The roast beef of old England is only half the story: at last the world has recognised that our native cuisine is well worth a detour. Tuck into crumbles, casseroles and cakes to see why!
I confess this has often been for me a last-minute affair late on Christmas Eve. Very often there's the odd robin or Father Christmas handed down through generations to decorate with, but failing that, a sprig of holly in the centre of the cake will
Since oven-roasted vegetables in the 'Summer Collection' were so very popular, I simply had to do a winter version. Here is it and once again it is a winner for entertaining, not least because all the vegetables can be cooked together.
This recipe is dead simple, yet it draws out all the sweet, fragrant flavour of the shallots and at the same time gives them a glazed pink, jewel-like appearance.
A confit, as the name suggests, is a kind of sauce reduced to a concentrated, jam-like consistency. This one is a good accompaniment for all kinds of things at Christmas, as it keeps well in the fridge for four weeks.
This is delicious served with cold meats or sausages and will keep indefinitely. Use bottles that have contained shop-bought ketchup or you can buy the old-fashioned type 'pop' bottles from good kitchen shops.
Bread-and-butter pudding is one of the highlights of traditional cooking - and gives the family a cheap and filling finale to a meal. This version simply jazzes up an old favourite.
Bubble and squeak is a classic leftover recipe for greens, but making it rösti-style and adding some mature Cheddar adds a new dimension. These little individual rösti are brilliant served with sausages or leftover cold turkey and ham and a selection
Suntinas are available from mid-December to the end of February and have a charming tangerine flavour which makes a delightfully different marmalade, and I think the nice thing about having a choice of marmalades is you never get bored.
Old-fashioned Rice Pudding - complete with lovely skin!
Dessert figs that have become too dry to eat as they are can be excellent made into a compote. This is superb served with ice cream, but failing that, try it with some Greek yoghurt.
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