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Maple Syrup Glazed Turkey Crown with Cranberry Stuffing
For many Christmas would not be complete without the traditional turkey, and anyone lucky enough to be spending Christmas at Ashford Castle this year will have the privilege of enjoying Chef Stefan Matz’s interpretation of the festive favourites in one of the finest restaurants in Ireland.
Ginger Baked Bramleys
A variation on one of the simplest and best apple puddings, this Bord Bia version of the classic baked apple can be on the table in half an hour (or less) and has a gentle ginger flavour.
Loin Of Venison With Celeriac Puree
If advice is needed on any aspect of cookery – including game – the MasterChef Kitchen Bible (Dorling Kindersley, hardback, £26/€30) is a good port of call, and would make a fine gift for any of the reputed 9 million viewers of the BBC show.
Mallard & Cabbage
Fans of the hearty, down-to-earth British TV foodie Valentine Warner will be pleased to see his latest book, The Good Table (Mitchell Beazley, hardback, stg £20). As usual with this likeable chef, you get much more than a book of recipes; he describes this particular collection as ‘my heart on plate’ and it’s an interestingly personal book, also very practical and with plenty of background information along with the typically gutsy recipes - many of them, like the example here, with a strong local country flavour, plus a sprinkling inspired by sunnier destinations.
Pumpkin and Parsnip Cassoulet
Recession may be painful but it also brings many benefits, including a return to more cost-conscious cooking – both in terms of the ingredients used, and the cooking methods. It’s good to see slow cooking backing style and The Slow Cook Book by Heather Whinney (Dorling Kindersley, hardback, £16.99/€20) is a timely and comprehensive guide. The range of 200 recipes is excellent – the kind of dishes that make you want to dive into the kitchen and get going - and instructions are given both for electric slow cookers (of which sales are currently soaring) and ordinary ovens/ranges.