We spoke to the lovely Si King from The Hairy Bikers about his Christmas kitchen secrets – have you tried adding polenta to your roasties?

Party nibble

'Try crisp bruschetta and just layer it up with ham and sundried tomato oil, mozzarella and basil. Or pecorino, tomato, anchovy and garlic.'

Christmas Eve

'My son James cooks a big pan of mussels with tarragon and chives. He serves it steaming hot with baked sourdough or soda bread and a glass of Belgian ale.'

Roasties

'I give potatoes a good going over in the colander after blanching to give them a fluffy surface. Then I toss them in polenta before I roast them, so they're guaranteed to be crispy. Crank up the oven temperature and sizzle them in oil, and you're laughing.'

Gravy

'Simmer the giblets with a bay leaf, water, onion, carrot and celery for 25 minutes, then leave it to sit overnight. Strain and add this to the juices from the turkey and simmer it on the hob while the turkey rests – use cornflour to thicken and then add a small glass of sherry.'

Christmas dessert

'Do something different for Christmas pudding – my sister makes plums cooked in grappa and pudding wine, we serve it with ice cream.'

Leftovers

'I make goose (or turkey) risotto. Make a basic risotto with mushrooms and chicken stock, then add the leftover meat with a bit of Parmesan at the end.'

 

About the author

Sarah Randell
Sarah has written more than 1000 recipes for the magazine as our Food Director