20 September 2017Last updated

Food | Recipes

Quick and easy recipes for Christmas

Baby, it’s warm outside - so keep those festive dishes light with these easier, brighter ideas. Now bring us some figgy pudding

Camera Press
16 Dec 2016 | 12:00 am
  • Ricotta and herb-stuffed roast chicken with fig glaze

    Source:Camera Press

Ricotta and herb-stuffed roast chicken with fig glaze

Prep time 20 minutes
Cooking time about 1 hour
Oven temperature 180°C
Serves 4-6

1 large whole chicken
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 lemons, quartered and seeds removed
2 leeks, thinly sliced
350g ricotta cheese
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 spring onions, finely chopped
Handful basil, chopped
Handful parsley, chopped
5ml ground coriander
4 limes or 2 lemons, zested
15ml lime or lemon juice
8 green olives, pitted and chopped
100ml fig jam
30ml lemon juice

Mix the stuffing ingredients together. Gently lift up the skin on the breast side of the chicken and spread some 
of the stuffing under the skin.

Mix the egg into the remaining filling and stuff into the cavity.

Put one lemon quarter into the chicken cavity and put the chicken into a roasting dish. Tie the legs together with string. Place the remaining lemon quarters in the roasting dish.

Mix the jam and lemon juice together and brush over the chicken. Roast in a preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the glaze again. 
Roast for a further 25-35 minutes until cooked through.

Serve the carved chicken with some of the stuffing and some veggies.



Beetroot salad

Mix the following ingredients together on a platter or in a salad bowl: 1 tub of ready-cooked beetroot pieces, 1 pack of mixed salad leaves and 2 stalks thinly sliced celery. Mix 60ml French salad dressing with a handful of dried cranberries, and set aside to rehydrate. Dress salad just before serving. You can also add a handful of chopped pecan nuts.

Roasted vegetables

Mix the following ingredients together in a roasting tin: 1 pack whole or halved mixed mushrooms, 1 pack baby carrots, peeled if necessary, 1 pack baby gem squash, halved, and two dozen halved Brussels sprouts or mini cabbages. Mix 45ml olive oil and 2 cloves crushed garlic and pour over the vegetables and toss gently to coat. Roast at 180°C for about 20 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Mix 5ml freshly chopped thyme and 30ml freshly chopped parsley together. Mix with 30ml melted butter. Pour over the vegetables once they are cooked and season to taste.

Hasselback potatoes

Scrub 6-8 medium-sized nicely shaped roasting potatoes. Boil them in salted water for 10 minutes, then drain well. Leave to cool slightly and then peel if you like. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Cut a thin layer off one side of each potato so they will stand upright. Then cut across the potatoes at 2-3mm intervals, but don’t cut right through. Put the potatoes on to a roasting tray. Heat 60ml butter, 30ml olive oil and 2 cloves crushed garlic together until melted. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and a tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary. Pour the butter mixture over the potatoes. Roast them in a preheated oven for about 1 hour, until golden and crispy. Baste the potatoes two or three times during cooking.

Couscous and cabbage

Bring 350ml water to the boil. Add 350ml couscous. Cover with a lid, remove from the heat, and set aside to steam for 5 minutes. Chop 125g goose speck (pick it up at Taste of Italy in Galleria, Dubai, or Eataly) and fry in a little oil until almost crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Leave the fat in the pan. Add half a chopped onion and sauté until soft. Add 500-750ml finely shredded Chinese cabbage or savoy cabbage. Stir-fry until tender. Add to the couscous with the smoked goose and stir well. Season to taste.

Roasted cauliflower

Break two heads of cauliflower into florets. Put them onto a roasting tray and lightly coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with a handful of pumpkin seeds and a spice blend of your choice (Moroccan, Italian or Chinese, or try dukkah). Roast at 
220°C for about 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and golden. Toss once or twice during the cooking time.

Beef terrine with pepper relish


Prep time 45 minutes, plus refrigeration time
Cooking time 3 hours
Serves 6-8

1.5kg beef shin, cut into pieces
5ml salt
2 bay leaves
5ml black peppercorns
15ml coriander seeds
Half an onion, thickly sliced
150g smoked beef
30ml olive oil
25ml white balsamic vinegar, or white grape vinegar
55ml water
15ml honey
1 large red pepper, seeded, diced
2 large gherkins, diced
Watercress, to serve

Put the beef pieces into a medium saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the meat. Add salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander and onion. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 3 hours, until the meat falls apart. Remove from the heat. Strain and reserve the liquid; discard the onion, bay leaves, peppercorns and coriander. Remove any skin, bone or gristle from the meat, then shred finely. Let the liquid stand for a while. Pour off some of the fat on the top. Mix 450ml of the liquid with the meat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Line a medium-sized loaf tin with plastic wrap. Line it with the smoked beef slices so they overlap the edges of the tin. Spoon in the meat mixture and fold the overlapping pieces of beef over the filling. Cover the terrine and refrigerate overnight.

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add vinegar and water. Stir in honey and bring to a simmer. Add pepper, cover and simmer over a low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the heat, leave to cool. Stir in gherkins.

Use a warm, sharp knife to cut the terrine into slices. Serve with the pepper relish and watercress.

Creamy artichoke and pine-nut pasta


Prep time 20 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Serves 4

1 can or jar artichoke hearts, drained
60ml butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
30ml cake flour
125ml prepared vegetable stock
125ml crème fraîche
125ml grated fresh Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
2ml grated lemon zest
1 pack mangetout or snow peas, cut in half
Half a packet of rocket
50ml pine nuts, toasted
Pasta of your choice, cooked

Chop a quarter of the artichokes into small pieces.

Heat a griddle pan until it is hot, then grill the remaining artichoke hearts. Heat the butter and sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic. Sauté for a further minute. Add the flour and stir for 30 seconds. Add the vegetable stock, a little at a time, stirring continuously. Add the crème fraîche, Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Bring to a gentle simmer. Add the mangetout and chopped artichokes and simmer until they are just tender. Add most of the rocket and the grilled artichokes and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Spoon the sauce over the cooked pasta. Garnish with extra Parmesan and the remaining rocket and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts. Serve hot.

Prawn and asparagus salad with coconut dressing


Prep time 20 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes
Serves 6

About 500g raw prawns, peeled (or buy ready-cooked prawns)
Lemon juice, as needed
1 bunch fresh green asparagus
1 can white asparagus, drained
Handful of raspberries, strawberries or gooseberries, to serve
Packet of rocket, to serve
50ml coconut shavings (or 30ml desiccated coconut), toasted
90ml coconut milk
15ml lime or lemon juice
2ml fish sauce
5ml brown sugar
30ml sunflower oil
15ml fresh coriander, chopped

Steam the prawns, then set aside to cool. Drizzle with a little lemon juice. Steam the green asparagus until just tender, drain and submerge in ice-cold water for a few minutes to retain colour. Drain well and set aside to cool completely.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together well with a hand blender. Serve a few spears of both types of asparagus on each plate along with the prawns, berries and rocket. Top with dressing and sprinkle with coconut shavings.

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