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The First Noel: Festive Feast

Published:Friday | December 8, 2017 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson
Chef Noel knows how to make your Christmas delicious.

Christmas is all about tradition, and one of the most important ones may be the sweet indulgence of Christmas dinner. Still wondering what to prepare for the season? Well, do we have a treat for you! Food has enlisted the expertise of Chef Noel Cunningham, who is the First Noel to present not one, but two weeks of festive feasts, just for you.

First up, what’s a feast without meat? Here are a few tasty recipes guaranteed to please at the dinner table.

Spiced Cranberry and Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
1 boneless centre-cut pork loin roast
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1/2tsp ground pimento
1tsp cayenne pepper
2tbsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic
2 apples washed, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1tbsp grated fresh ginger

Make the filling: Heat 1tbsp oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring until translucent ­ about three minutes. Stir in cranberries, apples, vinegar, and brown sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use.

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butterfly the pork by first cutting lengthwise about halfway through the roast. Then, angle the knife and cut horizontally almost all of the way through, on both sides, and unfold. If necessary, pound the roast to an even thickness with a meat pounder

2. Season the inside of the roast well with salt and pepper. Spread the filling on the roast and roll up tightly ­ leaving a half-inch border from the edges.

3. Starting with the short side of the roast, roll it up very tightly. Secure with kitchen twine at one-inch intervals. Season the outside of the roast generously with pimento powder, salt and pepper.

4. Place roast on a rack in a roasting pan, and place in oven, on the middle rack. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the roast is 130 to 135ºF.

5. Remove the roast from the oven or grill. Place it on a cutting board. Tent it with foil to rest and keep warm for 15 minutes before slicing. Slice into half-inch-wide pieces, removing the twine as you cut the roast. Serve with sauce and enjoy.

Me Oh My Meat loaf!
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely minced
2 cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced
1 cup breadcrumbs
3/4tsp salt
1/4tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup ketchup, plus an additional
1/3 cup for brushing on top
pimento powder
3 whole eggs, beaten
1/2 cup ketchup
2tsp pimento powder

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and lightly oil a foil-lined sheet pan.

2. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix by hand until combined and well-mixed. On your prepared pan, free-form the meat loaf mixture into a loaf shape.

3. Bake for 20 minutes. While baking, mix together ketchup and pimento powder. Remove and brush with 2/3 glaze before returning the meat loaf to the oven. Bake for another 20 minutes.

4. Remove, brush with more glaze, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

5. Remove the meat loaf from the oven and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Slice and serve.

Chef Noel’s Honey Glazed Jerk Ham
This is definitely a ‘cunning ham’. This ham is baked and glazed with Chef Noel’s signature smoky jerk marinade, with honey and orange juice for a touch of extra sweetness. You will fall in love with this sweet and spicy ham.

6 lb smoked ham leg bone in
2tbsp Chef Noel’s smoky jerk marinade
1/4 cup honey
1 cup Coca-Cola
2tbsp brown sugar
2tsp cornstarch mix in water
Salt to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF

2. Remove all packaging materials including mesh. On rack, in shallow roasting pan, add 3 cups water to pan and cover tightly with aluminium foil. Steam for 45 minutes. Heat 20 to 25 minutes per pound.

3. Remove skin and excess fat. Use a sharp knife, cut slits in a criss-cross pattern. Make sure to go deep enough that you not only cut the fat, but also slice into the meat as well.

4. Rub with 2tbsp. Jerk marinade and put in roast for 15 minutes. In a medium saucepan over low heat, add all ingredients for the glaze. Once combined, remove ham from oven and coat with some of the glaze. Return oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Garnish and serve.

No Fuss Herb Roasted Chicken
Roasted chicken is definitely a star at the table. This recipe is quick, simple, and delicious. Take the fuss out of the way.

1 whole chicken
1/2 yellow onion, cut into wedges
4 whole cloves garlic, crushed
1 whole onion, chopped
2 sprigs chopped fresh thyme
1 sprig rosemary
2tbsp oil
1tsp kosher salt
2tsp chopped parsley
2tsp oregano
1/2tsp freshly ground pepper
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp paprika

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Remove giblets from chicken cavity and rinse. Pat dry with paper towels and place on rack atop roasting pan, breast side up, and drizzle with oil.

2. Place onion, garlic, and herbs into cavity. Combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika in a small bowl and season chicken all over with mixture, patting on with your hands. If desired, tie legs with kitchen twine.

3. Roast for one to one and a half hours, depending on size. If chicken is browning too quickly, remove chicken from oven and cover with aluminium foil. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Honey Mustard Salmon
This is a quick and scrumptious salmon recipe your guests will be loving. It’s a combination of sweet and tangy flavours.
2lb salmon
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2tbsp grainy mustard
1tsp fish sauce
2tsp ginger powder
1tsp lemon or lime juice

Season salmon with salt and pepper and put aside. In a heated frying pan, sear salmon until cooked. Remove from pan and put to rest.

To make the honey mustard sauce: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl and add to frying pan until it simmers. Add fish and cook for two minutes. Remove and serve.