Christmas dinner with a touch of spice

Sat, Dec 22, 2012, 00:00

Pour the cooking juices from the roasting tray through a sieve into the sauce pot and finish off your sauce by popping it back onto a gentle heat. Add the pomegranate seeds and juice and only just warm through, to make sure you retain the integrity and freshness of the fruit. Check the seasoning and it’s ready to serve.

 

SPICED LENTILS

Serves 4

450g shallots, peeled, chopped in half

230g pancetta or smoked bacon, chopped

150g ghee, butter or clarified butter

6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or blitzed

2 red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped

1 packet of Green Saffron Madras spice mix

230g uncooked Puy lentils

750ml vegetable stock (or water)

4 tbsp single cream

Curly parsley, finely chopped

In a thick bottomed casserole dish or saucepan, gently fry the shallot halves, pancetta, garlic and chillies in the ghee or butter, along with your packet of Green Saffron Madras spice mix, for about 10 minutes or until the shallots are soft.

Add the Puy lentils to the pan and stir around for a couple of minutes. Add the stock (or water) and stir again to combine all the flavours and ingredients. Bring to the boil, then immediately turn the heat down and allow to bubble gently with the lid on the pan for about 40 minutes or until the lentils have the texture that you want.

Add the cream, stir, and simmer on a gentle heat for about five minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

 

GUJARATI BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Serves 4

450g Brussels sprouts

50g butter

2 tsp rapeseed or sunflower oil

1 tbsp black mustard seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds, whole

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp dry white wine

Firstly, chop each sprout in half then lay the flat side down on your chopping board and slice each half lengthwise as finely as you can.

Once you’ve done all the sprouts, gently run your fingers through the ribbons to create a little pile of shavings.

Melt the butter and oil in a large frying pan or casserole on a medium heat. When it starts to foam, add the mustard and cumin seeds and gently fry for 30 seconds. Then add the garlic and give it a quick stir. Add the sprouts and salt, stir and cook for two minutes. Add the wine, turn the heat to high, cook for another minute then take the pan off the heat and serve in a heated dish.

 

QUICK CLEMENTINE AND CHILLI CHUTNEY

Makes one 12oz jar

150ml cider vinegar

150ml fresh squeezed clementine juice and de-seeded pulp (3 to 4 clementines) and the zest of three clementines

110g dark Muscovado sugar

200g plump dates, stoned, roughly diced

15g fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped very finely

Seeds of 1 green cardamom pod, crushed to a fine powder

Zest the three clementines then chop them in half across the equator and squeeze their juice into a bowl (you may need the fourth clementine to get right amount of juice).

Put the vinegar, clementine juice and sugar in a pot over a medium heat. Stir and allow to gently bubble until the sugar has dissolved. Add the dates, ginger and chillies. Stir and lightly squash the dates and cook until the dates have melted down and the mixture feels like a soft -set jam: a bit oozy, not too stiff like cold honey. This should take three to four minutes.

Take it off the heat, allow to cool for two minutes, then add the zest, cardamom powder and stir well. Pour into a sterilised jar or serve straight away with the pheasant, lentils and sprouts.

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