Food, Friends , Fun and Leftover Ingredients
Christmas and New Year are the busiest times of the year, with a to-do list that gets longer by the minute , slotted in around endless cooking and entertaining. As the New Year approaches is it nice to have some quick and easy supper recipes on hand so that a New Year’s Eve get-together is fabulously simple suppers to prepare, but deliciously divine to eat. After all even the most enthusiastic of home cooks wants to see the New Year in with a glass of something bubbling, not up to their elbow in bubbles whilst washing up.
Not only are these recipe ideas quick and easy to prepare, but they are also a good way to use up left-over ingredients from the festive period.
Citrus Feta and Mint Couscous Salad
250ml hot vegetable stock
4tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2tbsp freshly chopped mint
200g feta cheese cubed
4 tomatoes chopped (de-seeded)
½ cucumber chopped
50g toasted pine nuts
1 tbsp. runny honey
150g natural Greek yoghurt
Freshly milled black pepper
Place the couscous in a non-metallic bowl and pour over the hot vegetable stock. Stir and cover, leave to soak for 10 minutes.
Put 2tbsp. of the olive oil in a separate bowl, add half the lemon juice and the juice of the lime. Add in the parsley and thyme. Gently stir in the chopped feta and leave to marinate.
Mix the chopped tomatoes and cucumber in a bowl with the remaining olive oil, lemon juice and garlic and mint, season with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste and set aside.
Carefully remove the feta from the marinade and set aside.
Mix the marinade with the yoghurt and honey to make a dressing.
Now fluff the couscous u with a fork and stir in the pine nuts, tomatoes and cucumber . Put the mixture onto a serving platter and top with the feta , spoon over the yoghurt dressing prior to serving.
Creamy Green Goddess Bake
If there are Brussels sprouts lurking at the back of the pantry from the Christmas dinner, get them out and give them a tasty make-over with this innovative dish. I promise your guests won’t even notice they are eating these little festive green goddesses
1 kg small, even sized Brussels sprouts (outer skin removed)
250ml double cream
100G Stilton cheese crumbled
Pinch sea salt
Black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200◦C, (180◦C fan assisted), gas mark 6
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the sprouts and boil for 1 minute. Drain and plunge into cold water to refresh them, drain well , slice them in half and put in an oven proof dish and set aside.
Heat the cream gently and add in half of the stilton and the port, stir until smooth, pour over the sprouts and sprinkle with black pepper and the remaining stilton. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until bubbling. Serve immediately.
Makes a tasty supper served with warm crusty bread or for a more substantial treat top with bacon or a nice poached egg.
Mulled Wine Chicken
75 cl bottle red wine
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 small chilli
2 tbsp runny honey
200g pancetta cubes
12 large chicken thighs (unboned, skin on)
10 shallots, peeled
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp plain flour
300ml hot chicken stock
225g chestnut mushrooms
Bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley
Place the wine into a pan with the cinnamon, star anise, chilli and honey and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer (uncovered) until the liquid has reduced by a third of its original volume. Remove the spices and discard. Set the wine aside.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180◦C (160◦C fan assisted) gas mark 4. In a heat proof casserole dish fry the pancetta cubes until crisp and golden, remove and set aside. In the same casserole dish, fry the chicken in the bacon fat, remove and set aside.
Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and fry until golden , add in the flour and cook gently, stirring continuously, for 1 minute. Return the bacon an chicken to the pan and add in the wine and stock. Bring the mixture to the boil, then cover and place in the oven to cook for 1 hr.
After an hour stir in the sliced mushrooms and cook for another half an hour. Scatter the chopped parsley over, prior to serving.
I hope these recipes will minimise stress levels and will give inspiration for years to come. Happy cooking!
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