Ho Ho Ho – the goose is getting fat, but we hope you have got your Christmas plans and preparations underway. As wonderful as it is, Christmas can be quite stressful, particularly for the ‘cook of the house’. This month, I have given you a couple of simple recipes – Brussel sprouts with a ‘twist’, and some delicious white chocolate fudge, to give as presents, (great for giving to your child’s favourite teacher) and that your little ones can easily get involved in making. Have a great time, and best wishes for the New Year.

Warm Fruit and Nut Brussel  Sprouts Slaw


Some people look at Brussel sprouts with fear and trepidation – or even hatred! Stir-frying them with a delicious sauce brings a whole new texture and sweetness to the sometimes ‘over boiled’ and ‘irony’ taste of this much maligned vegetable. Try them, I am sure you will look at this dish in a totally different way! You can serve with your Christmas lunch, or even as a side dish the following day with cold meats and pickles.

Serves:                                     8
Preparation Time:                10 minutes
Cook Time:                            5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 600g/1¼lb Brussels sprouts, topped, tailed and shredded or thinly sliced
  • 2tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2tbsp pomegranate molasses (or honey if you prefer)
  • 3tbsp verjuice (or white wine vinegar)
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 115g/4oz pecans, roughly chopped
  • 80g/2½oz dried cranberries, chopped
  • 2tbp fresh parsley, chopped

Method:

  1. First, make your dressing. Whisk together mustard, molasses and verjuice and 1tbsp of the olive oil. Set aside. (if you prefer a lot of dressing, by all means double the quantities for a sweeter taste.)
  2. Heat a frying pan (as big as you have, or you could even use a wok), add the remaining oil and stir fry the shredded sprout until they begin to colour a little.
  3. Add cranberries and pecans, and continue to stir until warmed through.
  4. Add in the premade dressing and continue to stir for two minutes or so.
  5. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, and stir until mixed through.
  6. Season, stir again and put onto a warmed serving platter.

White Choc, Pistachio and Cranberry Fudge

Get the children involved! Make this lovely fudge, cut into pieces and giveaway as a gift in pretty bags, or eatyourself (I think the latter is more the case!). You can make this a month ahead and store in the fridge – plenty of time before Christmas and a lovely red, white and green theme.

Serves:                                 20 pieces
Preparation Time:            20 minutes
Cook Time:                        N/A but chill time 2 hours or until firm

Ingredients:

  • 400g/14oz can condensed milk
  • 450g/1lb white chocolate (we used buttons, easier to melt without seizing)
  • 200g/7oz dried cranberries
  • 150g/5oz pistachios (unsalted)

Method:

  1. Prepare a 20 x 20cm/8 x 8inch cake tin by greasing the inside and lining with baking or greaseproof paper. Make sure you have enough to go over the top of the tin, so that the mixture is easy to remove when set.
  2. Put the chocolate and condensed milk into a microwavable bowl and put microwave on high for 2 minutes, stopping it every 30-45 seconds to stir.
  3. Add some of the pistachios and cranberries, keeping some to scatter over the top.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and make sure the top is smooth.
  5. Scatter over remaining pistachios and cranberries, then place in the fridge for approximately 2 hours.
  6. When set, remove from the fridge and cut into 20 pieces.
  7. Keep refrigerated until ready to use as a present or to eat yourself!

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