Tasty treats

Exclusive Christmas recipes from award-winning chef Neven Maguire of MacNean House and Restaurant.

Smoked salmon rolls with cream cheese and red onion

Ingredients:

One red onion, finely diced; 350g pre-sliced smoked salmon; 75g cream cheese; two tablespoons crème fraîche; one rounded tablespoon finely chopped chives; four large slices of wheaten bread; one lemon (1/2 zest only, 1/2 sliced for garnish ); eight whole chives with flowers if in season; seasoning. Method

In a small bowl combine the finely diced red onion with 150ml of boiling water and drain off immediately. This softens the raw flavour of the onion. Mix together the cream cheese, crème fraîche, chopped chives and red onion. Season to taste.

On a sheet of clingfilm, place three slices of smoked salmon together, overlapping slightly to make one large slice. Spread the cream-cheese mixture on the salmon. Roll into a neat sausage shape. Repeat this process with remaining slices and keep chilled in the fridge until ready to serve. Using a small scone-cutter, cut four rounds out of each slice of wheaten bread.

To serve: slice each chilled smoked salmon roll into four small rolls and lay each roll sideways on a bread round. Place four rounds per person on a plate, garnish with some lemon zest and serve with lemon slices

Traditional turkey with trimmings

Ingredients:

Sage, onion and pine nut stuffing: one large onion, peeled and diced; one tablespoon of chopped parsley; one teaspoon of chopped sage; 2oz pine nuts, toasted; 6oz fresh white breadcrumbs; 3oz butter; one tablespoon of chopped apricots and one 12 pound turkey.

Method:

Melt butter in pan and cook onions for a few minutes until they soften. Add the herbs, apricots, and pine nuts. Mix well. Stir mixture into the white bread crumbs. Mix well. It is now ready to use and stuff the turkey.

Trimmings: four streaky bacon rashers; 5oz pitted prunes; one packet of cocktail sausages; herbs, parsley sage and bay leaves.

Preheat the oven to 190C fan, 170C, gas mark 5.

Rub the skin of the turkey all over with the butter and season with salt and pepper.

Stuff the neck cavity of the turkey with the stuffing. Fold the skin back over the stuffing and place under the turkey.

Turn turkey breast side up and tie the top of the drum sticks with string. Weigh the turkey to calculate required cooking time (approximately 20 to 25 minutes per 1lb and add 20 minutes. Resting time 10 minutes ).

When you push a point of a knife into the leg of the turkey and the juices run clear, it is ready.

Loosely wrap in foil, leaving air to circulate around turkey. Baste (spoon over juice every 40 minutes ). Unwrap foil for final 40 minutes to one hour. Add trimmings for final 30 minutes — cut bacon into small strips, use to wrap prunes. Add cocktail sausages and bacon-wrapped prunes to the turkey tin for the final 30 minutes of cooking time.

Gravy know-how: Remove roast from tin. Heat juices in roasting tin over a gentle heat. Slowly stir in one tablespoon of flour. Cook for two minutes. Pour in three tablespoons of port or red wine, gradually slowly add one pint stock and bring to the boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes until reduced and thickened. Season to taste.

If you have the giblets with your turkey make a giblet stock. Soak the giblets over night in cold water then drain water. Place giblets in a pan with six peppercorns, one carrot and chopped onion, two bay leaves and thyme. Pour in two pints of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes.

Mulled fruit trifle

Ingredients:

Custard: 300ml milk; 200ml cream; five egg yolks; a few drops of vanilla essence or vanilla pod, one and a half tablespoon cornflour.

Method:

Place the milk and cream in a heavy based pan. Heat gently until almost boiling. While the milk is heating whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour, sugar and vanilla essence in a large heatproof bowl until thick and pale.

Pour the hot milk and cream mixture onto the egg mixture whisking well until smooth. Return to the pan and heat gently stirring until thickened. Leave to cool. Stir occasionally to prevent a skin forming on top.

Trifle: 150ml port; 75g caster sugar; one teaspoon ground mixed spice; one 500g bag frozen forest fruits; 200g Madeira cake broken into chunks; 500ml whipping cream; chocolate curls to garnish.

Method:

Place the port, sugar and mixed spice in a saucepan, bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes until syrupy. Stir in the frozen forest fruits.

Scatter the Madeira cake over the base of a 1.4 litre pint trifle bowl. Spoon over the forest fruits and syrup. Top with custard. Whip the cream to form soft peaks. Place spoonfuls of cream on top of custard. Chill for one hour before serving. You can make this 24 hours ahead but finish with whipped cream just before serving. Sprinkle with chocolate curls. Enjoy.

For more delicious Christmas recipes see the iCook with Neven app, which is available now for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad from the App Store. The app can also be purchased through www.nevenmaguire.com

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