Christmas 2020: 5 simple and easy recipes you can try at home this festive season
Photo by Pexels

If there's one thing we love about Christmas – aside from presents (obv) and spending time with our loved ones (well, usually) – it's the food. Is there anything more comforting and joyful than a huge Christmas feast, lovingly prepared by the fam and washed down with a glass of fizz and/ or mulled wine?

Whiffs of yummy delicacies being prepared in several homes are what you may have noticed as with holiday season comes a lot of delectable snacks and desserts. Aside from decorating the tree and hanging up ornaments, preparing and having lip-smacking food keeping aside fitness goals is an integral part of the festival. From roasted chicken to cakes to pies, pudding to mulled wine among others are some traditional food items that people love to gorge on.

Christmas Day 2020 : Check out the recipes right below.

1. Almond flour-based gluten-free cake

Christmas 2020: 5 simple and easy recipes you can try at home this festive season

Check out this gluten and refined sugar-free cake. This cake doesn't need sugar as it is full of fruits that lend its own natural sweetness.

Ingredients

Almond flour

Coconut flour

1tsp baking soda

salt

nutmeg

cinnamon

Wet ingredients

Eggs (beaten)

orange juice

Vanilla

melted butter

Dry fruits needed

raisins (rehydrated in warm water)

prunes

dates

apricots

figs (rehydrated in warm water

Method

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk it together to combine. Now, add wet ingredients beat in a mixer. Slowly incorporate the dry mix and add dry fruits as well. Turn off the churner and add walnuts and orange zest. Give the final fold with a spatula to combine everything. Spread the batter on to the cake tray which is lined with parchment paper. Put it in a preheated oven to 185 and bake for around one hour. Brush the cake with honey glaze.

2. Gingerbread Man

Christmas 2020: 5 simple and easy recipes you can try at home this festive season

The recipe is by Chef Ranveer Brar.

Ingredients:

Flour - 160 gms

Brown Sugar - 47 gms

Butter - 32 gms

Molasses - 32 gms

Eggs - 14 gms

Water - 9 ml

Baking Soda - 1gm

Salt - 1 gm

Ginger Powder - 1 gm

Cinnamon Powder 0.5 gms

Nutmeg Powder - 0.5 gms

Clove Powder - 0.5 gms

Sprinkles - 7 per cookie

Method

Cream brown sugar and butter until double in volume and light in colour. This will be at high speed. Add the eggs and whisk until double in volume. This will be at high speed. Add molasses, water and whisk at a low speed. Add all dry ingredients ( Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, and spices) and incorporate with a whisk at a low speed. Rest the cookie dough in the chiller for a couple of hours. Sheet it to 2-3 mm thickness, cut it with the gingerbread man cutter and add sprinkles on top. Bake at 180 C for 18-21 mins.

3. Crispy Pork Belly, Braised red cabbage, caramelized young potatoes

Christmas 2020: 5 simple and easy recipes you can try at home this festive season

Ingredients

2 kg boneless skin-on pork belly

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 cups thinly sliced red cabbage

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup lingonberry jam

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 kg small potatoes

1/4 cup sugar

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Flaky sea salt, for serving

Method

For the pork belly: Pat the skin of the pork belly completely dry. Using a sharp knife, cut parallel lines across the skin and fat, about a 1/2 inch apart, making sure not to cut down into the meat. Mix the salt, baking powder and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the pork all over with the salt mixture, making sure to get it into the grooves on the skin. Place the pork skin-side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours (see Cook's Note). About an hour before cooking the pork, allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Pour 4 cups of water into the roasting pan with the pork (this will prevent the drippings from burning). Cook until the meat is tender but not falling apart, about 3 hours.

For the cabbage: Meanwhile, add the cabbage, vinegar, jam, sugar and salt to a large high-sided skillet and mix to combine. Cover, place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally to make sure the cabbage is not browning until softened and no longer crisp, about 20 minutes. The cabbage will release some moisture, but if it starts to stick to the bottom of the skillet or seems dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time to moisten. Keep warm.

For the potatoes: Put the potatoes in a medium pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the potatoes are tender but not too soft, about 15 minutes. Drain into a colander and set aside for about 10 minutes. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them with your hands or a paring knife.

Meanwhile, add the sugar to a large skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar is completely melted, about 3 minutes. When the edges start to turn brown, after about another 3 minutes, add the butter and kosher salt. Using a rubber spatula, stir carefully to combine. Continue to cook until the mixture is amber, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring gently to coat them with the browned sugar, until heated through, about 4 minutes. After the pork belly has cooked for 3 hours, increase the oven temperature to 240 degrees C and continue to cook until the skin is crisp and brown, about 20 minutes more. Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with the cabbage and potatoes.

4. Herb Chicken, Roasted beets, Brussels

Christmas 2020: 5 simple and easy recipes you can try at home this festive season

Ingredients

1 tbsp. Kosher salt

2 tsp. paprika

1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. Freshly ground pepper

1 whole chicken

1 lemon

1 large celery rib

1 red onion

4 clove garlic

1/2 lb. baby carrots

3/4 lb. small assorted beets

12 large Brussels sprouts

1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

fresh rosemary leaves

Method

Stir together the first 4 ingredients. Remove and discard neck and giblets from chicken. Sprinkle chicken with salt mixture. Place lemon into the cavity of the chicken. Tie legs together with kitchen string, and tuck wing tips under. Place celery, onion, and garlic in a single layer in a lightly greased 6-quart slow cooker. Place chicken on top of onions, breast side up. Arrange and tuck the remaining vegetables around chicken. Sprinkle vegetables with any remaining salt mixture. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until done. Remove chicken to a serving dish. Rub skins from beets and cut into quarters; arrange with other vegetables around chicken. Garnish with rosemary. Whisk mustard into remaining cooking juices in slow cooker; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve sauce with chicken.

5. Cream of Chestnut

Christmas 2020: 5 simple and easy recipes you can try at home this festive season

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/2 cup finely chopped carrot

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

3 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

2 whole cloves

1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 (14- to 15-ounce) jar peeled cooked whole chestnuts, crumbled (3 cups)

1/4 cup Madeira

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Method

Melt butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, then stir in celery, carrot, and onion. Cover surface of vegetables with a buttered round of wax paper or parchment (buttered side down) and cover pan with lid, then sweat vegetables 15 minutes (to soften). Wrap parsley, cloves, and bay leaf in cheesecloth and tie into a bundle with string to make a bouquet garni. Discard buttered paper from vegetables, then add broth and bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Add chestnuts and Madeira and simmer, covered, 3 minutes. Purée soup in small batches (4 or 5) in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in cream, pepper, and salt to taste and reheat soup over moderate heat, stirring occasionally.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in