Archive for the ‘EASTER’ Category


What you need:

stick unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
2 lbs good-quality white sandwich bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (20 cups)
4 inner celery ribs, finely diced (1 1/2 cups)
2 large carrots, finely diced (1 cup)
1 sweet onion, finely diced (2 1/2 cups)
1 lb loose pork or turkey breakfast sausage
2 tbsp chopped sage
2 tbsp chopped thyme
3 cups turkey stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper

What you do:

Preheat the oven to  180 C /350 F/ gas mark 4

Butter a large baking dish. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast for 25 minutes, stirring, until lightly browned and crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, melt the 1 stick of butter. Pour half of the butter into a small bowl and reserve. Add the celery, carrots and onion to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Scrape the vegetables into a large bowl. Add the sausage to the skillet in lumps and cook over moderately high heat, breaking it up with a spoon, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Return the vegetables to the skillet, add the sage and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the stock and cook, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan, until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Scrape the sausage mixture into the large bowl and add the toasted bread cubes. Add the remaining 2 cups of stock and stir until the bread is evenly moistened. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread the stuffing in the baking dish and brush with the reserved melted butter.

Bake the stuffing in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour, until it is heated through and the top is browned and crisp. Let the stuffing stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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What you need:

1 tbsp butter
3 onions, chopped
15g pack sage, shredded
200g pack cooked chestnuts
100g hazelnuts
100g breadcrumbs
½ tsp mace
2 large eggs, beaten

2 tbsp butter, plus extra to serve
15 rashers streaky bacon
few sage leaves, to serve (optional)

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F /gas mark 6

To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a large non-stick pan, add the onions and gently cook for 10-15 mins until very soft. Stir in the sage for 1 min, then tip into a large mixing bowl. Pulse the chestnuts in a food processor until chopped into small bits, then tip these into the bowl with the onions and repeat with the hazelnuts. Add the breadcrumbs, mace, beaten egg, 1 tsp salt and some pepper, and mix everything together well.

Tear off a very large sheet of foil. Smear the butter in the middle, making a rectangle about 30 x 40cm. Lay the bacon rashers over in a row, overlapping a little. Use a rolling pin to slowly but firmly roll down the length of the bacon strips to stretch them a bit. Shape the stuffing into a log along the rashers. Using the foil to help you, roll up the stuffing so that it is completely wrapped in the bacon. Over wrap with the extra foil and twist the ends to tighten and seal. If it’s not very round, give it an extra roll or two on your work surface. Chill until ready to roast. Can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept in the fridge.

Bake  for 30 mins. then unwrap the stuffing and continue to cook for 30 mins more until crisp. Keep warm, then slice and serve with sage leaves fried in butter, if you wish.


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What you need:

good knob of butter, plus extra for greasing
170g pack sage and onion stuffing (we used Paxo)
24 thin smoked streaky bacon rashers
12 bay leaves (optional)

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F /gas mark 6

Butter 12 holes in a muffin tin. Make up the stuffing mix with 520ml boiling water. Add the butter and stir well. Set aside to absorb the water and cool.

Meanwhile, criss-cross two bacon rashers, with a bay leaf if using, in each space in the muffin tin, allowing the excess to overhang the tin. Spoon the cool stuffing mixture into the tin and fold the overhanging bacon over the top to make a parcel. Secure in place with cocktail sticks. Chill until ready to bake.

Bake for 30 mins, until piping hot and the bacon is cooked. (Remove cocktail sticks before serving.)

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What you need:

210 ml / 7½ fl oz milk
1 free-range organic egg
450g / 1lb  white (unbleached) bread flour
1½ tsp  mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon powder
½ tsp sea salt
50g / 2oz castor sugar
50g / 2oz  butter or lard or margarine
1½ tsp quick yeast or rapid rise yeast
100g / 4oz currants
25g / 1oz sultanas
25g / 1oz mixed peel

For the pastry crosses:

50g / 2oz plain flour
25g / 1oz  butter (or margarine)

What you do:

Pour the  milk and egg into the bowl of the bread maker.  Reverse the order if your bread machine tells you so to do.  Sprinkle over the white bread flour, ensuring that it covers the liquid.  Add the mixed spice and the  cinnamon powder.  Then place the sea salt, caster sugar and butter in separate corners of the bread pan.  Finally, make a small indent in the centre of the  flour and put the yeast into there.

Set the bread machine to the dough setting; use the basic raisin dough setting if that option is available on your machine.  Press start.   Lightly grease 2 sheets of baking paper.

When the machine beeps or 5 minutes before the end of the kneading period, add the  mixed peel,  currants and  sultanas.

When the dough is made, remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface.  Knock it back gently, then divide into 12 pieces.  Cup each piece between your hands and shape into a ball.  Place these balls on the prepared greased baking sheets, and cover with oiled clear film, and leave for 30 – 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F / Gas mark 6

In a bowl, rub together the plain flour and butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Bind together with a little bit of water to make a soft pastry which can be piped.  Spoon the pastry into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe a cross onto each bun.

Bake the hot cross buns for 15 – 18 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the hot cross buns are in the oven, heat the milk and sugar together in a small pan to make the glaze.  Stir thoroughly until the sugar has dissolved.  Brush the glaze over the top of the baked hot cross buns, turn them onto a wire rack to cool, then serve immediately or leave to cool, reheating them when you want to eat them.



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What you need:

1 12oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
5 cups multicolored mini-marshmallows
1 stick or 1/2 cup butter
1 cup coarsely chopped dried coconut

What you do:

Place the chocolate chips in a  metal bowl and set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. The metal bowl should be big enough so that it sits on top of the pot without touching the water. Stir the chocolate from time to time. Once the chocolate is completely melted, add the stick of butter.  Stir well until completely melted and smooth.  Remove the bowl from the pot.

Fold in the marshmallows and combine well using a rubber spatula until the marshmallows are completely coated in chocolate. Add more marshmallows if there is a lot of melted chocolate left in the bottom of the bowl.

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What you need:

1 x 150g packet garlic and herb Boursin cheese
1 clove garlic, crushed
25g unsalted and shelled pistachio nuts, chopped
grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
1 x 4kg Packington Free Range Cockerel
8 rashers smoked streaky bacon
olive oil
4 tbsp sherry
400 ml good chicken stock or vegetable juices

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F /Gas Mark 4.

Mix together the cheese, garlic, pistachios, lemon rind and juice, sage and seasoning until well mixed.

Place the cockerel on a board and carefully ease your fingers then your hand under the skin of the cockerel
at the neck end freeing it from the breast meat.

Smear the cheese mixture over the breast meat under the skin. Then tuck the flap of skin underneath.

Arrange the bacon over the breast and drizzle over oil and season.

Place in a large roasting tin and cover with foil.

Calculate cooking time allowing 16 minutes per 450g / 1lb plus 16 minutes or until juices run clear from
the thigh when pierced with a knife or skewer. Remove the foil for the last 45 minutes to allow the cockerel
to brown.

Remove the cockerel from the oven and transfer to a warm serving plate. Cover with foil and allow to rest for
20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile skim most of the fat from the roasting pan and discard.

Scrape the meat juices in the pan together. Place over a low heat and blend in sherry and stock. Bring to the boil, stirring and season to taste.

Serve the gravy with the Cockerel.


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What you need:

3 to 4 lbs of peeled, cored, and quartered apples. (Make sure you use a good cooking apple like Golden Delicious, Granny Smith or similar)
4 strips of lemon peel  (use a vegetable peeler to strip 4 lengths)
Juice of one lemon, about 3-4 Tbsp
3 inches of cinnamon stick
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
up to 1/4 cup of white sugar
1 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of salt

What you do:

Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon peels. Mash with potato masher.
Ready to serve, either hot or refrigerated.

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What you need:

25g butter
1 onion, sliced
½ tsp salt
150ml double cream
1 bay leaf
6 cloves , whole
75g white breadcrumbs
300ml milk
1 pinch black pepper , freshly ground
1 pinch nutmeg , grated

What you do:

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the onion. Cook over a low heat for 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salt, cream, bay leaf, and cloves, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and allow to stand for 20 minutes, so the flavours have time to infuse. (This can be prepared ahead and left to infuse, or the complete sauce can be made in advance. Cover the surface of the sauce with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to use, remove cling film and gently reheat).

Discard the bay leaf and cloves, then pour the onion mixture into a food processor, and blend to a smooth purée. If you do not have a food processor, very finely chop the onion instead of slicing.

Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a pan, and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for 5–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to make a smooth, thickened sauce. (If you feel the sauce is too thick, then add a little more milk.)

Stir in the onion purée, season to taste with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with nutmeg.

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What you need:

1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of fresh orange juice
1 tsp of orange zest

What you do:

Put all ingredients into a sauce an and mix well.
Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Boil for about 10 minutes until the cranberries pop. There may be a few light colored ones that don’t pop, but don’t worry. They soften as the sauce cools.

Serve the sauce at room temp or slightly warm.

The sauce can also be made up to 2 days before and kept in the fridge.

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What you need:

sunflower oil, or other neutral-tasting oil, for greasing
25g powdered gelatine
255 ml water
4 tsp rose water
450g caster sugar
3-4 drops red food colouring
3 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp cornflour

What you do:

Lightly oil a 20x25cm baking tin.

Mix the gelatine, water and rose water in a large heavy-based pan and add the sugar.

Heat gently until the sugar and gelatine have dissolved, stirring continuously.

Bring to the boil without stirring.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the food colouring and leave to cool for 2-3 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the oiled tin and leave to set for 24 hours.

Cut into squares.

Mix the cornflour and icing sugar together and toss the Turkish Delight in the mixture.

Store in an airtight container, between layers of greaseproof paper.

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