Christmas Crackers, anyone?

The inevitable happened

As a lover of puns and wordplay, this is something I couldn’t resist posting. I’ve been waiting for months to be able to do this!

20161226_173132

A simple cracker, topped with roast pork, sage and onion stuffing, roast potato and apple sauce. Didn’t have any cranberry sauce, otherwise that would’ve made an appearance too.

Merry Christmas!

Related:
https://randomkitchenexperiments.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/mini-christmas-dinner-pies/

Christmas Jelly Shots

Don’t throw away those calendars yet!

Here’s an interesting way of re-using your empty Advent calendars – Christmas-themed jelly shots! This one came about as a result of a suggestion for another Christmas-themed experiment – it’s quick and easy, though the end result is a bit fiddly.

Simply take the tray out of the box, and wash off any excess chocolate and remaining glue – the majority of it should actually be peel-able before washing.

CIMG8164

Make up the jelly mix as instructed on the packet (though I opted to use less water than instructed, as less is required here), mix in your choice of juice and alcohol, then carefully pour into each section. Once they’ve cooled, place in the fridge and chill overnight.

CIMG8165

This was the first batch, made with Tango (fizzy Orange) and Jim Beam Red Stag Whiskey.

CIMG8166

CIMG8269

For the second batch here, I tried again using even less water, just to see if I could get a thicker jelly – this still needs some work! They did have a bit more of a kick though. I also swapped out the fizzy Orange drink for Vimto.

CIMG8272

You can spoon them out and eat them individually, or perhaps add them to a dessert.

CIMG8371

Mince & Cherry Pies with Honey Jack Daniel’s

A Christmas favorite with a twist

With Christmas fast approaching, I thought I’d start playing with some ideas for the season, and being a fan of Mince Pies, decided to put my own twist on this popular classic, with Glace Cherries and (typically) a splash of Honey Jack Daniel’s.

CIMG7886

I used:
1 375g pre-made Puff Pastry sheet (from which I was able to make 12 pies)
1 jar of Traditional Mincemeat (though I didn’t use the whole jar)
Glace Cherries
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey

CIMG7898

Cut out the pastry bases with a cookie cutter, and place in a buttered baking tray, along with a cherry in each one.

CIMG7768

Spoon out some mincemeat meat into a bowl, and add a splash or two of JD, just enough so that it mixes in with the mince without making it too runny. Spoon this mix into each pie.

CIMG7771

Cut out the pastry tops with a smaller cookie cutter, place on top of each, then apply a milk wash.

CIMG7781

Place in the middle of a pre-heated oven at gas mark 6 (400 degrees F) for 20 minutes.

CIMG7782

Done! Quick and easy, ideal for snacks, dessert or party food. I’m already looking forward to making more this year.

CIMG7785

CIMG7798

CIMG7892

Oh and Batman appreciated them too.

CIMG7885

Mini Christmas Dinner Pies

A miniaturized Christmas dinner!

If you’re ever stuck for ideas for what to do with those Christmas dinner/Sunday roast leftovers, here’s a suggestion for you, another experiment of mine. This one was inspired by seeing what Heston Blumenthal had been doing in his recent programmes, like the Fish & Chip episode, combining every aspect of a meal into one single snack. This is another easy one, doesn’t take too much time to prepare, and you can adjust the recipe to suit your tastes.

You’ll need, depending how many you wish to make:

– 250g block of pastry (for 6 pies) or a whole 500g block for 12, possibly more
– Any leftovers you wish to use – I used some roast lamb, roast potato, some sage and onion stuffing and cranberry sauce
– An 8.5cm circular pastry cutter

CIMG6481CIMG6484

Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 4, 350F. Roll out your pastry, and cut out the circles. Lay one on a greased tray, and lay out the filling – a line of stuffing, a slice of lamb, a slice of potato, then some cranberry sauce. Take another circle of pastry (which may require a little stretching before use) and add this on top, before sealing and applying an egg wash. Repeat until you have as many as desired.

CIMG6487

Place in the oven for 18-20 minutes, and serve.

These turned out great, a tasty snack which was enjoyed by all the family and friends who tried them.

CIMG6492CIMG6493