For many of us Christmas lunch wouldn't be Christmas lunch without turkey. And then there's the other camp; those who refuse to chow down on this most festive of meats simply in the name of tradition and instead opt for a duck, a capon (extra big chicken) or even - whisper it - beef on Christmas day. I asked two foodie experts for their take on the ultimate Christmas day menu and what they will be serving at home this year. Paul Linden, culinary director of Paul Linden Execut
These look hard, but fear not, they are incredibly simple and a very effective addition to your Christmas canape repertoire. Simply hard boil some eggs and let them cool in cold water (if you don't put them in cold water immediately afterwards the yolk begins to grey). Peel them by gently rolling them under pressure on your worktop - you will find there is a little air pocket on the rounded end of the egg and once this is compromised the egg gives in and you can peel it easil
So France 2 (the French equivalent of BBC2) saw my post on London's best mince pie and asked me if I could possibly make me own version of this archetypal British Christmas tradition and feed them to some willing friends whilst they filmed it. After a bit of self doubt as to whether I actually knew how to make pastry, I jumped at the chance. Here's the end piece, which went out on French TV at lunchtime today as part of their series on Christmas traditions around the world...
Sprouts. Love them or hate them, the little green cabbages are an integral part of Christmas lunch and I want to fancy them up a bit. We all know the tricks of having some festive chestnuts roasted in with them, or given a bit of body with some lovely fatty pancetta, but I had a think about some more unusual and dare I say it - cooler - combinations to help your Brussels sprouts steal the limelight this year. It goes without saying but do not overcook your sprouts or they wil
Turkey is a tricky bird, as the sheer size means that so many of us are tempted to overcook it just to be on the safe side but this leaves this magnificent bird dry and crumbly which is just a travesty really. I spoke to the Head Butcher of Hampstead Butcher & Providore for some failsafe tips to ensure your bird is a big juicy one this year: I don't even need to say this, but go free range, and go bronze. Buying an inferior bird is a false economy and you deserve to treat you
Making your own mincemeat may feel like a bit of a hassle, but really it is so simple and far nicer than anything you can buy in a jar. Almost anything goes, but this is my recipe and it tastes good to me; without suet so it's suitable for vegetarians, this is like Christmas in a jar. Make now and use next week to allow for a nicely boozy mixture that is perfect for mince pies, or a festive mincemeat strudel. Ingredients: 150g sultanas 150g raisins 150g dried cranberries 1 ap
If your house is anything like mine then by the time Christmas lunch rolls around (last year, 7pm, mentioning no names) you're already onto your fifth Baileys, which is not so much with the turkey. Instead of whacking a few 'half price' bottles of mediocre white into your trolley during the big Christmas shop, it might be an idea to think about what would be nice to drink with your festive meal this year. I popped into my local butcher / deli / fromagerie / winery Hampstead B
Three easy steps to lovely homemade limoncello. You will need: 1 litre vodka 5 unwaxed lemons 750g sugar 700ml water Big jar to make it in Nice little bottles for the finished article Pour over ice cream, use to spike a lemon cheesecake, give as a gift or just drink on its own! #limoncello #vodka #lemon #christmas
The lovely people at Foodies Festival have given me three pairs of tickets to give away to their excellent Christmas festival! Running from November 28, 29 and 30th at the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, they have got some great chefs like Ernesto Paiva of Bubbledogs (which I still have not been to due to the ridiculous queue every time I try) showing off their skills and there will be a Pudding Hall (see above) and my personal favourite - a CHEESE VILLAGE. A Village of Cheese.