Although it may be seventy degrees outside, my calendar indicates that the holidays are just around the corner. I’ve been wishing for an excuse to share some of my favorite things, so I decided to round them up into a holiday gift guide. Almost all of the items are under $30 and would make great stocking stuffers.
Category Traditional recipes
Creamy mushroom soupWith mushroom-topped ciabatta for dunkingWith mushroom-topped ciabatta for dunkingServes 6Cooks In45 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 148 7 Fat 7.4g 11 Saturates 2.4g 12 Sugars 3.5g 4 Salt 1.1g 18 Protein 7.9g 16 Carbs 12.5g 5 Fibre 3.2g -Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredients600 g mixed mushrooms1 onion2 sticks of celery3 cloves of garlica few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsleya few sprigs of fresh thymeolive oil1.
Quick salmon and potato al fornoA brilliant one-tray dinnerA brilliant one-tray dinnerServes 4Cooks In1 hour 10 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 465 23 Fat 26.3g 38 Saturates 5.4g 27 Sugars 3.3g 4 Protein 30.9g 62 Carbs 24.1g 9 Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredients600 g waxy new potatoes1 large bulb fennelsea saltfreshly ground black pepper1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley , leaves picked and finely chopped2 cloves garlic , peeled and finely chopped or grated15 g butter , cut into small piecesolive oil4 x 120 g salmon fillets , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, scaled and pin-boneda few sprigs fresh mint , leaves picked and finely chopped1 small handful Parmesan cheese , grated1 lemon , zest ofMethodThis is a brilliant one-tray dinner.
Savoury sconesWith a hint of mustard and topped with cheeseWith a hint of mustard and topped with cheeseServes 6Cooks In40 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 504 25 Fat 26.9g 38 Saturates 15g 75 Sugars 1.6g 2 Salt 1.24g 21 Protein 11.9g 24 Carbs 57.5g 22 Fibre 2.4g -Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredients450 g self-raising flour150 g butter2 free-range eggs4 tablespoons milk , plus a little more for brushing½ teaspoon mustard powder½ teaspoon ground cumin50 g Cheddar , gratedMethodPreheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.
Little sole goujons with a quick lemon and caper sauceServed with mash and buttery nutmeg-spiked spinachServed with mash and buttery nutmeg-spiked spinachServes 4Cooks In40 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 470 24 Fat 14.0g 20 Saturates 6.5g 33 Sugars 3.5g 4 Salt 2.77g 46 Protein 31.
Wonderful wild garlic & sausage fusilliWith blitzed fresh spinach, fennel & chilliWith blitzed fresh spinach, fennel & chilliServes 4Cooks In50 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 498 25 Fat 19.1g 27 Saturates 5.7g 29 Sugars 3.4g 4 Salt 1.55g 26 Protein 23.4g 47 Carbs 62.
Summer four-grain salad with garlic, lemon and herbsA filling, hearty seasonal saladA filling, hearty seasonal saladServes 4Cooks In40 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 427 21 Fat 9.6g 14 Saturates 1.4g 7 Sugars 1.3g 1 Salt 0.5g 8 Protein 11.7g 23 Carbs 75.2g 29 Fibre 6g -Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredients1 small bunch mint , leaves picked, stalks chopped1 small bunch parsley , leaves picked, stalks chopped200 g mixed wild rice100 g red rice100 g pearl barley or farro1 bulb garlicsea saltfreshly ground black pepperextra virgin olive oil1 lemon , juice ofolive oil½ teaspoon fennel seeds1 teaspoon cumin seeds75 g rolled porridge oatsMethodPick the leaves off the mint and parsley and put them to one side.
Prosciutto & rocket forksGreat as canapés or a starterGreat as canapés or a starterServes 12Cooks In10 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 19 1 Fat 1.4g 2 Saturates 0.3g 2 Sugars 0.2g 0 Salt 0.25g 4 Protein 1.3g 3 Carbs 0.2g 0 Fibre 0g -Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredients6 slices quality prosciutto , halved1 handful wild rocket , washed and driedextra virgin olive oilbalsamic vinegarMethodCarefully crumple a piece of prosciutto up and skewer it on the prongs of a fork.
DIY crispy duck lettuce cups with cherries and mintPerfect for sharingPerfect for sharingServes 8Cooks In2 hours 40 minutes plus cooling timeDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 260 13 Fat 21.5g 31 Saturates 6.3g 32 Sugars 5.2g 6 Salt 0.75g 13 Protein 11.8g 24 Carbs 5.4g 2 Fibre 0.7g -Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredients1 duck , about 2kgsea saltfreshly ground black pepper300 g fresh cherriesextra virgin olive oil2 sprigs of rosemary1 teaspoon ground cinnamon½ teaspoon ground cloves2 soft round lettuce or little gems1 small bunch spring onions½ cucumber2 red chillies1 small bunch mint2 punnets salad cress1 punnet shiso cressMethodThe cherries and mint make a lovely fresh sauce.
Roast chicken and pestoIncredible flavours, simply doneIncredible flavours, simply doneServes 6Cooks In1 hour 35 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 389 19 Fat 26.2g 37 Saturates 5.3g 27 Sugars 0.5g 1 Salt 1.55g 26 Protein 36.6g 73 Carbs 1.7g 1 Fibre 0.2g -Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredients1.
Lovely tomato & rose petal harissaFresh chilli, cumin, coriander & smoked paprikaFresh chilli, cumin, coriander & smoked paprikaServes 10Cooks In1 hour 15 minutes plus coolingDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 43 2 Fat 2.2g 3 Saturates 0.3g 2 Sugars 5.1g 6 Salt 0.62g 10 Protein 1g 2 Carbs 5.
Venison carpaccio with orange and horseradishwith baked shallotswith baked shallotsServes 6Cooks In1 hourDifficultyNot too trickyNutrition per servingCalories 206 10 Fat 8.8g 13 Saturates 3.9g 20 Sugars 1.8g 2 Protein 29.0g 58 Carbs 2.4g 1 Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredients12 whole shallots2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , plus extra for brushing1 sprig of fresh thyme1 kg boned venison loin2 tablespoons grated fresh horseradish200 ml half-fat crème fraîche1 teaspoon white wine vinegar1 sprig of fresh rosemary1 orangeMethodPreheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
Pancetta hash with eggs and apple saladA brilliant brunch for twoA brilliant brunch for twoServes 2Cooks In25 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 450 23 Fat 19.5g 28 Saturates 6.1g 31 Sugars 8.7g 10 Salt 2.11g 35 Protein 28.4g 57 Carbs 50.2g 19 Fibre 4.7g -Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredientsolive oil6 slices higher-welfare pancetta , cut into wide strips2 slices good-quality ham , torn into pieces500 g potatoes , cubed1 splash white wine vinegar2 very fresh free-range eggs1 large handful watercress1 red apple , very finely sliced1 squeeze lemon juiceMethodQuick and satisfying, this hash recipe with an apple and watercress salad is super easy to knock up Heat a wide frying pan and add a splash of oil.
The best chorizo sandwichSmashed chickpeas, peppery rocket & fresh chilliSmashed chickpeas, peppery rocket & fresh chilliServes 4Cooks In15 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 829 41 Fat 47g 67 Saturates 17.4g 87 Sugars 8.9g 10 Salt 4.39g 73 Protein 43.9g 88 Carbs 60.3g 23 Fibre 7.
Mango and apricot pickleFantastic Asian flavoursFantastic Asian flavoursServes 4Cooks In25 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 99 5 Fat 1.9g 3 Saturates 0.3g 2 Sugars 18.4g 20 Salt 0.07g 1 Protein 1.4g 3 Carbs 20.4g 8 Fibre 2.6g -Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredients1 splash vegetable oil1 clove garlic , finely sliced1 pinch cumin seeds2 tomatoes , peeled and chopped2 tablespoons tamarind paste1 ripe mango , peeled and diced1 small handful dried apricots , torn or roughly chopped1½ tablespoons brown sugar1 lime , zest and juice ofMethodHeat a stainless-steel saucepan and add a splash of vegetable oil.
Mojito fruit saladWith a good splash of rumWith a good splash of rumServes 6Cooks In15 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 110 6 Fat 0.5g 1 Saturates 0.1g 1 Sugars 24.6g 27 Salt 0.02g 0 Protein 1.2g 2 Carbs 25g 10 Fibre 2.4g -Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredients1 bunch fresh mint , leaves picked3 limes , finely grated zest and juice of2 tablespoons light brown sugarwhite rum , to taste¼ large watermelon , peeled and cut into chunks2 ripe mangoes , stoned and flesh scooped out with a spoon1 ripe pineapple , peeled, cored and cut into chunksMethodIn a very clean pestle and mortar, bash most of the mint leaves with the finely grated lime zest.
Stuffed leg of lamb with rosemary and pine nutsMade even better with homemade gravyMade even better with homemade gravyServes 10Cooks In1 hour 55 minutesDifficultyNot too trickyNutrition per servingCalories 543 27 Fat 30.0g 43 Saturates 11.4g 57 Sugars 3.8g 4 Protein 43.9g 88 Carbs 10.9g 4 Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredients2 kg quality whole leg of lamb1 whole bulb garlic½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley½ bunch fresh rosemary , leaves picked, a few sprigs left whole4 anchovy fillets100 g ciabatta torn into chunks1 large handful pine nuts1 large handful green olives , stones removed and roughly chopped1 lemon , zest and juice ofsea saltfreshly ground black pepperolive oil2 onions , peeled and roughly chopped2 carrots , roughly chopped2 sticks celery , roughly chopped1 bottle of red wine1 heaped tablespoon plain flour1 litre organic chicken or vegetable stockMethodStuffing a leg of lamb is a great way to transform a regular cut into something a bit special for Easter, and this recipe ensures it’ll be bursting with flavour.
Pork chops with prosciutto, apple and StiltonTasty, flavour-packed parcelsTasty, flavour-packed parcelsServes 4Cooks In25 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 565 28 Fat 28.8g 41 Saturates 12g 60 Sugars 1.9g 2 Salt 2.57g 43 Protein 74.8g 149 Carbs 2.3g 1 Fibre 0.3g -Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredients12 slices quality prosciutto4 higher-welfare pork chops , French trimmed and all fat removed1 small red apple , cored and sliced75 g Stilton cheese , crumbled4 large rosemary sprigs , to skewerMethodWrapping the meat in prosciutto with apple and blue cheese really perks up the humble pork chopPreheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.
Home-cured beetroot gravadlaxWith delicious herby horseradishWith delicious herby horseradishServes 6Cooks In30 minutes plus 2 day cureDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 452 23 Fat 16.2g 23 Saturates 2.9g 15 Sugars 9.7g 11 Salt 1.62g 27 Protein 33.7g 67 Carbs 36.3g 14 Fibre 4.7g -Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredientsFor the beetroot cure2 large fresh beetroots , peeled and quartered1 orange , zest of2 lemons , zest of2 juniper berries , bashed6 tablespoons rock salt2 tablespoons demerara sugar50 ml gin800 g side of salmon , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmongerFor the herb cure1 small bunch fresh dill , finely chopped1 small bunch fresh tarragon , leaves picked and finely chopped4 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish50 ml ginTo serve1 loaf brown breada few handfuls watercress , washed and spun dry1 lemon , cut into wedgesMethodThis recipe may sound like a lot of work, but curing your own salmon is much easier than you think.
Tagliatelle with asparagus and tomatoClassic tomato sauce with added greensClassic tomato sauce with added greensServes 4Cooks In25 minutesDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 570 29 Fat 11.7g 17 Saturates 2.2g 11 Sugars 11.2g 12 Salt 0.70g 12 Protein 22g 44 Carbs 100.7g 39 Fibre 6.4g -Of an adult& 39;s reference intakeIngredientsolive oil2 cloves garlic , peeled and sliced1 small bunch basil , leaves and stalks finely chopped2 x 400 g tinned plum tomatoessea saltfreshly ground black pepper1 bunch asparagus500 g fresh tagliatelleextra virgin olive oil , to serveParmesan cheese , to serveMethodAs kids love pasta and tomato sauce, this is an easy way to encourage them to try asparagus.
Mincemeat palmiers with vanilla ice cream and sherryBrilliantly festive sweet canapésBrilliantly festive sweet canapésServes 12Cooks In30 minutes plus freezing timeDifficultySuper easyNutrition per servingCalories 277 14 Fat 9.3g 13 Saturates 2.8g 14 Sugars 23g 26 Salt 0.2g 3 Protein 2.5g 5 Carbs 32.