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How to make... Christmas party foods

Eurest | Recipes |  03 December 2013

BRIE AND CRANBERRY PARCELS WITH FRESH CRANBERRY SAUCE 

INGREDIENTS

For the sauce

300g fresh cranberries
200g sugar
juice of half a lemon
1 glass of port 

For the brie and cranberry parcels

200g brie
150g cranberry sauce
75g melted butter (you can use low fat butter)
10 sheets filo pastry

For the brie, walnut and cranberry twists

12 sheets filo pastry
100g melted butter
250g brie, cut into six chunky fingers
18 tsp cranberry sauce
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
a sprinkling of poppy seeds

METHOD

For the fresh cranberry sauce

1. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan. bring to the boil then simmer gently for about 10 to 15 minutes until the berries burst.
2. Remove from the heat and pour into a storage jar with a tight fitting lid. the sauce will keep in the fridge for one week or in a sterilised jar for one to two months.

For the brie and cranberry parcels

1. Heat the oven to 375°f/190°c/gas mark 5.
2. Cut the pastry sheets into 15cm squares.
3. Place three squares on top of each other at an angle to make a 12 pointed star shape.
4. Brush with a little melted butter.
5. Place a teaspoon of brie (20g) in the middle of the pastry.
6. Top the brie with a little cranberry sauce.
7. Gently collect the corners of the pastry and join together to make a parcel; press together at the neck to seal.
8. Place the parcels onto a greased baking tray and brush with the melted butter or low fat butter.
9. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

For the brie, walnut and cranberry twists

1. Heat the oven to 220°c/200°c fan/gas mark 7.
2. Stack two of the filo sheets on top of each other and, with the widest edge facing you, brush with some melted butter.
3. Put a finger of brie across the bottom of the filo, top with one teaspoon of cranberry sauce and sprinkle over a few chopped walnuts.
4. Roll up the filo from the bottom and twist the ends to seal.
5. Brush with more butter and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
6. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
7. Bake for 10 mins. alternatively, cover the unbaked twists with cling film, chill overnight and bake just before serving.

To serve

Arrange on a serving plate and watch them disappear.

Click here to download the recipe as a PDF



SIMPLE POTTED PORK

Makes enough to fill four small to medium Kilner jars


INGREDIENTS

1 ham hock (also known as pork knuckle)
1 sprig of fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1 whole head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
150ml white wine
A good pinch of ground mixed spice
A good pinch of ground mace
A splash of rapeseed or olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 295°F/150°C/Gas mark 2. 

2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium to high heat. Brown the ham hock all over in the hot pan, then transfer to a small roasting dish where it will fit relatively snugly. 

3. Add all of the herbs and garlic then pour over the wine and enough water to just immerse the meat. Cover the dish with a lid or foil.

4. Cook for two, to two and a half hours, until the hock is completely tender and can easily be pulled away from the bone. Remove from the dish, then strain the cooking liquid into a jug and set aside.

5. Leave the meat for half an hour and, when it’s cool enough to handle, remove the skin and shred the meat away from the bones. Put this in a bowl, add plenty of salt and pepper, the pinches of spice and enough of the reserved cooking liquid to just bind the mix together — use as much of the fat from the top of the juices as you can — it's this that helps bind the mix together. 

6. When you have a coarse, fairly loose pâté texture, taste and add more salt, pepper or spices as needed.

7. Pack the mixture into a bowl or four Kilner jars and pour a little more of the cooking juices on top.

Refrigerate for at least a day to allow the flavour to improve and the mix to set firm. Keep the potted pork refrigerated and eat within three days.

TO SERVE

Serve on oatcakes or brown toast, with a good chutney or onion marmalade. 

Click here to download the recipe as a PDF


SMOKED SALMON AND KING PRAWN ON A PEPPERED CROSTINI WITH LEMON AND DILL CREAM CHEESE

Makes 10 portions 

INGREDIENTS                                      

250g sliced smoked salmon
10 large cooked king prawns
200g cream cheese
Zest and juice of two lemons
100ml olive oil
Bunch of dill
French baguette
Cracked black pepper
Sea salt 

METHOD

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE

1. Mix together the cream cheese, half of the lemon juice and half of the lemon zest.
2. Chop half of the dill finely and add to the cream cheese.
3. Add a pinch of cracked pepper and mix again.
4. Place into a piping bag and set aside.

FOR THE CROSTINI

1. Heat the oven to 325°F/160°C/Gas mark 3.
2. Slice the French baguette into 1cm thick slices.
3. Drizzle a little oil and seasoning on to a baking tray then place the sliced baguette on to the tray.
4. Drizzle a little oil and seasoning over the top of the sliced baguette.
5. Bake in the oven until golden, then remove from the oven and allow to cool. 

FOR THE KING PRAWNS

1. Take a sharp knife and cut down the back of each king prawn (only cut half way through) to remove the digestive tract.
2. Marinate the king prawns in the remaining lemon juice and zest.
3. Add a pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper and mix thoroughly.

FOR THE SMOKED SALMON 

1. Cut the smoked salmon into equal quantities.
2. Curl the salmon pieces into a rose shape.
3. Place onto a tray for a little later.

TO SERVE

Take the crostini and pipe a tablespoon of cream cheese onto each one, topping with a rose of smoked salmon and a king prawn. Finish with fresh dill and a twist of cracked pepper before serving.

Enjoy!

Click here to download the recipe as a PDF

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