Food, Glorious Food

Christmas is a time for eating, which means cooking, which (for me, at least) is one of the more enjoyable parts of the festive season. Of course, the trick is to do as much as you can in advance, keep it simple, and remember that it’s the cook’s prerogative to order take-out if that’s what he or she decides is appropriate.

Some of our favourite recipes here for parties or just snacking on are:

Piedmontese Peppers (Tamasin Day-Lewis). This one is very simple and tasty and has really become a default recipe whenever there’s more than, say, 4 people to feed. You need (per person) half a pepper (I find red and yellow are best), olive oil, a knob of butter, some chopped red onion, salt, pepper, anchovies (optional), garlic and a few small cubes of feta. Take an appropriately sized oven-proof dish and put a smallish swirl of olive oil in the bottom. Cut up the peppers into quarters and lay them, cut side up in the dish. Another small swirl of olive oil, a dab of butter in each, an anchovy if you’re using them, salt, pepper, and a few cubes of Feta, slap it in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 180C, and happy days. You can also prep this the day before and just put it in the oven before people get there.

Salsa: My favourite salsa recipe is The Pioneer Woman’s, serve with chips, sour cream, whatever you like really. (While you’re there, get her Cinnamon Roll recipe as well. Perfect breakfast for a cold wintry morning, especially if you keep a stash in the freezer.)

Smoked Salmon and soda bread. I really don’t need to give you a recipe for this, do I?

As regards desserts, I really think that brownies (Delia’s are excellent – substitute ground almonds for the nuts and you wind up with a deliciously moist mouthful) and some kind of Christmas Cookie (again, I have to recommend The Pioneer Woman’s glazed cookies) should be enough, especially if you have a box of Roses or Quality St somewhere!

The BBC Food website has a few great recipes, as does UKTV Food most of which can be made in advance, and let’s not forget the Domestic Goddess herself, Nigella. (By the way, Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen is being shown on UKTV Food on Sunday December 16 at 2pm, and again at 6pm. Can you tell I’m mildly obsessed?)

Happy cooking everyone!

Calling all the Foodies – leave a comment with your own personal choice of party food, go on you know you want to………….I’ll start you off.