Christmas Cooking Tips From Neff

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FOOD SAFETY BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHRISTMAS

A fresh turkey should be cooked no later than two days after purchasing. If it is pre-packed follow the manufacturer’s instructions for storage and cooking. The turkey should be stored on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that its juices don’t drip on other foods and risk contamination.

The safest way and the preferred method to defrost poultry is in the refrigerator. Allow one day (24 hours) per 4-5 lbs. A 15 lb turkey will require approximately four days to defrost thoroughly. It is not recommended to defrost a turkey at room temperature as this allows bacterial growth.

Raw meat contains bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter so it is important to cook it properly. When a turkey is fully cooked the juices should run clear, not pink. Always pierce the thickest part of the drumstick and check that the juices are clear in colour.

Leftovers should be stored in the fridge within two hours of cooking, and the leftovers should be eaten within three days. When freezing stuffing or turkey, wrap in heavy foil freezer wrap or in a freezer container, stuffing should be eaten within one month and turkey within two.

ROAST TURKEY

1. Ensure your turkey has been cleaned out.2. It is always a good idea to salt the turkey as a precaution against the growth of harmful bacteria. To do this, pour two tablespoons of salt into the turkey carcass. Use your hand to rub the salt into the carcass. Rinse the carcass with water, ensuring all of the salt is removed. Dry thoroughly.3. If you choose to stuff the turkey, do not do it too far in advance as bacteria can develop in the cavity even when refrigerated.4. After stuffing the turkey tuck the wings underneath, and tie the legs together.5. Cover the tray and turkey with tin foil, but do not tuck it into the tray all the way round. Leave two sides open so air can circulate around the turkey.6. Place turkey on shelf number one.7. Set the circotherm oven as followsUp to 4.5kg (10lb)150-1600 — 25 min per 450g(1lb)+25 min4.5-6.5kg(10-14 ½lb)1500-1600 — 15 min per 450g(1lb)+15 min6.5-9(14 ½- 20lb)1500-1600 —12 min per 450g(1lb)+12 min(Times given above are meant as a guide only and may vary according to personal taste)8. Baste regularly with juices.9.A half hour before the end of cooking time, remove the tin foil, and allow the turkey to brown.10.Test by inserting a skewer between the drumstick and the thigh, if the turkey is cooked, the juices will run clear.11. Reserve any pan juices for making the gravy12.Cover and leave the turkey to rest before carving.

TRADITIONAL STUFFING

INGREDIENTS

450g/1lb breadcrumbs

1 medium onion

4 mushrooms

55g/2oz butter

225g/1/2lb sausage meat

1 clove of garlic crushed

1 teaspoon of parsley

1 teaspoon of thyme

1. Chop the onion and the mushrooms

2. Mix the breadcrumbs, thyme and parsley

3. Using your hands mix the dry ingredients in with sausage meat, onions, mushrooms garlic and butter.

4. Place in a well greased loaf tin, if you have any meat juices pour approx 4 tablespoons over the mixture or as much as you can spare.

5. Place in your oven, at approx 1700 for 40 minutes or until the sausage meat is cooked and is firm to the touch.

APPLE AND ONION STUFFING

1tbsp butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1 eating apple, peeled and finely chopped

225g pork sausage meat

100g fresh breadcrumbs

1tbsp fresh parsley

1tbsp fresh sage, chopped

1tsp lemon juice

1. Heat the butter in a frying pan, add the onion, and fry until soft.

2.Add the apple and cook until softened, remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

3.Stir the sausage meat and breadcrumbs into the onion mixture along with the herbs and lemon juice.

4.Put the stuffing into a well greased oven proof dish and bake for 25 minutes in circotherm at 1700, or until cooked.

TURKEY GRAVY

1. Once the turkey is cooked, take 2 or 3 tablespoons of the juices from the roasting tray, and put in a small pot.2. Place the pot over a low heat and add 2 tablespoons of plain flour.3. Stir over a medium heat, gradually adding 375ml of hot chicken stock, stirring until the gravy boils and thickens.

BAKED HAM

1. Using half a ham, soak the ham for at least 12 hours in cold water, changing the water once or twice.2. Remove from the water and pat dry.3. You may cover the ham with tin foil, and leaving two sides open to allow circulation.4. Put the ham in the oven on shelf number one, at 160 degrees for approx 3 to 3½ hours.5. After approx 3½ hours take the ham from the oven and allow to cool a little before removing the skin.6. You can then glaze the ham. Press cloves into the ham to form a diamond pattern. Melt mustard and honey together over a low heat and brush the mixture liberally over the ham.7. Return the ham, uncovered to the oven and bake. Glaze again with the remaining honey mixture after 15 minutes.8. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

ROAST POTATOES

1. Peel the potatoes and par-boil for 5 minutes, then drain.2. For fluffy crisp potatoes, scrape the potatoes lightly with the prongs of a fork.3. Toss in melted fat or oil of your choice.4. Place the potatoes on a wire rack over the roasting pan.5. Cook for 30-50mins approx. This can vary depending on how full the oven is and how spread out the potatoes are on the wire rack.

ROAST MEDITERRANEAN VEGETABLES

INGREDIENTS

4 peppers of assorted colours, deseeded and cut into chunks

2 courgettes, cut into slices

3 red onions, peeled and quartered

1 aubergine, cut into chunks

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt and black pepper

4-6 cloves of garlic whole (to achieve a mild garlic flavour, do not remove the skin)

20 whole cherry tomatoes

1. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl, season and toss well in theolive oil.2. Transfer to the roasting tin/grill pan and spread out.3.Roast for 1 hour at 1600C

Alternatively, roast any vegetable of your choice in olive oil, but remember if using hard root vegetables like parsnips, carrots or swedes, cut into chunks and plunge into boiling water and bring back up to the boil. Drain them and then season and toss well in oil. This will enable these harder vegetables to cook in 1 hour.

SWEET CHILLI SAUSAGES

1lb Cocktail sausages

150ml Sweet Chilly Sauce

60ml Cranberry Sauce

Juice of 1 Orange

Juice of 1 Lime

2 tbs of Soya Sauce

2 tbs of Brown Sugar

Mix all ingredients together and marinated overnight if possible or for a few hours then put into oven at 190 for approx 25 minutes.

And For All Those Leftovers

TURKEY PIE

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon of olive

110g (4oz) bacon, chopped

1 small onion sliced

110g (4oz) mushrooms, sliced

55g (2oz) flour

55g (2oz) butter

250ml (1/2pt) milk

10ml (2tsps) mixed herbs

5ml (1tsp) thyme

450g (1lb) cooked turkey meat, diced

1 pack of ready-made puff pastry

Salt and pepper

1 egg, beaten to glaze

1. In a pan cook the onions, mushrooms, and bacon with oil, stirring occasionally.2. To make the sauce, place the butter, flour and milk in a pan and heat gently until the butter melts, then whisk whilst bringing to the boil.3. Mix all the ingredients into the sauce, adding the herbs, salt and pepper. Place in a pie dish.4. Roll out the pastry to fit the dish, place on top of the turkey mixture, and brush with beaten egg.5. Cut out a steam vent and cook at 180OC for 45 minutes until golden brown.

CHRISTMAS CAKE

INDGREDIENTS

350G/12oz Cream Flour

225g/8oz Margarine

225g/8oz brown sugar

1 lemon, juice and rind

½ glass whiskey

6 eggs

25g/1oz chopped mixed nuts

¼ tsp of baking powder

225g/8oz raisins

225g/8oz sultanas

225g/8oz currants

75g/3oz cherries

75g/3oz mixed peel

¼ tsp mixed spice

2 drops of Almond Essence

½ tsp nutmeg

METHOD

1. Prepare a 9” round or 8” square cake tin. Line with grease proof paper, leaving at least an inch standing higher than the rim of the tin. Cream the margarine and sugar until light in colour and soft. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in sieved flour, baking powder, spice and nutmeg. Add the grated lemon rind, juice and almond essence. Mix in the prepared fruit, sultanas, raisins, currants, cherries, mixed peel, chopped nuts and half the whiskey. Turn into the tin.

2. Cover the top with a circle of greaseproof paper.

3. Bake at 150ºC for approx 2 hours. Check after 1 ½ hours, and remove the circle of grease proof paper. Remove from oven and pour the rest of the whiskey over the cake.

4. If you are keeping the cake for more than two weeks, pour whiskey over the cake about once a week.

MINCE PIES

INGREDIENTS

225g (8oz) plain flour

110g (4oz) butter and lard mixed

Pinch of salt

Cold water

1 jar of mincemeat

1 egg white, or water

30g (1oz) caster sugar

METHOD

1. Make the pastry by sieving the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and lard and rub in the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Bind together with a little cold water and chill.2. Roll out the pastry and cut out 12 x 6 cm (21/2”) circles with a plain or fluted pastry cutter.3. Place the larger circles in a pastry tin and divide the mincemeat between the cases. Brush the edge of the pastry with a little egg white or water, and press the smaller circles on top. Seal the edges.4. Brush the tops with egg white or water and sprinkle each one with a little caster sugar, or glaze with a whole beaten egg for a golden colour. Make a little hole in the centre of each pie.5. Bake in your Circotherm oven at 180O for 20 to 25 minutes.

QUICK CHRISTMAS PUDDING

INGREDIENTS

50g / 2oz Self Raising Flour125g / 4oz Brown Sugar125g / 4oz Margarine2 Eggs1 teaspoon Cinnamon1 packet (375g) Fruit Mix1 tub (100g) Cherries125g / 4oz Breadcrumbs300ml / 1/2 pint Stout

METHOD

1. Beat margarine and sugar together, add the eggs and mix well.

2.Stir in the flour and cinnamon, next add the fruit and cherries. Mix well.

3.Finally, add the breadcrumbs and stout, stir well.

4.Cover and allow to stand overnight.

5.Next day, transfer to a greased 1 litre / 2 pint pudding bowl.

6.Steam for about 6 hours.

To steam pudding in oven:

1.Preheat oven to 150°C / 300°F / Gas 2.

2.Sit pudding/puddings in the large oven tray, cover with tinfoil, and tuck in all around the tin

3.Place tray in oven, then loosening one side of the tinfoil, top up with water.

4.Steam for 6 hours, top up with water as required

This information, thanks to NEFF.

In Short: No matter how many guests you have for Christmas or what you have planned, food has to be a part of it. Stay safe with these tips

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