Merry Christmas: Festive Favorites

Merry Christmas: Festive Favorites

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Continuing with Christmas and New Years party traditions, we bring more festive favorites to you. Christmas is almost upon us, which clearly means there is still a lot that has to be done. With the joyful holidays, there’s a certain amount of stress that goes into hosting parties. The presents have to be bought, wrapped and placed under the tree, besides the cards have to be written and sent, and most importantly the cakes, pies and cookies have to be baked. However on Christmas morning, we would all prefer to sit back and relax, this is possible if you are smart enough to prepare some make-ahead recipes the night before. These super easy recipes can be made a day before, and they are super simple to throw together.

Given the festive breakfast, brunches and dinner get-togethers in tow, here are some dishes you can make ahead of time.

Expert Chef Sathish Reddy, from Courtyard By Marriott, Pune Chakan gives us some fantastic gourmet recipes.

Chicken, leek and mash pot pies

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients​​​​​​​​​:

  1. Potatoes, peeled, chopped​​​​​​​ – 500g
  2. Tub light cooking cream​​​​​​​ – 300ml
  3. Margarine spread​​​​​​​​ – 80g
  4. Olive oil​​​​​​​​​ – 1 tablespoon
  5. Chicken breast fillets cut into 2cm pieces​​​ – ​​700g
  6. Leeks, trimmed, cut into 2cm-thick slices​​​​​2 medium
  7. Plain flour​​​​​​​​​ – 2 tablespoons
  8. Olive oil cooking spray

Method

  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons cream and 1 tablespoon spread. Mash until smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, in batches, for 5 minutes or until browned and just cooked through. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining spread to pan. Add leek. Cook, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until softened. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually add remaining cream, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens. Return chicken to pan and combine well.
  4. Spoon chicken mixture among four 2-cup-capacity ovenproof dishes. Dollop with mash. Spray with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place dishes on a large baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until potato is golden and mixture is bubbling around the edges. Serve.

Plum Pudding Recipe

Plum Christmas pudding

Recipe Type: Christmas pudding

Cuisine: English

Yields: 2 plum puddings

Prep time: 45 min

Cook time: 4 hr.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons candied orange or lemon citron, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped apples
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Boiling Water Nutmeg Sauce
• 1/2 cup fruit juice and 1/2 cup brandy may be substituted for the milk if desired.

Preparation:

  1. Grease two 2-pound coffee cans, two 2-quart pudding molds, or two 2-quart oven-proof deep dishes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter, milk, eggs, molasses, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour; add raisins, dates, nuts, candied orange or lemon citron, apples, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
  3. Fill each greased pan 1/2 full of batter. Cover tops of pans with lids or 2 layers of aluminum foil. In a large pot or roaster, place molds on trivets or a rack and add boiling water 2/3 up the side of the mold; bring rapidly to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot or roaster, and boil gently 4 to 4 1/2 hours (add more boiling water as necessary) or until fork comes out clean when put into center of pudding.
  4. Remove from heat and cool. Store in refrigerator, covered, until time to serve. NOTE: These also freeze well. To serve, steam for 1 hour before serving to heat thoroughly. Unmold and serve hot with Nutmeg Sauce.

Also Courtyard By Marriott, Pune City Centre gives us some fantastic gourmet recipes below.

Honey Baked Leg Ham

Honey Leg Ham

Ingredients:

  1. Pork Leg – 5kg
  2. Whole Cloves -100g
  3. Black Peppercorns – 100g
  4. Brown Sugar – 500g
  5. Mustard Paste – 150g
  6. Honey – 150ml
  7. Butter – 150g

Method:

    1. Pre heat the oven to 170*C
    2. Using a Sharp Knife score the pork leg in diamond pattern about ½ inch deep cutting through the fat.
    3. Once scored place the whole cloves in the centre of the diamond pattern, alternate it with black peppercorns to form pattern on the top and around the ham.
    4. Apply the mustard paste evenly spreading it entirely over the ham.
    5. Spread the brown sugar over the mustard ensure its evenly spread
    6. Place the leg into a baking tray and bake it in the pre heated oven. Keep basting regularly to ensure that the meat does not lose its moisture
    7. If the crust starts to darken fast, use a silver foil to over the tray
    8. Check the meat once tender remove it from the oven, brush it with the pan juices and leave it to rest for 10min.
    9. Hold the leg upright and cut through the fat and meat and serve hot.

And, serve these sumptuous recipes with this sizzling cocktail, which makes for a perfect accompaniment.

Cocktail: Star Anise Swizzle

Star Anise Cocktail

Ingredients:

      1. Cranberry vodka 60ml
      2. Cranberry juice 150ml
      3. Mango juice 120ml
      4. Star anise 3 nos.
      5. Lime juice 10ml

Method:

      1. Muddle two star anise in the shaker
      2. Put vodka, the mango and cranberry juices in the shaker along with lime juice
      3. Add a good amount of ice
      4. Shake it well in the shaker and strain into a pre-chilled martini glass
      5. Garnish with star anise floating at the centre of the drink

This is our holiday gift to you, merry Christmas, folks!

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