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Published: 22:29 BST, 4 December 2016 | Updated: 15:31 BST, 5 December 2016
On Saturday, we brought you a fabulous collection of Delia's foolproof recipes for a Christmas Day feast.
In today's article, she shares some of her best-loved classics for festive entertaining.
Including a juicy roast gammon, succulent sausage rolls and a luxury fish pie, they're brilliant for a Boxing Day buffet – or any special gathering with family or friends.
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Delia Smith shares some of her best-loved classics for festive entertaining
ROAST GAMMON WITH BLACKENED CRACKLING WITH CITRUS, RUM AND RAISIN SAUCE
Gammon is now much easier to cook than it used to be. Modern curing methods have eliminated the need for pre-soaking, which makes it a perfect joint for roasting.
If you leave the skin on, score it and paint it with black treacle, it turns into superb crackling during the cooking. It's then a very easy joint to carve, and serving it with citrus, rum and raisin sauce is a heavenly combination.
If possible, always make this sweetsharp sauce the day before you need it, so the raisins have plenty of time to absorb all the flavours and become nice and plump.
Gammon is now much easier to cook than it used to be. Modern curing methods have eliminated the need for pre-soaking, which makes it a perfect joint for roasting
- 2.25kg (5lb) prime gammon joint, smoked or unsmoked
- 1 level tbsp black treacle
- Sea salt crystals For the sauce
- 1 large juicy orange
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 75ml (3fl oz) dark rum
- 75g (3oz) raisins
- 110g (4oz) soft dark brown sugar
- 1 slightly rounded tsp arrowroot
You will also need a solid shallow roasting tin As soon as you buy the gammon, remove all the wrapping and dry the skin really well with kitchen paper.
After that, using a very sharp pointed knife, score the skin in a criss-cross pattern making little 1cm (½in) diamonds. This is quite easy to do if you insert the tip of the knife only, then, holding the skin taut with one hand drag the tip of the knife down in long movements.
When you've done this, place the gammon on a plate and store, uncovered, on the bottom of the fridge for two or three days - if possible - before you need it. This means the skin will go on drying, which makes better crackling. You can make the sauce well in advance, too.
All you do is remove the outer zest from the orange using a potato peeler so that you don't get any of the pith. Then pile the little strips on top of one another, and using a very sharp knife, cut them into really thin needle-sized strips.
If you've got the orange peel piled up and your knife is sharp, this is a lot easier than it sounds. Next, remove the zest from the lime, this time using a fine grater, and squeeze the juice from the lime and orange.
Place all the sauce ingredients except the arrowroot into a saucepan. Whisk the arrowroot into the mixture and place the pan onto a gentle heat, whisking all the time until it starts to simmer.
As soon as this happens the sauce will change from opaque to clear, so then remove it from the heat and, as soon as it is cool enough, pour it into a serving dish, cover with clingfilm and chill until needed.
To cook the gammon, pre-heat the oven to 240c/gas 9. If the treacle is very cold, warm it slightly and then, using a pastry brush or a wodge of kitchen paper, lightly coat all the little diamonds of skin. After that, sprinkle the skin with salt crystals, pressing them well in.
Now, place the gammon in a roasting tin skin-side upright (if it won't stand up straight, use a couple of wedges of foil to keep it in position).
Now place the roasting tin in the oven and after 25 minutes turn the heat down to 180c/gas 4. Then continue to let the gammon cook for 1¾-2 hours - it should feel tender all the way through when tested with a skewer.
After it comes out of the oven give it at least 30 minutes' resting time, covered with foil, in a warm place. Remove the sauce from the fridge and serve the gammon carved in slices, giving each person some crackling, with the sauce spooned over.
LUXURY FISH PIE WITH ROSTI CAPER TOPPING
This is a perfect recipe for entertaining and doesn't need anything to go with it other than a simple green salad
The fish can be varied according to what's available, so long as you have 2lb 4oz (1 kg) in total.
For the fish mixture
- 700g (1½lb) halibut
- 225g (8oz) king scallops, including the coral, cut in half
- 110 g (4oz) uncooked tiger prawns, thoroughly defrosted if frozen, and peeled
- 150 ml (5fl oz) dry white wine
- 275 ml (10fl oz) carton of fish stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 50g (2oz) butter
- 50g (2oz) plain flour
- 2tbsp creme fraiche
- 6 cornichons (miniature gherkins), drained, rinsed and chopped
- 1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1dsp chopped fresh dill
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the rosti caper topping
- 900g (2lb) Desiree or Romano potatoes, even-sized if possible
- 1tbsp salted capers or capers in brine, drained, rinsed and dried
- 50g (2oz) butter, melted
- 50g (2oz) strong Cheddar cheese, finely grated
You will also need a well buttered baking dish that is about 5cm (2in) deep, with a 1.5 litre (2¾ pint) capacity Pre-heat the oven to 220c/gas mark 7.
First of all, prepare the potatoes by scrubbing them, but leaving the skins on. As they all have to cook at the same time, if there are any larger ones, cut them in half, then place them in a saucepan with enough boiling, salted water to barely cover them and cook them for 12 minutes after they have come back to the boil, covered with the lid.
Strain off the water and cover them with a clean tea towel to absorb the steam. Meanwhile, heat the wine and stock in a medium saucepan, add the bay leaf and some seasoning, then cut the halibut in half if it's a large piece, add it to the saucepan and poach the fish gently for five minutes. It should be slightly undercooked.
Then remove the fish to a plate, using a draining spoon, and strain the liquid through a sieve into a bowl. Now rinse the pan you cooked the fish in, melt the butter in it, whisk in the flour and gently cook for two minutes.
Gradually add the strained fish stock little by little, whisking all the time. When you have a smooth sauce, turn the heat to its lowest setting and let the sauce gently cook for five minutes. Then whisk in the creme fraiche, followed by the cornichons, parsley and dill.
Give it all a good seasoning and remove it from the heat. To make the rosti, peel the potatoes and, using the coarse side of a grater, grate them into long shreds into a bowl. Then add the capers and the melted butter and, using two forks, lightly toss everything together so that the potatoes get a good coating of butter.
Now remove the skin from the white fish and divide it into chunks, quite large if possible, and combine the fish with the sauce.
Next, if you're going to cook the fish pie more or less immediately, all you do is add the raw scallops and prawns to the fish mixture then spoon it into a well-buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the rosti on top, spreading it out as evenly as possible and don't press it down too firmly.
Finally, scatter the cheese over the surface and bake on a high shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes. If you want to make the fish pie in advance, this is possible, as long as you remember to let the sauce get completely cold before adding the cooled white fish, raw scallops and prawns.
When the topping is on, cover the dish loosely with clingfilm and refrigerate it until you're ready to cook it. Then give it an extra five to ten minutes' cooking time.
ETTY'S SAUSAGE ROLLS
Etty is my mum, and for me a Christmas without her sausage rolls would not be complete. They are the ultimate canape to serve with drinks - or with pickled shallots and crisp celery for a snack any time.
They can be cooked well in advance, frozen, then defrosted and warmed through when you need them, but nothing can compare with freshly baked on Christmas Eve.
For me, a Christmas without my mum's sausage rolls would not be complete
Makes about 24
For the quick flaky pastry
- 175g (6oz) butter or block margarine
- 225g (8oz) plain flour
- A pinch of salt
- Cold water to mix (alternatively you can use 400g (14oz) of ready-made all-butter puff pastry, which is almost as good)
For the filling
- 450g (1lb) good-quality pork sausagemeat
- 1 medium onion, grated
- 4tbsp chopped sage leaves
- 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
- You will also need 2 baking sheets, lightly greased
Preheat the oven to 220c/gas mark 7. The fat needs to be rock-hard from the fridge, so weigh out the required amount, wrap it in a piece of foil and place it in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. When you take the fat out of the freezer, open it up and use some of the foil to hold the end with. Then dip the fat in the flour and grate it with a coarse grater placed in the bowl over the flour.
Keep dipping the fat down into the flour to make it easier to grate. At the end you will be left with a pile of grated fat in the middle of the flour, so take a palette knife and start to distribute it into the flour (don't use your hands), trying to coat all the pieces of fat with flour until the mixture is crumbly.
Next add enough water to form a dough that leaves the bowl clean, using your hands to bring it all gently together.
Put the dough into a polythene bag and chill it for 30 minutes in the fridge. When you're ready to make the sausage rolls, mix the sausagemeat, onion and sage together in a mixing bowl.
Then roll out the pastry on a floured surface to form an oblong approximately 42cm x 30cm (16½in x 12in). Cut this oblong into three strips 42cm x 10cm (16½in x 4in) and divide the sausagemeat also into three, making three long rolls the same length as the strips of pastry (if it's sticky, sprinkle on some flour and flour your hands, too).
Place one roll of sausagemeat on to one strip of pastry. Brush the beaten egg along one edge, then fold the pastry over and seal it as carefully as possible.
Lift the whole thing up and turn it so the sealed edge is underneath. Press lightly, and cut into individual rolls each about 5cm (2in) long. Snip three V shapes in the top of each roll with the end of some scissors and brush with beaten egg.
Repeat all this with the other portions of meat and pastry. Place the rolls on baking sheets and bake high in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack to cool. You can store the cooked and cooled sausage rolls in an airtight tin, but they do lose their crunchiness. For this reason I think it is preferable to freeze them in polythene boxes and remove a few at a time as and when you need them.
Defrost them for an hour at room temperature and then warm them in a hot oven for five minutes.
TURKEY FLAN WITH LEEKS AND CHEESE
One thing I know now, being older, is that I will not be making pastry on the days following Christmas. That said, this leftover recipe is too good not to include, so my advice would be to either buy the pastry, or make it before Christmas, line the tin with it and freeze it in the tin.
As I've now discovered, cooking a flan in a frozen pastry case gives a crisper finish.
Cooking a flan in a frozen pastry case gives a crisper finish
For the filling
- 275–350g (9¾oz-12oz) cooked turkey, chicken or ham (or a mixture), thinly sliced and cut into roughly 5cm (2in) pieces
- 450g (1lb) leeks, washed thoroughly and sliced
- 75g (2¾ oz) cheese, grated (any kind, or a mixture)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 25g (1oz) freshly grated Parmesan
- 40g (1½oz) butter, plus extra 1 tsp
- 425ml (15fl oz) milk
- 25g (1oz) plain flour
- Whole nutmeg, for grating
- Cayenne pepper
- You will need a 25cm (10in) quiche or flan tin lined with 300g (10½oz) shortcrust pastry, frozen
Preheat the oven to 200c/gas mark 6 and pop in a heavy baking sheet to preheat. First melt a teaspoon of butter in a frying pan, swirl it round the pan and then, keeping the heat lowish, add the leeks and some salt, cover and let them gently cook for ten to 15 minutes and exude some of their juice.
After that, place the leeks in a sieve, strain off any juices into a bowl and set aside. While that's happening, put the 40g (1½oz) butter, milk and flour in a saucepan and bring up to the boil, whisking all the time, until you have a smooth, thick sauce.
Season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg, then leave the sauce to simmer gently for five minutes. Now arrange the leeks over the pastry base, followed by the slices of turkey, chicken or ham. Then pour the reserved leek juice into the sauce, add the grated cheese and beaten egg and mix well.
Pour the sauce evenly over the contents of the flan and sprinkle the Parmesan on top, together with a dusting of cayenne. Place the flan on the baking sheet on the centre shelf of the oven, then reduce the heat to 180c/gas mark 4 and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes.
MACADAMIA & PISTACHIO NUT ROAST WITH SPICED YOGHURT SAUCE
I couldn't possibly not include a nut roast
This recipe is specially for my friend Lilie, who is a vegetarian and said I couldn't possibly not include a nut roast. So here it is.
It can be served hot with the sauce or cold with pickles and chutneys.
- 300g (10½oz) salted, roasted mixed nuts
- 1tbsp coriander seeds
- 1tbsp cumin seeds
- 2tbsp groundnut oil
- 300g (10½oz) onions, finely chopped
- 1 large green pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 15g (½oz) jalapeño pepper, drained and chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 75g (2¾oz) shelled pistachios
- 50g (1¾oz) wholemeal breadcrumbs
- 2 heaped tbsp chopped coriander
- 1 x 400g tin Italian plum tomatoes
- 2 eggs, beaten
For the topping
- 10g (¼oz) butter, melted
- 40g (1½oz) macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
- 40g (1½oz) pistachios, roughly chopped
- For the sauce
- 400g (14oz) Greek strained yoghurt
- ½ tsp coriander seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- The seeds from 3 fresh cardamom pods
- 1½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt flakes
You will need a well-buttered loose-base sandwich tin, 20cm x 4cm (8in x 1½in)
Start this off a day before you need it. Using a pestle and mortar, crush together the coriander and cumin seeds (for the roast), then warm a small frying pan over a medium heat and add the crushed spices.
Turn up the heat high and toss them around to dry-roast them and draw out the flavour (which will take about a minute) then tip them into a bowl and leave on one side. Now crush and dry-roast the whole spices for the sauce in the same way, then put them in a small mixing bowl to cool.
Then add the yoghurt, turmeric, cinnamon and some seasoning to the bowl. Cover and leave in a cool place (or fridge) for several hours or overnight for the flavour and colour to develop.
When you want to cook the nut roast, preheat the oven to 200c/gas 6, take a medium-sized frying pan, heat the oil and cook the onions for a few minutes before adding the green and jalapeno peppers, garlic and all but half a teaspoon of the prepared spices and cook for about ten minutes, until everything has softened.
Meanwhile, chop the mixed nuts fairly small by hand, or pulse them in a processor. Then drain the tomatoes and chop them. In a large bowl, mix the roasted chopped nuts, pistachios , breadcrumbs, fresh coriander and tomatoes, then add the cooked onion mixture and season well before adding the eggs.
Now pile the mixture into the prepared tin and press down well, drizzle with the melted butter and sprinkle with the chopped macadamia and pistachio nuts. Bake for 35 minutes.
Serve the nut roast cut into wedges with the spiced yoghurt in a separate bowl sprinkled with the reserved crushed spices.
Delia's Happy Christmas by Delia Smith published by Ebury Press, price £15. © Delia Smith. To order a copy for £17.50 (30% discount) visit www.mailbookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640. P&P is free on orders over £15. Offer valid until 24 December 2016
Delia's Winter Collection © Delia Smith. For more Delia Christmas recipes, cookery school videos, bakeware & equipment information and stockists visit deliaonline.com
The Delia Collection: Puddings. © Delia Smith. For more Delia Christmas recipes, cookery school videos, bakeware & equipment information and stockists visit deliaonline.com
Additional food photography by Dan Jones