If you are a fan of cooking then there is no way on earth you can miss any of these dishes. Try them and you’ll have everyone singing your praises!
1. Mushroom-Spinach Baked Eggs
Now this is possibly the coolest Christmas breakfast dish you can have. Get your folks up on this special day with the scent of this special dish.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups baby spinach (about 6 ounces)
6 slices potato bread, lightly toasted
6 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup shredded gruyere cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 more minutes.
- Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Arrange the bread in the dish in a single layer with the edges slightly overlapping, and then spoon the mushroom-spinach mixture on top. If making in advance, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Crack an egg onto each piece of bread; season with salt and pepper. Pour the milk evenly over the top and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until the egg whites are set, 25 to 30 minutes.
2. Perfect Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Sausage and Potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
450g bratwurst sausages cut into 1cm slices
1.1kg chicken pieces
Salt to taste
900g potatoes cut into 2.5cm chunks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 230 C / Gas 8. Grease a large baking dish with olive oil.
- Pour half of the olive oil into a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the bratwurst in the hot oil until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes; set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the frying pan and return to heat; brown the chicken pieces in the hot oil 7 to 10 minutes; season with salt while cooking; set aside and return the frying pan to heat.
- Heat the potatoes in the frying pan until lightly browned. Arrange potatoes, chicken and bratwurst in the prepared baking dish; season with salt and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with about half of the chopped rosemary.
- Roast in the preheated oven 15 minutes. Turn each piece of chicken over and stir the potatoes and sausage.
- Sprinkle the remaining rosemary and the red wine vinegar over the dish; cook another 15 minutes.
3. Rib Roast
1 (3-rib) standing rib roast (7 to 8 pounds)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Mustard Horseradish Sauce, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Two hours before roasting, remove the meat from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (see note)
- Place the oven rack on the second lowest position
- Place the roast in a pan large enough to hold it comfortably, bone-side down, and spread the top thickly with the salt and pepper. Roast the meat for 45 minutes.
- Without removing the meat from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and roast for another 30 minutes.
- Finally, increase the temperature to 450 degrees F and roast for another 15 to 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the meat is 125 degrees F. (Be sure the thermometer is exactly in the center of the roast.)
- The total cooking time will be between 1 1/2 and 1 3/4 hours. Meanwhile, make the sauce.
- Remove the roast from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Cover it tightly with aluminum foil and allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve with the sauce.
Note: Be sure your oven is very clean before setting it at 500 degrees F.
Mustard Horseradish Sauce:
Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustards, horseradish, sour cream, and salt in a small bowl.
4. Prune and Couscous Stuffed Roast Pork with Baby Apples
2kg boneless pork loin
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
12 baby apples (or 6 apples, halved)
1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup
Couscous and prune stuffing
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 cup (250ml) Campbell’s Real Stock Chicken
1 cup (190g) couscous
1 cup (180g) pitted prunes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (75g) pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped sage
- Preheat oven or covered barbecue to 220°C. To make the couscous and prune stuffing, heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Remove from heat, add the couscous and stir to combine. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the grains.
- Add the prunes, pistachios and sage and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Lay the pork flat, skin-side up, on a clean work surface. Use a sharp knife to score the skin width ways at 1cm intervals, cutting deeply into fat layer.
- Turn pork and make a 5cm-deep cut under the eye of the meat, to create a cavity for the stuffing. Spoon the stuffing into the cavity. Roll the pork to enclose the stuffing and use kitchen string to tie at 2cm intervals to secure.
- Place the pork in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with fennel seeds and salt. Use your hands to rub spices and oil into the skin.
- Roast in oven or barbecue for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 190°C and roast for a further 45 minutes.
- Place the apples around the pork and drizzle with maple syrup. Roast for a further 15 minutes or until pork is cooked through and apples are tender.
- Remove from oven. Cover with foil and set aside for 15 minutes to rest. Place on a serving platter and cut into slices to serve.
5. White Chocolate Mille Feuille
1 sheet frozen butter puff pastry, halved
200g white chocolate, melted
300ml carton thickened cream
1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)
125g (½ punnet) strawberries, hulled, sliced
125g punnet blueberries fresh cherries, silver cachous, to serve
- Preheat oven to hot, 200°C. Line two oven trays with baking paper.
- Place pastry on one tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden.
- Turn pastry halves upside down and press down gently to flatten slightly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, pour half melted chocolate onto second tray. Spread out evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature. Use a star-shaped cutter to make stars. Carefully peel shapes away from baking paper.
- In a large bowl, whip cream and Cointreau together until soft peaks form.
- Place one rectangle of pastry onto a serving plate. Spread with cream. Top with strawberries and half blueberries. Top with remaining pastry.
- Pour remaining melted chocolate over pastry. Decorate mille feuille with chocolate stars, cherries, remaining blueberries and silver cachous.
6. Mushroom & Squash Vegetarian Wellington
Small butternut squash, halved lengthways and seeds scraped out
1 small dried red chili, crumbled
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves picked and chopped
2 red onions, peeled and sliced
freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch fresh sage leaves picked
100 g vac-packed chestnuts, crumbled
2 slices sourdough bread
3 cloves garlic, peeled
20 g butter
250 g chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
200 g Swiss chard or spinach, washed
50 g pine nuts
25 g sultanas
500 g all butter puff pastry
1 free-range egg
1 splash milk
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas
- Slice the squash lengthways into wedges and add to a large roasting tray with a good splash of olive oil, the chili and cinnamon.
- Bash the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar until fine, then add the rosemary leaves and bash again for 1 to 2 minutes to release its flavor.
- Scatter over the squash and toss together so that each piece of squash is well coated with the seasoning. Make sure all the squash is skin-side down, then cover with tin foil and bake in the hot oven for around 45 minutes or until soft.
- Allow to cool, and then tear into bite-sized chunks.
- Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over a medium heat, and then add a splash of olive oil and the onions.
- Season well with salt and pepper and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned.
- Add the sage and crumbled chestnuts to the pan for the last few minutes of cooking.
- While that’s happening, toast the bread on a hot griddle pan or in a toaster and rub well with one of the cloves of garlic.
- Tear into small chunks, and once the onions are done, add the toast to the pan. Turn the heat off, stir everything together, taste, then season and grate in the zest of the lemon.
- Add the butter to a frying pan on a medium heat and when melted, add the mushrooms and a chopped clove of garlic.
- Fry until soft and quite dry. Squeeze in a little lemon juice, tip into a food processor and whiz until smooth.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the spinach and cook until soft. Drain in a colander, pressing lightly to get rid of excess moisture, and then place to one side.
- Slice the remaining garlic clove and add to a frying pan with a splash of olive oil. Fry until golden.
- Add the pine nuts, sultanas and spinach and fry everything together until warmed through. Season well with salt and pepper and turn off the heat.
- Now assemble your Wellington. Roll out the puff pastry on a sheet of baking parchment until it’s about 30cm x 40cm, then spread the mushroom mixture all over it.
- In a large bowl, lightly toss together the spinach, squash and onion-bread mixture, and then spoon it in a thick line down the middle of the pastry. Leave a space free at either side so you can roll the pastry around the filling.
- To do this, hold one side of the baking parchment and lift it, with the pastry, towards the center of the Wellington so it starts to cover the filling.
- Peel the baking parchment back, leaving the pastry in place, then do the same with the other side.
- The pastry should overlap in the middle. Beat the egg with the milk and brush it over the pastry join to seal the join.
- Fold up the ends so the filling doesn’t leak out, and then carefully roll the Wellington onto a baking sheet, with the seal underneath. Brush all over with the egg mix.
- Bake for 45 minutes until puffed up, golden brown and hot through. Serve carved into thick chunks – it’s fantastic served with veggie gravy!
7. Stuffed Mushrooms with Tofu and Herbs
16 large mushrooms of your choice, washed well
3 T. olive oil, divided
8 oz. tofu, frozen, firm and thawed
1/4 cup onion, diced (fine)
1/4 cup celery, diced (fine)
1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1 T. garlic, minced
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 T. yeast flakes
2 T. freshly chopped parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Spray or oil a large baking dish with vegetable oil and set it aside
- Remove then roughly dice stems of mushrooms and set aside
- In a non-stick skillet, place 1 T. olive oil and mushroom caps, and sauté for 2 minutes
- After sauté, transfer mushroom caps to a large plate
- After tofu is thawed, crumble tofu into a small bowl and set aside
- In the same non-stick skillet, sauté the reserved mushroom stems, onion, celery and green onion in remaining olive oil for 5 minutes to soften
- Add the crumbled tofu, garlic and thyme, and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender
- Remove the skillet from heat, add the remaining ingredients, stir well to combine and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fill the mushroom caps with warm filling, slightly mounding the tops, and place them in the prepared baking dish
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the mushroom caps are heated through and slightly browned on top
- Transfer to a decorative platter for service and serve immediately
8. Nut & Spinach Roast with Wild Mushroom Gravy
For the nuts & spinach roast
200g fresh spinach leaves
250g unsalted mixed nuts
25g of unsalted cashew nuts
½ onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
200g tinned tomatoes, drained and chopped
50g sundried tomatoes in olive oil, roughly chopped
1 free-range egg, beaten
100g Gruyere cheese, finely grated
½ tsp dried sage
½ tsp finely chopped fresh mint
1½ tbsp. freshly chopped curly parsley
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp vegetable stock concentrate
Sea salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
Knob of butter for greasing tin
For the wild mushroom gravy:
2 tbsp. olive oil
Knob of butter
1 banana (long) shallot, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
250g wild mushrooms
300ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. plain flour
1 tbsp. butter
Sea salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Blanch the spinach in boiling water, then drain it well and squeeze out all the water. Chop the spinach finely and set aside.
- Put the mixed nuts and cashews in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but take care not to reduce them to powder.
- Tip the nuts into a large mixing bowl and add the onion, carrot, tinned and sundried tomatoes, egg, cheese, sage, mint, parsley, spinach, garlic, stock and seasoning, then mix everything together well.
- Grease a loaf tin with butter and pour in the mixture. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit the loaf tin, grease it and lay it over the top to stop it burning.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour until the nut roast is cooked through. Turn it out onto a plate for slicing.
- While the nut roast is cooking, make the mushroom gravy. Gently heat the oil and knob of butter in a medium pan, then add the diced shallot.
- Sweat for five minutes or until transparent. –
- Add the garlic and sweat for another two minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and cook gently for a further five minutes.
- Add the stock and soy sauce, then season to taste and simmer with the lid on the pan for 10 minutes.
- Mix the tablespoon of flour into the tablespoon of butter and stir into the gravy to thicken it. Serve piping hot with the nut roast.
9. Honey-Glazed Shallot Tarte Tatin
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsps. balsamic vinegar
A few thyme sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g puff pastry, defrosted if frozen
A little flour for rolling
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/ 390°F/ gas mark 6.
- Cut any large shallots in half. Melt the butter in a 20cm frying pan with a metal handle if you one. Add the shallots and fry over a medium heat for about five minutes, turning from time to time until just beginning to brown.
- Add the honey and vinegar and fry for five minutes more, stirring more frequently towards the end of cooking until the shallots are a deep golden.
- Add the thyme stems and season well. Leave to cool.
- If your frying pan handle is not metal, transfer the shallots to a greased 20 cm shallow round cake tin.
- Roll out the pastry until a little larger than the diameter of the frying pan or cake tin. —Lift over the shallots and tuck down the sides of the pan or tin. Make two small slits for the steam to escape.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is well risen. Leave to stand for five minutes, cover the pan or tin with a plate, invert then remove the pan leaving the tart now on the plate. Serve warm or cold, cut into wedges with a green salad.
10. Dark and Spicy Gingerbread
1 tsp cocoa
70g light muscovite sugar
60g dark muscovite sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
190g plain flour
2½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves
100g crystallized ginger, finely diced
200ml black treacle
120g puréed pumpkin
150ml hot, strong coffee
Zest of 1 small orange
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Prepare a 22cm x 22cm x 5cm brownie tin or nine small loaf tins by greasing with butter and then dusting with cocoa.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until very smooth and fluffy, about five minutes in a mixer, 10 minutes by hand. Add the egg, beating well.
- Sift the dry ingredients together. Stir in the ginger and fold into the butter mixture.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the treacle, pumpkin and coffee. Grate the orange zest over the top. Fold into the cake mixture until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the brownie tin or small loaf tins. Bake large gingerbread for 40 to 50 minutes, small tins for 17 to 19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips: You can use tinned pumpkin or make your own. Peel and deseed the pumpkin and cut into cubes. Steam or microwave with a little water until soft and then purée in a blender. Making cakes in small tins means they’re very easy to pack for picnics – and they look great, too.