The Big Fat Christmas Brunch – Vlogmas & Recipes

It’s my favourite time of the year ! I adore everything about Christmas and this year since I wasn’t travelling I decided to do something fun. As you know I recently started my YouTube channel and while it has videos on food and travel, I thought of doing a playlist dedicated to Christmas and this video is probably the one I’m most proud of ( so far). It’s because I managed to cook everything at one go which for me is a mamoth task.

Most of the recipes are fairly simple but the chicken and cake can get a little tricky but honestly they’re simple as well just slightly intimidating if you’re doing it for the first time. The results are delicious so it’s worth the effort and nerves. I love the video which shows you exactly what it looks like but I’ve listed out all the ingredients and method below just in case. Hope you enjoy these and happy cooking !!

The Video for Vlogmas Recipes –

RECIPES

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients –

1 packet of Brussel Sprouts

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Method –

Snip the ends of each sprout to discard them. Cut the sprouts in half so you get more to eat and it’s easier to cook.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan and place the spouts into the pan each one cut side down. Cook them on a moderate flame for about a minute of so till they start to sizzle and brown a bit.

Add salt and pepper and toss them about till they cook and are browned or charred. Shouldn’t take more than about 5 minutes.

Serve hot and enjoy 🙂

Honey Glazed Walnut Carrots

Ingredients –

1 packet of Baby Carrots

1- 2 teaspoons of Hony

6-7 crushed Walnuts

1 teaspoon of Olive Oil

Method –

You can choose to keep the carrot whole like I did or you could cut the top and half them to get more, the choice is entirely yours. I’ve left mine as they are because I think they just look better.

Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a pan and toss the carrots in for about 2 minutes. To this add some crushed walnuts and about a tablespoon of honey. Keep mixing it so the walnuts and carrots are coated in honey, shouldn’t take more than about 3 minutes and serve hot. Make sure you do this on a low flame as the honey tends to cook and caramalise quickly into hard chunks.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Oven Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients –

10 big Potatoes

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

Method –

I love making roasted potatoes and usually do them with small baby potatoes. For this meal I wanted big chunky ones. I also cooked these in a big disposable foil tray as I find they are very useful when you are cooking in big batches and then I don’t have to wash too many dishes.

Cut up your potatoes into big chunks, try to keep them all the same size so they cook evenly.

Add these cut potatoes to a pot of water with salt. Bring the pot to a boil and then cook the potatoes in boiling water for exactly 5 minutes.

Drain the potatoes, rinse and cool them. Try to dry them with a kitchen towel so that they aren’t wet when you cook them. Add these potatoes to your baking dish/ foil tray. Add a generous glug of olive oil but it should be about 2 -3 tablespoons, salt, pepper and then mix it all together to ensure that each potato piece is covered in oil.

Pop them into the oven at 180 degrees Celcius and cook them for 45 minutes. It would be ideal to take them out half way and give them a toss to ensure that each one cooks and none of the pieces at the bottom get left behind. Once they are nice and  crisp on the outside, they’re done.

Serve hot and enjoy 🙂

Citrus Salad

Ingredients –

A bunch of  Lettuce

1 Orange cut into pieces

1 Orange juiced

6-7 walnuts

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

1 teaspoon Lime Juice

Method –

While I didn’t film this part, it’s actually extremely easy. Mix the salt pepper olive oil lime juice and orange juice in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. This is the dressing for the salad.

In your salad bowl/ serving bowl, add all the ingredients as well as the dressing and mix well. Ideally with your hands but even a spoon to just toss the salad so its all covered with the dressing.

You can serve the salad at room temperature or chill it. If you are chilling it, it’s advisable to add the dressing just before you serve otherwise it tends to wilt and get soggy in the fridge.

Roasted Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients –

1 kg whole chicken cleaned.

50 grams Butter

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

2 tablespoons of red wine or port wine ( even white wine works but ideally red )

Salt

Pepper

Paprika powder or any red chili powder

3- 4 Onions cut into half or quarter

4 – 5 Garlic cloves

For the Stuffing

1 bunch of celery chopped

1 packet of mushrooms chopped

1 packet of bacon or pancetta chopped

Method – 

Cut all the ingredients for the stuffing and keep aside. You don’t have to make a stuffing but it does add flavour specially the bacon and mushroom which flavours the chicken as well as the broth we make once the chicken is done. If you don’t eat bacon you can leave it out.

Now the trickiest part is cleaning the bird. Usually when you ask your butcher for a whole chicken ask for it with the skin because it helps roast better and keeps the chicken moist. You can always discard it later if you don’t eat it. Most butchers will give you the chicken with the head, guts, heart and feet. It is how they weight the bird so you can either cut them and discard them at home like I did with a very sharp knife or a pair of meat scissors. Or then if you are squirmish request the butcher to do it so you get a clean bird that you just then have to rinse under the kitchen sink once or twice.

I had to cut and trim my bird and then clean it in water till the inside cavity was completely clean. Place the chicken in a tray where you can first work on it and then later transfer to a baking dish/ foil tray.

Season the chicken first with salt pepper and paprika and then rub it down with oilive oil and butter. Massage the chicken well on both sides so that it is completely covered in oil and butter so it roasts well.

Once that’s done take all the stuffing mixture and stuff the cavity. If you feel the need you can stitch it up but I just left it as is. In your baking tray or Foil tray add the chopped onions and garlic alone with the wine and half a glass of water. Place the chicken on top of this and pop it into the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 1 hour. The reason I place the chicken on top of the cut vegetables ( you could add carrots and celery sticks as well ) is so that it lets some of the air circulate below and it cooks under neath so I don’t have to take it out and turn it over.

Once it is cooked take a sharp knife and cut or pierce into the fattiest bit, ideally the leg and if you see juices coming out like a gravy then you know it’s cooked. If not put it back in the oven for a bit.

Once it’s cooked, let it rest for a bit, transfer it onto a serving platter and add the onions and garlic to it.

With the liquid that remains in the pan, you can add it to a saucepan and boil it on the stove. Once it starts boiling add in 3 tablespoons of flour and keep stirring till all the lumps are gone. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and then this is the gravy to accompany your chicken.

Christmas Cake

Ingredients – 

100 grams Cranberries

100 grams Prunes

50 grams Walnuts

2 Oranges Juiced

3 large tablespoons of Rum

75 grams soft Butter

150 grams Flour

2 tablespoons Honey

150 grams Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla Escence

Method

Chop all the fruit and nuts and add it to a bowl. Add the zest of two oranges and then add the juice of those two oranges into the mixture along with a generous shot of rum.

Transfer this mixture into a big bowl and gentle heat it on the stove. Add a little more rum and mix well. This entire process of soaking the  fruit for months before time is made redundant with this heating method which I find much easier. Add the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, all spice mix ( if you have it ) and vanilla essence and keep stirring till it is all well combined. Take this off the heat and once it’s cool ( warm or room temperature even )add the eggs and flour and mix well.

Just make sure you don’t add the eggs to a hot mix or then they will start to scramble. Once the batter is ready pour it out into your baking tray or mould. I used one of those ready to serve moulds so I didn’t have to grease it but if you are using a regular baking tin or a spring pan tin then make sure you butter it well.

Bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 40 minutes. If you are using a smaller mould and the batter is being distributed then half the baking time.

Once baked, dust lightly with icing sugar and enjoy 🙂

Hope you enjoy making these recipes and if you do, be sure to tag me in your photos! I’d love to see them 🙂  Merry Christmas everyone !!

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