It’s December again and Christmas time in the kitchen for all us cooks! Time to bring out the stuffing recipes, make the mince pies and cover everything in alcohol! While my family really enjoys the traditional Turkey with all its trimmings, I look for a bit of a twist here and there.
One year I did all sugar-free desserts for my diabetic husband, while another year I looked at what to do with the leftover Turkey. This year I decided to try and find some recipes to liven up my vegetables on Christmas Day, but of course they can be used all year round. The lemon carrot recipe is a firm favourite with our Sunday roast and gives the carrots a lovely glaze (not to mention another use for my endless supply of lemons)!
Honey Roasted Parsnips
Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Stir together water, butter and honey in a large bowl until the honey has dissolved. Add the parsnips and toss to coat. Transfer the parsnips and honey sauce into a 23x30cm or similar sized baking dish.
Bake uncovered in preheated oven until the parsnips are very soft, about 30 minutes.
Brussel Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Blue Cheese
90g Brussels sprouts (ends trimmed and yellow leaves removed)
115g butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons pine nuts
70g blue cheese, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
Place the Brussels sprouts into a casserole dish. Arrange pieces of butter on top of the sprouts. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Cover with the lid.
Bake for 25 minutes in the pre-heated oven or until sprouts are just barely tender. Stir now and then to keep them from sticking. During the last 10 minutes, sprinkle the pine nuts over the sprouts and remove the lid. When the sprouts are done, sprinkle blue cheese over them before serving.
Gnocchi and Asparagus in Sage and Lemon Butter
Boil a large pan of salted water. Meanwhile heat a frying pan and add the butter. Add garlic and sage and cook for 1 minute. Add lemon juice and zest and seasoning. Remove from heat. Place gnocchi and asparagus into boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until the gnocchi rises to the top of the water. Strain well and gently tip into frying pan and gently toss together without reheating. Serve with sprinkled Parmesan.
Leek and Parsnip Bake
Boil parsnips in water until tender and drain and mash. Heat the oil and cook leeks until tender. Add half the leeks to the parsnips, stir in the flour and then the egg yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff and then add to the mixture. Spread the mixture in a tin and bake on 190 degrees for 25 minutes. Stir the remaining leeks into the soft cheese and heat up. Add seasoning to taste. When the bake is cooked remove from the oven and spread the leek/cheese mixture over the top. Serve either hot or cold.
Crisp Roast Potatoes
Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas mark 6.
Cook potatoes for 8 to 10 minutes in a large pot of boiling water.
Place dripping or oil in a preheated roasting tin until almost smoking.
Drain potatoes and return to pot. Sprinkle with the flour, turmeric, oregano, salt and pepper. Place a lid on the pot and shake vigorously so that potatoes are covered in the flour and spice mixture. Place in the roasting tin and toss to coat in the hot fat. Roast for about 40 minutes.
Celeriac and Potato Mash
Heat oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir in cabbage and onion; fry until wilted. Stir in apple and water, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer about 25 minutes.
Pour vinegar and sugar into the mixture while tasting for desired sweet and sour taste. Cook another 5 to 6 minutes.
Steam carrots until just cooked and still firm. Melt butter and add the lemon juice. Toss the carrots in the butter mix and serve immediately.