Light Seafood Tartlets

Recipe courtesy of Prima Magazine.

Quick to make and deliciously light to eat, these airy little tartlets are a perfect overture to a rich main course. Crisp layers of filo pastry hold a fluffy prawn and salmon filling, delicately flavoured with dill, chives and lime.

Serves : 8

Prep time : 20 mins    Cook time : 12 mins

seafood tartlets

Ingredients:
8 sheets filo pastry
2oz (50g) butter, melted
9 fl oz (275ml) hollandaise sauce
2 eggs, separated
4oz (125g) cooked peeled prawns
4oz (125g) smoked salmon trimmings, chopped
1 lime
1 tblsp (15ml) chopped fresh dill
1 tblsp (15ml) chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper

Step One : Preheat the oven to Mark 4 (350oF / 180oC) and place a baking sheet in the oven. Cut the pastry into 4in (10cm) squares and use it to line eight 4 in (10cm) flan tins. Overlap the pastry and butter between each layer.

Step Two : Place the hollandaise sauce in a bowl, add the egg yolks, prawns, salmon, grated rind of the lime, herbs and plenty of seasoning. Whisk the egg whites until they just stand in soft peaks and fold into the fish mixture using a large metal spoon. Divide between the tins.

Step Three : Place the tins on the hot baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes or until just set and golden brown.

Tip: For a vegetarian alternative, saute 8oz (225g) mushrooms in garlic butter and use them instead of the seafood. When using the mushrooms replace the fresh dill with tarragon.

Other seafood recipes can be found here …

Quick Mincemeat Ice Cream

Recipe courtesy of Prima Magazine.

If you want a really quick, cool dessert on Christmas Day, this rich ice cream is just unbeatable.

quick mincemeat icecream

Ingredients:
3 1/2 pt (2 litres) good quality vanilla ice cream
1 lb (450g) mincemeat
2 tblsp (30ml) orange juice
8 tblsp (120ml) brandy

Step One : Remove ice cream from the carton and place in a bowl. Leave out of freezer to soften slightly.

Step Two : Place mincemeat and orange juice in a saucepan and heat gently until suet melts. Cool.

Step Three : Stir mixture into softened ice cream, incorporating it as evenly as possible. Return to freezer. Beat well after an hour.

Step Four : Scoop ice cream into balls and place in serving dishes. Drizzle a spoonful of brandy over each dish and serve.

Other ice cream recipes can be found here …
 

Herby Christmas Turkey

Recipe courtesy of Prima Magazine.

Sorry but I had to do a one turkey recipe 🙂

The butter and soft cheese eased gently under the skin of the turkey keeps the flesh wonderfully moist and full of flavour, while the rich fruity stuffing is really something else again.

turkey picture

Ingredients

Stuffing:
1oz (25g) butter
4oz (125g) onion, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
4oz (125g) smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped
4oz (125g) field or brown cap mushrooms, roughly chopped
3oz (75g) white bread
3oz (75g) no-soak dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 tblsp (15ml) chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp (7.5ml) dried tarragon
12oz (350g) good quality pork sausage-meat
4 tsp (20ml) wholegrain mustard
rind of 1 lemon
1 tblsp (15ml) lemon juice

For the butter:
8oz (225g) butter
4oz (125g) soft cheese
3oz (75g) toasted pine nuts, finely chopped
6 tblsp (90ml) chopped fresh mixed herbs, eg. parsley, thyme and chives
rind and juice of 1 lemon

10lb (4.5kg) oven ready turkey

Step One : To make the stuffing, heat butter in a pan and cook onion and garlic until beginning to soften. Add the bacon and mushrooms, and cook until all excess moisture has evaporated. Cool.

Step Two : Cut the bread into 1/2 in (1 cm) cubes. Add to mushroom mix with apricots, herbs, sausage-meat, mustard, grated lemon rind and 1 tblsp juice. Season.

Step Three : Mix butter, cheese, pine nuts, herbs and grated rind and juice of lemon with seasoning. Place mixture in a piping bag with a large plain nozzle.

Step Four : Preheat the oven to Mark 4 (350oF / 180oC). Place your fingers in between the skin and the breast meat at the neck end of the turkey and release the skin, making a pocket over the breast. Be careful not to rip the skin. Gradually pipe butter under the skin. Run your hands over the skin of the turkey to spread the butter evenly underneath.

Step Five : Spoon stuffing into neck end and secure with skewers.

Step Six : Cook in a roasting tin, covered with foil, for 3 1/2 – 4 hours, basting occasionally, or until golden brown. When cooked, the juices will run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the leg. Cook for a little longer if necessary

Step Seven : Leave the bird in a warm place on a serving dish for 20 minutes before carving.

Tip: Prepare ahead: Make the stuffing and butter the night before and refrigerate.

Lobster Thermidor

Lobster Thermidor is a rich and delicious dish that is luxurious enough to serve at Christmas-time.  Serve one lobster per person as a main course or one filled shell each for a starter.

Ingredients:
Lobster Thermidor

2 live lobsters, about 675g (1 1/2 lb) each
20g (3/4 oz)butter
30ml (2 tblsp) plain flour
30ml (2 tblsp) brandy
120ml (4 fl oz) milk
90ml (6 tblsp) whipping cream
15ml (1 tblsp) Dijon mustard
lemon juice, salt and white pepper
grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
fresh parsley and dill, to garnish.

Serves: 2-4

Step One : Boil the lobsters in a large saucepan of salted water for 8-10 minutes.

Step Two : Cut the lobsters in half lengthways and discard the dark sac behind the eyes, then pull out the string-like intestine from the tail. Remove the meat from the shells, reserving the coral and liver, then rinse the shells thoroughly under running water and wipe dry. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces.

Step Three : Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over a medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring until slightly golden. Pour in the brandy and milk, whisking vigorously until smooth, then whisk in the cream and mustard.

Step Four : Push the lobster coral and liver through a sieve into the sauce and whisk briskly to blend. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until thickened. Season the sauce with salt, if needed, then add pepper and lemon juice.

Step Five : Preheat the grill. Arrange the lobster shells in a gratin dish or shallow flameproof baking dish.

Step Six : Stir the lobster meat into the sauce and divide the mixture evenly among the shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and grill until golden. Serve piping hot, garnished with fresh herbs.

Other lobster recipes can be found here …

Recipe from the Ultimate Christmas Cookbook

Anchovy Spread

This recipe was taken from The Ultimate Christmas Cookbook.

This delicious spread has an intense concentrated flavour and is best served with plain toast.

anchovy pasteIngredients:

2 x 50g (2oz) cans anchovy fillets in olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 egg yolks
30ml (2 tblsp) red wine vinegar
300ml (1/2 pint / 1 1/2 cups olive oil
1.5ml (3/4 tsp) freshly ground black pepper
30ml (2 tblsp) chopped fresh basil or thyme

Makes : 600ml (1 pint / 2 1/2 cups)

Step One : Drain the oil from the anchovies and reserve.  Place the anchovies and garlic in a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Add the egg yolks and vinegar, and process until the egg and vinegar have been absorbed by the anchovies.

Step Two : Measure out the oil into a measuring jug and add the reserved anchovy oil.  Set the food processor to a low speed and gradually add the oil, drop by drop, to the anchovy mixture until it is thick and smooth.

Step Three : Add some freshly ground black pepper and the chopped fresh herbs, and blend well until the mixture is smooth.  Spoon the mixture into small sterilized jars with lids, seal with a wax paper disc, cover with the lid, and label with the name of the spread and the date it was made.  Store the unopened jars of spread in the fridge until it is needed.

Parsnip and Chestnut Croquettes

Recipe courtesy of The Ultimate Christmas Cookbook

This is a delightful way to present classic Christmas vegetables.

Parsnip croquettes

Ingredients:
450g (1 lb) parsnips, cut roughly into small pieces
115g (4oz) frozen chestnuts
25g (1oz) butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
15ml (1 tblsp) chopped fresh coriander
1 egg, beaten
40-50g (1 1/2 – 2oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for frying
salt and freshly ground black pepper
sprig of coriander, to garnish

Makes: 10-12

 

Step One : Place the parsnips in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until completely tender.

Step Two : Place the frozen chestnuts in a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until very tender. Drain, then place the chestnuts in a mixing bowl and mash roughly.

Step Three : Melt the butter in a small saucepan and cook the garlic for 30 seconds. Drain the parsnips and mash with the garlic butter. Stir in the chestnuts and chopped coriander, then season well.

Step Four : Take about 15ml (1 tblsp) of the mixture at a time and form into croquettes, 7.5cm (3 in) long. Dip into the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs.

Step Five : Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the croquettes for 3-4 minutes until golden, turning frequently so they brown evenly. Drain on kitchen paper and then serve at once, garnished with the fresh coriander sprig.

Tip: The addition of the chestnuts gives the dish a festive flavour. If you are unable to find frozen chestnuts, you could use unsweetened peeled chestnuts available in cans from supermarkets.

For other ideas with chestnuts …

Tapas of Almonds, Olives and Cheese

Recipe taken from The Ultimate Christmas Cookbook

These three simple ingredients are lightly flavoured to create a delicious Spanish tapas medley that is perfect for a casual starter or nibbles to serve with pre-dinner drinks.

Ingredients:buffet tapas

2.5ml ( ½ tsp) coriander seeds
2.5ml ( ½ tsp) fennel seeds
5ml (1 tsp) chopped fresh rosemary
10ml (2 tsp) chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, crushed
15ml (1 tblsp) sherry vinegar
30ml (2 tblsp) olive oil
115g (4oz) black olives
115g (4oz) green olives

For the Marinated Cheese:-
150g (5oz) goat’s cheese
90ml (6 tblsp) olive oil
15ml (1 tblsp) white wine vinegar
5ml (1 tsp) black peppercorns
1 garlic clove, sliced
3 fresh tarragon or thyme sprigs
tarragon sprigs, to garnish

For the Salted Almonds
1.5ml ( ¼ tsp) cayenne pepper
30ml (2 tblsp) sea salt
25g (1oz/2 tblsp) butter
60ml (4 tblsp) olive oil
200g (7oz) blanched almonds
Extra sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Serves: 6-8

Step One : To make the marinated olives, crush the coriander and fennel seeds with a pestle and mortar.  Or, put them into a strong plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.  Mix together with the rosemary, parsley, garlic, vinegar and oil and pour over the olives in a small bowl.  Cover with clear film and chill for up to 1 week.

Step Two : To make the marinated cheese, cut the cheese into bite-size pieces, leaving the rind on.  Mix together the oil, vinegar, peppercorns, garlic and herb sprigs and pour over the cheese in a small bowl.  Cover with clear film and chill for us to 3 days.

Step Three : To make the salted almonds, mix together the cayenne pepper and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Melt the butter with the olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the almonds to the frying pan and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, until the almonds are golden.

Step Four : Tip the almonds out of the frying pan, into the salt mixture, and toss together until the almonds are coated.  Leave to cool, then remove with a slotted spoon and store them in a jar or airtight container for up to 1 week.

Step Five : To serve the tapas, arrange in small, shallow serving dishes.  Use fresh sprigs of tarragon to garnish the cheese and scatter the almonds with a little more salt, if desired.

Cook’s tip: If serving with pre-dinner drinks, provide cocktail sticks for spearing the olives and cheese.
 

A serving dish for Tapas …

Mulled Wine

IMG_1651It’s the perfect drink for chilly festive evenings and, with just a splash of brandy, it makes a great addition to a cocktail party menu.

For the best flavour, use a slightly fruity red wine.  While red wine and apple cider are the most traditional of the spiced winter warmers, you can also use cranberry juice or white wine to add some variation.  Just don’t let the mixture boil as this will evaporate the alcohol.

How to make …

Step One : Combine a bottle of red wine, a 10cm x 0.5cm (4 in x 1/4 in) slice of orange zest with the white pith removed, 3 orange slices, a thin slice of fresh ginger, 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 2 cardamom pods, 2 cinnamon sticks and 4 whole cloves in a large saucepan.

Step Two : Bring the mixture to just under a simmer over a low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Do not allow the wine to boil.

Step Three : The mulled wine is hot enough when the sugar has dissolved and lifting a spoon from the wine brings up steam.  To serve, add 1-2 teaspoons of brandy to a cup or mug and ladle the mulled wine over it.  Serves 6.

Keep the wine warm in a Mulled Wine Pot Warmer 

Turkish Delight

turkish delightTurkish Delight is always a favourite at Christmas, and this versatile recipe can be made in minutes. Try different flavours such as lemon, crème de menthe and orange and vary the colours accordingly.

Ingredients:
450g / 1 lb / 2 cups granulated sugar
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups water
25g / 1oz / 2 tblsp powdered gelatine
2.5ml / ½ tsp tartaric acid
30ml / 2 tblsp rose water
Pink food colouring
25g / 1oz / 3 tblsp icing sugar, sifted
15ml / 1 tblsp cornflour

Makes 450g / 1 lb

Step One : Wet the insides of 2 x 18cm (7in) shallow square tins with water. Place the sugar and all but 60ml (4 tblsp) of water into a heavy-based saucepan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.

Step Two : Blend the gelatine and remaining water in a small bowl and place over a saucepan of hot water. Stir occasionally until dissolved. Bring the sugar syrup to the boil and boil steadily for about 8 minutes, or until the syrup registers 127oC / 260oF on a sugar thermometer. Stir the tartaric acid into the gelatine, then pour into the boiling syrup and stir until well blended. Remove from the heat.

Step Three : Add the rose water and a few drops of pink food colouring and stir, adding a few more drops, as necessary, to tint the mixture pale pink. Pour the mixture into the prepared tins and allow to set for several hours or overnight.

Step Four : Dust a sheet of greaseproof paper with some of the icing sugar and cornflour. Dip the base of the tins in bot water and invert on to the paper. Cut the Turkish Delight into 2.5cm (1 in) squares, using an oiled knife. Toss the squares in icing sugar to coat evenly.

Recipe taken from The Ultimate Christmas Cookbook