Cheat

Cheating certainly doensn't mean any reduction in flavour or quality of the finished dish: all it does is free your time up by using a brilliant shop-bought ingredient. What could be simpler?

 
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Cheat’s Turkey with Pistachio and Apricot Stuffing and Pancetta and Cranberry, Balsamic and Sage SauceServes 4 (with plenty of leftovers for Boxing Day)

Cheat’s Turkey with Pistachio and Apricot Stuffing and Pancetta and Cranberry, Balsamic and Sage Sauce

This really is Christmas eating without the hassle: Delia turns a turkey crown into a meal of real succulence and flavour, with a gorgeously festive stuffing and a sauce that has all the festive flavours of Christmas.

 
 
Avocado Mousse with Prawns and VinaigretteServes 8

Avocado Mousse with Prawns and Vinaigrette

This is a delicious, creamy and most attractive starter to a dinner party. But don’t make it too far in advance as it tends to lose its beautiful colour.

 
 
Prawn CocktailServes 6

Prawn Cocktail

This recipe is part of my 1960s revival menu. In those days it used to be something simple but really luscious, yet over the years it has suffered from some very poor adaptations, not least watery prawns and inferior sauces. So here, in all its forme

 
 
Vegetarian Moussaka with Ricotta ToppingServes 4-6

Vegetarian Moussaka with Ricotta Topping

Yes, it is possible to make an extremely good Greek-style moussaka without meat, and even non-vegetarians will admit it tastes every bit as good. Serve it with a large bowl of crunchy salad along with some warm pitta bread.

 
 
Calamares fritos (fried baby squid)serves 2 as a starter or part of a tapas selection

Calamares fritos (fried baby squid)

These are so simple – they take seconds to cook and are good served with Tracklements’ Chilli Jam. I buy mine ready-prepared (still frozen from the fish counter at Waitrose) so I can always have a stash in the freezer.

 
 
Portuguese Custard TartsServes 4

Portuguese Custard Tarts

These are perfect to serve warm as a dessert, although I personally prefer them chilled. Either way, they just melt in the mouth, with pastry as light as a whisper and a filling of wobbly custard flavoured with vanilla, caramel and cinnamon.

 
 
Caribbean Chicken with SalsaServes 4

Caribbean Chicken with Salsa

A dead simple recipe this, with a wonderfully exotic combination of textures and flavours. Perfect for serving to friends.

 
 
Creole PrawnsServes 2

Creole Prawns

As Creole cooking only ever uses green peppers (and the colour’s nice), I’ve included a fresh pepper here. Otherwise, the equivalent amount from a jar of roasted peppers can be used without detracting from the end result.

 
 
The 'How to Cheat' Christmas Pudding with Rum and Mascarpone SauceServes 4 (with leftovers for Boxing Day)

The 'How to Cheat' Christmas Pudding with Rum and Mascarpone Sauce

Would you believe it? All you do is use a jar of quality mincemeat, plus a few extras and you can rustle up a last-minute Christmas pud in no time at all.

 
 
Pot-roasted Chicken VeroniqueServes 4

Pot-roasted Chicken Veronique

Perfect for a lazy summer lunch, this one-pot dish simply bubbles away on the hob for a couple of hours while you find more relaxing things to do with your time, such as putting your feet up and enjoying a glass of chilled wine!

 
 
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