Food blogger and Sunday Times best-selling author Becky Eccles joins us in the kitchen, armed with recipes that prove gluten-free Christmas dinner can be both easy and delicious!
Leek or 1 small onion, finely chopped tsp black pepper50 grams butter500 ml milk2 dried bay leaves3 small slices of gluten-free breada pinch of ground cloves teaspoon ground nutmegpinch of salt3 tbsp double (heavy) cream
1. Add the leeks or onion, pepper, butter, milk and bay leaves to a large saucepan and place over low-medium heat. Cook on low flame for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure no bubbles form.
2. Blitz the bread in a food processor to make fine breadcrumbs.
3. Strain the milk mixture through a sieve into a large jug and discard the solids. Pour the drained milk back into the empty pan (making sure there are no solids left) and put back on the heat.
4. Add breadcrumbs and cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes, until you get a thick sauce. Finally add ground cloves, nutmeg, salt and cream and serve.
Gingerbread Stuffing Log
3 tbsp butter medium leek or 1 small onion, finely chopped500 grams pork1 teaspoon salt teaspoon ground black pepperGrated peel of 1 orange150 grams apple chutney2 slices of gluten-free gingerbread cake6 slices of smoked streaky bacon
1. In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat, and then add the leeks or onion. Fry until soft before removing the pan from the flame.
2. Place the pork in a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix well with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add orange peel and applesauce and mix again. Add the leek/onion mixture to the bowl and mix again.
3. Break the gingerbread cake into small pieces in the bowl with your hands and mix gently until evenly distributed.
If using a turkey for stuffing: Spoon into the neck cavity of the turkey and cook according to the weight of the turkey.
If making stuffing logs, follow the following method.
1. Place a large piece of cling film on a work surface, and place the strips of bacon on top, side by side and slightly overlapping. Spoon the stuffing mixture over the bacon in a long log shape (compact using your hands).
2. Lift one side of the cling film and wrap the bacon over the top of the stuffing log. Carefully peel off the cling film, leaving the bacon wrapped over the stuffing, and lay the cling film flat again.
3. Repeat on the other side, but this time don’t peel back the cling film – instead, wrap the opposite side of the cling film tightly to seal the log, and seal the ends tightly.
4. To compact the stuffing even more, gently roll your sealed log on a work surface to form a neat log shape. Keep in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to harden.
5. Preheat the oven at 160 fan. Line a large baking tray with foil.
6. Place the stuffing log on the prepared baking tray and carefully unfold, being sure not to lift it too much (it is very delicate and can break easily). The seam of the bacon should be down.
7. Cover the tray tightly with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and return to oven for final 20 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Three Ingredient Yorkshire Pudding
Vegetable oil200 grams cornflour6 eggs300 ml milk
1. Preheat oven to 200 fan. Fill each hole of a muffin tray with just 1 tablespoon oil, and place in the oven to warm through – the oil should be almost bubbling.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the cornflour, crack in the eggs and whisk together.
3. Gradually add all the milk, stirring occasionally. Pour the batter into a jug.
4. Immediately take the muffin tin out of the oven and fill each hole with the mixture until it is less than three-quarters full. If they don’t crackle when you put them in the wok, the oil isn’t hot enough. Place immediately back in the oven.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden and risen (do not open the oven door to check, otherwise they will spoil instantly!). Once completely risen, give them an additional 2 minutes to ensure they are crisp and not puffy when you remove them.
6. Serve immediately.
Dad’s excel-ent turkey
1 turkey, 5.5-6.5 kg, ideally Norfolk Black or Bronze300g gluten-free pork stuffing (like gingerbread stuffing above)2 sprigs of fresh rosemary2 sprigs of fresh parsley2 large dried bay leaves2 clementines, halved1 lemon for lemon butter80 grams (cup) butter, softened1 teaspoon minced garlic paste or 2 teaspoons garlic-infused oilPeel and juice of 1 lemonAdd salt and ground black pepper a pinch each
1. If your turkey has been frozen, place it in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf in an appropriately sized container up to 4 days before Christmas. For larger turkeys, as a general rule, allow 10-12 hours of defrosting in the refrigerator per kilogram/2 pounds.
2. Take the turkey out of the refrigerator on Christmas Eve to ensure it is at room temperature the next day. Cooking a refrigerator-cold turkey means that the outside will be cooked and the inside will begin to dry out before it is safe to eat, so make sure that doesn’t happen!
on Christmas Day:
1. Take the stuffing out of the refrigerator about an hour before using so that it comes to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C fan/220C/425F.
3. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the lemon butter.
4. Remove the bag of giblets from inside the turkey. Pull back the skin from the neck end of the turkey to reveal the cavity and spoon the stuffing loosely into it, trying not to overcrowd it. Pull the neck skin back and secure with a small cocktail stick. Turn the turkey so that the body cavity is facing you, then place the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, the clementine halves and the whole lemon inside.
5. Line the base and sides of a large roasting tin (big enough to fit the turkey!) with foil and place the turkey in it, breast-side up. Rub all over with lemon butter. Cover the entire turkey loosely with foil, making sure it is taut enough to cover the turkey without touching the foil. 8 Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 150C fan / 170C / 340F and roast for a further 3-3-12 hours, depending on the size of the turkey. Remove the foil covering the turkey and increase the heat to 180C fan/200C/400F and cook for 30-40 minutes, until nicely golden, basting every 10-15 minutes.
6. Use a digital cooking thermometer to check the breast and thigh of the turkey (as well as the stuffing in the neck cavity) to ensure it is cooked through; 70C/160F is perfect. Alternatively, pierce the thigh with a skewer to check that the juices run clear.
7. Place the turkey on a large wooden board or serving plate, cover loosely with foil and leave for 1-2 hours. This resting time can make the difference between all the juices in your turkey or seeing them leak out if they are taken out too soon. Reserve the juices in the bottom of the roasting tin, pour into a pitcher and use them to make my homemade gluten-free turkey gravy (recipe above).
8. Once rested, carve with a freshly sharpened carving knife.
Super Crispy Roasted Potatoes
1 kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into 4 cm piecesvegetable oil or goose fatsmall handful fresh rosemary or oregano (optional)Salt
1. Preheat the oven to 200 fan/220.
2. Bring a large saucepan of boiling salted water to a boil, then add the potatoes. Boil for about 10 minutes, starting at the point where the water is boiling, until the pieces are soft on the outside but still firm in the middle.
3. Once the potatoes are boiling, place a large roasting tray in the oven with a generous amount of oil or goose fat.
4. Drain the potatoes and put them back in the pan, then put the lid on. Shake the pan well a few times to flatten the outside, which helps in getting a crisp exterior after frying.
5. Place the potatoes in oil or fat on a hot tray, making sure they are in a single layer, they should sizzle. Either quickly turn all the potatoes onto the baking tray so the oil or fat covers all sides, or drizzle a little extra oil on top.
6. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, then turn the potatoes, sprinkle with fresh rosemary or thyme if using, and return them to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until crisp and golden.
7. Add some salt and serve.
Homemade Turkey Gravy
400-450ml turkey drippings from roasting tin4 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) or gluten-free plain flour225 ml gluten-free chicken stockSalt and ground black pepper as per taste
1. Use a large spoon to skim off most of the fat from the top of the reserved juice dripping into the jug, leaving about 5 tablespoons of fat. Pour remaining juice into a small saucepan. Place the saucepan over low heat, add the flour and mix until it disappears.
2. Add the stock, stir and cook on low flame for 5-10 minutes until it turns into a thick gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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