Stuffings & Accompaniments

Pigs in Blankets

Not everyone likes sprouts, turkey and Christmas pudding – here are a few ideas for alternatives that retain a festive and seasonal theme

A good alternative to sprouts is kale, which can be sweeter than sprouts.  Remove the stalks blanch in boiling salted water, remove from the water and then plunge into iced water.  When you are ready to serve lunch, fry the kale in a little butter.

Roast parsnips with parmesan, cut the woody middle from the large end of the parsnip and cut into equal sized pieces, pan fry in a little butter to get some colour on them.  Place on a baking tray and season with a little salt and pepper and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cook for 20 – 30 minutes, they are ready when tender when pierced with a knife.

Place the garlic cloves in a pan of salted water and bring to the boil, strain off the water and repeat the process four times.  Drain and tip them out into a large-ish piece of foil and add a knob of butter, chopped thyme, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper.  Bring the edges of the foil together and seal.  Roast in the oven set at 160c until lightly coloured and soft.  Leave to cool and then roughly chop.

In a pan, melt a little butter and olive oil and when hot, drop the sprouts in and pan fry until they start to wilt then add the cream. Cook until the cream starts to thicken, add the sage and season with salt and pepper and add the chopped roasted garlic.  Stir up and serve.

Mashed root vegetables make a great change from mash – choose from parsnips, swede, celeriac or carrots.  You can create a fine puree or leave them chunky.  Peel and slice each type of vegetable and boil as you would the spuds, keeping the size of the pieces even.  When ready, either push through a potato ricer for a really smooth mash and add cream and butter or lightly crush with a fork to break up the pieces and season well. If serving this way, when you have piled into a serving dish, add a knob of butter to melt through.

Roasted roots can be a nice accompaniment to cold meats for in-between Christmas and New Year.  Peel the vegetables as above and par boil for a few minutes (not as long as you would for mash) and then pour onto a baking tray and drizzle with maple syrup or toss in crushed oriental spices such as star anise and dried chilli or add a few cloves of garlic and some sprigs of rosemary.  Roast like you would spuds and serve crisp and crunchy straight from the oven.

Instead of the traditional turkey try a whole stuffed duck, slow cooked on a trivet.  Make a stuffing with 100g cubed pancetta, fried until they render their fat.  Then mix in the sliced spring onions (10), chopped prunes (10) 100g of breadcrumbs and a heaped teaspoon of allspice.  Stir together and stuff the mixture into the cavity of the duck.  Prick the duck with a fork all over and cook in a hot oven for 20 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 180c (GM4) and cook for another hour to hour and a half and then test with a skewer.  Rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Instead of Christmas pudding try an iced parfait, zabaglione or nougatine parfaits are very festive.

 

SAUSAGE, SAGE, ONION AND CHORIZO ‘HOG IN A BLANKET’

The ultimate pigs in blankets!

375g sausage meat

6 sage leaves, chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

2 slices white bread, soaked in milk and then squeezed out

150g cooking chorizo cut into bite sized pieces

1 clove of garlic

Salt and pepper

10 chestnuts, chopped

10 slices of streaky bacon

 

Cook the onion until tender, add the garlic and chorizo towards the end of the cooking and cook for a couple of minutes, remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Place the sausage meat into a bowl, add the sage, the soaked bread and mix together.  Now add the chorizo mix and the chestnuts, season.

Lay a piece of silver foil on a work top 40cm long and then lay this in top of a piece of baking parchment which is 30cm long.  Lay the streaky bacon on to this so that each piece overlaps each other in the long edge.

Now take your sausage mix and lay it on like a sausage and roll it up, seal the ends by twisting the silver foil.  Steam or cook in a water bath until cooked – about 20 minutes.  When its cool, remove the silver foil and the parchment and finish off in the oven so that the bacon crisps up – should take about six minutes.

Slice and serve with your roast Turkey!

 

CRANBERRY STUFFING

100g (3½ oz) of dried cranberries soaked in 50ml of Madeira or dry white wine
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
500g (18 oz) sausage meat or good quality sausages, skin removed
150g (5 oz)fresh white bread crumbs
1 tbsp chopped sage
½ tsp chopped thyme
1 egg beaten

Gently fry the onion until soft, add the garlic and cook a little longer, allow to cool

Place all the other ingredients in a bowl, add the cooled onions, mix together and season.

To check the seasoning take a little of the mixture and fry it off, taste and adjust if necessary

 

SAGE AND ONION STUFFING

2 small onions, finely chopped
Knob of butter
700g (25 oz)good quality sausage meat
1 ½ tbsp chopped sage
3 slices of white bread, crusts removed and soaked in milk
Salt and pepper

Fry the onions in the butter until soft but not coloured, allow to cool

Soak the bread for 5 minutes, remove from the milk and squeeze out the liquid, place in a bowl with all the other ingredients, season and mix well.

To check the seasoning take a little of the mixture and fry it off, taste and adjust if necessary

 

MEAT FREE SAGE AND ONION STUFFING

1 onion, finely chopped
Knob of butter
1tbsp of chopped sage
½ tsp ground caraway seeds
80g (3 oz) fresh bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
Salt and Pepper

Fry the onions in the butter until soft but not coloured, allow to cool

Add the onions to the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

 

ROASTED GARLIC CREAMED SPROUTS

375g sprouts, sliced

¼ pint double cream

6 cloves of garlic

Small bunch of thyme

8 sage leaves

Butter

Salt and pepper

Place the garlic cloves in a pan of salted water and bring to the boil, strain off the water and repeat the process four times.  Drain and tip them out into a large-ish piece of foil and add a knob of butter, chopped thyme, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper.  Bring the edges of the foil together and seal.  Roast in the oven set at 160c until lightly coloured and soft.  Leave to cool and then roughly chop.

In a pan, melt a little butter and olive oil and when hot, drop the sprouts in and pan fry until they start to wilt then add the cream. Cook until the cream starts to thicken, add the sage and season with salt and pepper and add the chopped roasted garlic.  Stir up and serve.