Jamie does Xmas in fine style! Here are a few recipes for festive food and cocktails from award-winning celeb chef Jamie Oliver.
Christmas Butter for your Turkey
• 1 x 250g pack of butter
• 75g dried cranberries, really finely chopped
• a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
• 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
• a few sprigs of fresh sage, leaves picked
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 clementine
dressings / sauces | serves enough for 1 turkey
Like a lot of what I’m doing this year, this butter is a job for Christmas Eve. It won’t take long and will guarantee you happiness the day after. A really beautiful turkey like Mr. Kelly’s doesn’t need anything more than olive oil and salt and pepper, they’re that good. While the purist in me says leave it alone, the chef in me is curious and wants to experiment. I think the bird, and the occasion, deserve a bit of extra love so if you can add a bit of an edge with something that complements and enhances its natural flavors, why not try it?
An experiment of mine I’m happy to say really worked out was this flavored butter. It looks beautiful, gives a delicate sweetness and holds the skin away from the meat so it gets extra crispy as it cooks. Another bonus is that the butter’s journey out of the bird will give you a self-basting bird. Brilliant.
Put your butter into a bowl and add the chopped cranberries. Chop, sweep and run your knife through the herb leaves until really finely chopped then add to the butter with a pinch of salt and pepper, and the finely grated zest of your clementine. Mix it so the butter softens and everything is combined. Divide the butter roughly in half.
Christmas Spirit Cocktail
• 1 or 2 pomegranates
This is so simple to make and just one will definitely raise the Christmas spirits! Just remember, it’s about injecting a little fun and flavor into the party, so don’t get carried away.
Pop a bottle of good-quality tequila in the freezer for an hour, along with a shot glass for each of your guests.
Cut your pomegranates in half and take their seeds out. The easy way to do this is to hold one half of a pomegranate cut-side down in your hand and bash the top of it with a spatula so the seeds come tumbling out. Make sure you’ve got a bowl underneath to catch them all!
Fill your shot glasses with pomegranate seeds, pour in your iced tequila and, depending on your style, either sip it or knock it back. Don’t swallow until you’ve crunched the pomegranate seeds because they add a real burst of fragrance and flavor in your mouth. Delicious!
Frozen Festive Vodka Bottle
I first saw this done in Sweden and I knew I’d have to try it out. It’s easy. Cut the top off a one-liter plastic bottle, pop a 700ml bottle of vodka, gin, tequila or whatever you fancy in there. Fill inside the plastic bottle with water then shove leaves, sprigs of herbs, holly branches and berries, and sliced fruits all around the side. Stand this carefully in the freezer and leave it for a few hours so everything freezes around the bottle. When you’re ready to serve it, simply run the sleeve quickly under some running water, then slide it off. You’ll have a perfect ice wrap around the bottle to keep it cold for the night … and looking gorgeous!
• 12 sheets of filo pastry (approx• 250g)
125g butter, melted
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 100g demerara sugar
• 4 ginger nuts
• 400g leftover Christmas pudding
• 3 apples or pears or 2 quince, or a mixture of the three
• 50g good-quality chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids), roughly chopped
• icing sugar, for dusting
• ready-made custard, to serve
Serves 8 – 10
My mantra this year is not to waste any food at Christmas, and this pudding is a perfect example of how a simple packet of filo pastry can turn leftovers or unwanted gifts into a cracking new dessert. The pastry is a great vehicle to add crunch and, with the grated fruit and that surprise burst of chocolate at the heart of the strudel, no one will know that this is essentially made from leftovers.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Lay out six sheets of pastry on a clean tea towel, overlapping each by an inch or so, so they cover the tea towel. They should cover it completely, with just a little overhang at one of the shorter ends. Work quickly so your pastry doesn’t dry out and brush some melted butter all over it. Sprinkle over the cinnamon and 50g of the sugar then crumble over your ginger nuts to add a nice bit of crunch. Carefully layer the rest of the pastry sheets on top and brush again with butter.
Use your hands to crumble the Christmas pudding into a bowl then grate in the fruit, cores and all. You want to have about the same amount of grated fruit as you’ve got pudding. Add about two tablespoons of sugar, and mix it all together to break up the pudding a bit more. Sprinkle this all over the pastry so it’s roughly covered, leaving the overhang clear. Place the chocolate in a row on top of the Xmas pud, down the short side nearest the overhang.
Fold the overhang over the chocolate and pinch it up, then lift up your tea towel, and use it to help you carefully roll up your strudel. Tuck the ends under to seal it and transfer to a large non-stick pan. Brush it all over with butter then sprinkle over a little more sugar. Bake in the hot oven for about 40 minutes until crisp, golden and gorgeous looking. It might split a bit and look slightly rustic, but I think that’s quite nice. You could wrap an extra layer of filo round it before cooking if you want it to look a bit neater. Once cooked, leave to cool then use a serrated knife to cut the strudel into 5cm slices. Dust these with icing sugar and serve with ready-made custard from the fridge.
For more, check out Jamie’s website.
All photos: David Loftus
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