Brandy Snaps

We’re all looking for ways to scale down our Christmas this year. So rather than baking three dozen cookies, how about a batch of brandy snaps instead? The recipe produces as few as eight of these elegant sweet cigars, though easily doubles or triples as well. Serve with your favourite digestif after a meal withContinue reading “Brandy Snaps”

Antipasti Salad

A lightly pickled vegetable salad that goes with everything. Eat alongside cold ham, cooked chicken or white fish, or with a big dollop of hummus, some cured meats and a lovely hard Italian cheese. If you can find romanesco cauliflower, it looks beautiful in this salad. But regular cauliflower is just as delicious. The boilingContinue reading “Antipasti Salad”

Chicken Tikka Marsala Triangles

Not to be confused with Chicken Tikka Masala. Chicken Tikka Masala given a festive – and inauthentic – twist with Christmassy flavours: booze, dried fruit and nuts. Very festive, indeed. Folded into a crisp phyllo shell, it’s the perfect party appetizer. Makes about 40 pieces Ingredients 2 tbsp butter 1 tbsp olive oil 1.5 cupsContinue reading “Chicken Tikka Marsala Triangles”

Fig, Goat’s Cheese and Prosciutto Bundles with a Rosemary, Honey & Brandy Glaze

Fairly described as a TASTE EXPLOSION. Make these and pretend you’re the guy from Love Actually who hopelessly uses “Taste Explosion?” as a pick-up line. If you’re unsuccessful, at least you’ll have more of these for yourself. Makes 18 pieces Ingredients 9 Dried figs Goat’s cheese 6 Slices prosciutto Rosemary Honey Brandy (port or sherryContinue reading “Fig, Goat’s Cheese and Prosciutto Bundles with a Rosemary, Honey & Brandy Glaze”

What I learned last Christmas

My husband and I hosted Christmas for the first time last year. In previous years I had always helped the hosts – obviously preparing food, and helping with lots of wrapping and decorating – but putting on the whole show unsupervised, as it were, was a different experience. And here’s what I learned. Do notContinue reading “What I learned last Christmas”

Rolled Turkey Breast Stuffed with Bacon, Cranberries and Pecans

Much less hassle (and expense) than the whole bird. If you’re a little apprehensive about cooking an entire turkey or just have fewer people coming ’round this year, this rolled and stuffed turkey breast is a great alternative. Slices like a dream, too. Substitute any dried fruit, nuts and booze – the method is theContinue reading “Rolled Turkey Breast Stuffed with Bacon, Cranberries and Pecans”

Cauliflower and Truffle Soup with Parmesan Crisps

I don’t usually go in for cream soups, though there’s actually very little cream in this one and it feeds a lot of people. Either way, this soup is delicious and that’s justification enough. It makes a wonderful starter for a celebration meal, or a cosy lunch after a bracing country walk. Feeds 6 –Continue reading “Cauliflower and Truffle Soup with Parmesan Crisps”

Ham and Gruyère Quiche

Ham and Gruyère is a particularly Christmassy combination. It would be great with a festive salad for a brunch around the Christmas period. Big Christmas gatherings necessitate lots of food, so I am more than happy to pull out my Grandmother’s beautiful – and enormous – quiche dish (Portmeirion c. 1972). She never did portionsContinue reading “Ham and Gruyère Quiche”

That Time I Roasted a Pheasant

A Fowl Tale I live over the road from a lovely, old-fashioned English butcher. The men know me by name but call me Madam, and routinely inquire after “Sir”, my husband Tom. Utterly charming. Inside this butcher is a display that would delight any carnivore. Proper Tomahawk steaks, full ribs of beef, sliced to order,Continue reading “That Time I Roasted a Pheasant”

Festive Fruit Salad

I make this as part of my Christmas breakfast alongside some warmed croissants, really good jam and a glass of Champagne. Whether part of a festive brunch, eaten on the day itself, or even just as a snack, this combination is delicious and feels special. As a festive bonus, it’s very nutritious! Feeds 4 IngredientsContinue reading “Festive Fruit Salad”