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Christmas recipe

Jamie Oliver’s mushroom and squash vegetarian Wellington with gorgeous buttery puff pastry is a handy hit on any table. This gorgeous, nutritious treat is warming, indulgent and super easy to whip up, meaning less stress for your Christmas dinner prep!

Bursting with flavor and goodness, you can’t go wrong with this simple and tasty Christmas feast!

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash, halved lengthways and seeds scraped out

olive oil

1 small dried red chilli, crumbled

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped

2 red onions, peeled and sliced

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 small bunch fresh sage, leaves picked

100g vac-packed chestnuts, crumbled

2 slices sourdough bread

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 lemon

20g butter

250g chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced

200g Swiss chard or spinach, washed

50g pine nuts

25g sultanas

500g all butter puff pastry

1 free-range egg

1 splash milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Slice the squash lengthways into wedges and add to a large roasting tray with a good splash of olive oil, the chilli and cinnamon. Bash the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar until fine, then add the rosemary leaves and bash again for 1 to 2 minutes to release its flavour. Scatter over the squash and toss together so that each piece of squash is well coated with the seasoning. Make sure all the squash is skin-side down, then cover with tin foil and bake in the hot oven for around 45 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool, then tear into bite-sized chunks.

Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over a medium heat, then add a splash of olive oil and the onions. Season well with salt and pepper and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned. Add the sage and crumbled chestnuts to the pan for the last few minutes of cooking.

While that’s happening, toast the bread on a hot griddle pan or in a toaster and rub well with one of the cloves of garlic. Tear into small chunks, and once the onions are done, add the toast to the pan. Turn the heat off, stir everything together, taste, then season and grate in the zest of the lemon.

Add the butter to a frying pan on a medium heat and when melted, add the mushrooms and a chopped clove of garlic. Fry until soft and quite dry. Squeeze in a little lemon juice, tip into a food processor and whiz until smooth.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the spinach and cook until soft. Drain in a colander, pressing lightly to get rid of excess moisture, then place to one side.

Slice the remaining garlic clove and add to a frying pan with a splash of olive oil. Fry until golden. Add the pine nuts, sultanas and spinach and fry everything together until warmed through. Season well with salt and pepper and turn off the heat.

Now assemble your Wellington. Roll out the puff pastry on a sheet of baking parchment until it’s about 30cm x 40cm, then spread the mushroom mixture all over it. In a large bowl, lightly toss together the spinach, squash and onion-bread mixture, then spoon it in a thick line down the middle of the pastry. Leave a space free at either side so you can roll the pastry around the filling.

To do this, hold one side of the baking parchment and lift it, with the pastry, towards the centre of the Wellington so it starts to cover the filling. Peel the baking parchment back, leaving the pastry in place, then do the same with the other side. The pastry should overlap in the middle. Beat the egg with the milk and brush it over the pastry join to seal the join. Fold up the ends so the filling doesn’t leak out, then carefully roll the Wellington onto a baking sheet, with the seal underneath. Brush all over with the egg mix.

Bake for 45 minutes until puffed up, golden brown and hot through. Serve carved into thick chunks – it’s fantastic served with veggie gravy!

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The old-fashioned Christmas pudding is gone out of style. With our rocky-road and dark chocolate shop-bought alternatives to a time-consuming dessert, we seem to have concluded there is no place for the humble pudding in our cupboards anymore.

But isn’t this the year, of all the years to revive that tradition? The sticky swirl of the wooden spoon in the bowl, the whispered wish into the folds of sugar and candied peel, the fumes of the brandy nearly knocking you off your chair? Even with the shops and restaurants reopening last week, we will all take the lessons of lockdown with us into this season. And one of those lessons, was taking time to appreciate smaller, homey moments. One of my strongest childhood memories is stirring my wish into the Christmas pudding with my mother on one side and my sister on the other. The smell, the excitement, the sense of the build up to Christmas, waiting to see if the pudding wish had worked, all became part of our own traditions.

So, whether it’s with your kids, your grandchildren or your flatmates, now is the time to re-learn a dying art – the tradition of making an old-fashioned Christmas pudding (wish included!) in ten easy steps.

Ingredients:

375g mixed peel                                             

150g sultanas

125g glace ginger chopped                            

75g dried apricots chopped

2tbs orange rind, finely grated                       

250ml orange juice

80ml brandy                                                   

150g cream flour

150g self-raising flour                       

½tsp bicarbonate of soda

1tsp ground cinnamon                        

1 small cooking apple

1tsp ground cloves                                         

1tsp ground nutmeg                           

1tsp ground ginger                                         

75g macadamias chopped                  

250g unsalted butter cooled               

220g brown sugar                                          

3 eggs lightly beaten                                      

2L pudding steamer

½ cup glace cherries                                       

1 wish

Step 1.

Using butter, grease a metal pudding steamer and then line it with grease-proof paper or baking paper as well. Double-lining the base prevents the mixture from sticking to the side of the tin.

Step 2.

Peel, core and roughly chop cooking apple. Place chopped apple, glace cherries, mixed peel, sultanas, glace ginger, chopped apricots, orange rind and juice in a saucepan. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, until the fruit feels softened, but not allowing the mixture to bubble. Put aside to cool to cool for 40 minutes. (Take a Christmas tunes break!)

Step 3.

Add 80ml of the brandy to the fruit mixture and stir to combine. (We like to use Three Barrels Brandy, let us know what you use!)

Step 4.

Next, sieve your dry ingredients into a large bowl. This is the bicarbonate of soda, self-raising and cream flours and our spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

Step 5.

Combine this with the macadamia nuts, butter, brown sugar and eggs, making sure it is totally combined before adding in the fruit mixture. Most recipes call for caster sugar, but I find brown sugar makes it that bit fudgier and delicious!

Step 6.

Combine fully and using a wooden spoon, make your Christmas wish! Any wishes made over the Christmas pudding are set to come true in the new year.

Step 7.

Carefully add the mixture to the lined and greased pudding steamer. Ensure its top is smoothed over and secure the lid. Cover over the top of the cake with a double sheet of baking parchment with a small, thumb-sized hole in the middle of the sheet. Apply the lid firmly, ensuring it is sealed.

Step 8.

Place steamer in a large saucepan and make sure to only fill halfway up the side of the steamer with boiling water. Cover the pan and boil gently for 31⁄2-4 hours over a medium heat, topping up with more boiling water as needed.

Step 9.

The pudding is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the steamed pudding from the pan and leave to cool.

Step 10.

Keep the top sealed, wrap with parchment paper and string and a layer of tin foil, if you’re feeling extra cautious! Pop it in the fridge and wait for the eruption of flavour on Christmas day!

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