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How to create the perfect Christmas dinner – Market House style

Want to blow your festive guests’ socks off this year? From the perfect turkey crackling to a Boxing Day pie from heaven, we asked some of the traders in Market House for their favourite Christmas recipes.

Want to blow your festive guests’ socks off this year?

From the perfect turkey crackling to a Boxing Day pie from heaven, we asked some of the traders in Market House for their favourite Christmas recipes.

Smoked Salmon Blini (serves 6) from Kenny Cottam (Wolfhouse Kitchen)

Smoked salmon

  • 50g dill, 25g chives and 25g parsley (finely chopped)
  • 50g breadcrumbs (finely chopped – normal or gluten free)
  • 8 eggs (beaten)
  • Oil for frying
  • Cream cheese
  • Lemon

Mix herbs, bread and egg together in a bowl.

Place large frying pan on a medium-high heat, and spoon the batter in once the pan is hot. Fry for a minute or so on each side. Top with cream cheese and salmon, and serve with a slice of lemon!

Roast Bronze Turkey & The Tastiest Gravy from Matt Walsh (Tender Cow)

As always, find the best quality turkey you can. My family and I use a bronze turkey which is a traditional slow-rearing, rare breed brought back by the Kelly family, who have been rearing turkeys for 75 years. They are absolutely fantastic and without doubt the best turkeys I have eaten, and best of all the way you treat it is as simple as possible.

  • Place the whole bird in a tin breast side down with 500ml water and your favourite vegetables. Season well. Do NOT stuff – cook stuffing separately. Don’t use foil otherwise you will poach the meat.
  • Turn the bird over halfway through our recommended cooking time. Season again.
  • Pierce right through the skin between the legs and breast to allow the juices to drain and the thighs to cook.
  • Check its temperature from halfway through the cooking time, monitor the temperature regularly by putting the thermometer halfway through the thickest part of the meat. Remove the bird from the oven as soon as the temperature reads 60C.
  • For the tastiest gravy, skim off any excess fat from the top of the stock. Scrape and mix in thecaramelisedbits from the bottom of the tin. Reheat. You can always add a little chicken stock to increase the amount of gravy and thicken with cornflour. Be sure to properly whisk the flour.
  • For the best crackling, peel off the skin and place on a baking tray, season and return to a hot oven for 10-15 minutes until crisp like crackling.

Veggie and Vegan Black Bean Roast (serves 4) from John Waddington (Gud Vegan)

  • 120g dried black beans
  • 45g quinoa
  • 2 large carrots finely diced
  • 2 large onions finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 100g mixed nuts chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 100g mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • 50g ground oats

Cook the black beans until soft (1.5 hours), cook quinoa until fluffy (15 mins), sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, add carrot and mushrooms and cook until soft. Add sage, oregano, salt, pepper and tamari. Cook on high to reduce slightly. Combine all ingredients and mash with hands to thoroughly combine. Pack into a loaf tin and bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.  

Roast Lemon and Rosemary Potatoes from Rich Carver (La Cucina)

  • 1.5kg Maris Piper potatoes
  • 2 tbsp polenta
  • 200g duck fat or olive oil
  • 3 stalks of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Lemon

Peel and chop the potatoes in half or quarters depending on the size. Place in a pan and cover with salted cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and allow to steam for a few minutes to reduce the moisture in the edges. Toss the potatoes in a bowl with the polenta, sea salt, picked rosemary leaves making sure to fluff the sedges of the potatoes. Break the garlic down into cloves and gently crush them to release the flavour. Don’t peel them. Heat the duck fat or olive oil in a heavy roasting tray and gently add the potatoes and garlic and any extra rosemary leaves. Coat the potatoes in the fat and place in a hot oven 220c for 20-30 minutes until golden and crispy. Using a fine grater zest the lemon over the potatoes and finish with a final pinch of sea salt.

Cavolo Nero with chilli, garlic and anchovy from Rich Carver (La Cucina)

  • 500g Cavolo Nero leaves, destalked
  • 2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 salted anchovies
  • 2 tbsp good olive oil for cooking
  • 1 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil for dressing
  • 1 lemon

Bring a large pan of well salted water to the boil and cook the cavolo Nero for 3-4 minutes. In a separate pan warm the olive oil. Add the anchovies and gently fry, using the back of a spoon to break them down. Add the garlic slices and diced chilli and cook until the garlic has softened and turned a light brown. Drain the cavolo Nero well and return to the pan. Pour the anchovy mixture over the leaves and stir well. Finish with extra virgin olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice.

Pickled Red Cabbage from Rich Carver (La Cucina)

  • 300g Finely shredded red cabbage leaves, stalks removed
  • 1 star anise, 5 bay leaves, 5 whole cloves, stick of cinnamon (snapped in half)
  • 1tsp each of whole black peppercorns and whole pink peppercorns
  • 1 whole dried chilli
  • 400ml red wine
  • 275ml malt vinegar
  • 140ml white wine vinegar
  • 140ml balsamic vinegar
  • 250g sugar
  • 80g course sea salt

Toss the shredded cabbage leaves in salt and leave in a colander for 2-3 hours. This will ensure a good red colour and a crunchy cabbage. Drain and wash all the salt off and pat dry. Place all the vinegars, wine and sugar in a suitable pan and gently simmer until the volume has reduced by half. Place all the dry ingredients in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder and roughly break them up. Add the spices to the hot vinegar mixture and allow to infuse for 5-10 minutes. Pass the vinegar mixture through a fine sieve and while still warm pour over the red cabbage. Place the cabbage in a suitable jar and seal. The liquor should just cover the cabbage.

Bread Sauce from Aidan Monks (Lovingly Artisan)

  • 1 onion studded with 3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500ml full fat milk
  • 50g butter
  • seasoning
  • 4 slices of sourdough blended to breadcrumbs

Bring the milk to the boil, with the bay leaf onion and seasoning. Simmer gently for 10 mins. Allow to rest for 15 mins before taking out the onion and bay leaf. Stir in the breadcrumbs. If you want a smooth sauce you can blend at this point. Stir in the butter, adjust seasoning. This is my favourite sauce, adding a few ground walnuts and some nutmeg make it very special. It can be made ahead of time and reheated.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Tarts (serves 6) from Claire Price (Sam Joseph Chocolatiers)

Pastry cases – you can make your own with sweet pastry or use shop bought cases

For the chocolate tart mix:

  • 190g 70% chocolate
  • 70ml whipping cream
  • 30ml milk
  • 20g butter
  • 8g liquid glucose
  • 1g salt

Boil the milk, cream, salt and glucose in a pan together and set aside for 10 mins. Melt the chocolate, then pour the cream mix over in thirds, stirring with a spatula after each addition. Once emulsified, add butter and mix to incorporate.

For the mince meat mix (there is no suet in this mince meat recipe, so it is suitable for vegetarians) You could also use shop bought mince meat here as a cheat!

  • 25g mixed peel
  • 35g each of sultanas, currants and raisins
  • 30g demerara sugar
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 1x orange zest and juice

Set light to the brandy to burn off the alcohol. Add sugar, orange zest and juice and then pour over fruits. Add mixed spice and stir well. Leave to soak overnight if possible (can also be used straight away). Divide mince meat evenly between pastry cases, then pour chocolate mix over.

Leave to set at room temperature.

Chocolate and Chestnut Eton Mess (serves 4) (gf) & Spiced Poached Pears from Katey Mack (Wolfhouse Bakery)

  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tin crème de marrons (sweetened chestnut puree, preferably Clement Faugier brand)
  • 4 meringues (homemade or shop bought!)
  • 100g milk chocolate, or dark if you prefer

Melt the chocolate in a bowl sat on top of a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly. Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Break up the meringue into small pieces and add to the cream, mix until just combined. Add about half the tin of chestnut puree and fold in so it’s marbled through. Do the same with the chocolate.

Divide in to serving bowls/glasses! This can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for up to 4 hours – just add a little extra meringue on top as you serve for extra crunch! 

This also works well with spiced or mulled poached pears or even tinned pears, either instead of the chocolate or as well as!

For the pears…

  • 4 pears
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 500ml water
  • 1 small cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp whole cloves, 1 star anise
  • 1/2 small lemon
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, drop of vanilla extract or vanilla paste

Combine the water and sugar in a large pan and bring to the boil on a high heat. Add the spices, vanilla + lemon and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Peel, slice in half and core the pears, add them to the liquid. Put a lid on the pan and simmer the pears until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the pears cool in the poaching liquid.

These can be made a few days in advance and sliced up when the Eton mess is ready to serve!

Jeremy Jackson’s Ultimate Cheese Board

  • Montgomery Cheddar World-class unpasteurised cheese made in the West Country
  • Thomas-Hoe Stevenson Aged Blue Stilton made in Leicester
  • Tunworth Soft camembert style cheese made in Hampshire
  • Ticklemore Goats pasteurized crumbly goats cheese made in Devon
  • Cornish Yarg semi hard cheese wrapped in nettles made in Devon

All available from Jeremy and Trish’s shop in the covered market.

Christmas Pickled Grapes from Jules Goddard (Plucky Pickle)

  • Spiced pickled grapes
  • 500g seedless black grapes
  • 500g granulated sugar
  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns 
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 1 small dried chilli
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick

Add everything bar the grapes in to a saucepan, bring to a steady boil, stir to dissolve the sugar and then leave to cool. Wash and dry the grapes and put into a sterilised jar and pour over the vinegar brine.

Coffee from Market House Coffee

Bethlehem Coffee: a bright, shining coffee, with notes of lime, macadamia & honeycomb, from a Producer who is the Ultimate Artisan Farmer.

Atkinson’s Christmas tea blend.

Both available from Market House Coffee

And for the day after… Boxing Day Pie from Neil Broomfield (Great North Pie)

  • 1kg Minced turkey thigh meat 
  • 2 onions 
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp each of turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander cinnamon, black pepper, 10 cloves, 4 crushed cardamom pods, black onion seeds
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp garam masala

To finish – fresh coriander, lemon juice, almonds or chestnuts, dried sultanas or cranberries

Fry mince with onions until browned – add chopped garlic ginger, spices and cook through for 2 minutes.  Add tom puree and cook for a further 2 mins. Blend the coconut milk with the plum tomatoes, then pour over the mince. Turn the heat down and simmer for half hour – season with salt and garam masala. Cool – then add the lemon juice to taste, some more fresh ginger, coriander, green chillies. Stir in any crushed chestnuts and dried cranberries that you have leftover.

Roll out pastry and line a tin – leave to rest for an hour. Fill the cases with the turkey, brush the edges of the case with beaten egg, place pastry lid on top and roll over. Glaze with egg and sprinkle seeds on top – cumin and desiccated coconut worked work. Bake in an oven for 16-20 mins at 180c until golden and pastry cooked through. Cool on a wire rack when out of the oven – serve with a fresh spinach and fresh mango salad, piccalilli, mint raita.