Happy holidays, from the TFP content team! For those of you that don't know us, we are the bods behind the TFP creative content… We come from all different backgrounds but the thing that unites us all, is our unadulterated obsession with food and drink! Not only do we write about it every day – but we live, breathe and eat it. We spend all our spare time cooking, and trying out all the exciting trends we report on… sufficed to say, we have made more than our fair share of banana breads, Dalgona coffees and scratch sourdoughs this year! Not to mention going to restaurants whenever we can, and checking out all the latest food podcasts and programmes.
So, it's no surprise then, that our team meetings often end with lots of recipe swapping and meal ideas! And recently, of course, that has meant lots of festive planning… It may not be a 'normal' Christmas for most this year, but that doesn't mean we can't still revel in a little festive indulgence! To give you a glimpse into our inner workings, we thought we'd share with you what some of us are making during the festive period… after much deliberation and chin wagging amongst the team!
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Brussels Sprout Kimchi - Scott Fraser, Senior Trends Analyst
Add a little spice to your Christmas with super simple and healthy recipe, sprout kimchi.Stocked full of umami flavours, gut healthy bacteria and warming chilli heat, this is guaranteed to pep up any dish from turkey sandwiches to fried eggs (for more about gut health, see our article here). To make it, simply shred 1kg of sprouts to about the thickness of a penny and mix with 1 tbsp of sweet miso, 1-2 tbsp of gochujang (depending on how hot you like it), 1 tsp of salt, 2 minced cloves of garlic and 150ml of water. Pack in to a Kilner jar and leave at room temperature for 10 days to ferment – then refrigerate and enjoy.
Elderflower Ham - Kate Jeune, Senior Trends Writer
A family favourite, my elderflower ham was a hit from the first time I made it and it is now a must on Christmas Eve, with hopefully enough left for cold cuts over the Christmas period. Although the children have grown up and left home, they still demand this every year. Created by mistake, as most good recipes are, I added a good glug of elderflower cordial to the cooking liquor, made up of water, pickling spice, garlic, onion, mustard seeds and a few Christmas flavoured cloves. The sweet, floral notes of the elderflower complements the salty ham perfectly. For extra flavour allow the cooked ham to marinate in the hot cooking liquor until needed, and you can also make a sticky glaze from the cordial to brush over before serving.
Sourdough Discard Crackers - Ryan Bartley, Senior Trends Analyst
With many diving into sourdough for the first time this year, the process of feeding our precious sourdough starters can create unwanted waste (alternative sourdough). My mum, for instance, is so averse to food waste that instead of using (or discarding) her starter when it needed feeding, she would treat each as a new starter, ending up with (and this is no joke) dozens of individual starters in pots around the kitchen. If that doesn't sound like a good idea, try making sourdough discard crackers – perfect with some mushroom pate! When feeding your starter next time, mix some of the discard with some olive oil and spread as thinly as possible onto baking paper. Sprinkle with salt and a favourite spice – fennel is my current favourite, and bake in a low oven until crisp. You can score the crackers half-way through baking to get a clean, straight cut, but breaking up into random shapes once cooked adds a nice, organic look.
Mushroom pate - Ryan Bartley, Senior Trends Analyst
Christmas is usually a very meaty affair in my family, so I usually try to get some extra vegetable dishes on the menu, and mushroom pate is a very tasty alternative to the familiar meat-based version. Great as a starter or just for snacking, serve with homemade sourdough discard crackers for extra anti-food waste points. Simply rehydrate some wild mushrooms such as porcini and shiitake (key tip, keep the mushroom liquor) and cook together in some butter (or olive oil to keep it vegan) with sliced portobello mushrooms, garlic, and diced shallot. Add in the reserved mushroom liquor, a touch of your favourite tipple – port works well, and reduce until sticky. Allow to cool before blending with a drop of milk and butter, or plant-based alternatives. Fill individual ramekins or a pate dish and chill in fridge, ideally overnight. They can be topped with melted butter for a bit more indulgence (and this also helps keep it for longer).
Gin-cured trout - Ryan Bartley, Senior Trends Analyst
Fish dishes are a popular Christmas starter in my family, so I usually do something different every year. We've enjoyed beetroot and vodka cured salmon, tuna tartare, traditional gravadlax with rye breads, and even sea bass ceviche, which raised some eyebrows. This year though, I'm going for gin-cured trout. Gin has obviously been a big hit for the last few years, with the botanicals used pairing perfectly with oily fish, such as trout. Try combining coriander seeds, juniper berries and peppercorns with orange peel and equal quantities of sugar and sea salt as a cure. If you can get hold of dried seaweed flakes, then this adds a great depth of flavour to the fish. Sprinkle over the fish, covering all of the flesh and place in the fridge for at least 24 hours. The trout should firm up and release lots of liquid, and simply wash off the cure mix and pat dry before serving. Slice thinly at an angle and enjoy as it is, canape-style on sliced apples or cucumbers with cream cheese, grated orange & herbs, or as a starter delicately presented with grated orange & a quick-pickled apple, cucumber & fennel salad.
Boxing Day Sandwich - Amy Brech, Senior Trends Writer
A firm favourite in our house is the Boxing Day Sandwich. I start with a spread of cranberry sauce, a layer of cold turkey and sliced cold sausages. Next come the sprouts, carrots, parsnips and potatoes, which I slice after heating them through in the frying pan with some seasoning. Then a dollop of bread sauce and a touch of pepper and voila! If you prefer your sandwiches to be even more indulgent, you can choose the 'moist maker' trend where a middle layer of bread is soaked in gravy, made popular by Ross in the Friends TV show.
Musakhan - Shokofeh Hejazi, Senior Editor
One of my favourite dishes to make for a warm and comfy Sunday lunch is Musakhan, a Middle eastern dish of chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks, etc) slow cooked in a fragrant, heavily spiced olive oil (think cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise and more). Once you get everything in the pan, you just whack it on a low heat and chill for a few hours… The perfect length of time for watching a Christmas film! And since I tend to change up the flavours/inspiration of Christmas dinner every year, this year I'm going to have a go at cooking my turkey Musakhan-style; served up with a shaved sprout salad and grilled flat breads.
Sprout Spring Rolls - Charlotte Jeune, Custom Content Lead
One of the best parts of Christmas is the leftovers, but there's often a question of what to do with them. Sure, soup or a curry is traditional – but how about something a little different? Sprouts, either the bane or hero of the Christmas dinner table, dependent upon personal preference, make a great (and surprisingly tasty) filling in spring rolls. Simply shred them, add a spoonful of caramelised onion chutney, wrap them in filo pastry and deep fry – delicious. It may even convert you to being a sprout lover!
Stacked Turkey Bagel - Scott Fraser, Senior Trend Analyst
Perhaps the greatest Christmas Day debate in our house is what to do with the leftover Turkey. My favourite is to make and stacked bagel with jalapeño pink pickled cabbage, Clava Brie, sage and onion "hash brown", cranberry mayo and turkey. For more on stacked sandwiches check out our Aussie Sando article. The dish is pretty simple – on a toasted multi-grain bagel stack, turkey reheated in a little gravy, top with sliced cheese then some sage and onion 'hash brown' (left over roast potatoes and stuffing chopped together into bagel sized patties and fried in goose fat). Add on some jalapeño red cabbage (red cabbage pickled overnight in left over jalapeño vinegar) and finally topped with cranberry mayo (tsp of cranberry sauce mixed into 3 tbsp of mayo).
Stay tuned for more great recipes from the content team, as we serve up a look at the sweet treats also joining the table during the festive celebrations.
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