Christmas food ideas with a difference
Try something different this Christmas with these alternative festive recipes
Looking for something special this December? The next six pages feature great restaurant suggestions for dining out over the festive season, as well as some culinary hints for dining in. Below, Paul Wedgwood gives us his top five tips for putting some pizzazz in your pudding, while Craig Grozier recommends five Chrimbo canapés that’ll have your mouth watering
Alternative Christmas food ideas
Instead of mulled wine, try something slightly different: mulled cider or perhaps add mulling spices to some crème de cassis for an extra special mulled Kir Royale.
Try using Pedro Ximenez sherry to deglaze your roasting pan when making your roast gravy.
Add a big pinch of dried dulse (seaweed available from foragerangers.com) to your stuffing mix to take it to the next level.
For an alternative to traditional brandy sauce with your Christmas pudding, try using brown sugar and a good splash of rum in your homemade custard.
We always have some Christmas cake left, so on Boxing Day why not try frying a couple of slices in butter then topping with Dunsyre blue cheese and a drizzle of honey? Delicious and different.
Paul Wedgwood is head chef at Wedgwood the Restaurant, Canongate, Edinburgh, wedgwoodtherestaurant.co.uk
Hot smoked salmon rillettes with horseradish and dill
Take 500g hot flaked smoked salmon, bind in a bowl with the zest of one lemon, cracked black pepper, 1 tbsp chopped dill, 1 tbsp of horseradish sauce and 150g crème fraiche. Mix till resembling a course paté. Season with lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve with toast or crackers.
Curried parsnip crisps
Take a couple of peeled parsnips and continue to peel off strips till you reach the core and discard. Deep fry in oil at 150°c till golden, season while hot with 1 tsp curry powder and half tsp salt mixed together.
Grissini with artichoke dip
In a food processor, add one drained 390g jar of artichokes in oil with 6 tbsp of the drained oil, 1 clove garlic, 25g parmesan and whizz till resembling a course houmous. Serve in a suitable dish drizzled with oil and garnished with torn basil leaves and good quality grissini.
Agen prunes with Bishop Kennedy cheese and pancetta
Cut some Bishop Kennedy cheese (or camembert) into 1.5 cm cubes and wrap in butterflied Agen prunes. Wrap in a strip of pancetta, spike with a cocktail stick, drizzle with oil and bake in an oven at 200°c until the pancetta is crispy. Serve seasoned with a dash of sherry vinegar.
Smoked venison wrapped pears with walnut oil
Take four tinned pears and cut into quarters. Colour in a medium heat with vegetable oil in a pan until golden but not over-cooked. Drop in a knob of butter, a sprinkling of caster sugar and lightly toss the pears, then drain. Take some strips of smoked venison, wrap around the pears and secure with a cocktail stick. Warm for two minutes in a 180°c oven and serve drizzled with walnut or hazelnut oil.
Craig Grozier is kitchen manager at Heart Buchanan, Byres Road, Glasgow, heartbuchanan.co.uk