Three easy, walk away and let them cook recipes for Christmas week – The Irish Times

December 18, 2021 by No Comments

As I write, we are still hoping to have family home from Zurich for Christmas. The house will be full to the brim. We couldn’t have them last year, so this year we intend to make the most of it. I’ll have to get my own bottle bank.

Everyone has their role, in our house. My sister-in-law is the organiser, her husband is the dishwasher Jedi. He spends most of his time hunched over the thing at Christmas. I always suspect he might have wine stashed in there.

The kitchen will be humming. Hordes of teenagers making an appearance only when they are hungry. The shopping and chopping will be never-ending, but the food will comfort us as we do our best to block out the grim reality of the past two years.

Our OCD Westie (think Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets) will be reversing through people’s legs in the kitchen as she has got some bizarre issue with the floorboards. Throw in hard-of-hearing granny and grandad and it will be long-awaited glorious mayhem.

This week’s recipes are for special occasion dishes that don’t need a lot of minding. Feeding a gang can get to you, if you let it. There are lots of permutations. Vegetable dodgers, shellfish allergies, pescatarians and vegetarians. None of this will deter me. 

Baked cheese should be compulsory at Christmas. This version is really easy and also a little bit different. You can find filo pastry in the freezer section of supermarkets, and this chutney is a doddle to make.

Osso bucco of beef, red wine and figs

The osso bucco is a meat-lover’s dream. Your butcher should be able to get shin beef for you. The figs and spices make it festive. I would eat it with mash but some creamy polenta would be lovely also.

Baked salmon, warm red cabbage, fennel and Pernod crème fraiche

The salmon dish is a great one for a crowd. There’s no messing with pots and pans. The idea is to spoon the salmon apart and mix through the cabbage. The Pernod adds a nice touch, but I don’t expect you to buy a bottle for the quantity you need here. Sambuca would also work. It’s nice to have a bit of fish at Christmas to mix things up a little.

Recipe: Baked Cooleeney Camembert, crimson grape chutney

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