Top 10 Christmas tidbits and tipples

For me, Christmas is a time for unprecedented levels of face stuffing, wine swilling and scoffing.

This year was no exception. Here are few of my food and drink highlights from the last two weeks, in no particular order.

10. Stilton and chutney rarebit bites

Top squares of rye bread with onion chutney and a mixture of creme fraiche and stilton then  grill for a few minutes to make these tasty morsels.  A great party welcome plate and so moreish.

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Stilton and chutney rarebit bites

9. Honey and mustard glazed gammon

Forget Turkey. This is the true taste of Christmas. You can’t beat a fresh cut gammon sandwich with a glass of bucks fizz (not pre mixed but with cava and a splash of orange juice) on Christmas morning. Despite eating it everyday since Christmas day it never gets  dull.

Honey and mustard glazed gammon
Honey and mustard glazed gammon

8. Pomegranate champagne

Liven up a glass of sparkly by dropping a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds in it. Simple and pretty. Wish I had taken a picture before draining my glass.

Pomegranate champagne
Pomegranate champagne

7. Prawn and smoked salmon mini platter

After a week of roast potatoes, turkey, mince pies and chocolate this light fish platter was a welcome change.

Black prawns, rocket and brown bread mini platter
Black prawns, rocket and brown bread mini platter

6. Brandy blazed Christmas pudding

A show stopping Christmas Day staple. Its once yearly outing is a must and would get my vote over a marzipanned Christmas cake any day.

Brandy blazed Christmas pudding
Brandy blazed Christmas pudding

5. Trapiche, Broquel, Bonarda 2011

This gutsy red from Argentina was by far the stand out wine at my home this Christmas. Full of black fruit, with hints of vanilla and spice this intense wine is made in the Mendoza region by Daniel Pi, chief wine maker at Trapiche and one of Argentina’s most respected winemakers.

Pick it up at Tesco for £11.99.

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4. Traditional Christmas dinner

You couldn’t put together a Christmas food top ten without including the main event. Sausages wrapped in bacon, brussel sprouts in cream and bacon, tasty turkey with bread and cranberry sauce and a healthy handful of roast potatoes all ladled with gravy make this dish the undefeated king pin of Christmas.

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3. Panattone bread and butter pudding with Cointreau

British bread and butter pudding can be so heavy, especially after a week of indulgence. This Italian panattone alternative is light, airy and laced with the orangey zest of Cointreau giving it a warming kick.

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Pannatone bread and butter pudding with Cointreau (unbaked)

2. Poached herb rolled ballontine of Scottish salmon with beetroot, horseradish crème fraiche and bloody mary dressing

Courtesy of the Salterns Harbourside Hotel in Poole as part of their boxing day menu. Light and delicious.

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Poached salmon ballotine with horseradish and creme fraiche mouse

1. Home made mince pies

And finally the humble mince pie. I made these before Christmas with a friend and we were pretty pleased with how they turned out given our basic pastry making know how.

Home made mince pies
Home made mince pies
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