It might seem strange bringing you a round-up of festive foods at this time of year, but it just wouldn’t be right to wait until next December. So you’ll simply need to bookmark this post for when you start planning your party foods for the next festive season. Although saying that, I think you’ll find there are plenty of tempting treats in this Family Foodies round-up you’ll be keen to try out whatever the time of year. Continue reading “The festive Family Foodies round-up”
There’s nothing quite like a big family feast or party to mark the season’s festivities. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Eid, Diwali or Hanukkah, food’s at the heart of it all.
Whatever you’re celebrating, this month on the Family Foodies challenge we want to hear about your favourite family foods and drinks that are guaranteed to get your party started. Continue reading “Festive family foodies”
Here is another entry for Action for Children’s Festive Food for a Fiver contest – my very easy sausage, cranberry and apple plait. Costing around £5.70 to make and feeding a family of six, this tasty dish works out at only 95p a head; even less if you were to make your own pastry from scratch.
As more families are finding it increasingly difficult to put regular meals on the table, they’d like people to put their creativity to work for a good cause and learn new cooking and money management skills from others, by sharing frugal recipes ideas (less than £1.25 a head) on Facebook and Twitter. The two best recipes will be rewarded with a lovely family cookbook, full of many useful tips, kindly provided by Giraffe Restaurant.
Visit the Action for Children website for more details on how you can get involved.
Sausage, cranberry and apple plait
Filled with sausage meat, this plait is essentially a big, posh sausage roll but much yummier. The cranberries and apple provide those lovely festive flavours. You can also do a sweet version by switching the sausage for marzipan or maybe mincemeat.
4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
knob of butter
50g dried cranberries
320g ready rolled puff pastry
6 pork sausages
1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 190°C / gas mark 5.
Put the apples in a saucepan with the knob of butter and cook gently until they begin to soften. Stir in the cranberries and cook for a few minutes. Then leave to cool.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment and lay the puff pastry on top.
Slice open the sausage skins and squeeze out the sausage meat down the centre of the puff pastry. Top with the cooled apple and cranberry mixture. With a sharp knife, cut stripes almost from the filling out to the edge.
Brush some beaten egg onto the pastry and then carefully fold in alternate sides of the pastry to overlap on top of the filling.
Keep going until the filling is covered. Fold over the pastry at the top and the bottom. You may need to trim of some excess pastry if it looks a little too bulky.
Brush the pastry with more egg. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is cooked through.
Carefully slice the sausage plait and serve with a simple salad. Delicious!
Brussel sprouts tend to have the Marmite effect on people. You either love them or hate them. In the Bangers & Mash house we fall firmly on the ‘love them’ side of the fence. Even the children. Miss Bangers was asking me to buy some in the greengrocer just the other day. Strange I know…
So while most people only dish up sprouts as part of Christmas lunch in a dutiful nod to tradition, we tend to eat them all through the winter months. It’s their crunchy nuttiness I love, which I think works particularly well in this tart, teamed with strong, salty Stilton and some lovely smoked ham. And as these ingredients are the kind of foods you find hanging around in the fridge at Christmas time, it also offers an ideal way to use up some of the festive leftovers.
If you make your own shortcrust pastry, this tart costs just £4.80 to make from scratch. Serving at least six people, that works out at around 80p a head. So it’s as cheap as it is tasty. And it’s very, very easy to make too.
That’s why I’m entering the recipe into Action for Children’s Festive Food for a Fiver recipe competition.
As more and more families struggle to put regular meals on the table, they’d like people to put their creativity to work for a good cause and learn new cooking and money management skills from others, by sharing frugal recipes ideas on Facebook and Twitter.
The two best recipes will be rewarded with a lovely family cookbook, full of many useful tips, kindly provided by Giraffe Restaurant.
To enter the competition, you need to come up with a festive recipe that families can make on a budget:
- The recipes should be festive themed and creatively presented
- They need to be cheap (ideally £1.25 a head or £5 for a family of four), nutritious and reasonably simple to make
- The ingredients should be very easily available at standard shops or supermarkets all around the country
- They should be original (so no turkey curries, please!) and include elements that younger members of the family might be able to help with
- They need to be family recipes – something the whole family will enjoy eating.
You can enter your recipe via Twitter or Facebook, or both. Visit the Action for Children website to find out how.
This is my entry – what dish will you submit?
Stilton, ham and brussel sprout tart
175g plain flour
350g brussel sprouts
150ml double cream
Salt and pepper
100g chopped ham
50g Stilton cheese
Preheat the oven to 190°C / gas mark 5.
To make the shortcrust pastry, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl with the salt. Using your finger tips, rub in the butter until it resembles soft breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to make the mixture come together to form a firm dough. Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge for half an hour.
Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the pastry to line 9 inch well-buttered flan dish. Pop back in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
Break the eggs into a jug and lightly whisk with the cream and milk, and season with a little pepper.
If you’re not using left-over sprouts, steam or boil them until just tender. Rinse under cold water to stop them cooking any further and to retain their bright green colour. Drain well and then slice each sprout in half.
Arrange the sprouts across the pastry base and season with a little salt – not too much as the cheese can be quite salty.
Sprinkle over the chopped ham and then crumble over the Stilton. Finally pour over the egg and cream mixture.
Carefully place the tart in the oven for about 20 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is set and slightly browned. Serve with a simple salad and enjoy!
I’m entering this tart into the No Waste Food Challenge, where the theme is Christmas Dinner leftovers. This challenge is the brainchild of Kate at Turquoise Lemons and this month is hosted by Elizabeth at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.