Gordon Ramsay shows off scrumptious Christmas dinner
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Tesco’s executive chef Jamie Robinson shared how to make Christmas dinner a painless endeavour. He stated: “As a nation, we spend 177 million hours preparing food for the festive period.”
Unsurprisingly, people want to spend Christmas day with their loved ones, thus 60 percent said they want to spend less time in the kitchen come December 25, according to Tesco research.
Like the Christmas gift that keeps on giving, Jamie provided his top hacks “so we can all save a little time this Christmas”.
He offered advice on how to make the perfect gravy, roast potatoes, and chocolate fondant, as well as advice on how not to waste food during the festivities.
“One third of Christmas hosts lack knowledge when it comes to making a good gravy from scratch.”
His “ultimate, inclusive” gravy is perfect for a turkey dinner or plant based alternative.
To make Jamie’s gravy, you need:
Two tsp olive oil
100g Tesco Fresh & Easy Pre-prepared Vegetable Soup Mix
50g diced mushrooms
Two garlic cloves, crushed
Two sprigs of rosemary
Two sprigs of thyme
200ml white wine
800ml gluten free veg stock
Two tsp Tesco Yeast Extract
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the Tesco Fresh & Easy Pre-prepared Vegetable Soup Mix, mushrooms, garlic and herbs then sauté for five to 10 minutes, or until you get a good caramelisation on the vegetables.
Add the wine and reduce by two thirds, then add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes.
Stir together the cornflour, Tesco Yeast Extract and a splash of water until there are no lumps. Add to the gravy and stir.
Bring to the boil, stirring all the time, then simmer for five minutes until thickened.
In a food processor or with a blender, blitz until smooth and serve immediately, or freeze up until the day of use.
If freezing, thaw in the refrigerator the night before use and then heat gently in a pan before serving.
Next, are the crispy potatoes, which serve four to six.
For these you will need:
2.5kg bag of King Edward potatoes
1 320g jar of goose fat (or 320ml of sunflower oil for plant based alternative)
Five sprigs of rosemary
Five sprigs of thyme
One bulb of garlic, cloves separated and crushed with the skin left on
Peel and dice the potatoes to desired size. In a pan of salted water, bring the potatoes up the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until par cooked so a knife can just pierce the edges.
Drain and allow to cool slightly in a colander before shaking to start to ruffle the edges for the extra crispy pieces.
Place the potatoes in a bowl and pour over them all the goose fat or oil alternative. Gently tear the herbs and sprinkle over with the garlic, coating each potato with a spoon.
Leave the potatoes to cool off completely, then place in a roasting tin and cook at 220° for 20 minutes, then turn down to 180° and cook for a further 40 minutes or until crispy and golden. If cooking from frozen, cook for a further 40 – 60 minutes or until crispy and golden.
These can be frozen until the day of cooking.
Jamie explained: “The younger generation are starting to choose chocolate desserts over some of the more traditional ones, like the classic Christmas pudding.”
His “super easy” chocolate fondant recipe can be stored in ramekins, so it’s something that can be made “way before the big day”.
To make Jamie’s melt in the middle chocolate fondant, for four to six chocoholics, you will need:
200g dark chocolate
Four whole eggs
Four egg yolks
200g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
One tsp of vanilla essence
Five g sea salt
Gently melt the chocolate and butter together over a small pan of lightly simmering water.
In a separate bowl, whisk in the eggs, additional egg yolks, sugar and vanilla essence as much as possible to combine together.
Add the melted chocolate and butter mix to the eggs and continue to whisk until all ingredients are incorporated.
Gently fold in the sifted flour, cocoa powder and sea salt.
To bake straight away, divide the mix between four to six oven proof medium-sized ramekins lined with plant-based butter and sugar, and bake for 14 minutes at 180°.
Alternatively, freeze the mix in the ramekins then defrost to room temperature the day before, or morning of eating and bake for 16 minutes. This can also be frozen in piping bags if you are short on freezer space.
Christmas chefs who are after a super speedy version of Jamie’s chocolate fondant, you can whip this plant-based treat up in just 14 minutes.
You will need:
40ml sunflower oil
30g cocoa powder
110g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
5g sea salt
90g soft dark brown sugar
100g high quality dark chocolate (suitable for vegans)
75g dairy-free sunflower margarine
100ml soya milk
1tsp red wine vinegar
In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder together.
Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a saucepan with the margarine. Melt over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the soya milk, oil and red wine vinegar until everything is well combined.
To bake straight away, divide the mix between 4 – 6 oven proof medium-sized ramekins lined with plant-based butter and sugar, and bake for 14 minutes at 180°.
If freezing this pudding mix, defrost the day before or morning of eating, then bake for 14 minutes at 180°.
Jamie concluded with some top tips to ensure a holly jolly Christmas feast.
Nobody wants a dry turkey, so Jamie recommended putting butter underneath the skin before roasting to ensure it stays moist, before looking it long and slow.
He said: ” Medium sized birds should be cooked at 120° for approximately three hours*, breast side down. Let it rest for an hour then two minutes before serving, finish by roasting it breast side up to get the skin nice and crisp, whilst the meat stays juicy. Overall, the turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of 73 degrees.”
It’s no secret that many people (and not just children) need to be convinced to eat their sprouts: in fact, even Tesco’s executive chef tries to find ways of making them “more exciting”.
“I recommend slightly crisping them with a splash of oil in a frying pan and sprinkling of crumbled chestnuts, crispy onions, and fresh herbs. Chuck in a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly or cranberry sauce for a delicious fruity finish.”
Finally, adding a “kick” to your parsnips is sure to get everyone feeling festive.
“I mix maple syrup with a miso dressing and touch of soy sauce to glaze. It’s a lovely sweet, savoury kick and suitable for vegans.”
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