Food editor, stylist and author Angela Boggiano and her photographer husband, Craig Robertson, owners of At The Kitchen in Cheadle Hulme, share their Christmas menu…
A delicious sharing menu that still has all the flavours of Christmas but cooked and prepped differently. A light and crunchy salad starter, herby, garlic-filled rolled turkey breast, simple sides and a great alternative Christmas pudding. This is the perfect menu for those looking for something a little different this year.
Winter Spiced Negronis
This is a delicious aperitif served with some nibbles. The addition of the spiced syrup gives it a warming Christmas flavour.
80g caster sugar
Juice 2 large oranges
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
3 whole allspice
250ml red vermouth
1 orange, cut into slices
1. Place the sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, star anise and whole allspice in a saucepan and gently heat stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes until it turns syrupy. Leave to cool completely.
2. Fill serving glasses with ice cubes. Mix together the gin, vermouth and Campari in a large jug and divide amongst the glasses. Top with the syrup and add a slice of orange, stir and serve.
A spiced and moorish sausage roll perfect served with the Negronis. These can be made ahead and frozen uncooked. Defrost completely before cooking as per recipe.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cloves garlic, crushed
25g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
500g outdoor bred pork sausages
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
1tbsp black sesame seeds
500g block ready-made puff pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/gas 6. Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper. Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool.
2. Remove the skins from the sausages and add the sausage meat to the onion mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon along with the nduja.
3. Cut the puff pastry block in half. Roll out to create a rectangle sheet measuring about 35 cm x 20 cm. Shape half the filling into a log shape that will run the length of the pastry sheet, putting it about 5 mm in from one of the long edges of the pastry. Repeat with the other sheet and filling.
4. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg and then fold the pastry over the filling and seal. Roll so the seam is underneath. Brush each sausage log into 16 pieces. Brush with egg and place on the baking trays. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and sprinkle on top. Put the trays in the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes until the rolls are golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. Best served warm.
Crostini with Dill Smoked salmon and capers
Smoked Salmon and Cream cheese are a classic combination. Served here with the addition of a little dill, lemon and honey which works beautifully with the smoked salmon and capers.
Makes 20 Crostini
1 long thin baguette
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
150g full fat cream cheese
1tbsp runny honey
Finely grated zest 1 lemon
1tbsp fresh dill, chopped plus extra for garnish
3tbsp small capers, roughly chopped
300g smoked salmon
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Slice the baguette into 20 slices. Place on 2 large baking trays, drizzle with the olive oil, brushing it into the bread. Place in the oven for 10 minutes until toasted and golden. Allow to cool.
2. Meanwhile, place the cream cheese, honey and lemon zest in a bowl and mix together with the dill and a little sea salt.
3. Spread each slice of bread with the cream cheese. Cut the salmon into pieces and then arrange on top of the cream cheese and sprinkle over the chopped capers. Garnish with extra dill and a grinding of black pepper. Serve immediately.
Roast beetroot, Ruby Grapefruit and Cheshire cheese salad with candied pecans
Keep it light and tasty for starters with this delicious salad which has a wonderful combination of textures and flavours.
400g fresh beetroot, washed
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100g pecan halves
2tbsp caster sugar
1 ruby grapefruit, cut into segments
2 heads red chicory, broken into separate leaves
150g Cheshire cheese, crumbled
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4. Place the washed beetroot in a small roasting tin. Drizzle over the oil and balsamic and a sprinkling of salt and ground black pepper and cover with foil. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes until completely tender when pierced with a small sharp knife. Set aside to cool completely.
2. Whilst the oven is on, place the pecan halves on a baking tray and toss with the caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Toast in the oven for 5 – 8 minutes until crunchy and toasted.
3. When the beetroot is completely cooled remove the skin and slice the beetroot thinly.
4. To assemble the salad arrange slices of beetroot between 4 serving plates along with the red chicory leaves and grapefruit segments. Scatter over the crumbled Cheshire cheese, toasted pecans and drizzle over the balsamic juices from the roasting tin.
Roast Tuscan Turkey with Herby Garlic Filling
A great alternative to the usual Christmas turkey roast. Ask your butcher to butterfly the turkey breast.
30g salted butter, softened
25g flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp fresh sage
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1tbsp fennel seeds
Pinch chilli flakes
1.2kg turkey breast, trimmed and butterflied
12 slices, smoked bacon rashers
2tbsp olive oil
200ml white wine
300ml chicken stock
150g black grapes
1. Place the butter, herbs, garlic, fennel seeds and chilli in a bowl with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper and mash all together well.
2. Lay out the turkey breast skin side down and spread the herb, garlic butter over the surface. Roll up tightly and wrap the smoked bacon rashers evenly around the outside of the roll and secure tightly with kitchen string. Place in a roasting tin and drizzle the top with the olive oil.
3. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 160C/fan 160C/Gas 4. Pour the wine and chicken stock in the bottom of the roasting tin, cover with foil loosely and roast for about 1 hour . Remove the foil and roast for a further 30 minutes until the bacon is golden and crispy. Add the grapes 15 minutes before the end of cooking .
4. Transfer the joint to a carving board and leave to rest for about 20 minutes covered with foil.
5. Slice the turkey into thin slices and serve with the pan juices and roasted grapes.
Celeriac and Potato Gratin
This is perfect served alongside the roast , simply place in the oven at the same time and the Rolled Turkey and both will be ready to serve at the same time.
420ml double cream
1tbsp Dijon mustard
600g waxy red skinned potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small celeriac, (about 500g) peeled and thinly sliced
100g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160c/Gas 4. Mix together the cream, milk and mustard in a large jug with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper.
2. Place a layer of potatoes in a 1.2 litre ovenproof gratin dish. Pour over a little of the cream mixture and then sprinkle with some cheese. Top with a layer of celeriac and then repeat with the cream mixture and cheese. Continue until all the potatoes, celeriac and cream mixture are layered up.
3. Place on a baking tray, cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes until golden brown and the vegetables are tender. Leave to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Balsamic and Cranberry Brussel Sprouts
The combination of the slightly soured cranberries and sweet balsamic works beautifully with the Brussel sprouts.
500g brussel sprouts, halved
2tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
150g fresh cranberries
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the Brussel sprouts for just 5 minutes. Drain well.
2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the parboiled Brussel sprouts and cook for 10 – 15 minutes tossing occasionally until lightly browned.
3. Add the cranberries and cook for a further 5 minutes until they burst and soften. Season with a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of ground black pepper. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and toss well. Serve immediately.
Spiced sticky Ginger and Apple Cake with Salted toffee Sauce
This is a warm sticky ginger and toffee cake which is a great alternative to Christmas pudding, the whole family will love it.
200g butter, softened
200g soft brown sugar
275g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
2tsp ground ginger
3 large free range eggs
6tbsp ready made salted toffee sauce
2 eating apples, cored and finely sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4. Grease and line the base of a 23cm square cake tin. Put the butter in a large bowl with the sugar then beat well with an electric whisk until light, pale and creamy. Add the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, eggs and milk and mix well.
2. Drizzle the base of the tin with 4 tbsp of the toffee sauce. Then lay the sliced apples over the top in the base of the tin. Pour the cake mix over the apples and then bake for 35 – 40 minutes until golden and cooked. To test, insert with a skewer and if it comes out clean it is cooked.
3. Allow to cool slightly then turn out so the apples are uppermost. Peel off the paper then serve warm cut into squares with the remaining toffee sauce and scoops of ice cream.