1、Bay, popcorn & cranberry strings

These thrifty decorations look pretty and seasonal - but don't eat them! Great for making with older kids

Bay, popcorn & cranberry strings recipe

Ingredients

Method

Thread the other end onto a big, blunt needle, such as a tapestry needle. Thread on bay leaves, popcorn and cranberries, in a random pattern. Tie off when you get to the other end, leaving enough string to hang it up with.
https://www.truecookbook.com/recipe/bay-popcorn-cranberry-strings-2171/

2、Roast turkey & cranberry Wellington

A festive twist on the classic British dish of beef Wellington, rich with chestnuts and stuffing
Roast turkey & cranberry Wellington recipe

Ingredients

  • 1x2-2½ kg/4lb 8oz-5lb 8oz turkey breast, skin removed
  • 2-3 tbsp cooking oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 16-20 thin rashers rindless streaky bacon
  • 450g puff pastry, home-made or bought
  • flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • knob of butter
  • 350g turkey trimmings (from breast)
  • 225g pork sausage, skinned
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g dried cranberry, chopped
  • 150g unsweetened chestnut purée
  • 100g fresh white breadcrumb
  • 25g butter, plus extra for the shallots
  • 50g shallot or onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 400ml red wine (about ½ bottle)
  • 300ml water or chicken stock made with 1/8 stock cube
  • 1 heaped tsp plain flour

Method

  1. Trim the turkey breast. Its natural shape does not suit the rolled and wrapped Wellington. The thicker neck end can first be trimmed to establish a more cylindrical shape. Trimmings from 2kg/4lb 8oz breasts and upwards, will be enough for the 350g/12oz needed for stuffing. Once trimmed, tie the breast with a 2cm/1in gap between each loop of string, to give a rounded shape.
  2. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a large frying pan or roasting tray. Season the turkey before pan frying until golden brown all over. Remove from the pan and cool. The breast can now be refrigerated to firm up before removing the string.
  3. Make the stuffing: cook the onions in a knob of butter for a few minutes until softened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Roughly chop the turkey trimmings before blitzing in a food processor until smooth. Add sausages and continue to blitz for 30-40 seconds until mixed in. Season and add the eggs. These can be blitzed into the meat for a further minute until the texture thickens.
  4. Spoon the stuffing into a large bowl. Mix in the onions and remaining stuffing ingredients along with extra seasoning, if desired. The stuffing can now be chilled while the bacon and pastry are prepared.
  5. The streaky bacon needs to be rolled thinner. This extends the length of the rashers helping them to wrap around the turkey and stuffing. The easiest method to follow is to lay 3-5 rashers between two sheets of cling film and press with a rolling pin as if rolling pastry. The rashers will easily thin and extend this way. Peel away the top layer of film and remove the rashers and put on a tray. Repeat until all rashers are pressed. Chill until needed.
  6. Roll the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle approximately 45 x 35cm/18 x 14in. The rashers of bacon can be laid on top of the pastry, leaving a 3-4cm/1½in border all round. Slightly overlap the rashers as they are laid on the pastry (you'll need about 14-15 rashers).
  7. Spread the cranberry stuffing over the bacon, first mixing it well if it is chilled and set. Keep back a few heaped tablespoons. Remove the string from the turkey and lay the breast lengthwise and presentation side down on top of the stuffing. The reserved stuffing can now be spread along the centre top of the turkey. Lift 4-5 rashers at a time and press them against the breast. Continue until all the rashers on both sides have been lifted and pressed. The remaining rashers can now be laid lengthwise along the top, covering the stuffing that was spread there.
  8. Bring one long side of the pastry up and over the turkey. Brush the other long side with beaten egg, along the 3-4cm/1½in border, then seal. Brush both ends with beaten egg and fold up to seal in all the ingredients. Turn the Wellington so that the presentation side is up and put on a lightly oiled baking tray, or one covered with greased parchment. Chill.
  9. To cook the Wellington: preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/170C in a fan assisted convection oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes maximum. After 45 minutes, brush the Wellington with egg to help colour the pastry. For the most golden of finishes, brush again before the last 15-20 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and rest for 15-20 minutes before lifting carefully on to a carving board with two large fish slices.
  10. While the Wellington is baking the sauce can be made: melt a knob of butter in a pan, once bubbling add the shallots or onions and cook on a medium high heat until a rich deep golden colour. Add the honey and continue to cook for a few minutes until bubbling and almost caramelising. At this point add the red wine vinegar and red wine. Bring to the boil and reduce by half. Add the water or stock and return to simmer. Mix the flour with 25g/1oz butter. Whisk into the sauce a little at a time until completely whisked in. Return the sauce to the boil before reducing to a simmer and cooking for a few minutes. Strain through a sieve and season. Slice the Wellington and serve with Noisette potatoes and buttered Brussels sprouts.

3、Cauliflower carpaccio with Morecambe Bay shrimps & samphire

A restaurant-quality light lunch dish from Lancashire-based Michelin-starred chef Nigel Haworth
Cauliflower carpaccio with Morecambe Bay shrimps & samphire recipe

Ingredients

Method

  1. All the cauliflower can be prepared a day ahead. For the carpaccio and crisps, quarter the cauliflower, then finely slice each quarter, core-side down, so you get as many long slices, about 1mm thick, as you can. A mandolin is best for this.
  2. Now pick thumb-size florets off the leftover cauliflower and set aside. You will need 20 florets (5 per portion). Reserve 200g of the trimmings for the mayo, chopping them into small pieces.
  3. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add two-thirds of the sliced cauliflower for 30 secs, then lift out into a bowl of iced water. When cold, drain, then place this ‘carpaccio’ on a tray lined with kitchen paper. Chill for up to 24 hrs. Boil the 20 florets in the same pan for 2 mins, then drain, chill in iced water and reserve.
  4. For the mayo, heat a medium-size heavy-based pan, add 1 tbsp of the rapeseed oil and the 200g trimmings, then gently fry for 2 mins, stirring. Pour in the milk, then boil until the milk is nearly all absorbed and the cauliflower tender, about 5 mins. Purée in a food processor, remove, then allow to cool. Whisk in the horseradish cream, then slowly add another 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil until thick and creamy. Season to taste, then sieve. Cook the samphire in boiling water for just 2 secs (or 2 mins for fine asparagus), then refresh in iced water.
  5. Heat oven to its lowest setting. For the cauliflower crisps, lay the remaining cauliflower slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper and put in the oven for 3-4 hrs or until crisp.
  6. To serve, drizzle the cauliflower carpaccio with rapeseed oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle this, and the drained florets, with salt. Arrange the carpaccio on 4 plates and scatter the florets around.
  7. Mix the chives into the shrimps, then sprinkle over the carpaccio. Tuck in the drained samphire or asparagus, then scatter a few summer leaves over each serving. Pipe or spoon some mayo at the top of the plate, then drizzle with extra oil and lemon juice. Place your cauliflower crisps on top and serve.

4、Vodka & cranberry blush

A sophisticated dinner party cocktail with a crisp cranberry kick
Vodka & cranberry blush recipe

Ingredients

  • 200ml/7fl oz each vodka and Cointreau
  • 600ml cranberry juice
  • 400ml orange juice
  • strips of peel from 2-3 limes
  • crushed ice, to serve

Method

  1. Pour the vodka and Cointreau into a jug, then add the cranberry juice and orange juice. Stir well.
  2. Pare strips of peel from 2-3 limes. Fill 12 glasses with the crushed ice, then pour over the cocktail. Finish each glass with a strip of lime peel.

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