Deck the kitchen with food and more food. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
During the holiday season, food is a must. And not just any food. Delicious, yummy, scrumptious, eat-till-you-feel-sick kind of food. Food that knocks the fuzzy Christmas socks right off your family and friends. Food that makes you think, okay that was totally worth cheating on my diet for.
If you’re looking to take your Christmas cooking to the next level, we’re here to help! We’ve spoken to some of the biggest names in the culinary industry and they’ve shared their favourite Christmas recipes with us.
Whether you’re looking to wow your guests at that extravagant Christmas party you’re hosting, or simply want to treat your family to an unforgettable holiday feast, here is a collection of gourmet festive recipes that you can nail at home.
Stuffed Quail Legs
From Chef Sriram Aylur of Quilon
Sophistication, spice, and all things nice, this Stuffed Quail Legs recipe from award-winning Chef Sriram is the whole package. Since stepping into his father’s kitchen as a child, Chef Sriram has dedicated his life to his passionate quest for knowledge of food.
Recognising his dedication and spirit towards unique South-west coastal Indian cuisine, Chef Sriram was invited to open fine dining restaurant, Quilon in the heart of Westminster, London in 1999. Winning a Michelin star in 2008, the restaurant has retained its prestigious award ever since. Now you too can make a Michelin-star dish this Christmas.
As one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, the Stuffed Quail Legs embodies Quilon’s unique blend of ethnic and progressive dishes, bringing out the lightness and multidimensional flavours of the ingredients.
Though it may sound a bit complicated at first, it’s a lot easier to pull off than it looks!
- 4 quail (deboned and skinned reserve the bone and discard skin
- 1 onion (finely chopped(
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 1 sprig curry leaf
- ¼ spoon turmeric
- ¼ tsp Chaat masala
- Pinch of Aamchoor powder
- ¼ tsp Fennel powder
- Salt to taste
- 50 gms fresh coriander
- 1 tbl oil
For the Sauce
- 500ml Quail Stock
- 15ml Oil
- 1 tsp Fennel seeds
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger finely chopped
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- 2 tomatoes finely chopped
- 50g fresh coriander stem
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a pan and add fennel, onion, ginger and curry leaves stir and add turmeric, chilli and tomato.
- Cook until tomatoes are soft and add coriander stem along with the stock.
- Adjust the seasoning.
- Bring it to boil and simmer for 5-10min.
- Remove from the heat and blitz in hand blender.
- Pass it through the strainer.
- Heat the sauce in a pan and serve with Quail
- Roughly mince the quail meat in a mixer and keep aside.
- Clean the wing and leg bone, cut the joints into two, you should be able to get 8no bones all together. Roast for few minutes and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and saute onion until brown. Add ginger, curry leaves, turmeric chaat masala, amchoor powder, fennel powder, salt and fresh coriander and cook for a minute on a slow fire.
- Add this mixture to the quail meat and mix thoroughly together, adjust the seasoning.
- Now divide the mixture into eight equal size and reconstruct them into a quail leg, stick each leg with piece of bone so that it holds the shape.
- Heat little oil in a pan or griddle and sear the quail. Place on the roasting tray and roast for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve Hot with the sauce.
From Chef Gordon Ramsay at Savoy Grill
Hate him or love him, Gordon Ramsay knows what he’s doing when it comes to Beef Wellington. Known to many as his greatest dish, Ramsay’s version of the classic steak dish is everything you would expect from the perfect Beef Wellington – light, crisp and golden on the outside, with a succulent medium-rare beef tenderloin in the center. Yummy.
As the be-all-end-all to decadent roasts and as an absolute classic, this recipe is guaranteed to be the show-stopping centerpiece on your Christmas table.
- 2 x 400g beef fillets
- Olive oil, for frying
- 500g mixture of wild mushrooms, cleaned
- 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
- 500g puff pastry
- 8 slices of Parma ham
- 2 egg yolks, beaten with 1 tbsp water and a pinch of salt
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Wrap each piece of beef tightly in a triple layer of cling film to set its shape, then chill overnight.
- Remove the cling film, then quickly sear the beef fillets in a hot pan with a little olive oil for 30-60 seconds until browned all over and rare in the middle. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
- Finely chop the mushrooms and fry in a hot pan with a little olive oil, the thyme leaves and some seasoning. When the mushrooms begin to release their juices, continue to cook over a high heat for about 10 minutes until all the excess moisture has evaporated and you are left with a mushroom paste (known as a duxelle). Remove the duxelle from the pan and leave to cool.
- Cut the pastry in half, place on a lightly floured surface and roll each piece into a rectangle large enough to envelop one of the beef fillets. Chill in the refrigerator.
- Lay a large sheet of cling film on a work surface and place 4 slices of Parma ham in the middle, overlapping them slightly, to create a square. Spread half the duxelle evenly over the ham.
- Season the beef fillets, then place them on top of the mushroom-covered ham. Using the cling film, roll the Parma ham over the beef, then roll and tie the cling film to get a nice, evenly thick log. Repeat this step with the other beef fillet, then chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Brush the pastry with the egg wash. Remove the cling film from the beef, then wrap the pastry around each ham-wrapped fillet. Trim the pastry and brush all over with the egg wash. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the red wine sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan, then fry the beef trimmings for a few minutes until browned on all sides. Stir in the shallots with the peppercorns, bay and thyme and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots turn golden brown.
- Pour in the vinegar and let it bubble for a few minutes until almost dry. Now add the wine and boil until almost completely reduced. Add the stock and bring to the boil again. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour, removing any scum from the surface of the sauce, until you have the desired consistency. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve lined with muslin. Check for seasoning and set aside.
- When you are ready to cook the beef wellingtons, score the pastry lightly and brush with the egg wash again, then bake at 200°C/Gas 6 for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and cooked. Rest for 10 minutes before carving.
- Meanwhile, reheat the sauce. Serve the beef wellingtons sliced, with the sauce as an accompaniment.
Leek & Mushroom Chicken Ballotines, with a Champagne Vinegar Dressing
From the Avenue Cookery School
An impressive restaurant-style dish, chicken ballotines is the perfect main dish for a Christmas get-together with plenty of guests. The clever thing about it is that it’s really very easy to make, but it sure doesn’t look it.
Family-run Avenue Cookery School has shared their recipe for a rich and flavoursome leek and mushroom stuffed chicken ballotine. Served with a celebratory Champagne vinegar dressing, this is a truly festive dish for foodies.
- 4 chicken thigh fillets, skinless
- 1 leek, sliced
- 100g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbs of dried cep mushroom boiled for 10 minutes.
- chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- 100ml olive oil
- 2 tbps champagne vinegar
- 1 knorr chicken stock cube
- 2 tsp French mustard
- 2 tbs chives, chopped
- 2 tbs, chervil chopped
- 2 tsp dill, chopped
- 400g King Edward/Maris Pieper potatoes, cut to equal sizes
- olive oil
- maldon salt
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- For the potatoes, very lightly coat in olive oil. Roast in a hot oven 200C for 20 minutes and then toss. Put back into the oven and continue to cook until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt.
- While the potatoes are cooking, sweat the leeks, mushrooms and cep mushrooms in butter until the leeks are tender. Season.
- Put a sheet of cling film on your work surface and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Flatten the chicken with a rolling pin and put onto the seasoned cling film.
- Spoon the leek and mushroom mixt down the centre of the chicken and roll into a sausage shape. Twist both ends of the cling film and knot. Repeat this with the remaining chicken pieces.
- In a saucepan submerge, and poach the ballotines for 10 minutes in chicken stock. Remove.
- Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and mustard with a crumbled edge of a stock cube, or more to taste. Add 2 tbsp of the liquid stock to loosen the dressing. Just before serving warm through and stir in the herbs.
- To serve, remove the cling film from the chicken and cut each one in half at an angle. Serve the chicken on top of your rustic potatoes and steamed fine French beans with a drizzle of the dressing and a sprinkling of rocket.
From Chef Alyn Williams of The Westbury Hotel.
Whether it’s roasted, slow-cooked or pan-fried, everybody loves a bit of delicious pork at Christmas. But you’ve probably never had it in the form of noodles!
Michelin-star chef Alyn Williams of the Westbury Hotel has shared his dazzing recipe for his creative dish – pork ‘noodles’, piggy tea, mustards, kombu and shony. Combining the harmonious flavours of pork and seaweed, the ‘noodles’ are made from pig skin and is served with a broth infused with herbaceous aromatics and seaweed. A crowd pleaser for sure.
Pig Skin Noodles
- 1 pig skin, large from the belly
- rock salt
- 750ml of red wine
- 100g of Demerara sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, large
- 500g of pork, off-cuts
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- 1 leek, finely diced
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 100ml of soy sauce
- 100ml of sherry vinegar, or red wine vinegar
- 2l chicken stock, at room temperature
- vegetable oil
- black pepper
To clarify the stock
- 150g of pork mince
- 1/2 carrot, chopped
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 1/2 celery stick, chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp of turnip, grated
- 1/2 tbsp of red beetroot, grated
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 6 white peppercorns
- 300ml of egg white
- marjoram, dried
- wild garlic
- coriander stalks
- 1 tsp Shony seaweed
- 1 tsp kombu seaweed, dried
- 1 handful of baby cress, seasonal
- 1 handful of edible flowers, seasonal
- Begin by preparing the pig skin. Use a sharp knife to remove as much fat from the inside of the belly skin as possible. Turn over and use a blowtorch to burn off any hairs
- Place into a suitable container, so that the skin lies flat, and cover generously with rock salt. Seal with cling film and allow to cure for 2 hours in the fridge. Remove from the fridge and wash thoroughly under cold water. Pat dry, cut into 3 12cm squares and set aside while you prepare the marinade.
- Once ready to cook the skin, preheat the oven to 110°C
- Remove from the fridge and place in a baking dish. Cook for 2 1/2 hours until the skin is very soft and gelatinous in texture. Remove, allow to cool and strain off the wine, reserving for the broth
- Taking great care as it will be very gelatinous, place each piece on top of each other to form a uniform 3 layered square. Carefully place into a freezer bag and store on a tray pressed down with weights in the fridge for 12 hours
- For the marinade, combine all of the ingredients in a suitable saucepan and place over a medium heat. Stir occasionally as the marinade comes to the boil and ensure the sugar is completely dissolved
- Remove from the heat and allow to infuse as it cools. Once it has cooled to room temperature, pour over the pig skin squares and leave to marinate in the fridge for 24 hours
- In the restaurant, Alyn will freeze the skin and use a meat slicer to make the ‘noodles’. However, at home, once the pig skin is completely cool, remove from the freezer bag and use a hot sharp knife to slice into very thin 1-2mm strips. Cover and place in the fridge until required
- For the pork consommé, place a large saucepan over a high heat and add a good dash of vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the pork offcuts and cook until dark golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat
- This process should yield 1200-1400ml of broth. Allow to cool and set aside in the fridge until required
- To clarify the pork broth, place all of the ingredients, apart from the egg whites, into a food processor with a blade attachment. Pulse until all of the ingredients are combined but not turned to mush. Add the egg white and pulse again to just combine
- Add the cold pork broth to a saucepan and mix in the pork mince mixture. Place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring the base of pan to stop the mix catching and burning
- In the same pan, add the oil and all the vegetables, cooking until they reach a dark golden colour. Add the thyme and bay and return the browned pork to the pan
- Once the proteins in the mixture start to set, the raft should start to rise to the surface. During this time, ensure the mix is moving at a gentle simmer, turning the pot every 10 minutes for 45-60 minutes to ensure the distribution of heat is even
- Season with black pepper and salt and add the vinegar and soy. Reduce by 1/3 and add the chicken stock. Ensure the chicken stock is at room temperature when added in order to extract optimum flavour
- Bring to the boil, skim away any scum that has risen to the surface and reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 30-40 minutes, tasting every few minutes towards the end of this process until the sauce concentrates in flavour and is nicely balanced
- Add the reserved cooking liquid/marinade from the pig skin braise, remove from the heat and allow to cool. After 10 minutes, strain through a fine strainer and again through muslin
- Using a wide slotted spoon, carefully remove the raft. Strain the leftover clear liquid through a fine strainer and again through muslin cloth that has been folded over 8 times. Cool and set aside until required
- To prepare the teapot diffuser, add a little dried marjoram, wild garlic, coriander stalks, chervil, shony and kombu. Warm the consommé, pour through the diffuser into the teapot and set aside while you prepare the bowls
- Add 4-5 slices of the pig skin noodles to each bowl and garnish with seasonal herbs
- such as mustard cress, marjoram and mustard flowers, or you can use other herbs such as chervil. Pour the hot infused consommé into each bowl and serve warm
From Chef Alyn Williams at The Westbury
Nestle’s Walnut Whip. An icon in the world of confectionary. Packed with a soft vanilla cream center, wrapped in chocolate, and topped with a single walnut – what’s not to love? While it might be everyone’s favourite treat you can’t exactly serve a plate of store-bought choccies at your Christmas feast. Well now you can… sort of.
Alyn Williams has taken the classic whirl-shaped cone and put his own unique gourmet spin on the scrumptious treat. Worthy of the 5 star Westbury Hotel, his signature dessert is guaranteed to also be worthy of any festive get-together, and the perfect end to a Christmas meal.
You’ll need some cookware gadgets to prepare this walnut whip recipe, so take your time to find what you need before attempting it. But once you’re in the kitchen, whipping and whisking, you’ll have so much fun you won’t even care. And the fruits of your labour are so worth it.
- 45g of candied walnuts, chopped, plus two more for decoration
- 40g of sugar
- 70g of clear honey
- 20ml of glucose
- 4 egg whites
- 185ml of cream
- 80g of caster sugar
- 35ml of water
- 9ml of glucose
- 18g of egg white
- 6g of gelatine, soaked in old water for 2 hours
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 200g of milk chocolate
- 1 sheet of gold leaf
- To start the nougat glacé, boil the sugar, honey and glucose to 110°C
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks. Gradually add the hot sugar, honey, glucose mix in a steady stream to the egg whites, while still whisking. Continue until the meringue beings to cool to room temperature and becomes thick and glossy
- In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks then fold the cream into the meringue. Fold in the chopped candied walnuts and store in the fridge until needed.
- For the marshmallow, line a 20 x 15cm tray with cling film and set aside. Boil the sugar, vanilla, water and glucose to 127°C. Once the mixture reaches 120°C, start to whisk the egg whites in a food mixer.
- At 127°C, pass the sugar syrup through a strainer, pour onto the whisked whites. Add the gelatine directly into the bowl so that the heat from the syrup dissolves the leaves.
- Whisk until a fluffy light consistency is reached, then pour into the prepared tray and smooth over with a palette knife to create an even surface. Set aside in the fridge until cool
- Once set, cut into small pieces, caramelise with a blow torch and fold through the nougat glacé
- To combine, you will need to use a Paco Jet. Fill the beakers three-quarters full with the parfait marshmallow mix, freeze and then run through the Paco Jet. This will reduce the volume in the beaker to be less than a third full
- Combine another third of the mixture that has yet to be put through the paco jet. Freezer again and then blitz 3 more times before freezing in the cylinders
- Fill 5cm metal pastry rings to the top with the frozen mixture and freeze to set. You may need to soften slightly beforehand to make it easier to work with
- Once frozen, de-mould and spray with milk chocolate using a spray gun and finish with a half candied walnut and some gold leaf on top
Christmas Pudding Soufflé
From Chef David Alexander at Glenapp Castle
Christmas celebrations are not complete without a Christmas pudding. But while the warm unmistakable dessert is gooey, decadent and the go-to dessert for Christmas day, it’s also often over-rich, stodgy and not everyone’s favourite. Plus it’s done to death.
Enter the Christmas Pudding Soufflé, a lighter, fresher and dare we say more impressive alternative. Head Chef David Alexander of Glenapp Castle shares his glorious recipe with us, infusing it with that classic brandy sauce for a little extra Christmas spirit.
- ½ pint Brandy Sauce
- 8oz Christmas Pudding Zest of one orange
- 6 Egg Whites
- Pinch Salt
- 3oz Caster sugar
- 2oz Butter and
- 2oz Sugar
(for souffleَ moulds- using softened butter, brush the souffleَ moulds and add the sugar, then leave to one side until required)
- Warm the Brandy sauce and add the crushed Christmas pudding and orange zest
- Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt, slowly adding the sugar until soft peaks reached
- Whisk in 1/3 of egg whites to the Christmas pudding mix and then fold in the rest of the egg whites
- Fill the mould and clean around the top
Bake at 180° for 8-10 minutes and serve with Vanilla Ice Cream
Looking for a festive drink to go with that holiday feast? Have a look at our Christmas Cocktail Recipes from mixologists we know!
- 1 Stuffed Quail Legs
- 2 Beef Wellington
- 3 Leek & Mushroom Chicken Ballotines, with a Champagne Vinegar Dressing
- 4 Walnut Whip
- 5 Christmas Pudding Soufflé