Alternative Christmas dinner recipes: London chefs share their favourites


hristmas lunch is usually a little bit of a turkey, however there may be one other approach. Right here, 4 high cooks share their various festive favourites to spice issues up in your festive menu.

Salmon en croute

Judy Joo, Seoul Chicken

Daniel Hambury/Stella Footage Ltd

Rising up, in the course of the festive season, my mother used to boil a big pot of Christmas spices to make the home scent good and cosy. To this present day, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice combined with citrus make me consider Christmas. We might additionally at all times make eggnog, stuffed with aromatic nutmeg, and Christmas cookies, often fluffy cinnamon sugar snickerdoodles. Yearly my sister and I would go away a glass of eggnog and a few these candy buttery cookies for Santa. It's these fragrant winter spices that create a very memorable and detectible vacation spirit. No matter’s there, it’s at all times great when there’s a centrepiece too — this salmon is good.

  • 1.1kg boneless skinless facet of salmon, sliced in half, dried on paper towels and stored in fridge
  • 12 medium stalks of asparagus, trimmed
  • 90g child spinach
  • 2/3 tsp recent rosemary, chopped
  • ½ tsp each recent tarragon and
  • recent thyme, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 tbsp crème fraiche
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¾ tsp recent lemon zest
  • 1 egg, crushed
  • 2 giant sheets pure butter puff pastry, thawed
Alamy Inventory Picture
  1. Warmth oven to 205°C. Put together an ice tub.
  2. In boiling water, cook dinner the asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes till darkish inexperienced, however nonetheless agency to the chunk. Then plunge it into the ice tub, enable to chill fully and take away. Slice into items about ¼ cm thick.
  3. Cook dinner the spinach in boiling water for about one to 2 minutes, then plunge within the ice tub, earlier than eradicating and squeezing out any extra water. Roughly chop.
  4. Place the asparagus items right into a medium bowl and add the spinach. Combine within the rosemary, tarragon, thyme, garlic, pepper, salt, crème fraiche, parmesan and lemon. Combine properly and season to style.
  5. Make an egg wash by cracking the egg right into a small bowl and whisking it along with a splash of water.
  6. Roll the puff pastry out to about twice the width of the salmon with about 5cm additional on every finish, relying on how thick your salmon is. Mud your counter with flour and roll the puff pastry to the proper dimension and about ¼ cm to ½ cm thick. Place the pastry with the lengthy facet of the rectangle dealing with you. Reduce it in two lengthwise, with one piece barely wider than the opposite — the bigger piece would be the high piece that goes over the fish.
  7. Place the smaller piece of pastry onto a big piece of parchment paper, then place the underside of the salmon on the center of it. Rigorously spoon over the asparagus and spinach combine in an excellent layer. Now placed on the highest half of the salmon, however place the thicker finish over the skinny tail finish of the underside piece, to create a extra even form general. Utilizing a pastry brush, brush the sides across the salmon with the egg wash.
  8. Cowl the salmon with the bigger piece of pastry, operating your fingers alongside the edges to tuck it into place alongside the salmon, eradicating any air pockets and urgent to seal. Utilizing a pointy knife, trim the sides to go away about 2.5cm for a crust, and reserve the trimming. Utilizing your fingers, crimp the crust and lower two or three steam vents within the high of the pastry. Use any trimmings for decorations and egg wash it.
  9. Cowl loosely with clingfilm and permit to sit back for 20 minutes within the fridge earlier than baking. As soon as chilled, place into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes till the pastry is golden brown.

Geera-roasted rooster with chimichurri

Brian Danclair, Danclair’s Kitchen and Fish, Wings n Tings

Daniel Hambury/Stella Footage Ltd

My Christmas is spent with my spouse and kids and a few instances now we have some family from France or Trinidad. The cooking is an important, we at all times do a Trini model dinner, this consists of Trini Pastel, stew hen, boiled greens, Callalloo, cured roasted ham, fried fish, the standard turkey. As desert, now we have Fruit Bread and an important Ponche Creme (eggnog drink ready with copious quantities of rum!). This rooster has these Trinidad roots, good if turkey isn’t wished.

  • 1 giant rooster
  • 1 head of garlic peeled
  • Juice of two squeezed limes
  • 2 tbsp of chopped coriander
  • 1 ½ tbsp floor geera
  • ½ scotch bonnet pepper halved, deseeded and chopped
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 desk spoons of virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch every of flat leaf parsley, coriander, mint
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 crimson and 1 white onion, each peeled and chopped
  • ½ scotch bonnet pepper
  • ½ cup of virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
Brian Danclair
  1. Begin with the rooster. Mix two teaspoons of salt, all of the spices, herbs and lime juice in a meals processor and mix finely.
  2. Put the rooster in a deep baking tray, and rub completely each the skin and the within of the fowl and beneath the pores and skin with this spice combine. Cowl and marinate for a minimum of two hours within the fridge.
  3. Warmth the oven to 175°C. Cowl the rooster with foil and cook dinner for roughly two hours, taking off the foil the final 20 minutes.
  4. Serve with chimichurri on the facet. To make, merely mix all of the components with half a teaspoon of each salt and pepper in a meals processor, mix for a minute, and plate it up at room temperature.

Roasted pumpkin curry

Karan Gokani, Hoppers

Daniel Hambury/Stella Footage Ltd

At house now we have about 4 massive Christmas meals by means of December, which permits me to cook dinner goose, duck, turkey and lamb and consequently I don’t have to decide on only one! On the 25 we're often at Sunaina’s mother or father’s place, the place there is no such thing as a dearth of excellent cooks or meals. It’s at all times conventional Christmas fare. However come boxing day we're all craving spice, and the remainder of the vacations are all about curries — be they Indian, Lankan, Malaysian or Thai! This one at all times suits the invoice.

  • 500g pumpkin, lower into 2inch-thick wedges
  • ¾ tsp floor turmeric
  • 2 tbsp of each roasted Sri Lankan
  • curry powder and
  • crimson chilli powder
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp of each black mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4-6 cloves
  • 5 inexperienced cardamoms
  • 12-15 curry leaves
  • 1 small crimson onion, finely chopped
  • 200ml thick coconut milk, recent or canned
  1. Warmth the oven to 180°C fan. Then, in a big bowl, combine 1 tbsp coconut oil with a beneficiant pinch of sea salt, ½ tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp curry powder and 1 tbsp crimson chilli powder. Add the pumpkin wedges to the bowl and unfold the spiced oil throughout.
  2. Subsequent, place the wedges on a roasting tray and cook dinner for 15 to 18 minutes. You need them to cook dinner by means of fully however nonetheless maintain their form.
  3. Warmth 2 tbsp of the oil in a big frying pan over a medium warmth and add the mustard and fenugreek seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds cease crackling, add the cinnamon stick, curry leaves, onions, cardamom and cloves. Stir properly to coat within the oil, add a pinch of salt and proceed to cook dinner for six minutes, stirring sometimes till the onions are smooth.
  4. Then add the curry powder, remaining turmeric and chilli powder. Cook dinner for an additional minute, including a splash of water if the spices start to stay.
  5. Lastly, add the coconut milk, cut back the warmth to low and cook dinner for 3 to 4 minutes till the liquid has diminished by half and you've got a curry sauce. Season to style and cook dinner for a closing minute.
  6. To plate up, ladle some sauce right into a flat bowl, place the roasted wedges on high and pour over any spiced oil from the roasting tray.

Honey and five-spice glazed ham

Calum Franklin, Holborn Eating Room

Daniel Hambury/Stella Footage Ltd

When completed correctly, a glistening, mahogany-coloured, honey-glazed roast ham in the course of a eating desk is jaw-dropping. Because it feeds so many, a ham is nice for any giant household gathering, the place folks can come and take a slice off each time they really feel prefer it. Plus there may be the advantage of leftovers the subsequent day too. It is very important use a pan large enough to cook dinner the entire ham, as it is going to must be submerged in water all through the whole cooking course of - so beg, borrow or steal an enormous pan if you happen to don’t have already got one.

  • 5kg bone-in, unsmoked gammon joint
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 40 cloves
  • 150ml runny honey
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
John Carey
  1. Put the gammon joint in a big pan and canopy it fully with chilly water. Convey to a simmer over a low-medium warmth; skim off and discard any scum that rises to the floor of the water till it has largely stopped. If vital, high up the pan with extra water. Add the celery, carrots, onion, leek, garlic and bay leaves and convey again as much as a simmer.
  2. Gently simmer the gammon for 2 and a half hours, or 20 minutes per 500g, topping up with extra water as vital so the meat is at all times coated. It is going to be prepared when, inserting a digital probe thermometer to its centre, the joint is at 70°C or above.
  3. Warmth the oven to 190°C fan/210°C.
  4. Utilizing a clear dish towel across the largest uncovered bone on the high of the gammon joint, fastidiously pull the meat out of the pan and place it in a roasting tray. Put aside the cooking liquid to make use of later for the glaze.
  5. Utilizing a small, skinny knife, fastidiously strip the rind from the skin, leaving the layer of fats beneath intact as a lot as doable (this can shield the meat and cease drying it out). With out slicing into the meat, rating the fats in an ornamental diamond sample. Push a single clove into the centre of every ‘X’. Discard the rind.
  6. Place the tray within the preheated oven and roast the gammon joint for 10 minutes, then flip the tray within the oven and cook dinner for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Pour two medium ladlefuls of the reserved cooking liquid into the roasting tray. Add the honey and five-spice powder to the tray and blend with the cooking juices to make the glaze. Baste the meat throughout with it, push it into the scored traces with a brush, after which return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Proceed to baste the gammon joint each 5 minutes, turning the meat within the tray every time till it's coated in a sticky glaze.
  8. Rigorously take away the ham from the oven and serve.

Extract tailored from The Pie Room by Calum Franklin (Bloomsbury Absolute, £26)

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