D and I are heading off to France next Sunday to spend a week ski-ing the Alps and eating pain au chocolat. As we won’t be spending the holidays with our families I decided to hold a pre-Christmas Christmas dinner to satisfy all of our festive food cravings.
This is the third Christmas dinner that I have cooked and I had the meal planned with miltary precision (see below word-processed schedule for proof!). It was still a hectic afternoon though. Not much time for taking photos, as you can imagine, but I would like to share a few of those that were snapped.
I followed Nigella’s Super Spiced Turkey recipe which involves soaking the bird overnight in a brine flavoured with orange, star anise, maple syrup, ginger and much more. Last year it worked beautifully, this year I over-cooked the meat and it was disappointingly dry.
The turkey disappointment was softened by how well everything else worked out. The veg I blogged about last week went down a treat. Just as well – the amount of chopping and peeling involved was phenomenal!
D took care of dessert. Everyone loves his banoffee pie.
Hours to prepare, minutes to devour.
Not everyone was happy. Rosie was seriously miffed when she realised there was no space set for her at the table.
The surprise hit of the day was the vegetarian chestnut stuffing as it was unanimously preferred to the meaty sage and onion type. I should add, I don’t actually stuff anything with the stuffing. Prefer to cook it seperately in little bitesized balls.
Vegetarian Chestnut Stuffing (Adapted from Tasmin Day Lewis’s Simply The Best)
1 large onion
4 sticks of celery
2 cooking apples
400g tin of chestnut puree
500g wholewheat breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten (you may need one more if mixture is not sticking together)
Handful of thyme leaves
450g chestnuts (fresh or vacum packed)
- Finely chop the onion, celery, walnuts and apple. Fry gently in the olive oil until softened.
- Tip into a bowl and and add all other ingredients except the chestnuts. Combine well.
- Add the chopped chestnuts and combine gently.
- Roll the mixture into golf-ball sized balls and place on a baking tray.
- Bake at 180oC for 30 minutes.