BERRY SPRITZ

You will need:

1 BOTTLE (750ML) CHILLED PINOT GRIS
¼ CUP (60ML) LIGHT AGAVE SYRUP+
3 CUPS (750ML) CHILLED SODA WATER
250G STRAWBERRIES, HULLED AND SLICED
4 SPRIGS MINT, TO SERVE

How to make:

Mix to combine the wine, agave syrup, soda and strawberries in a 2-litre-capacity jug.
Add the mint and pour over ice to serve. Makes 1.560L. Serves 6–8 (5 standard drinks).

+ Find agave syrup in the health food section of the supermarket and health food stores.

Christmas CHICKEN

You will need:

1 X 1.6KG CHICKEN
2 LEMONS, SLICED
1 TABLESPOON EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
SEA SALT AND CRACKED BLACK PEPPER
BRINE

1 SMALL BUNCH FRESH BAY LEAVES
2 TABLESPOONS BLACK PEPPERCORNS
½ CUP (150G) ROCK SALT
1 CUP (175G) BROWN SUGAR
1 CUP (250ML) MALT VINEGAR
3 LITRES WATER

How to make:

To make the brine, place the bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, sugar, vinegar and water in a large saucepan over high heat.
Bring to the boil and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
Tie the legs of the chicken with kitchen string and place, breast-side down, in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 4–8 hours.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the lemon slices onto a large oven dish lined with non-stick baking paper. Remove the chicken and bay leaves from the brine, discarding the brine liquid. Place the chicken, breast-side up, on top of the lemon with the bay leaves. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 45–50 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.

Tips

+ Make sure not to brine the chicken for longer than 12 hours or it may be too salty.
+ You can prepare the brine ahead of time. It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
+ You can use this same brining solution when cooking pork chops or chicken breasts.

Healthy Christmassy SALAD

You will need:

⅓ CUP (70G) RED QUINOA
⅔ CUP (160ML) WATER
1 TEASPOON FINELY GRATED LEMON RIND
500G BABY BROCCOLI+, TRIMMED
350G BRUSSELS SPROUTS, HALVED
2 CLOVES GARLIC, THINLY SLICED
SEA SALT AND CRACKED BLACK PEPPER
¼ CUP (60ML) EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
250G HALOUMI, CHOPPED
2 CUPS RED VEIN SORREL LEAVES
DRESSING

1 TABLESPOON LEMON JUICE
2 TABLESPOONS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1 TEASPOON HONEY

How to make:

Place the quinoa, water and lemon rind in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, preheat grill (broiler) to high. Place the baby broccoli, Brussels sprouts, garlic, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons oil on a large oven tray and toss to combine. Cook, turning halfway, for 8–10 minutes or until charred. Place the haloumi on a second tray and toss with the remaining oil. Cook, turning halfway, for 6–8 minutes or until golden. Place the cooked quinoa, broccolini, Brussels sprouts, haloumi and sorrel leaves in a large bowl.
To make the dressing, place the lemon juice, oil, honey and pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine. Divide between bowls and serve.

CHRISTMAS SNOWMAN

You will need:

2 X 500G PIECES STORE-BOUGHT READY-TO-ROLL WHITE FONDANT ICING
1 X 500G STORE-BOUGHT CHRISTMAS PUDDING (SEE TIP), UNWRAPPED AND PATTED DRY
1 X 120G STORE-BOUGHT CHRISTMAS PUDDING (SEE TIP), UNWRAPPED AND PATTED DRY
ORANGE FOOD COLOURING, TO DECORATE
LICORICE, 2 TWIGS AND A SMALL KNITTED HAT (OPTIONAL), TO DECORATE

How to make:

Knead each piece of fondant on a clean surface until soft. Roll each piece out between two sheets of non-stick baking paper to 1cm thick. Drape fondant over each Christmas pudding and wrap to enclose, trimming and reserving any excess. Allow the wrapped puddings to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the fondant is dry to touch.
Place a toothpick in the top of the large pudding and attach the small pudding on top.
To decorate the snowman, knead a drop of orange food colouring into the remaining fondant. Roll a small piece into a carrot shape, score with a small knife and allow to set for 30 minutes. Press onto the small pudding as a nose. Cut two small rounds of licorice for the eyes, insert twigs for the arms and top the snowman with a small knitted hat.

GINGERBREAD CHRISTMAS

You will need:

125G UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED
½ CUP (90G) BROWN SUGAR
⅔ CUP (230G) GOLDEN SYRUP
2½ CUPS (375G) PLAIN (ALL-PURPOSE) FLOUR, SIFTED
2 TEASPOONS GROUND GINGER
1 TEASPOON BICARBONATE OF (BAKING) SODA

How to make:

Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup, flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda and beat until the mixture just comes together to form a smooth dough. Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to 4mm thick and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Using a small gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut out 32 shapes, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Place on 2 large baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. Using the tip of a 6mm-round nozzle, cut two holes from each gingerbread man and bake for 6–8 minutes or until golden. Turn off the oven and allow to cool completely. Thread the gingerbread men onto a length of ribbon and tie the ends. Makes 32.

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