It’s Christmastime and we all need a little inspiration in the kitchen. Who wants the same old sprouts and parsnips when you can be mixing it up with delicious seasonal dishes?
And The Best Christmas Food Ever is here to help!
This year sees Paul Ainsworth and Catherine Fulvio – with the help of some extra special guests – show viewers some unique and festive dishes for you to make at home this December.
Here are some of our favourite recipes from The Best Christmas Food Ever 2019.
Roast butternut squash with cranberry relish and feta
As an excellent side or main for the vegetarians at the table, this dish can be whipped up in around 30 minutes making it the perfect quick dish.
You will need 1 butternut squash, 10 shallots, 5 rosemary sprigs, rapeseed oil, salt and pepper, 1 red onion, 1 bay leaf, 1 cinnamon stick, 60g of roughly chopped dates, 100g fresh cranberries, 80g soft brown sugar, the juice and zest of 1 lemon, and 80g feta cheese. You will also need freshly chopped parsley to garnish!
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Step 2: Place the butternut squash slices, halved shallots and rosemary on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with rapeseed oil, season to taste and roast for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Step 3: Next make the relish! Put the red onion in a saucepan with a little of the oil and fry for a couple of minutes. Next add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, dates, cranberries, 2 tablespoons of water, the sugar and lemon zest and juice (again to taste). Simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes.
Step 4: When the butternut and shallots are cooked, arrange them on a serving platter and spoon over some of the relish. Crumble the feta cheese on top and garnish with chopped parsley.
Cranberry, sage and sourdough stuffing
This is Paul’s meat-free stuffing alternative and it’s the perfect accompaniment for the turkey!
The ingredients include 200g butter, 500g finely sliced white onions, few sprigs thyme, rosemary sprig, 5 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf, 300g breadcrumbed sourdough bread (preferably stale), 150g dried cranberries, 15g freshly chopped sage, 30g freshly chopped parsley, the juice and zest of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.
Step 1: Melt the butter in a shallow medium-sized pan on a medium heat. Add the sliced onions with the thyme and rosemary leaves, garlic and bay leaf. Stir well and season to taste.
Step 2: Cook gently until the onions are soft but not coloured. Once soft, add the sourdough breadcrumbs bit by bit until the mixture starts to form a stuffing texture. Add the cranberries, sage and the freshly chopped parsley.
Step 3: Season with a little lemon juice and the lemon zest. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve in a bowl.
Upside-down apple pie with butterscotch sauce
For the pie you will need 50g chunks of cold unsalted butter, 50g sugar, 5 Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters, and 100g all-butter puff pastry. For the butterscotch sauce, you will need 170g muscovado sugar, 2 tsp Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar, 170ml double cream, 20g extra cubed cold butter and a big pinch of salt!
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Step 2: In an 8 inch ovenproof frying pan, arrange a layer of butter cubes and using a spoon squash the cubes to form an even layer. Sprinkle over the sugar, covering all the butter. Arrange the apples on top.
Step 3: Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut out a circle slightly bigger than your frying pan. Place the pastry on top of the apples and gently push down at the edges all the way around the pan.
Step 4: Bake for 1 hour, or until the puff pastry is crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Step 5: To make the sauce, heat the muscovado sugar with 30g of water in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved then stop stirring and boil until a caramel has formed. Add the vinegar, cream and salt and whisk to combine.
Step 6: Now add the chilled butter very slowly, whisking between each addition until you have a smooth butterscotch sauce. Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.
Step 7: To turn out your apple pie, warm the pan in the oven for about 7 minutes and then turn out onto a plate. Spoon over some the butterscotch sauce and serve with a generous amount of vanilla ice cream.
WATCH THE BEST CHRISTMAS FOOD EVER ON BBC THIS DECEMBER