Tag Archives: christmas day

2013 diary | How to start your Christmas Day menu in style

Starters for Christmas Day


How to start your Christmas Day menu in style

Roast turkey may well be our favourite choice for the Christmas Day main dish, but how can you ensure that this important meal starts with something special?

We have a selection of inspirational recipes
for Christmas and the New Year festivities
including these four impressive starters
that are easy to prepare but will add style
to any dinner menu.

Smoked salmon is a traditional starter but we have added a delicious twist with our Egg & Smoked Salmon Timbales. The Forestier Pâté recipe will please pâté lovers everywhere and yet requires just 20 minutes of your time. The Salmon Swirls look impressive, taste fabulous and are remarkably easy to prepare and if you are preparing a vegetarian starter then our seasonal Chestnut Soup can be prepared in advance, frozen and reheated on the day.

Dairy Diary Favourite Festive Recipes collectionJust four inspirational recipes from Dairy Diary Favourite Festive Recipes – formatted for mobile devices as well as your PC so you can easily read the ingredients list when shopping and use the recipe on your phone or tablet in the kitchen – or you can print the recipe if you prefer.

In addition to these starters you will find an inspirational choice of recipes for the whole festive break including main courses, puddings, party food and drinks.

And it’s FREE, so why not check it out now?

Traditional Roast Turkey

A traditional turkey roast is an essential part of Christmas. Try this recipe to guarantee perfect results.

Tradition roast turkeyPreparation time – 2 hours
Cooking time – 2 hours
Calories per portion – 1100 Kcal
Fat per portion – 50g of which saturated – 19.2g
Serves – 8 Suitable for freezing

Bronze turkey 6kg (12lb) oven-ready bird
Butter 25g (1 oz) softened

For the stock
Giblets from turkey, well washed
Onion 1 large, peeled and quartered
Carrot 1 large, peeled and sliced
Parsley 1 large sprig
Bay leaves 3
Rosemary 1 large sprig
Black peppercorns 1 tsp
Chicken stock or water 900ml (11⁄2 pints)

For the stuffing
Frozen peeled chestnuts 225g (8oz)
Chicken stock 300ml (1⁄2 pint)
Butter 50g (2oz)
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Smoked rindless streaky bacon rashers 225g (8oz), cut into thin strips widthways
Onion 1 large, peeled and finely chopped
Lean, good quality pork sausages 400g (14oz), skinned
Chopped parsley 4 tbsp
White breadcrumbs 110g (4oz)
Mixed dried herbs 1 tbsp
Lemon 1, finely grated rind only Egg 1 large, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the cranberry sauce
Cranberries 250g (9oz), washed, any stalks removed
Orange 1 large, finely pared rind and strained juice
Caster sugar 175g (6oz)
Mixed ground spice 1⁄2–1 tsp

For the gravy
Roasting juices from turkey see method
White or red wine 2–3 tbsp, optional
Plain flour 2–3 tbsp
Chicken stock 500ml (1 pint)

1 On Christmas Eve, prepare the stock. Place all the giblets except the liver in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and skim off the scum that has risen to the surface. Add all the remaining ingredients, cover and cook gently for 11⁄2 hours. Strain through a sieve, allow to cool, cover and refrigerate.

2 To make the stuffing, place the chestnuts in a saucepan, add the stock, partially cover and cook gently for 25 minutes, or until softened and most of the stock has been absorbed. Pour the nuts into a sieve placed over a bowl to drain, and leave until cold.

3 Meanwhile, chop the turkey liver and put into a large bowl. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, add the bacon and cook until browned and crispy. Add to the turkey liver.

4 Add the onion to the fat and cook gently until softened, then add to the liver and bacon and cool. Add the chestnuts and all the remaining ingredients, season well and mix together.

5 To make cranberry sauce, place all the ingredients in a stainless steel saucepan, partially cover and cook gently until the cranberries are softened and the juices are reduced by half. Transfer to a serving bowl, allow to cool, cover and refrigerate.

6 To prepare the turkey, wipe the inside clean with kitchen paper. Stuff the neck end only with the stuffing, but not too tightly. Make any excess stuffing into balls and cook separately.

7 Smooth the neck skin evenly over the stuffing and secure with fine skewers. Smear the turkey all over with the softened butter. Put onto a large plate, loosely cover with foil and refrigerate.

8 On Christmas Day, remove the turkey from the refrigerator early in the morning to allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Place a roasting trivet or wire rack in the roasting tin and put the prepared turkey on top.

9 Cooking times for turkeys will vary according to their size, and also their type. Generally, cook for 40 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and continue cooking for 11⁄2–2 hours, basting frequently until cooked. To test it’s done, pierce the thigh at the thickest part – the juices should run clear yellow.

10 Carefully remove it from the roasting tin onto a serving plate, loosely cover with foil and leave to stand. Cook the stuffing balls while preparing the gravy and attending to the vegetables.

11 To make gravy, skim the fat from the roasting juices into a bowl, strain through a sieve and set aside. Pour the wine into the roasting tin, and bring to the boil, scraping the browned residue from the pan’s bottom. Then strain into the bowl of juices.

12 Pour 3–4 tbsp of the turkey fat into a saucepan and stir in the flour. Add the stock and strained juices and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and allow to boil gently for 3–4 minutes, until reduced. Pour into a gravy boat for serving. Garnish the turkey with sprigs of rosemary and serve.

Cook’s tip
Grilled chipolata sausages and bacon rolls are a delicious and traditional accompaniment for a roast turkey. Cook with the stuffing balls: 35–45 minutes.

Recipe taken from Around Britain Dairy Cookbook

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Roast Potatoes

Delicious crunchy roast potatoes are essential for any roast dinner

Crunchy Roast PotatoesServes 4
Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 55 mins
Per portion 194 kcals
8g fat (2.5g saturated)

680g (1½lb) potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp goose fat

1 Cut potatoes into quarters or leave whole if new.

2 Cook in boiling water for 5–7 minutes.

3 Drain. Shake in saucepan to roughen surface.

4 Heat goose fat in a roasting tin. Add potatoes and turn in tin until well coated.

5 Roast at 200°C (400°F) Mark 6 for 45 minutes or until crisp and golden, basting at least twice during that time.

Recipe taken from Dairy Book of Home Cookery

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Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is the perfect accompaniment  for duck, goose, game, turkey and lamb

Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing
Serves 6
Preparation 3 mins
Cooking 25 mins
Per portion 121 kcals,
0g fat (0g saturated)

175g (6oz) granulated sugar
225g (8oz) cranberries

1 Put 300ml (½ pint) water and sugar into a saucepan.

2 Heat slowly until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries.

3 Cook fairly quickly for 2–3 minutes or until skins pop open.

4 Reduce heat. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Recipe taken from Dairy Book of Home Cookery

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French-style Peas

When lettuce is crisp and young, it is deliciously sweet when very lightly cooked.

French-style PeasTime 20 minutes
Calories per portion 159 Kcal
Fat per portion 7g of which saturated 2.1g
Serves 2

Frozen peas 250g (9oz)
Smoked streaky bacon
2 rashers, trimmed and cut into thin strips
Leek 1, trimmed, split lengthways and finely shredded
Chicken stock 300ml (½ pint) Frozen peas 250g (9oz)
Little Gem lettuce 1, trimmed and finely shredded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Put the bacon and leek in a medium-sized saucepan and dry fry for 5 minutes until the leeks have softened.

2 Pour over the chicken stock, bring to the boil and then add the peas. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until tender.

3 Remove the lid and stir in the lettuce for 1 minute until just wilted. Season to taste.

Traditionally this dish is served with the cooking liquid, but you can drain the peas if you prefer. Ladle into a warm serving dish and serve while warm.

Cook’s tip
For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon, and cook the leek in a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and use vegetable stock instead of chicken.

Recipe taken from Good Food Fast Dairy Cookbook

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Brandy Butter

Perfect for Christmas puddings, mince pies, baked and steamed fruit puddings

Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing
Serves 6–8
Preparation 20 mins
Per portion 151 kcals
4g fat (0g saturated)

110g (4oz) butter, softened
110g (4oz) icing sugar, sifted
110g (4oz) caster sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp brandy
50g (2oz) ground almonds
Ground cinnamon

1 Beat butter until creamy. Gradually beat in icing and caster sugars alternately with milk and brandy.

2 Cream until light and fluffy. Add almonds and mix well.

3 Pile into small dish. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

Recipe taken from Dairy Book of Home Cookery

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