Archive for December, 2012

Nice ‘n’ Easy Christmas Dinner

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Fancy having a go at rustling up a traditional Christmas dinner with your friends or housemates?

Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out how!

Key Ingredients

Rolled and boned turkey joint, 12 chipolata sausages, 1 pack of streaky bacon, 8-10 medium potatoes, Brussel sprouts (4-5 each), carrots, turkey or chicken gravy mix, stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, salt, pepper, cooking oil & dried herbs.

1) Turkey - check out Top Turkey Tips blog post for preparation and cooking time.

2) Pigs in blankets – chop the sausages in half –there you have the pigs!  For the blankets, cut each rasher of bacon in half and stretch them with a knife; run the back of the knife along the length of each rasher of bacon to flatten and stretch them. Then, wrap the bacon around each sausage making sure the seal is underneath.

3) Roast Potatoes -peel and chop the potatoes in half then par boil in salted water for about 8 minutes. Stop cooking before they’re cooked right through. Whilst the potatoes are boiling, cover the roasting tin in oil and place it in the oven.

4) Next, chop up the carrots and prepare the sprouts. Cutting and ‘X’ in to the bottom of the sprout will make them cook faster and more evenly. Then place them in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.

5) Once the potatoes are ready,  drain them and place them in the roasting tray. Make sure the oil is nice and hot and leave them for 35-40 minutes. Halfway through shake them about on the tray so they roast evenly.

6) At the same time, put your pigs in blankets around the turkey to cook for  the last 25-30 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.

7) Stuffing - You can’t have turkey without stuffing and a ready mix is just as good as making it from scratch. Once it is prepared following the on pack instructions, place it in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

8) With 10-20 minutes to go before the turkey is ready, it’s time to get the sprouts and carrots cooking.

9) Gravy -using turkey or chicken gravy mix, start warming the gravy on the hob. And now for the secret ingredient to make your gravy extra tasty, add in the juices form the turkey.

10) Plate up and serve with cranberry sauce.

…and that is how it’s done!

Top Turkey Tips

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Now, it’s not a traditional British Christmas without a turkey and it’s actually not as tricky to cook as most people think. So here are some top turkey tips to make sure your Christmas dinner goes smoothly.

Rolled and Boned Joint

You can cook a whole turkey but it is quicker and much cheaper to use a rolled and boned joint. In the  International Christmas video, we used a rolled and boned turkey breast joint.

  1. Slice a few carrots and place them in the bottom of the roasting tray then sit the turkey joint on top (this veg can be used for the gravy later on).
  2. Next you need to get this turkey ready for the oven and that means some serious seasoning. Take some salt, pepper and herbs – thyme is great for flavour.  Give it a good sprinkling and rub it in to the meat. For even better flavour, coat the turkey with oil and rub it all over.
  3. Now, get that bird in the oven!  Have a look at the packaging; it should tell you the recommended cooking time based on the weight of the bird.

Turkey Crown From Frozen

Plan the defrosting stages carefully. The larger the turkey the further in advance you will need to remove from the  freezer and place in fridge.

Have a look at the British Turkey Defrosting Calculator to help you work out how long it will take to defrost your turkey. You can also use the Roasting Calculator to help you calculate cooking time. Remember it’s just a guide because all ovens vary so keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t overcook!

Is It Ready Yet?

To check if your turkey is cooked right through, pierce the thickest part of the chest of the crown with a fine skewer. If the meat juices run clear (no traces of pink at all), you are good to go!