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New brides, stir up your kitchen with Christmas spirit from our specially curated holiday menu!

Usher in the holiday season with these fantastic flavors.

Christmas is just round the bend and the festivities are about to begin!

Christmas is one of the most enthusiastically celebrated holidays in our country and just like all the other festivals, this one too, comes with its own set of delicacies, prepared specially on this day.  We have here a list of simple recipes which will easily make you feel the spirit of Christmas. These simple recipes are also ideal for you if you are a first timer or if cooking is not your usual cup of tea.

Mulled Wine

Serves: 6

You will need:

Brandy (50 ml), Red wine (750 ml), 1 sliced clementine (you can also use another fruit from the tangerine family), 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 3-4 dried figs, 3 black peppercorns and 3-4 cloves.

Method:

Very slowly, heat the wine in a large saucepan. Add the dry spices and bring it up to a gentle simmer. Once the concoction starts to simmer, turn off the heat.

spoon out all the whole spices and the peppercorns and stir-in the brandy.

Serve into mugs or heat –proof glasses. You could even use mason jars for presentation and a good quantity serving. You could drop a slice of clementine or a similar tangerine into the jug or glass.

This quantity should serve around 6 people.

Mulled Wine
There ain’t a delicacy like wine

Hasselback Potatoes with Black Pepper

Serves: 6

You will need:

2.5 kg of medium-sized Potatoes (choose a variety and size which roasts well).

3 tablespoons of black peppercorns

120 ml olive oil

250 grams butter

2 large lemons with the zest pared

Method:

Take a large serving spoon and rest each potato individually in it and cut width-wise at 3mm intervals. Repeat this with each potato.

Resting the potato on the spoon helps since it prevents the potato from getting sliced all the way through.

While the potatoes are being prepped, heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas.

Once the potato is sliced, take a mortar and pestle and roughly grind the pepper.

Take a large roasting tin and melt the butter and oil in it. Add the potatoes and the pared lemon zest when the butter and oil start sizzling. Toss well to coat the potatoes evenly in fat, then season well with three quarters of the ground peppercorns. Roast the potatoes on the bottom shelf of the oven for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes until they are golden and tender.

Remove the lemon zest and sprinkle the remaining pepper over the potatoes and serve hot.

Hasselback Potatoes with Black Pepper
Potato has its own charm

Pigs In A Blanket

If you are a meat lover, this might be the easiest dish to master.

Serves: 6

You will need:

8 rashers (thin slices of bacon) and 16 chipolatas

Method:

Slice the rashers into half. Wrap each piece of bacon around the chipolatas, securely. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Place the prepped pigs in the blankets onto a baking tray and cook for about 30-35 minutes until golden. This recipe should serve 8.

Pigs In A Blanket
Red hot pork

Fennel and Chestnut Loaf With Cranberry Relish

Serves: 4

You will need:

125 grams packed cooked chestnuts

140 grams fennel chopped

1 onion chopped

1 tablespoon sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing

6 juniper berries (or an equivalent berry)

2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoon orange zest

125 ml orange juice

1 egg beaten

50 ml white wine

25 grams ground almonds

50 grams wholemeal breadcrumbs

For the cranberry relish:

140 grams fresh or frozen cranberries

65 grams granulated sugar

1 orange, segmented

Method:

In a small pan, place the chestnuts and berries. Pour a little water—just enough to cover them. Once these start boiling, remove from heat and cover them. Leave them covered till they cool down so that they infuse. Discard the berries and drain the chestnuts.

In the meantime, take a medium sized pan and heat oil in it and fry the onion until soft. Add fennel to the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Grease a 1 lb loaf tin with oil and heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Transfer the mixture into a mixing bowl, add seasoning and the rest of the ingredients and stir in the chestnuts into this. Mix thoroughly and pour into the tin. Smooth the top and cook for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool for some time before removing it.

While this is baking, you can make the relish.

Add the cranberries and 150ml of water into a small pan. Bring these to boil and cook till the cranberries are soft. Bring the heat to a low and add the sugar. Simmer until mixture is thick. Soon as the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and let the syrup cool. Add the pieces of orange and serve it warm with the bread.

This recipe will serve 4.

Fennel and Chestnut Loaf With Cranberry Relish
Mouth watering dish

Winter Pears

Serves: 6

You will need:

Two types of pears (3 nos. of each) or any similar textured fruit, 3/4th cup super-fine sugar, couple of pinches of freshly ground pepper, ½ cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4th pound of almond or vanilla flavoured biscotti, ½ pound of caramel or cinnamon flavoured gelato or ice-cream and a pinch of salt.

Method:

Take the sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.

While the mixture stands, chop the pear (with their skin on) into wedges. As you chop the pears, simultaneously remove the pear’s seeds and stem.

Place the pears into the mixing bowl and when the balsamic-sugar mixture is ready, pour over the pears and mix gently and carefully to coat the wedges evenly.  Distribute the biscotti into 6 different bowls and crush the biscotti gently. Divide pears evenly into these bowls and top it off with a dollop of gelato or ice-cream. This quantity will serve 6.

Winter Pears
A delicious savoury to end your appetite

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