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Perfect Christmas Accompaniments...

Written by Heather-Belle Russell on

Two children baking in the kitchen at Christmas

We're big on the side dish here, lovers of crispy roast potatoes and buttered parsnips. But so sadly they're often only thought of as simple, easy additions to the main event. Well we think it's time we concentrated on these little after thoughts and gave them their fifteen minutes of fame. Here are two great recipe ideas to add a bit of sparkle to the vegetables and side portions. Go on, give them a little touch of the special. It is Christmas after all.

Pigs in Blankets

We can't get enough of these simple treats at our family dinner table, a bundle of Christmas delight which always gets truffled up before dinner has even begun. We all seem entirely unable to maintain any ounce of willpower and you’ll undoubtedly find us all staving off hunger by popping them in our mouths like they're sweeties. Anyway, if any do make it to the dinner table it is not likely that they will last long before they too, get troffed! These can be great as a canape, a buffet dish or part of Christmas lunch - if they’re not already included in your selection of festive delights, then we urge you to start serving them.

Please take a look at the recipe below and try them out for yourself:

Ingredients

  • 20 chipolatas
  • 10 slices streaky bacon, smoked
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp runny honey

Method

Set the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4 or 160ºC for fan ovens.

Slice all of the bacon longways in half ready to wrap your pigs in.

Put all of the chipolatas, 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp of thyme, 2 tbsp of honey into a bowl, mix these together and make sure that all of your sausages get a good coating.

Next individually wrap each sausage in one piece of bacon.

Place the pigs on a baking tray with baking paper underneath if you prefer and pop in the oven for 35mins - check on them 5 minutes before to make sure they’re not over cooked or leave in for longer not golden and crisp. When cooked to perfection we suggest you cover with tinfoil and put out of reach of sneaky, stealing trotters, if you want any left for the main event!

Cranberry and Orange Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The infamous sprout - you either love it or you hate it. Well for all those lovers out there, we have discovered this great recipe which really adds a touch of zing into this otherwise uninspiring vegetable (don’t get us wrong, we're lovers). This recipe is a refreshing and sweet surprise, a great side dish to any Christmas luncheon.

Serves 6

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35-40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs of Brussels Sprouts (rinsed)
  • Juice of one large orange
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 tsp honey or agave (if preferred)
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Method

Preheat the oven to 200ºC 

Cut off the ends of the brussels sprouts and remove any discoloured leaves. Cut the sprouts in half if they are large. 

In a large bowl, whisk together fresh orange juice, orange zest, olive oil and honey. Add the sprouts to the bowl and toss until they are well coated. Pour them on a large baking pan and season with salt and black pepper. Roast  for 35-40 minutes until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. 

Put the brussels sprouts in a large bowl and add the dried cranberries. Stir and serve immediately. 

Serve alongside a nice juicy turkey or nutty nut roast!  

For a great side dish we think these recipes are real corkers, with the pigs in blankets and these sprouts on your table, we're sure you're headed in the right direction for a deliciously belly filling Christmas. Merry Christmas All.

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