The Essential Guide To... The Essential Guide To…Stress-Free Christmas

The Essential Guide to… is a unique magazine series that gives you everything you need to know about the world of food, all year round. Every issue is full of inspiration, top tips and the best recipes for cooking and entertaining. Each one tried, tested and tasted to perfection.

United Kingdom
Eye to Eye Media
Back issues only
10 期号


10 ways to get organised

1 Be a savvy shopper Book an online delivery (or click and collect) slot from your supermarket early. Or even book two – one for everything you need and the second for everything you forgot! Order any meat from your butcher in good time. And stock up on non-perishables such as biscuits, crackers, crisps and sweets so they’re ticked off the list early. 2 Make storage space Clear out your freezer in advance so there’s room for pre-prepped or shop-bought mince pies, sausage rolls and other time-savers. Ditch or use up all those jars in the fridge with barely anything left in the bottom and only use the fridge for things that really need it such as dairy products and the turkey. Veg will be fine in a cold dark place…

your cooking countdown

8.30am Take the turkey out of the fridge so that it loses a bit of its chill. 8.45am Have a cuppa and some cereal or toast. It’s going to be a long day. And empty the dishwasher – you’re going to need it. 9.30am Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. 10am Start cooking the turkey. A slow-grown turkey (such as a Kelly Bronze) has more fat running through it, so it will cook more quickly than an intensively reared bird. A 5-6kg slow-grown turkey should be cooked in 2-2½ hrs; an intensively reared bird may take a little longer but should be cooked to the same temperature or just a little higher. If you need to parboil or prepare any vegetables, now is the time to do it. 10.30am With the turkey out of the fridge, you can…

a festive feast… without the fuss

MAIN COURSE Clementine, thyme & bay roast turkey This showstopper turkey with a zesty herby stuffing can be oven-ready the day before, giving you more time to prep the sides Serves 8 Prep time 30 mins Cooking time 2 hrs 10 mins, plus 1-2 hrs resting (you can cook the rest of the vegetables in this time) You’ll need… Large roasting tin; foil; digital probe thermometer • 5kg free-range turkey (take out of the fridge at least 1 hr before cooking)• 100g butter, softened• 4 large celery sticks, halved• 1 large onion, sliced• 8 clementines, halved horizontally• 4 bay leaves• 6 fresh thyme sprigs For the stuffing • 50g butter• 4 fat garlic cloves, crushed• 25g fresh breadcrumbs• 450g British free-range pork sausagemeat• 100g semi-dried tomatoes, finely chopped• 2 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley• 3 fresh thyme…

time to raise a glass

HOT DRINKS Hot buttered rum Curl up with this warming drink next to a roaring fire Makes 4 glasses Prep time 5 mins Cooking time 5 mins • 150ml dark rum (or whisky or brandy if you prefer)• 200ml Stone’s Ginger Wine• 8 cloves, lightly bashed• ½ lemon, thinly sliced• 3 tbsp light brown soft sugar• 200ml boiling water• 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half• 25g butter• 4 long rosemary sprigs 1 Put all the ingredients, apart from the butter and rosemary, in a small pan over a medium heat. Warm, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the toddy is steaming (don’t boil). 2 Stir in the butter until melted. Divide among heatproof glasses or cups, then add a rosemary sprig to each one. Liqueur coffees It’s been out of favour in recent years, but it’s time to…

the cocktail masterclass

1 Invest in your kit Take the guesswork out of mixing with a jigger – a double-ended one showing 25ml and 50ml is handy. Casual bartenders might make it look easy, but exact measures give your drinks a good balance. A shaker and a mixing glass are useful, as is a strainer, especially if you are using berries and herbs. 2 Use the right ice Only use crushed ice if the recipe calls for it. Crushed ice is good to chill drinks like a mint julep, but it will dilute your drinks really quickly. Large cubes or ice spheres dissolve more slowly, so are better for less diluted drinks where the flavour of the spirit is dominant. If you don’t have large moulds, half-fill disposable plastic cups with water and freeze…

5 festive canapés

1 Mushroom & mozzarella arancini Make the mushroom risotto the day before, then finish just before serving with our ginger Champagne cocktail (p23) Makes 24 Prep time 30 mins, plus chilling Cooking time 45-55 mins • 50g unsalted butter• 200g mixed mushrooms such as chestnut, girolles, sliced• 750ml fresh vegetable stock, hot• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed• 125g risotto rice (carnaroli)• 75ml dry white wine• 3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked• 25g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated• 75g mozzarella, cut into very small cubes• 2 medium free-range eggs• 100g crispy breadcrumbs such as panko• 50g plain flour• Vegetable oil for deep-frying 1 Heat half the butter in a large frying pan. When sizzling, add the mushrooms and season. Fry, without turning, for 2-3 mins until golden, then toss and fry until evenly golden and…