10 Must-Try Christmas Recipes

We chat to Michelin star chef, Kenny Atkinson and Newcastle food blogger, Geordie Scran, to round up some of the best Christmas recipes, tips and tricks for you to try this festive season...
Christmas Recipe

Kenny Atkinson’s Recipes

Chef Kenny Atkinson’s Turkey Tips

Newcastle’s only Michelin starred chef, claims that the most important ingredient to get right on your Christmas dinner is the centrepiece, and for him, it’s the turkey. Kenny says the way to add a little Michelin to your dinner, is to buy good quality meat and prep as much as you can.

“Try not to overcook your centrepiece – you can always put it back in the oven. Keep checking on it, if you think it’s going to take 40 minutes, then set your timer for 30 minutes. Just keep checking, and keep basing the meat while it’s in the oven,” says Kenny.

INGREDIENTS:

Christmas turkey
Salt
1 litre of water
Bay leaves
Peppercorns
Thyme
Butter
Salt and pepper

METHOD:

Start by making a brine. To do this, make a water and salt solution. 10% salt to 1 litre of water, with bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme. Bring to boil to allow those flavours to infuse.

When all the ingredients are infused, allow the brine to cool down completely.

Submerge your Turkey for 2-3 hours or longer if desired (this can be done the day before) this keeps the turkey nice and moist.

Then, dry your meat out, by emptying the brine from the cavity.

Place your turkey into a preheated oven at 220 degrees, depending on the size of your Turkey, and cook for 40 minutes.

Keep basing the meat while it cooks using butter or its own fat, this keeps it nice and juicy and creates a golden crisp skin.

Carve, serve and enjoy!

Christmas Recipe

 

Kenny and Abbie Atkinson’s 20-year-old Tradition: Sherry and Raspberry Trifle 

“Every year, for the past 20 years, me and my wife make a sherry trifle. It’s a tradition and it’s the same recipe we use every time,” says Kenny.

INGREDIENTS:

Fresh raspberries
Jam roly poly
Custard
1 tub of cream
Vanilla essence or pod
Few dashes of sherry (optional)
1 bar of quality dark chocolate

METHOD:

After you’ve made your own homemade raspberry jam and sponge, make your jam roly poly for the bottom of your trifle (as linked below).

Slice your jam roly poly evenly and press along the sides of your glass trifle bowl.

Then, make your own custard (as linked below).

Mix the fresh raspberries with sherry (optional if you have little ones).

Place fresh raspberries on and then (once cooled) pour the custard over and let it set in the fridge.

Whip your cream with vanilla spread on the top.

Then, get some nice dark chocolate and scrape on the top to finish.

Follow these homemade recipes for guidance… 

Jam Roly Poly

Raspberry Jam

Custard

 

Geordie Scran’s Recipes

Geordie Scran’s Secret Stuffing Recipe 

Newcastle’s beloved food blogger has let us in on her secret Christmas recipe.

“My Grandad used to make his famous stuffing every year for Christmas and he never wrote the recipe down. A year after he passed, the whole family ran a stuffing competition to try and match his recipe- and my recipe was the winner. I always source all of my ingredients from the Grainger market,” says Geordie Scran.

INGREDIENTS:

One portion of sausage meat
2 onions, diced
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
Sage
4 rashes of bacon, diced
1 tbsp of mustard
3 tbsp of caramelised onion
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
A dozen chestnuts, roasted and chopped
Breadcrumbs
Butter
Salt and pepper

 

METHOD:

Boil your apples to soften, drain water and mash into a purée.

Fry onions, garlic, bacon and sage in a little butter until, onions are soft.

Add chestnuts, mustard, caramelised onion and take off the heat. Drain off excess liquid.

Mix together with sausage meat and apple purée. Mix in breadcrumbs until the consistency is thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add a spicy chutney at this point if you fancy giving it a kick.

Pop into a tin and bake on 180 degrees for 40 minutes to an hour depending on how crispy you like it. Don’t forget to add some extra cooking time for larger portions.

Give the stuffing a mix at approximately 30 minutes in to ensure it’s cooked through.

Tuck in and enjoy!

Christmas Recipe

 

Luxe’s Recipes

Crisp and golden roast potatoes 

We’re going for gold! Golden and crunchy with a fluffy centre. 

INGREDIENTS:
100g of goose fat (none of this olive oil business)
1kg of Maris Piper potatoes
3 tsp of plain flour for dusting
Optional- fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Peel and cut your potatoes as desired.

Bring your potatoes to boil in a pan of salty water and cook until soft.

Sieve the water from the potatoes and shake vigorously to gain that full fluffiness effect – perfect for creating extra crunchy pieces.

Then, the most crucial part, cook the goose fat in the oven, in a baking tray until its bubbling.

Once bubbling, coat the potatoes in plain flour and place each potato into the tray carefully coating in the sizzling goose fat. 

Add a sprig of thyme for a more herbaceous, Christmassy taste. Allow the roasties to cook in the oven for 15- 20 mins. 

Then, carefully, turn the potatoes over and add salt and pepper and cook for a further 15-20 mins. Viola. 

Christmas Recipe

 

Spruce Up Your Pigs In Blankets

Go and support your local butchers and buy their quality full-size pork sausages and bacon rashers to make your very own pigs in blankets. 

INGREDIENTS:

12 pork sausages
12 rashes of smoky, streaky bacon
4 tbsp of honey
Salt and pepper

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Wrap each sausage in one rasher of bacon, roll tightly to make them nice and snug.

Glaze each wrapped sausage with honey and sprinkle some salt and pepper.

Cook for 15 minutes until golden and crispy, then turn each pig in blanket and cook for a further 15- 20 minutes.

How to Make Your Greens The Star Of The Show

Let’s be honest, the pigs in blankets, roasties or turkey usually steals the show on Christmas Day. However, this year we’ve got the perfect recipe to add that little bit of sparkle to your greens. 

INGREDIENTS:
2 rashers of bacon
1 savoy cabbage or sprouts
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp of nutmeg
4 tbsp of salted butter

METHOD:

Dice your bacon and add to a pan with a little butter.

Cook until all of the bacon pieces have browned.

Wash your cabbage and cut into long strips.

Add 2 tbs spoons of butter to a saucepan on a medium heat and add the cabbage, chopped garlic and nutmeg.

Transfer the bacon and its fat to the cabbage and stir. Allow to cook with the lid on for 10-15 minutes until the cabbage is cooked.

A minute before the cabbage is ready, add a big dollop of double cream and salt and pepper. (Alternatively, use the same recipe using sprouts instead of your cabbage).

The little ones won’t be complaining about these tasty veggies.

Christmas Recipe

 

Homemade Bread Sauce

Bring some tradition to your dinner with this medieval British condiment. Your Christmas dinner needs an element of creaminess, and this is it.  

Ingredients
1/2  white onion
1 pint of whole milk
2 bay leaves
50g of butter
3 cloves
Nutmeg
200g of slightly stale white bread (the staleness is crucial)
Single cream

METHOD:

Peel and dice half an onion and pop in a saucepan with bay leaves, cloves, butter and a pint of whole milk.

Allow to cook on a low heat for 20 minutes until the flavours have been infused into the milk and the onions have softened.

Strain the saucepan contents and keep the remaining milk aside.

Pop the milk back into the pan and dispose of the strained ingredients.

Heat the milk again, and start peeling the crusts off your stale white bread, then crumble into small pieces into the pan.

Allow to cook for 2-3 mins until it thickens, adding more bread if you desire a thicker consistency.

Sprinkle nutmeg and fold into the sauce.

Finally, add a dollop of cream to make the sauce even creamier.

There you go, ready to indulge.

 

Festive Mulled Cider

A simple, yet tasty festive treat to sip on and enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

4 bottles of spiced plum Rekorderlig
1 large orange
2 cinnamon sticks

METHOD:

Slowly heat 4 bottles of Rekorderlig spiced plum cider in a saucepan.

Add 1 sliced orange and 2 cinnamon sticks and allow to bubble away.

Then, ladle the steaming cider in glass mugs to serve.

Christmas Recipe

 

A Winter Warmer Eggnog 

A traditional creamy hot drink, with a kick of rum to warm your soul Christmas.

Ingredients

6 medium free-range eggs separated (pop to the local butchers to get organic and fresh eggs)
200g golden caster sugar
500ml whole milk
400ml double cream
350ml rum
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Vanilla essence

METHOD:

Begin by adding your whole milk in a large saucepan and bring to a medium heat.

Separate 6 egg yolks, while keeping the whites aside.

Whip your yolks together until they look a little lighter yellow in colour, while doing this continually add your sugar (about 150g) in stages.

Your milk should be steaming but not bubbling. Add a ladle full of milk to your mixture and keep whisking until dissolved. (We want to avoid curdling the egg).

Then add the mixture back into the saucepan and a little vanilla essence.

Keep it on a low heat and mix with a spoon for 15 minutes, until it thickens. Test this by placing in a metal spoon and see if it coats the back.

Sieve the mixture into a bowl and add nutmeg and cinnamon.

Add your rum and keep stirring, then add 400ml of heavy cream and whisk all together.

Place over a pan of ice water to cool the mixture.

Serve and drink over ice.

If you wish, the egg whites you saved, whisk with the remaining sugar until it becomes a foam and place on top for decoration and a foamy texture.

TOP TIP: Leave for a few days to let the alcohol immerse into the creaminess, the more aged the eggnog, the better. 

Christmas Recipe

 

Vegan Mince Pies 

Even Santa will want some of these tasty treats on Christmas eve.

Ingredients

225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
65g white vegetable fat, cubed
65g dairy-free sunflower spread
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp dairy-free milk, such as soya or almond
Jar of vegan mincemeat
Pinch of salt
Icing sugar, for that snowy effect

METHOD:

Create your vegan pastry by combining flour, a pinch of salt, vegetable fat and sunflower spread and rub together. Until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add 1 tbsp of maple syrup and 1 tbsp of milk, then knead until the mixture becomes a dough.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, roll out the pastry on some flour until its even and slightly thick.

Cut into 12 even circles.

Spoon your mincemeat into the pastry.

Reuse the pastry trimmings and create festive shapes using cutters, to add on top of each mince pie.

Combine the last of the syrup and milk and brush over to glaze.

Bake for 25 mins until golden.

Once cool, dust some icing sugar for decoration.

Christmas Recipe


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