Sat | Jan 29, 2022

Creating a Christmas feast

Published:Tuesday | December 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Roasted chicken
Sorrel ice cream
Baked Mac and cheese cups

It's the time for cheer and the time to share. Itís also the time to feast on all you can eat. Chef Noel Cunningham gave us some help with conventional and unconventional recipes to help make your Christmas dinner special.
Smoked paprika-marinated roast beef with a pan gravy
Let it roast, let it roast! Try this delicious roast beef recipe to add some ëwow!í to your dinner table this Christmas.
3lb beef blade roast
1 onion
2 carrots
1 stalk celery
1 bulb garlic
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 stalk thyme
2 tsp smoked paprika
Ground black peppercorns
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 stalks rosemary
1. Remove the beef from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you want to cook it, to allow it to get to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 2408C /4758 F.
3. Wash and roughly chop the vegetables - there's no need to peel them. Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving unpeeled.
4. Pile all the vegetables, garlic and herbs into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with oil.
5. Drizzle the beef with oil and season well with remaining seasoning, then rub all over the meat. Place the beef on top of the vegetables.
6. Place the tray in the oven, then turn the heat down immediately to 200degC/400degF/for one hour for medium beef. If you prefer it medium-rare, take it out 5 to 10 minutes earlier. For well done, leave it in for another 10 to 15 minutes.
7. Baste the beef halfway through cooking and if the vegetables look dry, add a splash of water to the tray to stop them from burning.
8. When the beef is cooked to your liking, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the beef to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so. Cover it with a layer of tin foil and a tea towel and leave aside while you make your gravy.
Herb-roasted butterfly chicken with red wine pan gravy
Roast chicken is many peopleís go-to dish in the Christmas season. 'Butterflying' the chicken allows it to roast quicker than a whole chicken, without losing any flavour or the crispy skin. The butterflying process is easy to do and takes only a few minutes and a pair of sturdy scissors. Use whatever herbs are available: tarragon, rosemary and thyme are especially tasty.
Serves 4-6 persons
1 large chicken, about 4 to 5 pounds
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano
2 tsp chopped parsley
1 medium onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium stalk celery, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp soy sauce
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup red wine
1. Set oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 350F. Using sharp kitchen shears, remove spine from chicken and cut spine into five to six one-inch pieces. Set spine aside. Flatten chicken by placing flat skin side up on cutting board and applying firm pressure to breast bone. Rub chicken on all surfaces with one tablespoon oil. Combine one tablespoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper in a bowl. Combine parsley and butter and place under chicken skin then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle smoked paprika all over chicken then add chopped herbs. Pile all the vegetables, garlic and herbs into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with oil.
2. Position chicken so that breasts are aligned with centre of baking sheet and legs are close to edge. Roast until thickest part of breast close to bone registers 150F on an instant-read thermometer and joint between thighs and body registers at least 170F, about 45 minutes, reducing the heat to 450F if the chicken starts to darken too quickly.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon oil in small saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Add chicken spine and cook, stirring frequently, until well browned, about three minutes. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, about three minutes. Add bay leaf and deglaze with red wine then add liquid from roasted chicken to the pot, using wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat to maintain simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Strain out solids and return liquid to pan. Boil over medium-high heat until approximately 1/3 cup remains, about seven minutes. Whisk in soy sauce, butter, and lemon juice off heat.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Remove chicken from oven, transfer to cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and allow to rest five minutes before carving.
Gungo rice
This is a Jamaican Sunday favourite and a Christmas classic - good old gungo rice and peas.
1 1/2 cups dried pigeon peas, soaked overnight and drained
3 cloves garlic (smashed)
2 cups coconut milk
2 stalk green onions, chopped
1 whole green Scotch bonnet pepper, remove stem
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp butter
2 cups long-grain white rice
If using dried beans
1. Place gungo and garlic in a medium rice pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
2. Add all ingredients except for rice and bring to a rolling boil.
3. Add the rice and stir the pot. Adjust season to taste. Don't burst the pepper! Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the water has completely evaporated and the rice is cooked. Serve hot and enjoy!
Mini baked macaroni and cheese cups
No need to fight for the crispy part! Everyone is getting their own. Here is a creamy and cheesy macaroni and cheese recipe to make your table spread complete.
1 Pack elbow macaroni
Salt and pepper
3 eggs, whisked
2 cups cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp butter
Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 cup mix shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese
Bread crumbs
Cheese mix
1. Add pasta to salted boiling water and allow to cook using package instructions. Allow to cool and season with salt and pepper then add eggs and put aside.
2. In a frying pan, melt butter and add flour to make roux and put aside to cool.
3. Simmer together milk and cream then add nutmeg, salt and pepper and allow to cook for five minutes on low heat. Gradually add the roux to thicken. (Use a whisk to prevent lumps). Add cheese, leaving some to sprinkle on top of the macaroni and cheese. Add sauce to cooked macaroni then add to muffin tin, topped with remaining cheese, bread crumbs and paprika and bake until golden. Enjoy!
Chef Noel Cunningham's sorrel ice cream
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp white rum
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
4 egg yolks
11/2 cup sorrel drink
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1. To make custard: Combine the cream, milk and salt in a heavy-bottomed pan over low flame. Stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
2. Whisk together egg yolk and sugar until fluffy. Gradually add warm milk and cream in small amount to egg mixture and whisk to combine then add the remaining milk mixture to the egg and stir until combine. Transfer the mixture to a storage container and refrigerate until fully chilled.
3. In a medium sauce pan add sorrel and sugar to low heat and allow to boil. Then, mix cornstarch in water and add to sorrel and allow to reduce to a thick consistency until it coats a spoon. Pour inside a container and put to chill for two hours.
4. When the custard mixture is cold, churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Then fold in sorrel mixture using a spoon to make some swirl. Transfer to a storage container to freeze until firm, 8 hours or overnight.
Note: A mixer can be use to blend the custard on medium speed until creamy.
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