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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sun, 18 December, 2016

... or rather: what NOT to cook YET. Not yet time for the big or not-so-big bird but I do recommend to brine your turkey, if you can find a bucket big enough to fit it. One year I used a plastic drawer from the fridge, the turkey wasn't enormous and fit very snugly into it - a great idea if your fridge drawers are the right size. Just be careful that brine doesn't overspill in the fridge!

I'll be roasting a duck this year, with an aromatic spice rub and a soy-and-maple glaze - rather gorgeous. I also considered this: I'll need two sizeable ducks to feed eight people and it will still cost me less than a fancy bronze turkey.

NOT YET to desserts, unless you want to make and freeze them. I can't recommend freezing bûche de noël which is what always rides onto my Christmas table, because I always make it on Christmas Eve - but you'll never know unless you try, it might freeze successfully. On the other hand, my other staple - mini Pavlovas - are begging to be baked and boxed now, and wait to be dressed with cream and fruit on the day.

Ah, but you CAN cook some accompaniments already: cranberry sauce keeps beautifully in the fridge so feel free to to get the cranberries sizzling around Wednesday. Stuffing can be made ahead too - check out my chestnut and mushroom stuffing. It's so good you might want to skip the turkey.

And what to cook in this last week? Simple dinners: why not deconstruct my burger recipe, cook just the patties and serve them naked and bun-less with green salad? And a mac n cheese will work a treat: make twice as much, freeze the other portion and it will be unimaginably welcome around the 29th December, post-turkey!

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