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Winter 2009

With so much going on at this time of year it makes sense to keep things simple. Here are a few recipes which have become perennial seasonal favourites. I hope you enjoy them too.  Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas.  E.L.

HOT AMERICAN TURKEY SALAD (Serves 4-6)

Sometimes the old ones are the best and this family favourite is just such an example. Quick and easy to prepare and cook it makes a great party dish out of leftover turkey or chicken. If there are any leftover-leftovers, it also makes an excellent sandwich filling!

450g / 1lb cooked turkey , cut into bite-sized pieces
4 sticks celery, finely sliced
4 spring onions, finely sliced
approx. 300ml / pint mayonnaise
juice of half a lemon
75g / 3oz strong Cheddar cheese, grated
black pepper
For the topping:
1-2 packets potato crisps, crumbled
a little paprika pepper, optional


Combine all the ingredients, with 50g / 2oz of the cheese and seasoning to taste. Turn into a shallow ovenproof dish. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to cook and serve.

Heat the oven to 200°C / Gas 6. Top with the crisps, remaining cheese, and a dusting of paprika. Cook on a high shelf for about 10-15 minutes until hot. Don't cook longer as the sauce may separate. Serve straight away with a crisp green salad.
  • Use a mixture of diced ham and turkey if you have leftovers of both.
  • Spice up the salad by adding curry paste or powder, to taste, to the mixture. Top with plain or chilli flavoured crisps.
GOOSNARGH CAKES

These melt-in-the-mouth, delicately-flavoured shortbread biscuits have become a traditional family Christmas favourite. We cut the dough into moons and star-shapes and with their thick dusting of sparkling caster sugar they look festive and taste delicious. The recipe originates from a small village in Lancashire where they were traditionally flavoured with caraway.

350g /12 oz plain flour
3 - 4 teaspoons coriander seeds
200g / 8 oz slightly salted butter
50g / 2 oz caster sugar, plus extra


Rub the flour and butter together, or process in a magimix, until crumbs are formed. Crush the seeds coarsely in a pestle and mortar or using a bowl and the end of a rolling pin. Add to the butter and flour mixture together with the caster sugar. Knead the mixture until a dough is formed. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 160°C /Gas 3. Roll out the dough to a 6mm / ¼" thickness and cut into shapes. Place on a greased baking tray and bake for 30 - 40 minutes - or until they are just beginning to turn a light golden colour.

While the biscuits are still on the baking tray and warm, dredge with caster sugar. Allow them to cool slightly before transferring them to a cooling rack.

NEW YORK-STYLE CAFE NUTS

500g / generous 1lb assorted shelled nuts
a knob of butter
2 tblsps coarsely chopped rosemary
pinch chilli flakes
1 tblsp dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp sea salt


Spread the nuts on to a baking sheet and roast in a hot oven (200°C / Gas 6) for approx. 5 minutes or until beginning to turn golden. Watch them carefully as they will suddenly go! Melt the butter in a large pan and stir in all the remaining ingredients. When the nuts are still warm tip them in and stir well to coat in the mixture. Cool and store in an airtight box or jar.