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Monday, 12 November 2012

Christmas is coming! (part 1)

If you reading this and want a blog about how to roast the perfect turkey, something interesting to do with your sprouts or tips on using up your left over Christmas pudding please leave the site now.!There will be (I'd imagine) Christmas programmes from Gordon, Jamie, Nigella et al telling you all that traditional stuff that you can either use or (as I prefer) ignore. What we're going to do on here between now and December time is look at an alternative to the normal Christmas.

Alot of people stress about doing Christmas dinner, so what I’ll try and do is give you a few recipes and tips that can make the 25th slightly more bearable than it sometimes can be. I can’t guarantee to remove any stress as that isn’t possible when it comes to cooking food for a group of people in a domestic kitchen. But i urge you to chill out, keep it simple and enjoy spending time with your friends and family.

Also, I’ll try not to be patronising and as Christmas is known for not being the cheapest time of year, I promise to make sure that all the stuff I post is affordable for every budget. I think what I’ll do is cover one meal or course at a time, and just give you a few different ideas for each bit.

So, first things first, let’s look at what we’re going to knock up for the ‘big day’. There’s more food consumed than your average day, so for me breakfast wants to be something indulgent, yet not too heavy that you’re not going to eat your dinner.   

For me it’s got to be some form of smoked fish, haddock, salmon and mackerel are probably the most widely available round these parts. There are a few classic breakfast dishes you’ve could have a go at like kedgeree, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or a personal favourite the kipper with brown toast.

The recipe I’m going to suggest is a smoked mackerel, spinach and cheddar omelette. For me, this dish is perfect as it’s a 1 panner, doesn’t take too long to make and it only takes a couple of minutes to put together. Make sure you get the best quality eggs and cheddar you can afford and wash the spinach in advance. There’s nowt wrong with a good omelette in my book and this combination is a good one. Please don’t try and imitate Saturday kitchen, a good omelette does take longer than 20 / 30 seconds to make.

Crack a couple of eggs, mix with a splash of whole milk and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a little butter in a pan, add a handful of spinach followed by the eggs. Mix the omelette slightly and cook over a medium heat, flake in a bit of delicious smoked mackerel. Grate in a little cheddar, fold the omelette over and serve.

If you wanted something sweeter, toast some brioche, fry some bananas with some coffee, sugar and vanilla and serve on top with a bit of Greek yogurt if you want.

Get some decent coffee made, some bread in the toaster, some sliced pineapple with vanilla sugar and mint (my colleague Ruth’s combo) and enjoy one of these simple but slightly different breakfast ideas.