Chicken, Chorizo & Swiss Chard Phyllo Bundles with an Avocado and Tomato Salsa

A lovely light dinner or exciting first course, these crispy bundles really deliver on taste and texture. If serving these as a first course, divide the filling into 6 and use one sheet of pastry per person for 6 bundles, using unchanged quantities of everything else. If you haven’t got any cooked chicken to hand,Continue reading “Chicken, Chorizo & Swiss Chard Phyllo Bundles with an Avocado and Tomato Salsa”

Happy New Year!

The few days in the run-up to New Year’s are usually a time for reflection. This year, I’m using this time to look forward. Looking forward to a few lighter meals, to entertaining again, to seeing friends and family, to unrestricted long lunches in pubs, and to generally a bit more certainty. Like lots ofContinue reading “Happy New Year!”

Mini Chicken, Bacon, Leek & Chestnut Pies

These pies just say Christmas! Big enough to be generous, but small enough for a party snack, if I saw a plate of these beauties any time over the festive period, I would instantly know I was welcome. If homemade shortcrust pastry isn’t your thing, you can buy pre-made shortcrust pastry in most grocery stores.Continue reading “Mini Chicken, Bacon, Leek & Chestnut Pies”

In Praise of Make-Ahead Gravy

Jamie Oliver has brought many food-related joys into my life, and with the exception of that time I made his chicken liver pâté, he hasn’t let me down yet. Chief among his festive brain waves is his notion that we should all be making our Christmas gravy well ahead of time, freezing it, and simplyContinue reading “In Praise of Make-Ahead Gravy”

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”

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”

Festive Italian Feast

Christmas entertaining doesn’t need to be formal, particularly for get-togethers with friends around the festive period. This rustic and cosy Italian-inspired menu is low-stress, and a fabulous feast for 6. Rosemary grows wild everywhere in Italy, but it’s also a herb that feels very Christmassy.  Echo the rosemary theme in the food by adding aContinue reading “Festive Italian Feast”