Thursday, 22 December 2011

Brussels sprouts with pancetta

Trim 600g brussels sprouts,then trim and slice 1 bunch spring onions.Add sprouts to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 4 mins.Drain.Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan and stir-fry a 150g diced pancetta until fat starts to crisp.Add another 1tbsp oil,spring onions and sprouts and stir-fry for 4 mins.Remove from heat,add 25g butter and toss everything together.serve

Sausagemeat stuffing balls

Fry 1 chopped onion and leave in a bowl to cool.Finely chop 200g chestnuts and add to the onions with 750g sausagemeat,2tbsp chopped sage,2tbsp parsley and 100g fresh breadcrumbs.Peel,core and finely chop a apple and add to the bowl.Add 1 beaten egg and mix together.Shape into balls and bake for 35-40 mins at 190c/170c fan/gas 5.Until golden.

Pigs in blankets

Separate half the cocktail sausages in a 600g pack of pork cocktail sausages freeze the rest.Put a rasher of streaky bacon on a board and run the back of a knife along it to stretch it.Cut in half.Repeat with the rest of the bacon rashers.Wrap each sausage in half a bacon rasher.Arrange on a baking tray and bake at 190c/170c fan/gas 5 for 30 mins until cooked and golden.

Carrots with tarragon and orange

Peel 600g carrots,then cut into batons.Put the carrots in a pan with the grated zest and juice of 1 small orange,25g butterand 1tsp sugar.Add enough boiling waterto cover.Cover with a lid,bring to a simmer and cook for 5 mins.Remove lid,add 1tbsp chopped fresh tarragon and cook,uncovered,5 mins.Drain and serve.

Roast parsnips with honey

Peel,top and tail 8 parsnips.Cut each into 2 shorter pieces,then cut the thick ends into quarters and the bottom pieces in half to make even-size chunks.Add to a pan of cold water,bring to the boil and simmer for 4 mins.Drain.Heat 3tbsp oil in a roasting tin in the oven at 220c/200c fan/gas 7 for a few mins.Add the parsnips and turn them in the oil.Roast for 20 min.Drizzle on 2tbsp honey and turn to coat the parsnips.Roast for another 5-10 mins or until golden brown.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Home-made gravy

Remove the cooked turkey from the roasting tin and keep warm.Drain most the fat from the tin,leaving 3-4tbsp,sprinkle on 3tbsp flour and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.Cook on the hob over a very low heat for 1 min,stirring all the time.Gradually whisk in 600ml chicken stock,using a whisk,and cook,whisking all the time,until you have a smooth gravy.Simmer for 2-3 mins.Then pour into a gravy boat.

Roast Potatoes

Cut 1.5kg peeled potatoes (maris piper or king edwards)into even-sized chunks.Simmer for 5 mins.Drain,then return to pan.Cover the pan and shake to roughen up edges. Heat 100ml oil in a roasting tin in the oven for a few mins at 190c/170c fan/gas 5.Add the potatoes,turning them over in fat,and cook for 30 mins.When the turkey comes out oven to rest,turn oven up to 220c/200c fan/gas 7 and cook for 30 mins until crisp and golden on the outside and tender in the middle.Sprinkle with sea salt before serving.

Roast Turkey

Preheat oven to 220c/200c fan/gas 7.Remove the giblets from the turkey(reserve for making stock). Wipe the inside and outside with a damp kitchen paper.Gradually mix the lemon juice into the soften butter,then mix in the thyme leaves and garlic.Melt a quarter of the mixture in a pan and fry the peeled shallots for 3-4 min.Set aside to cool.Put the turkey in a large roasting tin,breast side up.Fill the cavity with the cooled shallots and lemon shells.Use a skewer to close up cavity.Gently loosen the skin at the neck end and rub some of the butter over the flesh of the breast.Rub the remaining butter over the skin,making sure the breast and legs are well covered.Work out cooking times:allow 20 mins cooking time per 1kg,plus another 70 mins for birds up to 4kg in weight; and 20 mins cooking time per 1kg, plus 90 mins for birds over 4kg.Cover the turkey loosely with foil,then roast for 20 mins.Turn the oven down to 190c/170c fan/gas 5 and cook for the remaining time,basting every hour and removing the foil for the last 4o mins.To test turkey is cooked,pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a swewer.If the juices run clear,it's cooked.Tilt the turkey so the juices run out.Transfer to a serving  dish and cover with a fresh double sheet of foil to keep warm.Allow the turkey to rest for 30 mins before carving.