanted family politics. As a foodie I love to embrace it with open arms and then undo all the damage in January. I love Christmas family traditions – both old and new.
A new tradition I love is leaving out a bottle of baileys for Santa and two mini bottles of champers. I have always loved Christmas eve – 2010 was especially magical as my boyfriend presented me with a little ring box at 1155pm. Fast forward the clock 6 years and as mental as life is right now with two young kids, I like to make time to have a wee toast under the tree when they go to bed.
I have eaten some stunning food this Christmas 2016. I love the fact our family club together hygge style and contribute to the big day.
Here are some of my foodie highlights (there were loads but Peppa Pig will soon be finished so I shall try and narrow it down):
Uncle Iain’s Brussel sprouts with chestnut bacon butter
140 grams of full fat butter
100 grams of chestnuts
A large packet of smoked bacon lardons
1kg small brussels sprouts
- Fry bacon lardons in a hot pan without any oil for 10 mins until crisp. Add chestnuts and fry until they are beginning to colour and coated in the fat. Pour away excess fat, then tip bacon and chestnuts into a bowl to cool.
- Beat butter to soften with a spatula, then stir in the bacon and chestnuts. Season with black pepper, then store in fridge. This can be made up to 3 days ahead or frozen for 1 month. Defrost in fridge overnight.
- To serve, place sprouts in a microwaveable bowl, pour in 100ml water, cover with cling film and pierce a few times. Microwave on High (850W) for 16-18 mins, stirring twice during cooking, or cook in a pan of boiling water for 5 mins. Drain and tip into a warm serving dish, then dot the butter over to melt. Toss through and serve.
Mummy Jojo’s Prawn and lobster cocktail
2 large packs of king prawns
2 large lobster tails
Medium sized tub of double cream
Tomato ketchup – 1 tbsp
Pack of small tomatoes on the vine
Lemon olive oil
This was inspired by one of my besties who is also a huge foodie. Thanks for the lobster and double cream tip Clara x
1.Boil the lobster tails for 10 minutes then leave to cool
2. Crack lobster meat off and mix in a bowl with prawns (I boil the lobster shells after this to make a bisque style canape).
3. Whip in double cream and the juice of 1 lemon with a pinch of paprika
4. Add ketchup and mix
5. Smash the avocado down with salt, pepper and a good drizzle of nice lemon oil
6. Layer bowls with avocado mix, and the tomatoes
7. Spoon the creamy prawn and lobster mix on top and squeeze fresh lemon juice over
8. Goats cheese from a fave cheese shop (in my case I J Mellis) can be used as a great substitute to the shellfish mix
Raw Cranberry sauce
My Mum is in charge of the cranberry sauce and bread sauce every year – always a highlight for me. This year it got even more exciting when she said she was bringing two versions of cranberry sauce. A traditional and a raw one inspired by the legend that is Mary Berry. I didn’t expect to like it so much – from the moment it hit my lips I was like WOW. So a brand new tradition for us with the raw cranberry sauce. It’s a total keeper.
- 225g/8oz fresh cranberries
- 150g/5½oz caster sugar
- 1 small, thin-skinned orange, cut into quarters, pips removed
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Blend all of the cranberry sauce ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Either serve cold or gently heat through. Serve with roast turkey or leftover cold cuts.
Festive wreath pavalova
My sister in law gets full credit for this beauty. A homemade meringue wreath filled with Remy Martin champagne cream and decorated with pistachio nuts and cranberry’s. Finished off with a gold edible spray from the baking section. This really was as good as it looked and needs to be a new tradition.
Next on my hit list for recipes is to try and get Grandad Dave to tell me how he makes his cheesy croquette potatoes and Christmas cake. Oh and Gran’s stuffing and bread sauce!
I shall end this post by giving respect to Heston/Waitose – the turkey crown was delicious. It came with a brining kit and a delicious jus and herb butter. So simple and easy to do, it even came in it’s own roasting tin. I REALLY need to get to the Fat Duck.
I would love to hear some of your favourite recipes. Please feel free to fire some my way,