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Community Christmas kitchen!

veriterc
veriterc Member Posts: 219 Pioneering
edited December 2021 in Coffee lounge

A big thank you to @veriterc for all the super recipes this year, we're ending in style with a Christmas special :) 

Community Christmas kitchen

White Christmas Pudding

Anything named after the 19th century Russian diplomat Count Nesselrode contains chestnuts.  His chef,  Monsieur Mouy,  knew he liked these, and the pudding is appropriate for Christmas because across Europe, Chestnut puddings are seasonal Christmas food.  Anything with the name 'bombe' means an iced pudding, and these are often on the menu for State Banquets at Buckingham Palace, The White House, etc.

It is easier to assemble the ingredients, then leave them on a tray under a clean cloth, ready to prepare next day.

You will need a greased 1 litre pudding basin;  a pyrex mixing bowl is ideal.

 Ingredients:

  • Caster sugar to taste
  • 2 ounces hot water
  • Fruit:  a mixture of 2 tbsp currants, 2 tbsp sultanas, 4 ounces glace fruit ( traditionally this is those very expensive candied fruits that come from France, but I use a mix of dried apricots, peaches, citron, or pineapple chopped in small fingernail size bits), and at least 1 oz glass cherries but more if you like the taste as they look pretty.
  • 3 tbsp brandy or any other suitable liqueur - this is optional and used to soak the fruit starting the day before. Or use tea (China tea for preference made with 3 tablespoons boiling water), just make sure you give the currants and sultanas a good soak so they plump up.
  • 600ml whipping cream  - or double cream
  • Vanilla pod or vanilla flavouring
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 125g sweetened chestnut puree - or more if you really like the taste - the best is the French tinned sweetened puree, but there is English puree, this is unsweetened, so you will need to add sugar to taste.

Method

  1. Dissolve about 2 ounces sugar in the hot water. Drop in the currants and sultanas. Tip into a basin and mix in the chopped glace fruit and the brandy, liqueur or tea. Cover and leave overnight.
  2. Next day bring the cream to simmering point  on the stove with the split vanilla pod, but don’t let it boil.
    Place a large bowl with a strainer resting over it beside the stove. Whisk the yolks well and whisk in the scalded cream.
    Return to the pan and stir until the custard thickens. Immediately pour the custard through the strainer into the cold bowl.
  3. Add the chestnut puree while the custard is still warm, stirring until it softens and mixes through. Taste, and add sugar.  Remember ice-cream always needs to be a bit sweeter,  it will lose sweetness as it freezes.
  4. If you have an ice-cream churn, churn until just starting to freeze.  Otherwise mix everything together, folding in the fruit and the brandy. Spoon into the mould and freeze.
  5. Cut into wedges to serve.

Makes enough for 6 to 8

Turkey

If you want to serve turkey, but consider it too heavy to lift out of the oven, ask a good butcher's help.  They can cut up a fresh turkey into a Crown, legs and wings.  

The Crown can be served on Christmas day and the rest frozen and treated like an ordinary roast;  there are plenty of recipes online.

Remember, you can use turkey meat as you would chicken - in pies, curries, mince and so on, and dishes you make with this meat are healthier than buying ready-meals (and cheaper).

If you can devise ways of cooking fresh meat, instead of relying on ready-meals, it will be much healthier for you (and not so fattening). Research from the USA has come up with:

  • Ultra-processed foods make up 50-60% of calories in the typical diet.
  • Higher intakes of ultra-processed foods are positively associated with a risk of irritable bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and colitis.
  • Whole food, plant-based diets are recommended to help prevent irritable bowel disease.

Ready meals are usually Ultra-processed foods: highly processed, convenient, low-cost, tasty products made with sugars, fats, salt, additives, preservatives, and stabilizers, not very good for you. And they usually contain a lot of calories.

A high intake of ultra-processed food has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and certain cancers. Health professionals recommend eating more whole food, and fewer ultra-processed foods for overall health. 

brussel sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

I love these but know I am in a minority.  So if you have lots left over, use them for making Bubble and Squeak.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 25g/1oz butter. Or in the old days you would have used a tablespoon of dripping or turkey fat, use this if you have it as it has a special taste.
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 225–250g green leafy vegetables, such as cabbage, brussels sprouts, leeks, kale, spinach, chard.
  • Roughly equal amount of leftover cooked mashed potato
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional – small handful chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary or parsley
  1. Heat the oil, butter or dripping in a non-stick pan. Fry the onion until softened, then add vegetables and potatoes. Season well with salt and pepper and add herbs, if using.
  2. Fry potatoes and veg on slow heat undisturbed for 2–3 minutes allowing a golden brown crust to form on the bottom of the veg, then turn them over and leave to brown on the other side – keep doing this for about 10 – 15 minutes, the idea being to get lots of crispy fried bits spread around the mixture.
  3. Using a potato masher or thick wooden spoon press the mixture into the pan to create a big potato cake, then slide out or upturn the pan onto a serving plate.
  4. Serve as a side dish with the main course, or with a fried or poached egg on top.

Decadent Sprouts

This is full of calories! Mash up leftover sprouts with an equal amount of thick cream. Warm through gently, season to taste - and enjoy!

Happy Christmas!

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