A Couple of Side Dishes for Christmas Day

GP’S 2017 ADVENT CALENDAR OF CUISINE

Coloniescross, Going Postal
NOT Colin Cross frying leeks

Sometimes Red Cabbage, boiled Brussels and frozen peas just don’t hit the spot. Try one or more of these vegetable dishes and “liven up” the Christmas Dinner Table; All these dishes will serve around 8 people as part of a Christmas Dinner.

Cheesy Leeks;

2 large leeks

2 ozs unsalted butter

1 oz plain flour

4 oz blue cheese

1 oz parmesan or similar

I banana shallot very finely chopped

1/2 pint milk

Slice the leeks longways and roughly chop, put them in a colander and rinse them to remove any soil, grit or little pests, leave to one side to drain. In a medium saucepan soften the shallot in one ounce of the butter (3 mins or so) then sprinkle in the flour and cook it out, stirring with a wooden spoon, to make your roux. Add about half the milk, stirring constantly to ensure no lumps, when it is the consistency of thick cream reduce the heat and put in the cheese. Add the rest of the milk until you have a sauce of the consistency you like. Add I teaspoon of Dijon or English mustard and some white pepper (to taste). Leave aside until the leeks are ready.

In a large pan (a wok or stir fry pan is good) melt the rest of the butter and stir fry the leeks, without colouring them, for about 5-6 minutes. Combine with the cheese sauce and leave on a very low heat until required. They can be kept for a couple of days in the fridge and gently reheated if pre preparing.

Sprouts with Chestnut and Chorizo 

48 (or so) smallish sprouts

2 ozs whole chestnuts, roughly chopped (vacuum packed are good)

3 oz cooking chorizo (spiced to your taste) cut into small dice.

1 oz butter

Halve the sprouts and wash them, let them drain dry, using a stir fry pan cook the dry sprouts in the butter for around 5 minutes, a little colour won’t hurt. Add the chestnuts and the chorizo, cook for another minute or two, season and serve (these will keep warm in a foil covered serving dish for a good while so can be pre prepared).  If chorizo isn’t to your taste substitute chopped smoked streaky bacon. Fry the bacon off first and once the sprouts and chestnuts are ready stir the bacon through.

Roasted Roots with lemon zest and thyme

4 Parsnips, quartered lengthways, hard core removed

4 Carrots, quartered lengthways

2 red onions, cut into 8’s roots left on

8 wedges of swede

Take your 54 pieces of vegetables and place them in a roasting tray, pare over the zest of an unwaxed lemon and sprinkle fresh lemon thyme and regular thyme over the veg. I use Aldi Rapeseed oil (but use the oil you prefer) to drizzle over and then using my hands I make sure everything has a coating. Season with salt and black pepper and roast at around 190 deg for around 40 minutes. I don’t recommend precooking but they can be done at the same time as the roasties while the turkey is resting.

All three of these dishes have been tried and tested, my family likes them, lets hope yours does too. Merry Christmas.

© Coloniescross 2017