A perfect Christmas menu for 10

If you are in need of a Christmas menu, then look no further! Here’s my guide to making the perfect feast for 10, with timing and get ahead information to save you from stressing on the day.  With a little prep a couple of days before the big meal, you will be ready to feed an army of hungry friends and family effortlessly!

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The menu

Canapé:
Mozzarella and olive penguins

Starter:
Pork Terrine

Main:
 Pancetta roast turkey crown with chestnut and sage stuffing

Sides:
Roast potatoes
Honey glazed parsnips and carrots
Stir-fried brussels sprouts with nigella seed
Sticky pigs in blankets
Cranberry Sauce

Dessert:
Salted Caramel Cheesecake 

 

Cooking guide and timelines

Two days before the big meal

  1. Start preparing the terrine by marinating the pork as per Step 1 of the recipe. (~10 minutes)
  2. Make the Cranberry sauce and chill in the fridge until you need to heat it up on the day. (~30 minutes)

The day before

  1. Make the pork terrine and leave to chill until you need it on the day (~1hr).
  2. Make the stuffing from the turkey recipe and chill until the following day (~20 min).
  3. Make the cheesecake and chill (~2hrs).
  4. Make the sticky pigs in blankets and chill (~20 mins).

On the day, for lunch at 1pm – turkey served between 2pm – 2:30 pm 
(Adjust timings as required for a later lunch or dinner).

09:00. Take out the turkey from the fridge as soon as you get up in the morning, around 9am at the latest.
09:00. Prepare the mozzarella penguins and set aside until you need them. (Or make the day ahead and store in an airtight container).
10:00. Prepare the turkey for roasting as per Step 1 from the recipe, heat oven 90C/170C fan/gas 5.
10:30: Put the turkey in the oven and roast as per instructions.
11:00: While the turkey is cooking, prepare the vegetables.
Peel, chop and parboil the roasties, set aside until ready for roasting;
Peel the parsnips and carrots and marinade in the glaze and set aside until ready for roasting;
Halve the sprouts and prepare all the rest of the ingredients for the stir-fry, set aside until ready to stir-fry.
13:20: Take the turkey out of the oven to rest for half an hour.
Put the pre-boiled roast potatoes in the oven, increase oven to 200C fan. roast for                40-50 minutes
13:30: Put the prepared pigs in blankets and stuffing in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Put the parsnips and carrots in the oven, roast for 30 minutes.
13:45: stir fry the sprouts and start making the gravy.
14:00: Carve the turkey.

Needless to say, if you can get your partner/guests involved they can help with making gravy, stir-frying etc.

Your Christmas shopping list

  • 600g carrots;
  • 500g parsnips;
  • 2kg floury potatoes (King Edward, Maris Piper);
  • 800g Brussels Sprouts
  • 3 onions;
  • 3 shallots;
  • 4-5 garlic bulbs;
  • 3 lemons;
  • 300g fresh cranberries;
  • 1 clementine;
  • fresh thyme;
  • fresh sage;
  • fresh chives;
  • fresh rosemary;
  • fresh parsley
  • 100g goose fat;
  • 18 cocktail sausages;
  • 3 packs sliced pancetta;
  • 2 packs dry-cured streaky bacon (20-22 slices)
  • 300g Pork tenderloin;
  • 1050g sausage meat;
  • 4kg turkey crown;
  • 1 pack unsalted butter;
  • 6 eggs;
  • 600g full-fat cream cheese;
  • 300ml soured cream;
  • 75ml double cream;
  • 100g green olives, pitted;
  • 1 jar cornichons;
  • 25g pecans;
  • 140g white breadcrumbs;
  • 140g cooked chestnuts;
  • 75g light brown muscovado sugar;
  • 250g dark chocolate digestives;
  • 397g Carnation Caramel;

From the pantry:

  • olive oil;
  • rapeseed oil;
  • honey;
  • wholegrain mustard;
  • English mustard;
  • Nigella seeds;
  • Brandy
  • Plain flour;
  • Chicken stock;
  • Caster sugar;
  • cocoa powder;
  • Sea salt;
  • Pepper;

I hope you find this guide helpful. If you have any feedback of what more detail and info you’d like please let me know in the comments and I will gladly adjust the guide and add more to it!

oznor
Photo Sarah Ahmad

~Em.

Help yourself brunch for a crowd

With Christmas holidays looming, you may well find yourself with lots of family and friends around and having to be prepared not only for dinners and lunches, but breakfasts too. Personally, I’m quite happy with any excuse for a brunch! These recipes are perfect for a no-fuss brunch were everyone can just help themselves to breakfast. It can be quite ‘stress-free’ too as you can prepare most of the dishes the evening before and just put in the oven for the final step on the day.

We have three recipes today:

  • Mini Omelette Cups;
  • Breakfast Sliders;
  • Bacon wrapped asparagus.

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As I mentioned, you can prepare everything the night before and leave covered in the fridge. I have highlighted in each recipe where you should do this if you are planning to prepare stuff in advance. Click below for each recipe or do them all for a perfect breakfast menu. The only thing that’s missing as a Bloody Mary…

More menus to try: Christmas Eve, the Bulgarian WayNew Year’s Eve Potluck | Entertaining: Spring Menu for 10 – Poached salmon with Dauphinose potatoes and more

Click through for each recipe below:

[expand title=”Healthy Egg Omelette Cups”]

Healthy Egg Omelette Cups

Makes 12 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 35 mins
Easy | Vegetarian | Gluten & dairy free

You’ll need:

  • sunflower or vegetable oil cooking spray;
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil;
  • 1 red pepper, chopped;
  • 1 green pepper, chopped;
  • 1 onion, chopped;
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped;
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped;
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped;
  • salt to taste
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • Optional: hot sauce for serving.

Heat oven to 180C | 160C fan |gas mark 4. (If making ahead, preheat oven about 15 mins on the day of cooking).

Grease a standard non stick 12-slot muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large non stick pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in the chopped peppers and onion and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until peppers are tender. Add in the spinach and mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes. In the last 30 seconds, add in the garlic. Season with salt and remove from heat.

Whisk the eggs and egg whites. Once the veggies have cooled slightly, whisk them in the egg mixture. Pour the egg/veggie mixture evenly into the prepared muffin pan.

At this point you can cover and leave them in the fridge over night, until ready to cook the following day.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and eggs are cooked. Cool slightly and serve immediately. You can use a knife to help you carefully take the egg cups from the muffin tin.

Tip: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days. These may also be frozen. To reheat, pop them in the microwave until warm.

Original recipe from Show Me The Yummy, available online here.[/expand]

[expand title=”Breakfast Sliders”]

Breakfast Sliders

Makes 12-16 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 20 mins
Easy

You’ll need

  • 12 eggs;
  • 2 tablespoon butter + 1/4 cup butter for the topping;
  • 12-16 slider rolls or mini burger buns
  • 1 packet pre-sliced Gouda or Cheddar cheese (or so) or 12-16 slices of cheese;
  • 12-16 slices deli ham (or so);
  • 1 1/5 tbsp brown sugar;
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard.

Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper together in a bowl until frothy. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a large pan over medium-low heat. Pour eggs into the pan and scramble them: cook and stir with spatula until set, 3 to 6 minutes . Remove from heat.

Cut rolls in half horizontally. Lay bottoms in a single layer in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Add a layer of cheese, then scrambled eggs, then a layer of ham, then provolone cheese, then ham, then provolone cheese again. Cover with roll tops. Cut through ham and provolone cheese layers to make individual sandwiches.

You can cover and put in the fridge at this point for up to 1 day. Proceed with the final steps on the day.

Melt 1/4 cup butter, brown sugar, and mustard together in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Spread mixture over roll tops. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and let stand, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove aluminum foil from baking dish.

Bake in preheated oven until tops are golden brown and cheese has melted, 15 to 20 minutes.

Original recipe from All Recipes, available online here. [/expand]

[expand title=”Bacon wrapped asparagus”]

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Makes 12-16 | Prep 10 mins + soaking | Cook 10 mins
Easy | Dairy and Gluten free

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil;
  • 150g asparagus;
  • 150g streaky bacon;
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges.

First prepare the skewers. Soak 4-5 wooden skewers in cold water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus and bacon. Cut the asparagus in two or three pieces, depending on their size, you want them a little bigger than bite size. Take bacon pieces and halve them horizontally. Wrap a slice of bacon around each asparagus bite and set aside.

When the skewers have finished soaking, skewer around 5 bacon wrapped asparagus per skewer. At this point you can cover and leave them to chill in the fridge until needed – up to 1 day.

When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in griddle pan. When hot, carefully place the skewers in the pan. You might have to cut the skewer if they are too large – I usually cut down the unnecessary wooden bits in the bottom if needed. Cook until the bacon and asparagus have cooked through – about 10 minutes, rotating regularly. Serve with the lemon wedges on the side. [/expand]

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Bon Apetit!

~Em

Bloody Mary Prawn Shots

Who says that the days where you served shots to your friends instead of canapes at a party have to be over? These delicious Bloody Mary Prawn shots will add just the right amount of sophistication and fun for your next dinner party! We served these delicious shots as a welcome drink/appetiser at our NYE party and we made a few extra without the prawns for our veggie friends. I found this recipe in December’s Foodies magazine, but the original is actually from Good Housekeeping.

Bloody Mary Prawn Shots

Bloody Mary Shot 3

Makes 16 | Prep 15 mins | No Cooking
Easy | Gluten and Dairy Free | Can be made vegan

Tip: If you want to get ahead you can mix the Bloody Mary mix and assemble the skewers up to 24 hrs in advance, cover and chill.

To make vegan: Make a few (or all) shots without a prawn and maybe have two olives onto a skewer instead!

You’ll need:

  • 500 ml good-quality tomato juice, chilled
  • 150 ml vodka
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice , plus a little extra for the glasses
  • 2-3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
TO SERVE
  • 1 tsp celery salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp crushed sea salt
  • lemon, sliced and cut into 16 small pieces
  • 16 pitted green olives
  • 16 large cooked tail-on prawns

Mix the tomato juice, vodka, lemon zest and juice into a large non-metallic jug. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and a pinch of salt. Stir well and add more to taste. Cover and chill for at least 1hr or until ready to serve.

To serve, mix the celery salt, pepper and sea salt together on a small plate. Dip the rims of 16 shot glasses into a little lemon juice or water to wet, then dip into the salt and pepper mix to coat the edge. Set aside.

When ready to serve, thread a lemon slice, green olive and prawn on to 16 cocktail sticks. Carefully pour the Bloody Mary into the shot glasses, and place a cocktail stick on the side of each glass.

Original recipe from Foodies Magazine issue Dec 2018/Good Housekeeping, available online here.

 

Mozzarella Penguins

My other half found this fantastic idea for canapés or appetisers when you have friends over. We just had to make them at our Christmas party this year! These super cute penguins definitely caught the eye of our friends and everyone absolutely loved them. They aren’t too faffy to make and are worth the effort in the end. You can make them vegetarian by not adding the pancetta scarfs. You’ll have a lot of fun making them (I believe they will be a hit with children in the kitchen too!) and you’ll definitely have fun eating them.

Mozzarella Penguins

Makes 20  (or as many as you need!) | Prep 30 minutes | No cooking
A little effort | Gluten-free

Penguins 3

 You’ll need (adjust the amount of ingredients depending on how many you need. Ingredients below are for 20 little penguins):

  • 1 medium carrot;
  • 40 black olives, pitted;
  • 20 mini mozzarella balls;
  • 20 toothpicks;
  • 2 slices smoked pancetta.

Full instructions below, or just watch this video for a quick demo.

Prepare all the ingredients before you start assembling. Slice 20 medium disks (just over the thickness of a pound coin) from the carrot.

Use 20 of the olives to make the penguin wings. Carefully cut the olive through the middle lengthways without separating at the top – you need the olive halves to open up but to still be attached at the top.

Halve the pancetta slices, then cut 5 strips from each halve. These will be used for the scarves.

To assemble, take a mini mozzarella ball and slide it into a ‘halved’ olive to form the ‘body’. Using a toothpick, attach a whole olive to the ‘body’ with the olive whole towards you. Cut out a triangle from a carrot disk, roughly a quarter from the disk and set aside. Attach the disk at the other end of the body, then take the little quarter you cut out and half it. Carefully place this in the olive whole which makes the head to complete it. Finally, wrap a slice of pancetta as a scarf around the penguin.

Penguins 1


I hope you enjoy making and eating those penguins. Credit to this video by Recipe Videos for the idea.