Grab a glass of wine and Jamie Oliver’s new Christmas cookbook and relax, he’s got everything under control.
Reporter: Elitsa Grigorova| Subeditor: Ivelina Nikolova
Only two weeks before Christmas and you have already started working on the Christmas menu figuring out how you are going to amaze your guests for another year in a row? Well look no further, or should I say stress no further as Jamie Oliver comes to save all the maidens slaving in their kitchens trying to make more than ten recipes just so that they satisfy even their most pretentious guests. The famous chef has released in October, just in time his latest book, Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook promising a stress-free festive season.
Oliver has teamed up with HELLO! to bring this guide that will save you the multiple hours of wondering, cooking, and crying that you go through on the big day. Besides the delicious recipes, he has also included various tricks and tips of making edible gifts, prepare food for a party, or what to do with all the leftovers.
Below you can see three vegetarian recipes from Jamie’s Christmas suggestions for a complete three course menu.
Crunchy raw beetroot salad with feta and pear
Cooking time: 20min
4 good-sized beetroots , different colours if possible, scrubbed, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
3 ripe pears , peeled, cored and cut into matchsticks
1 lemon oil dressing recipe
freshly ground black pepper
200 g feta cheese
1 small bunch fresh mint , smallest leaves picked
1 large handful sunflower seeds , optional
- Remember to wear an apron when chopping beetroot, and wash your board and hands afterwards or you’ll get red fingerprints everywhere. If your knife skills aren’t up to speed yet, buy one of those matchstick peelers or matchstick mandolins in good cook shops. Then you’ll be really quick at it.
- Dress the beetroot and pear matchsticks in a little of the lemon oil dressing and season with some salt and pepper. Taste to check that the flavours are balanced and lovely, and add a little more lemon juice to check the sweetness of the pears and beetroots if you need to.
- Divide the salad between four plates or put it on a big platter, crumble over the creamy white feta, and sprinkle over the baby mint leaves and the sunflower seeds if you’re using them. Simple, but it’s a treat and a half.
Mushroom and squash vegetarian Wellington
Cooking time: 1h 50m
1 small butternut squash , halved lengthways and seeds scraped out
1 small dried red chilli , 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 6. Slice the squash lengthways into wedges and add to a large roasting tray with a good splash of olive oil, the chilli 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 flavour. 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, then tear into bite-sized chunks.
- Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over a medium heat, 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, 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, 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 centre 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, 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!
Pear Tart Tatin
Cooking time: 1h 20m
125g caster sugar
40g cold butter, chopped
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
3 large pears, peeled, cored and cut into wedges (or other fruits of your choice)
375g all-butter puff pastry
Double cream, to serve
- Preheat oven to 200C/gas 6. Put a 21cm-diameter frying pan with an ovenproof handle on a hob over a medium heat. Add the sugar and heat to a lovely caramel colour, stirring constantly. Add the butter, ginger and cinnamon and stir to combine.
- Place the pears in the caramel and spoon over the mixture. Turn the heat down and cook for 5–10 minutes, until the pears are just tender and cooked but retain their shape. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Arrange the pears prettily in the pan.
- Roll out the pastry to about 5mm thick and cut a disc slightly bigger than your pan (about 24cm). Place the pastry disc on top of the pears and caramel, then carefully tuck it snugly around the outside of the pears and down into the sides of the pan.
- Bake the pie for 30–40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and puffed up. Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge, place a large plate over the top and carefully turn the tart onto the plate. Serve with cream.