The festive season is usually a time for family gatherings, reflecting on the past year as well as planning and resting for the year to come. Perhaps not as deep, but equally as important, is the indulgent festive feast that goes with it.

This festive recipe guide has 2 starters, 2 main meats and 2 sides as well as 2 desserts to choose from.

Caramelized Onion Tarts with Apples

Prep Time

20 Mins

Total Time

55 Mins

Yield

Makes 2 tarts

These puff pastry bites combine apples with caramelized onions for a unique flavour that’s sure to please. Bake a few tarts for your festive dinner party appetizer or arrival snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 red apples, cut into small pieces
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • ½ cup crème fraîche or sour cream

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown.
  3. Stir in the apples, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook for approximately 2 minutes or until tender.
  4. Place each sheet of pastry on a parchment-lined baking sheet and prick all over with a fork.
  5. Spread with the crème fraîche, leaving a 1 cm border.
  6. Top with the onion mixture and bake until the pastry is crisp and browned, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  7. Cut into pieces before serving.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 320
  • Fat 21g
  • Saturated fat 6g
  • Cholesterol 10mg
  • Sodium 403mg
  • Protein 5mg
  • Carbohydrate 26g
  • Fibre 2g

Pears with Blue Cheese and Prosciutto

Prep Time

10 Mins

Total Time

10 Mins

Yield

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 pears, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup rocket
  • 90g blue cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 170g thinly sliced prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise

Method

  1. In a large bowl, toss the pears and lemon juice*.
  2. Layer a slice of pear, a rocket leaf, and a piece of cheese on a piece of prosciutto and roll up.

*The lemon juice prevents the pear from browning and looking unappetising / unappealing.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 114
  • Fat 6g
  • Saturated fat 4g
  • Cholesterol 25mg
  • Sodium 406mg
  • Protein 7g
  • Carbohydrate 8g
  • Fibre 2g
  • Sugar 5g

Glazed Gammon with Coriander and Fennel

Prep Time

5 Mins

Total Time

1 Hour 25 Mins

Yield

Serves 8

When thinking back on Christmas lunches we enjoyed when I was a child, this gammon recipe is one of the first that comes to mind. The slices have a sweet and savoury flavour your guests won’t quite be able to pinpoint; in other words, this method is wildly different to the countless brown sugar and syrup glazes out there.

Ingredients

  • 3,5kg fully cooked gammon
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 cup apricot jam

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Place the gammon, cut-side down, on a rack set in a roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, using a heavy pan, crush the fennel, coriander, and peppercorns. Combine in a small bowl with the jam to form a glaze.
  4. Brush ¼ cup of the glaze over the gammon and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  5. Brush another ¼ cup of the glaze over the gammon and bake until heated through, roughly 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Thinly slice and serve with the remaining ½ cup of the glaze.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 395
  • Fat 9g
  • Cholesterol 171mg
  • Carbohydrate 14g
  • Calories from fat 21%
  • Sodium 2030mg
  • Protein 65g
  • Fibre 1g
  • Sugar 12g

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin with Cherries

Prep Time

15 Mins

Total Time

1 Hour 15 Mins

Yield

Serves 6

During the festive season you want to enjoy indulgent meals but also not spend all your time in the kitchen. This recipe is surprisingly easy (but your guests wouldn’t think so). You’ll spend 15 minutes prepping the pork loin before roasting it in the oven for nearly an hour. Aside from occasionally glazing the bacon-wrapped meat with a sweet basting of jam and red wine vinegar, your work is almost done.

Ingredients

  • 1kg piece boneless pork loin
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • black pepper
  • ½ cup dried cherries, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon jam
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180°C. Season the pork with the allspice and ½ teaspoon of pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cherries, parsley, and mustard. Spread evenly over the pork.
  3. Lay the bacon slices crosswise over the pork, overlapping them slightly and tucking the ends underneath.
  4. Roast for 45 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the jam and vinegar. Brush over the bacon and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer registers 60°C; approximately 10 to 15 minutes more.
  6. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 293
  • Fat 11g
  • Saturated fat 4g
  • Cholesterol 92mg
  • Sodium 228mg
  • Protein 35g
  • Carbohydrate 12g
  • Fibre 1g

Broccoli with Toasted Garlic and Hazelnuts

Prep Time

10 Mins

Total Time

15 Mins

Yield

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • ½ cup hazelnuts
  • 2 bunches broccoli (about 1,5kg), cut into long florets
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Spread the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing occasionally, until fragrant; chop roughly.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with 4 cm of water and fit with a steamer basket (or fill a large pot with 2c m of water). Bring to a simmer.
  4. Place the broccoli in the steamer basket, cover, and steam until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.
  5. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, cook the oil and garlic over low heat until the garlic is golden, approximately 4 to 6 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the hazelnuts, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  7. Drizzle over the broccoli.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 229
  • Fat 19g
  • Saturated fat 2g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Carbohydrate 13g
  • Calories from fat 75%
  • Sodium 171mg
  • Protein 6g
  • Fibre 5g
  • Sugar 3g

Vanilla Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time

10 Mins

Total Time

45 Mins

Yield

Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 10 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 ½ cups honey
  • 1 x 15 cm vanilla bean (or 6 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Scrub the sweet potatoes, pierce each one with a fork, and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the honey, vanilla bean, and cloves in a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes (The syrup can be made up to 2 days ahead).
  4. Strain the syrup to remove the cloves and vanilla bean.
  5. Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut each one lengthwise into 4 wedges.
  6. Arrange on a serving dish, sprinkle with the salt, and pour the scented syrup over them.

Nutritional Information

  • Calcium 55mg
  • Calories 179
  • Carbohydrate 45g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Fat 0g
  • Fibre 2g
  • Iron 1mg
  • Protein 1mg
  • Saturated fat 0g
  • Sodium 141mg

Cider-Roasted Vegetables

Prep Time

15 Mins

Total Time

1 Hour 15 Mins

Yield

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 700g beetroot (1 bunch), peeled and cut into wedges
  • 700g parsnips, peeled and cut into 5 cm chunks
  • 700g baby carrots, peeled (or 700g carrots cut into 5 cm chunks)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 500g shiitake or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180°C. Place the vegetables in two small roasting pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar, oil, and vinegar together. Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat well.
  3. Cook until tender, about 1 hour, stirring halfway.
  4. Add the mushrooms during the last 10 minutes, toss to coat well, and finish roasting.
  5. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Nutritional Information

  • Calcium 77mg
  • Calories 228
  • Carbohydrate 38g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Fat 7g
  • Fibre 7g
  • Iron 2mg
  • Protein 4mg
  • Saturated fat 1g
  • Sodium 140mg

Butterscotch Bananas with Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep Time

15 Mins

Total Time

20 Mins

Yield

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pecans
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 bananas, peeled and sliced diagonally
  • 2 litres vanilla ice cream
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing occasionally, until fragrant; chop roughly.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and cinnamon and cook, whisking occasionally, until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Gently stir in the bananas. Remove from heat and add the rum. Using a match, carefully ignite the mixture and wait until the flame goes out. Stir in the pecans.
  5. Serve the bananas and sauce over the ice cream.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 475
  • Fat 24g
  • Cholesterol 59mg
  • Carbohydrate 64g
  • Calories from fat 45%
  • Sodium 66mg
  • Protein 4g
  • Fibre 3g
  • Sugar 52g

Gingersnap Cherry Cheesecake

Prep Time

20 Mins

Total Time

5 Hours

Yield

Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 3 cups ground gingersnap biscuits
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 750g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cherry jam/ compote

Method

  1. Heat oven to 170°C.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the ground gingersnaps and butter.
  3. Using a straight-sided dry measuring cup, press the mixture into the bottom and 5 cm up the side of a 23 cm springform pan.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Beat in ½ cup of the sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.
  6. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 ½ cups of sour cream, ¼ cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
  8. Spread over the hot cheesecake and bake until set, 3 to 5 minutes more.
  9. Let cool in the pan, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before unmoulding.
  10. Spread the preserves over the cheesecake before serving.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 675
  • Fat 39g
  • Saturated fat 23g
  • Cholesterol 142mg
  • Sodium 489mg
  • Protein 8g
  • Carbohydrate 70g
  • Sugar 49g
  • Fibre 2g
  • Iron 3mg
  • Calcium 67mg

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This