Donal Skehan tips for the perfect Christmas party mix
Be prepared for guests any time this Christmas with these fresh takes on sausage rolls and punch
You can't beat a good sausage roll at Christmas and ones which are homemade really steal the show. This recipe makes sausage rolls which are full of flavour thanks to lots of fresh herbs, wholegrain mustard and a touch of sweetness from honey and cranberries. They can be prepared in advance and only cooked off when you need them.
Cranberry Sausage Rolls
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
400g sausage meat
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped sage
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
75g dried cranberries
3 slices smoked streaky bacon, cut into thin slices
Pinch of salt and pepper
375g of puff pastry
1 egg, beaten to brush on top
25g sesame seeds, to sprinkle on top
Mix the tablespoons of honey and Dijon mustard together and put aside. Mix the sausage meat, herbs, breadcrumbs, wholegrain mustard, cranberries, bacon and the salt and pepper in a bowl. Divide the mixture in two. Wrap the meat mixture in clingfilm and roll it out to the length of the pastry. Repeat with the second batch of meat.
Place the rolls in the fridge and leave it for about an hour to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Roll out the pastry and cut it in half lengthways. Brush the pastry sheets with the honey and mustard mix. Take the meat out of the fridge, remove the clingfilm and place the sausage meat in the middle of the pastry sheets, roll the pastry and brush the edge with water to seal.
Brush the top of the sausage rolls with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut the rolls into thumb-size pieces, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cook for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Orange & Ginger Christmas Punch
This festive punch is fresh, citrusy and an alternative option for those who aren't partial to mulled wine. A light and refreshing cocktail, perfect for pre-dinner drinks or served instead of wine if your guests are that way inclined.
50ml pomegranate syrup
3 cinnamon sticks
5 star anise
250ml orange juice
250ml pomegranate juice
1 litre ginger beer
Crushed ice, to serve
1 orange, slices to serve
1 pomegranate, seeds to serve
In a mixing jug, combine the rum, pomegranate syrup, cinnamon, star anise and cloves. Leave to infuse for 1 hour.
Add in crushed ice and pour over the orange juice, pomegranate juice and ginger beer.
Garnish glasses with crushed ice, orange slices and pomegranate seeds.
Julbord at The Pepper pot Café
The Pepper Pot Café is hosting its first festive feast, a Swedish Julbord on December 9, as part of the One Table series. The six-course meal will consist of Scandinavian flavours and classic Swedish favourites all mixed with some new Pepper Pot creations. Dishes like pickled herring and gravadlax will be served up in the beautiful setting of Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin. Book tickets by calling (01) 707-1610 or drop them an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sheridans Guide To Cheese
Whether your knowledge of cheese ends at cheddar on toast or you are a fully fledged connoisseur, brothers Kevin & Seamus Sheridan's guide to cheese is well worth a read. Using their 20 years of cheesemongering knowledge, they share insights into wine parings, tasting notes and of course lots of cheesey recipes.