The great thing about last weekend’s recipes being so Christmas heavy was that everyone got all that “alternative centre piece”, “let’s go veggie!”, “what do they eat at Christmas in Mogadishu?” out of their system, so the rest of December there’s no more tenuous squeezing of food into festive themes.
Wait. What? There’s more? How is that possible??
Notes on and links to this weekend’s many (allegedly) Christmas related recipes below. Plus a few others by people who appear to have missed the memo.
- Super Scandi Shtuff from Diana Henry in the Sunday Telegraph’s ‘Stella’. Smoked fish butter and black rye bread? Tak.
- And we got Diana’s thoughts on Christmas puddings, too. She’s a trifle keen on trifle, recounting various versions she’s put together over the years – the acknowledged excess of poached pears, prunes and Sauternes sounds like a good vintage to me. For this year, though, fresh and dried cranberries and port. Other puddings are available: sloe gin jelly; buttermilk ice cream and blackberry jelly; cranberry and eggnog b&b pudding; or even a blood orange and pomegranate cake. Choices, choices.
- Best of the Telegraph’s Christmas breakfasts by a bunch of chefs? Fergus Henderson of course: glass of Fernet Branca and Marmite on toast “to prepare the soul”. I suspect Father Christmas is on the same wavelength.
- Interesting stuff from Anna Jones in The Sunday Times: the way an actual vegetarian chef does there Christmas is not simply finding a new replacement centrepiece, but satisfying dishes that share the limelight. Roasted shards of Brussels sprouts with sticky shallots (good option for everyone), and a chestnut, garlic and goat’s cheese tart look great.
- Dimbleby and Baxter provided a vegetarian feast in the Guardian’s ‘Cook’ – mushroom Wellington, roast sprouts and squash, red cabbage and radicchio. Good meat free meal for any (other) day, I say.
- Suggestions from Nigel Slater for vegetarians this Christmas too. An aubergine kinda Biryani ought to satisfy. Ditto roast pumpkin with chickpeas and a peanut sauce. And for the vegetarian in all of us: lush clementine curd tarts. Look, also, for his pork, bacon and cranberry terrine.
- Earlier in the week, Nuno Mendes let Guardian readers into some Portuguese Christmas secrets. The warm cabbage salad, air dried ham and chestnut salad looks cracking.
- The Saturday Times was refreshingly festivity free. Though I’m not sure how inspired readers will have been by recipes from The Ivy and four things to do with sweet potato.
- I really like the idea of Stevie Parle’s baked spelt and nutmeg pudding with prunes in his Indy on Sunday pudding based column. Also the one bowl chocolate, rye and almond cake is worth a look.
- Goose for Hixy on the big day. Obvs. Clementine and chestnut salad to cut through the richness sounds good to me. And, ahhh, the mincemeat stuffed baked apple – one of my favourite childhood Sunday puddings.
- In the (MASSIVE) OFM, Len Deighton nails boned, stuffed and rolled turkey and the trimmings in one illustrated ‘cookstrip’.
- Nigella’s chilled out Christmas features in the same magazine – things to cook and eat on the days either side of the big one. Sweet potato mac n’cheese looks ace. And her latest pavlova – lemon curd – will, no doubt, be much repeated across the land.
- Really intrigued by a recipe in ‘Cook’ for mashed swede: a molasses laced crumbed casserole sort of thing.
- I’m going to make Claire Ptak’s chocolate and rye bark in ‘Cook’. But will use a darker chocolate than she suggests (personal preference).
- And the two most tempting columns of the week? Not Chrismassy at all. Both in the Graun mag: Yotam Ottolenghi’s baked leek and chorizo pie and pappardelle with oxtail and lemon; and Thomasina Miers’ seven spiced quail with Persian crusted rice, plus Bagna cauda salad.
There was more. But that’ll do – I’ve really ought to think about my Christmas shopping.
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