Cuisine Fiend

More unusual recipe suggestions

Sat, 23 December, 2017

Is it all ready? Your turkey ordered, the brine researched, lievito madre for panettone being fed every four hours? I’m not joking about that last one – authentic Italian recipes call for sourdough levain fed at four hours’ intervals for at least a day. Who needs sleep when you can bake a real panettone?

I cut corners with my yeasted recipe below but it’s still time-consuming, effort-heavy and requires dough-making discipline. It pays off though. When you lightly butter a slice on Christmas day and realise it’s still so fresh it needn’t be toasted – that will be your reward.

The usual assorted suspects including meats, sides, and desserts are on my Christmas Collection page. Cranberry gingerbread cake could be one to bake this year: it’s nicer than classic Christmas fruitcake and easy to make. For the main dish go off-piste and roast a couple of braces of partridge if your crowd is modest – one will feed two people if there are plenty of sides.

Cranberry ketchup instead of the sauce perhaps? Red cabbage can be stir fried quickly instead of taking up oven space for hours. Skip starters – there will be too much food anyway. Whip up lemon posset for dessert – easier and lighter than pud.

Above all - don't stress (too much) and have a great Christmas!