Gingerbread biscuits


900g plain flour
4 tsp Baking powder
8 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
a pinch of Salt
500g unsalted Butter, diced
400g caster sugar
9 tbsp golden syrup
3 medium Eggs, beaten


1. Sift the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne and salt into a mixing bowl.

2. Add in the butter and sugar and rub in until the butter is absorbed and the mixture has a sandy texture.

3. Mix in the syrup and enough of the beaten egg to make a fairly stiff, smooth dough. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film. Place the dough in the fridge to firm up for at least 45 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

5. Roll out the dough to 3mm thickness. Cut out biscuits into desired shapes.

6. Place the gingerbread biscuits on greased, non-stick baking sheets.

7. Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

8. Remove the biscuits from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets.

9. Decorate with biscuits with piped royal icing. Store in an airtight container.

Double chocolate nut cookies


oil, for greasing
125g unsalted Butter, at room temperature
70g caster sugar
70g demerara sugar
1 egg
60g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
60g white chocolate, broken into small pieces
80g selection of nuts, roughly chopped
140g plain flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
pinch of Salt


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Grease two or three baking trays and line with greaseproof paper.

2. Put the butter and both lots of sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using electric beaters, cream together for about 5 minutes until smooth and fluffy.

3. Beat in the egg, then stir in the dark and white chocolates and the nuts.

4. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the mixture, and stir well.

5. Place heaped teaspoonsful of the mixture onto the prepared baking trays, leaving a good amount of space between each one.

6. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until tan-coloured and puffy.

7. Remove from the oven and tap sharply on the worktop to knock out the air. Return to the oven for about 6-8 minutes until the cookies are golden brown.

8. Bang the trays once more on the worktop. Leave the cookies to cool on the trays, then store in airtight jars. They will keep for up to a week.

Perky turkey soup


1 tbsp Olive oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced into thin strips
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
2 tsp ground coriander
0.5 tsp chilli flakes
3 tbsp Basmati rice, or long grain rice
1.5 litres turkey or chicken stock, hot
250g Turkey, cut into thin strips (leg meat will have the most flavour)
410g canned chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 handful fresh coriander, or flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped (optional)


1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes or so, stirring every now and then until it starts to soften.

2. Add the red pepper, ground coriander, chilli and rice and stir round the pan for about a minute.

3. Pour in the hot stock, stir in the turkey and chick peas and season well. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the vegetables and rice are tender.

4. Stir in the coriander or parsley and it's ready. (The soup may now be cooled and frozen for up to 1 month.)


Sizzle some chopped bacon with the onions
Pour in a splash of dry sherry before adding the stock
Any canned pulses can replace the chick peas
Throw in some chopped sprouts - cooked or raw, it doesn't matter
For extra zing, squeeze in a little lemon juice at the end

Turkey hash


1 small red onion, finely diced
1 red pepper, de-seeded and finely diced
2 waxy potatoes, peeled and finely diced
155ml Olive oil
250g Turkey, diced
2 tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
5 free-range eggs, beaten lightly
8 rashers Bacon, rinds removed
4 tbsp crème fraîche
salt and fresh ground black pepper


1. Cook the red onion, red pepper and potatoes in 125ml olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, until tender and lightly browned (about 12 minutes).

2. Put the turkey and tarragon into a mixing bowl and season to taste. Add the eggs to the bowl and combine well.

3. Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the non-stick frying pan. Spoon in the mixture to cover the whole pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn and lightly brown the other side.

4. Meanwhile, grill the bacon rashers until crisp.

5. To serve, cut the hash into wedges. Put dollops of crème frâiche at the side with some crispy bacon.

Turkey gravy


3 tbsp cooking juices from the turkey
3 tbsp plain flour
600ml chicken stock
1 pinch Salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 splash Red wine


Get the stock bubbling in a saucepan on a medium-heat hob. Skim excess fat from the turkey roasting tin, leaving about 3 tablespoons of liquid fat with the dark turkey juices in the tin. Place the roasting tin on the hob over a low heat and sprinkle with flour.

Whisk the flour into the juices to form a smooth paste. Begin to add the hot stock a little at a time, whisking briskly to blend. As the stock is added and it hits simmering point, the gravy will thicken. If it is too thin, let it cook to reduce, if it's too thick, add some more liquid.

Add a splash of wine and continue to reduce. The gravy should cook for 15-20 minutes. Season with freshly milled pepper and some salt, then pour into a warmed gravy jug to serve with your roast turkey.

Traditional roast turkey with pork, sage and onion stuffing


1 Turkey, about 6.3 kg oven-ready
175g Butter, softened
225g rashers of streaky bacon, very fatty
1 pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper

For the pork, sage and onion stuffing
900g pork sausage meat, good-quality or finely minced pure pork
2 tsp dried sage
1 large onion, grated or very finely chopped
4 tbsp white breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten (optional)
1 pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper

For the gravy:
2 tbsp plain flour
900ml turkey giblet stock, giblet stock


1. Before you start, please bear in mind that it is important to take the turkey out of the fridge last thing on Christmas Eve to allow it to come to room temperature so that it heats up immediately you put it in the oven. The same applies to the stuffing (you can make this on Christmas Eve, ahead of time), and you also need to remove the 6 oz (175 g) of butter to soften ready for the morning.

2. To make the stuffing, combine the breadcrumbs with the onion and sage in a large mixing bowl, then stir in a little boiling water and mix thoroughly. Next work the sausagemeat or minced pork and egg, if using, into this mixture and season with salt and pepper. Leave the stuffing covered in a cool place - but not in the fridge, as it shouldn't be too cold when you come to stuff the turkey.

3. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C). Begin, on the morning of cooking, by stuffing the turkey. Loosen the skin with your hands and pack the stuffing into the neck end, pushing it up between the flesh and the skin towards the breast (though not too tightly because it will expand during the cooking). Press it in gently to make a nice rounded end, then tuck the neck flap under the bird's back and secure with a small skewer. Don't expect to get all the stuffing in this end - put the rest into the body cavity.

4. Now arrange two large sheets of foil across your baking tin - one of them widthways, the other lengthways (no need to butter them). Lay the turkey on its back in the centre, then rub it generously all over with the butter, making sure the thighbones are particularly well covered. Next season the bird all over with salt and pepper, and lay the bacon over the breast with the rashers overlapping each other.

Thai turkey salad


2 tbsp fresh lime juice
55ml Kikkoman Soy sauce
1 tbsp Ginger, grated
1 tsp ground star anise
2 tbsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
2 tsp Honey
450g cooked turkey meat, cut into half inch strips
2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
4 Spring onions, sliced
1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1cm half moons
3 Tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp coriander leaves
2 tbsp basil leaves
salt and fresh ground black pepper
mixed salad leaves, to serve


1. In a saucepan combine the lime juice, soy, ginger, star anise, fish sauce and honey.

2. Cook for 2 minutes over a medium heat, allow to cool.

3. Add the remaining ingredients, except the salad leaves. Season to taste and serve on the dressed salad leaves.

Tempting turkey, leek and mushroom pies


2 tbsp plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
500g turkey breasts, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
4 tbsp Olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced (white part only)
150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
120ml dry white wine
150ml chicken stock
120ml double cream
2-3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
150g pack ready rolled puff pastry, thawed if frozen
1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
salt and fresh ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7. Place the flour in a large bowl and season generously, then use to coat the turkey pieces, shaking off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy-based pan, add the turkey pieces and cook for a minute or two on each side until beginning to brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Add the remaining oil to the pan, then stir in the leeks, mushrooms and garlic and cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes until softened but not coloured. Return the turkey to the pan, then pour in the wine, bring to the boil and cook for another 1-2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove any sediment.

3. Pour the stock into the pan with the cream and simmer for 6 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally, then stir in the parsley and season to taste. Ladle the mixture into 4 x 300ml individual pie dishes; allow to cool slightly so that a light skin forms on top.

4. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry to about 5mm thick on a lightly floured work surface and cut out 4 lids large enough to fit the top of your pies. Brush the lips of the pie dishes with the egg wash and stick down the pastry lids. Egg wash the top of each lid and gently press down along the sides to seal. Cut a small slit in each pie lid. Brush with the egg wash and bake for about 25 minutes or until the pies are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Roast turkey with parsley, thyme and bacon stuffing


1x 4kg Turkey
4 smoked bacon
25g Butter, melted
1 onion, chopped
2 Bay leaves
600ml chicken stock

For the stuffing:
1 tbsp Olive oil
115g smoked bacon or pancetta, cut into small pieces
1 onion, finely diced
1 stick of Celery, finely sliced
100g packet parsley and thyme stuffing
55g melted Butter
2 tsp grated lemon zest

For the gravy:
4 tbsp Red wine
1 tbsp red currant jelly
1 tbsp cornflour
salt and fresh ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

2. Carefully loosen the skin over the breast and tops of the legs of the turkey, using your fingers or the handle of a wooden spoon. Cut the bacon into 2.5cm pieces and push down under the skin of the turkey.

3. For the stuffing, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 2 minutes. Next add the onions and celery and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring the pan. Take off the heat and set aside. Make the parsley and thyme stuffing following the instructions on the packet and add the melted butter and lemon rind to it. Then add the bacon mixture to the bowl and mix well.

4. Fill the neck cavity (that's the rounded end!) with the stuffing.

5. Place the onion, bay leaves and stock in the bottom of a roasting tray, place a rack over this mixture and put the turkey on the rack (if you don?t have a rack, no problem, just put the turkey on top of the onions). Brush the turkey with the melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and cook for 2 hours.
After 1 hour cover the breast and end of the drumsticks with foil if they appear too brown. Pour extra stock into the roasting tray from time to time.

6. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/gas 2 and return the turkey to the oven on another oven proof dish for 15 minutes while you make the gravy.

7. To make the gravy, remove the rack from the roasting tray and place the tray over a medium heat on the stove. Remove as much fat from the juices in the pan as possible (either with a metal spoon or pipette) but don't worry if a little remains. Add the red wine and redcurrant jelly to the pan and with a wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits that have stuck to the bottom and simmer gently until the jelly melts. Mix the corn flour with a little water to pouring consistency and stir into the sauce, continue stirring until it gently thickens. Season to taste. Strain the sauce into a jug and keep warm.

8. Return the turkey to its original roasting tray and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and carve the turkey. Serve with the stuffing spooned out of the bird and the gravy.

Breast of turkey with mozzarella, prosciutto and plum chutney


2 turkey breast escalopes
salt and fresh ground black pepper
6 sage leaves
1 1/2 tbsp Olive oil
1 buffalo mozzarella cheese, about 150g, quartered
4 slices of prosciutto
80g mixed salad leaves
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 sprigs fresh basil leaves

For the plum chutney:
25g Butter
8 Plums, stoned and chopped
1 red onion, sliced
2 tbsp demerara sugar
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 cinnamon stick
salt and fresh ground black pepper


1. First make the plum chutney. Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan.

2. Add the plums and onion and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring now and then.

3. Add the sugar, vinegar and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chutney thickens. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and set aside.

4. To cook the turkey, open each escalope out and season the escalopes on both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper. Top each escalope with a few sage leaves.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Fry the escalopes until golden on both sides and cooked through.

6. Preheat the grill.

7. Remove the turkey escalopes from the pan and top each escalope with 2 tablespoons of the plum chutney. Top the escalopes with the mozzarella.

8. Place two slices of prosciutto per escalope over the mozzarella. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

9. Grill the turkey escalopes for 5 minutes, until the prosciutto is crispy.

10. Meanwhile, dress the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

11. Garnish the escalopes with basil and serve with the salad and remaining plum chutney.

Boned turkey breast en croute with mushroom and pepper stuffing


2 x 500g/1lb 2oz British Turkey boneless turkey breasts
2tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
125g/4 1/2oz portobello mushrooms, peeled and finely chopped (or white cap mushrooms)
1/2 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
3tbsp chopped fresh parsley
100g/4oz fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
Salt and black pepper
550g/1 1/2lb ready to use puff pastry
Milk or beaten egg, to glaze


1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mushrooms. Fry for 5 minutes, then add the red pepper and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

2. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the parsley, breadcrumbs, beaten egg and seasoning and leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

3. Spread a large sheet of foil in the work surface and brush with olive oil. Place one turkey breast in the centre, cut side up and spread with the stuffing, pressing it down in an even layer. Lay the second breast on top, cut side down.

4. Wrap the foil around the turkey, folding the edges over to make a tight seal. Lift into a shallow roasting tin and cook in the oven for 1 1/4 hours. Leave to cool before unwrapping the turkey.

5. Roll out about one-third of the pastry to an oblong, lift on to a baking sheet and place the turkey in the centre – the pastry should be large enough to leave a border of about 2.5cm/1in all around.

6. Roll out the rest of the pastry large enough to cover the turkey, brushing the pastry edges with milk or beaten egg and pressing them together to seal. Decorate the parcel with any pastry trimmings, brushing these with milk or beaten egg to fix in place.

7. Chill for 30 minutes or until ready to cook.

8. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Brush the pastry with milk or beaten egg to glaze and bake for about 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve with a selection of vegetables.

Tip: when cooking the pastry-wrapped turkey, use a baking sheet with a lip or a shallow roasting tin to prevent any juices that run out burning on the bottom of the oven

The classic roast turkey


Prepare ahead:
Make your chosen stuffing

To prepare your turkey :
have your chosen stuffing ready
4.5-6.5kg/10-12lb turkey, thawed if frozen, giblets removed
1 lemon, quartered
50g/2oz butter, at room temperature
20 cocktail sausages
10 rashers streaky bacon
sage and parsley sprigs, to garnish


On the day :

1. Preheat the oven to 190/375F/Gas 5. Wash the turkey inside and out and dry well with kitchen paper.

2. Put the lemon quarters into the cavity. If you are stuffing the turkey, put the stuffing in the neck end pushing it upwards towards the breast (dont pull the neck skin too tightly, as the stuffing will expand during cooking). Secure the skin with wooden or metal skewers crossways, then tie the turkey legs together at the top of the drumsticks for a good shape. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time at 18 minutes per 450g/1lb.

3. Grease a large roasting tin with a little of the butter. Smear the rest over the turkey skin and season well, then put in the tin. Loosley cover with foil and roast for the calculated time. Meanwhile, halve the bacon rashers, stretch slightly and wrap half around each sausage

4. Baste the turkey every hour. One hour before the end of cooking, remove the foil and drain off the excess fat. 30 minutes before the end of cooking, put the sausages around the turkey (if room) or in a separate lightly oiled tin.

5. To test whether the turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh - the juices should run clear. If they are pinkish, cook for 15 minutes more, then test again. Transfer the turkey and sausages and sausages to a platter, tightly cover with foil and allow to rest for up to 30 minutes before carving. Serve surrounded by vegetables and stuffing balls and garnished with sage and parsley.

Roast turkey with cider and apple


5.5kg/12lb oven ready turkey, thoroughly thawed if frozen
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges
4 garlic cloves
450ml/¾ pint medium dry cider
25g/1oz softened butter or margarine
25g/1oz flour
4 tbsp half fat crème fraîche
fresh mint sprigs to garnish
For the stuffing:
1 tbsp oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 Bramley cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
175g/6oz fresh white breadcrumbs
75g/3oz ready to eat dried prunes, chopped
2 tbsp freshly chopped mint
1 medium egg, beaten


1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5, 10 minutes before cooking.

2. Wipe the turkey inside and season the body cavity. Put on one side while preparing the stuffing.

3. Make stuffing by heating the oil in a pan and sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until softened.

4. Stir in the apple, remove from the heat and add remaining stuffing ingredients with seasoning to taste and mix well to form a stiff consistency.

5. Stuff the neck cavity only with the prepared stuffing then fold the neck flap over and secure either by sewing using fine twine and a trussing needle or with skewers.

6. Place the onion wedges and whole garlic cloves in the body cavity.

7. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time allowing 18 minutes per 450g/1lb.

8. Roll any remaining stuffing into balls and cook round the turkey for the last 20 minutes of cooking time.

9. Place breast side down in the roasting tin, pour over 150ml/¼ pint of the cider then place in the oven and roast in the oven for the calculated cooking time. (By cooking the turkey upside down, the natural juices will baste the turkey as it cooks.

10. Twenty minutes before the end of the cooking time, turn the turkey over, pour over a further 150ml/¼ pint of the cider and continue to cook for the rest of the cooking time. If the turkey is browning too quickly, cover loosely with tin foil. Check the turkey is thoroughly cooked by inserting a long skewer in the thickest part of the thigh. If after 1 minute the juices run clear the turkey is cooked.

11. Remove from the oven, place turkey on a serving plate, loosely cover with tinfoil and stand for 20 minutes before carving.

12. Strain 300ml/½ pint of the juices from the cooked turkey into a saucepan and stir in the remaining cider, bring to the boil.

13. Cream the butter or margarine with the flour then gradually whisk into the cider mixture.

14. Cook for 2 minutes, adjust seasoning and stir in the crème fraîche. Heat gently for 1 minute then serve with the cooked turkey, garnished with fresh herbs

Roast goose with prune and chestnut stuffing


450g/1lb prunes, pitted
240ml/8fl oz port
1kg/2.25lb fresh chestnuts
30g/1oz butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

5.4kg/12lb oven-ready goose with giblets
cooking oil or butter



1. Soak the prunes for one hour in the port.

2. Meanwhile prepare the chestnuts. Make a slit in the top of each one with a sharp knife. Put them in boiling water and simmer for ten minutes. Remove a few at a time with a slotted spoon. Wearing clean rubber gloves, slip off the outer and inner skins. Place the chestnuts in a large bowl.

3. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook without browning until the onion has softened.

4. Add the chestnuts and prunes with the port they have been soaking in and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

5. Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper.


1. Remove the giblets and cook them in at least 2-3l/4-6 pint of water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3-4 hours then strain and thicken the stock to make the gravy.

2. Stuff the goose with the prune and chestnut stuffing, or as an alternative fill the body cavity with leek tops and chopped apple and cook the stuffing separately in a dish.

3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

4. Prick the skin and rub salt and pepper all over it, then brush with cooking oil or butter. Cover the legs with spare fat taken from the inside of the goose.

5. Line a large, deep meat tin with foil so you can make a parcel of the goose. Place the goose on a trivet or rack in the meat tin, breast side up. If a trivet is not available, place the goose on the foil in the tin. Wrap the goose in foil, making sure there is double protection over the legs.

6. Place the goose in the oven, allowing 15 minutes per 0.45kg/1lb plus 20 minutes, thus 3½ hours for 12lb goose.

7. After the first hour baste the goose and make sure the legs are still covered and that the skin is not burning.

8. For the last half to three-quarters of an hour of cooking uncover the breast to brown, and baste again.

9. Lift the goose on to a carving dish to rest for approximately 20 minutes before carving. Keep covered.

Roast turkey and stuffing in a pan


For the herb butter:
250g/9oz pack unsalted butter, softened
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped leaves only
2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
5-6kg/11-13lb medium-sized turkey
3 or 4 good quality, thick sausages, skins removed
For the stuffing
200g/7oz white breadcrumbs
125g/4½oz butter
1 onion, finely chopped
large sprig of thyme and rosemary, chopped leaves only
6 fresh sage leaves
1 lemon, zest only
50g/2oz pine nuts
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
For the gravy:
1 onion or large shallot, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
125ml/4fl oz dry white wine
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
500ml/17fl oz chicken stock
200ml/7fl oz double cream
pan juices from roasting
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4

2. Make the herb butter, mix herbs and butter together to form a paste, season well and chill.

3. Prepare the turkey, to remove legs, cut through the skin and pull joint firmly away from body then cut through ball and socket joints.

4. Cut away the 'oyster' on the back of the turkey so leg and thigh comes away cleanly.

5. With a thin, sharp knife, bone both legs and stuff with sausage meat.

6. Wrap tightly in tin foil and chill to set the shape.

7. Prepare the crown, cut off wing tips and, for easier carving, take out the wishbone and cut away back bone with poultry shears.

8. Lift up the breast skin with your fingers and separate it from the flesh.
8. Divide the herb butter between the two breast flaps and pull the skin back over.

9. Season well, place in a roasting tin and cover loosely with butter paper or foil.

10. Cook the turkey, put the foil-wrapped legs in a roasting pan and cook at 180C/350F/Gas4 for 45 minutes. Reduce temperature to 160C/320F/Gas 2 and cook for a further 15 minutes then remove foil and cook for a further 30 minutes, straining off any juices for the gravy.

11. Cook the crown for 1-1½ hours at 180C/350F/Gas 4 until juices run clear and let the bird rest for 30 minutes before carving.

12. Make the stuffing, melt butter in a large frying pan and gently sauté onion and garlic for five minutes until soft.

13. Stir in the herbs for one minute then add breadcrumbs to absorb butter.
14. Mix in zest, pine nuts and seasoning and cook over medium heat for about seven minutes until crumbs start to brown and crisp.

15. Take off the heat, mix in the parsley and serve warm.

16. Make the gravy, sauté the onion in the olive oil for about five minutes. Pour in the wine, add the thyme and bay and boil until reduced right down.

18. Add stock and boil until reduced by half then add cream and boil for further five minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

19. Remove from heat, cool for ten minutes and strain.

20. Add turkey pan juices, boil for two minutes, season with salt and strain. (This can be made in advance and frozen before the juices are added. When thawed, simply heat until boiling and follow point 20.)

Roasting a goose


1 goose, weighing 4-5kg/9-11lb


1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas5.

2. Prick the skin of the goose all over with a skewer so that the fat can run out during cooking. Trim off any excess fat from the bird. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Put on a wire rack in a large roasting tin and cover with foil. Roast in the oven for 3½ hours until the juices run clear. Take the foil off 30 minutes before the end of roasting so that the skin can become crisp and brown.

4. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with gravy made from the juices, bacon rolls and stuffing.

Smoked salmon with potato blinis


12 slices of Smoked salmon
12 tbsps of crème fraîche
lemon wedges, to serve

For the potato blinis:
225g Potatoes, peeled and chopped
salt and fresh ground black pepper
45ml Milk
75g self-raising flour
4 large Eggs, separated
45ml Soured cream
vegetable oil, for shallow-frying

For the vegetable relish:
75ml white wine vinegar
30g caster sugar
225g Cucumber, cut into thin strips
75g radish, cut into thin strips
1 spring onion, cut into thin strips
5g Mustard seeds


1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender; drain well and mash with the milk.

2. Transfer the mashed potato to a mixing bowl and allow to cool. Beat in the flour, egg yolks and soured cream. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Using a metal spoon carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the potato mixture.

4. Heat a little oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add 3-4 separate tablespoons of the potato blini mixture. Fry over medium heat until set, then turn the potato blinis over and fry briefly so that both sides are lightly browned. Remove and keep warm. Repeat the process until all the potato mixture has been used.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Heat the vinegar and sugar together in a small pan. Bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes, then set aside to cool. Stir in the cucumber, radish, spring onion and mustard seeds.

6. To serve, put two potato blinis on each serving plate. Top each blini with a dollop of crème fraiche and then a slice of smoked salmon. Put a spoonful of the pickled vegetables on top of the salmon and garnish with a lemon wedge on the side.

Coarse pork and herb terrine


2 tbsp Olive oil
175g Onions, finely chopped
1kg rindless boned pork belly
175g rindless back bacon
175g lamb's or pig's liver, cut into small pieces
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
large handful Parsley, finely chopped
1.5 tbsp chopped Rosemary
1.5 tbsp chopped Thyme
1.5 tsp Salt
1.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
pickled Blueberries
beetroot chutney
crusty bread


1. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and fry gently until soft but not browned. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool.

2. Put the pork belly into a food processor and chop, using the pulse button, into a coarse but not too coarse mixture. Add to the onions in the bowl. Put the bacon and liver in the food processor and again, coarsely chop, then transfer to the bowl.

3. Add the garlic, chopped herbs, salt and pepper and mix everything together really well - the best way of distributing the ingredients evenly is with your hands.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Put the mixture into a lightly oiled 1.5 litre terrine dish or loaf tin and slightly round off the top. Cover with a lid or some foil, put into a small roasting tin and pour enough hot water into the tin to come half way up the sides of the dish. Bake for 1.5 hours.

5. Uncover the terrine and cook for a further 15 minutes, until it is lightly coloured on top. Remove the dish from the roasting tin and leave to cool, then weight down the terrine overnight in the fridge. The easiest way to do this is to cut out a piece of cardboard that will fit inside the rim of the dish, cover it with foil, then place it on top of the terrine and place a few weights or unopened cans on top.

6. To serve, remove the terrine from the dish in slices. Accompany with lots of crusty bread, the pickled blueberries, beetroot chutney and some cornichons.

Avocado and prawn salad


1 heaped tbsp Soured cream
1 heaped tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Worcestershire sauce
anchovy essence
juice of 1/2 lemon
1-2 tbsp tomato ketchup
salt and fresh ground black pepper
a splash of brandy

For the salad:
1 large avocado
handful of mixed salad leaves
4 cooked jumbo prawns
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp freshly chopped chives
2 slices of lemon, to garnish


1. Spoon the soured cream mayonnaise into a large mixing bowl.

2. Add a generous dash of Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and anchovy essence. Add the Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Stir to combine.

3. Gradually stir in the ketchup bit by bit, stop when the mixture is pale pink. Season to taste then stir in a splash of brandy.

4. Cut the prawns into fairly large chunks and thoroughly coat in the sauce.

5. Slice the avocado down the middle, remove the stone and scoop the flesh out into a bowl being careful not to tear the avocado shell as you do so. Put some salad leaves onto each serving plate and place an empty avocado shell on top of each bed of salad. Spoon the prawn mixture evenly between the two shells.

6. Drizzle olive oil over the avocado flesh and add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper before sprinkling on the chopped chives. Gently mix together until fully coated and then place back into avocado shells on top of the prawn mixture.

7. Garnish with slices of lemon and serve.

Brandy snaps


For the brandy snaps
50g Butter
50g caster Sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
50g plain flour
1 tsp Brandy
½ tsp ground Ginger
ground Cinnamon
finely grated zest of 1 lemon

For the filling
150ml whipping Cream
2 tsp Brandy


1. For the brandy snaps: preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and oil the handle of a wooden spoon.

2. Melt together the butter, sugar and golden syrup and leave to cool a little. Stir in the flour, brandy and spices; grate in the lemon zest.

3. Drop small spoonfuls of the mixture onto a baking tray, spaced well apart, as they will spread in the oven. It is best to cook the snaps in two batches so you'll have time to shape them while they are still pliable.

4. Bake for 6-8 minutes. They're ready when the mixture has spread out to lacy, golden discs. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a minute before shaping.

5. Use the oiled wooden spoon handle to shape the brandy snaps into cylinders and leave on a rack to cool. If they become too brittle, return to the oven for a minute to soften. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

6. For the filling: whisk the cream and brandy to soft billowing peaks. Spoon into a sandwich bag and snip off one corner to make a piping bag. Pipe the cream into the brandy snaps just before serving.

Meringue roulade with pomegranate seeds


4 egg whites
225g caster Sugar
300ml whipped cream
non-scented oil, eg. sunflower or groundnut oil, for greasing
1-2 Pomegranates
1-2 tsp rose blossom water
unsprayed rose petals, if available


1. Preheat the oven to 150C/gas mark 2.

2. Put the egg whites into a spotlessly clean bowl of a food mixer. Break up with the whisk and add the caster sugar in one go. Whisk at full speed until it holds a stiff peak - this will take around 4 - 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, line a 30.5 x 20.5cm Swiss roll tin with tin foil, brush lightly with a non-scented oil.

4. Spread the meringue gently over the tin with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, it ought to be quite thick and bouncy, crisp on the outside but still soft in the centre. Leave to cool.

5. Meanwhile, cut the pomegranates in half around the equator and flick out the seeds. Sprinkle them with a few drops of rose blossom water. Taste and add more if necessary, or they may need a little sugar.

6. To assemble, put a sheet of tin foil on the work top and turn the roulade upside down onto it, remove the tin foil from the top. Spread most of the whipped cream and most of the the pomegranate seeds over the meringue, roll up from the long side and carefully ease onto a serving plate. Pipe 6-8 rosettes of cream along the top of the roulade, decorate with the reserved pomegranate seeds and rose petals.

7. Serve, cut into slices about 2.5cm thick.

Cook's note: this roulade is also very good filled with raspberries, strawberries, loganberries, sliced peaches, nectarines, kiwi fruit, bananas, mango and passionfruit or homemade lemon curd.

Lemon trifle


100g sponge fingers
100g orange curd, or lemon curd
3 tbsp Limoncello liqueur
500ml double cream
120g caster sugar
100ml lemon juice

To finish
250ml whipping cream, or double cream
1 small orange
crystallised violets


1. Break the sponge fingers in half and spread them thickly with the orange or lemon curd. Put them in a glass or china dish and sprinkle the Limoncello liqueur over them.

2. Pour the 500ml of cream into a saucepan and add the sugar. Bring to the boil over a moderate heat, then turn down the heat and leave to simmer for a good 2-3 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, then pour this mixture over the sponge fingers. They may bob about a bit in the lemon custard but just push them down and leave to cool. When the mixture has cooled, refrigerate for a couple of hours, or even overnight, until set.

4. To finish, whip the 250ml of cream until thick, but stop before it will stand in peaks. It should still be able to slide slowly from a spoon. Smooth the cream loosely over the trifle, then finely grate the orange zest over the top and add a few crystallised violets. Return briefly to the fridge until needed.

Spiced crème brûlée with coffee syrup


2 cinnamon sticks
10 Star anise
20g liquorice root, sliced
1/2 tsp Cloves
2 vanilla pods, split and seeds scraped out
1 cm root ginger, sliced
375ml double cream
125ml full fat Milk
75g palm Sugar, finely grated
5 egg yolks

For the coffee syrup
100g coffee granules
200ml water
125g Sugar
lemon juice, to taste


1. Put all the spices, including the vanilla seeds and pods and root ginger in a pan with the cream and milk. Heat until warm, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Beat the sugar and egg yolks together and whisk the cooled cream into it. Leave this custard mixture for a day in the fridge, mix again and pass through a sieve to remove the spices.

3. Take 4 ramekins, each 6cm in diameter and 4cm deep, and preheat the oven to its lowest temperature (100C maximum/ less than gas 1/4). Put the ramekins in a deep roasting tin, and divide the custard mixture between them. Pour enough boiling water around the ramekins to come three quarters of the way up the sides. Put in the oven - they will take up to an hour to cook and should be firm but slightly wobbly in the middle.

4. For the coffee syrup: bring the coffee granules, water and sugar to the boil in a pan. Reduce by at least two thirds until it becomes a thick syrup. Pass through a sieve and add enough lemon juice to take the edge off the sweetness.

5. Drizzle a little of the syrup on top of each custard and serve.

Christmas chocolate log


4 large eggs
100g caster sugar
65g self-raising flour
40g Cocoa powder

For the chocolate icing and topping:
275g plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
450ml double cream
4 tbsp apricot jam, melted
icing sugar, for dusting
holly and red berries, to garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Grease and line a 33 x 23cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, securing the corner with metal paperclips.

2. For the sponge, place the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Using an electric hand whisk, beat the mixture until it is pale, light and frothy.

3. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and carefully fold in to the egg mixture, using a metal spoon and taking care not to beat any of the air out of the mixture.

4. Pour in to the lined tin and spread out into the corners. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 8-10 minutes until pale golden and the sides are shrinking away from the edge of the tin.

5. Place a piece of baking parchment bigger than the Swiss roll on the work surface. Invert the cake on to the paper and remove (and count!) the paperclips and peel away the baking parchment.

6. Trim the edges of the cake with a sharp knife and make a score mark 2.5cm in along the longer edge. Roll up (from the longer edge) using the paper, rolling it up with the paper inside. Set aside to cool.

7. While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Melt the chocolate and 300ml of the cream in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Refrigerate until cool and thickened. Whip the remaining cream.

8. Uncurl the cold Swiss roll and remove the paper. Spread a third of the icing over the surface then spread the whipped cream on top, and re-roll tightly. Cut a quarter of the cake off from one end, on the diagonal. Transfer the large piece of cake to a serving plate and angle the cut end to the side of the large cake to make a branch. Cover the surface of the cake with the melted apricot jam.

9. Put the remaining chocolate icing into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe long thick lines along the cake, covering the cake completely so it looks like the bark of a tree. Cover each end with icing or, if you wish to see the cream, leave un-iced.

10. Dust with icing sugar and garnish with fresh holly and red berries.