This festive icing is easy to use, looks amazing and makes a lighter end to a meal. The perfect centrepiece for Christmas tea
- 1 egg white
- 50g caster sugar
- small bunch black grapes
- holly or bay leaves
- 20cm/8 inch round fruitcake
- 1-2 clementines
- 1-2 just ripe figs
- a few kumquat
- a few physalis (Cape gooseberries)
- approx 65cm red or gold ribbon
- 2 egg whites
- 175g icing sugar
MethodDip the grapes and the holly or bay leaves into the egg white, or use a paintbrush. Shake off the excess, then coat in the sugar. Set aside to dry for at least 10 mins, ideally about 30 mins.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 red or white onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 4 cardamom pods, bashed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 100g mixed brown and wild rice (or basmati)
- 300ml vegetable stock
- handful leftover cooked turkey, goose or duck, shredded
- handful toasted nuts
- handful coriander, roughly chopped
- leftover cranberry sauce, to serve
- Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onions and garlic until softened, about 5 mins. Add the spices and rice, then stir-fry for 1-2 mins. Pour in the hot stock and simmer until the stock is nearly all absorbed, about 20-25 mins. Stir in the turkey, add seasoning, then continue cooking until warmed through. Scatter over the nuts and coriander. Divide between two bowls and serve with a dollop of cranberry sauce.
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 200g long grain rice, rinsed under cold water
- 6 eggs
- 400ml milk
- 300g un-dyed smoked haddock
- 2 bay leaves
- small handful coriander and parsley, chopped
- Heat the oil and cook the onion in a pan with a well-fitting lid until soft but not coloured. Add the spices and some salt and continue to cook until golden and fragrant, about 4 mins. Sprinkle over the rice and stir it well so that all the grains are coated. Stir in 400ml water, increase the heat, cover the pan, then bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn to a simmer and cook for 10 mins. Turn the heat off and leave to steam, covered, for 20 mins. The rice should be perfectly cooked if you don’t lift the lid before the end of the time.
- Place eggs in a pan and cover with cold water, put on a high heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3 mins for soft, or 5-6 mins for hard-boiled. Plunge into cold water until cool enough to peel, then quarter.
- Meanwhile, pour the milk over the haddock in a shallow pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Poach for 5-8 mins until just cooked through and flesh flakes easily. Remove from the milk, peel off and discard the skin and flake the fish.
- Gently stir fish, herbs and seasoning into the rice, top with the eggs and serve.
- 400g lean pork mince
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
- 85g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp finely chopped dill, plus extra to serve
- 1 tbsp each olive oil and butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 400ml hot beef stock (from a cube is fine)
- In a bowl, mix the mince with the egg, onion, breadcrumbs, dill and seasoning. Form into small meatballs about the size of walnuts – you should get about 20.
- Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and brown the meatballs. You may have to do this in 2 batches. Remove from pan, melt the butter, then sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Cook for 2 mins, then slowly whisk in the stock. Keep whisking until it is a thick gravy, then return the meatballs to the pan and heat through. Sprinkle with dill and serve with cranberry jelly, greens and mash.