Gary Townsend's Christmas recipes | HeraldScotland – HeraldScotland

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Buckwheat Blinis – Smoked Salmon – Chive Crème Fraiche – Caviar
This is a super simple starter for the festive period and for Christmas Day! They are super easy to make and taste so much better than bought ones! Use the best Scottish salmon you can get and celebrate with a glass of bubbles!
Makes – 4 Large Blinis
Ingredients
Blinis
175g Buckwheat flour
5g Salt
10g Baking powder
300ml Milk
2 x Whole eggs
Cooking oil
Crème Fraiche
3-4 Tbsp. Crème fraiche
Finely chopped chives
1 x Lemon – juiced
Good quality Scottish smoked salmon
Salmon Caviar (keta)
Method
In a large mixing bowl mix together the milk and eggs. Pour this over the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until smooth and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Heat a medium sized pan on a medium heat with a small touch of oil. Once hot pour a ¼ of the mixture into the pan. Allow to cook on one side until the blini is almost covered with air bubbles. Flip over and cook for a further minute. Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. Once cool cut out smaller circles with a cutter.
For the crème fraiche combine all the ingredients together and chill until needed.
To build the blinis place a small amount of salmon on each individual blini. Add the crème fraiche along with a small amount of the salmon caviar. Serve with a few slices of fresh chives.
Whole Roasted Duck – Chestnut & Clementine Stuffing
If you’re not a fan of the traditional Christmas turkey then this is a fantastic alternative with minimal work. With all the tastes of Christmas stuffed into this duck it will certainly be the centre piece of the table!
Serves 4 (½ duck breast each)
Double recipe if needed
Ingredients
1 x Large whole duck
200g Cooked chestnuts – chopped
3-4 Clementine’s – peeled and chopped
1-2 Egg whites
Handful of chopped thyme
Salt
Cooking oil
Sauce
150ml Red Wine
300ml Orange Juice
2 Tbsp. Orange Marmalade
Cornflour to thicken if desired
Method
Pre heat oven to gas mark 8/ 230c/ fan 210c
First remove the legs from the duck, although you can buy these separate if desired. Remove the meat from the leg of the duck, taking as much as you can right down to the bone. Discard the skin and reserve the bones for the sauce.
Place the leg meat into a food processor and blend on high speed with the egg whites. Season with a pinch of salt. Once the mixture is at a paste like texture remove from the blender and push this through a fine sieve. Place into a mixing bowl.
Stir into the leg mix the chestnuts, clementines and thyme and the place this into a piping bag. Make a small incision under the skin of the duck from the lower end and gently move your finger around and under the skin to make access for the stuffing. Pipe the stuffing mix underneath the skin of the duck easing it through if needed from the top of the duck breast.
Place the duck into a roasting tray. Season well with salt over and inside the duck. Cover with a small amount of cooking oil over the skin and place the duck in the oven. Cook for 8 minutes. Remove, turn the duck around and cook for another 8 minutes. When finished allow to rest for around 15 minutes before carving. This will be around a medium rare cooking degree.
If you wish to make the sauce to accompany the duck, place a small amount of oil into a medium sized pan on a medium heat. Add the duck leg bones when the oil is hot and cook until golden brown in colour. Add the red wine & orange juice in a heavy based pan. Place on a moderate heat and reduce the liquid down by half. Add the marmalade, bring to the boil again. If you wish for a thicker sauce mix the cornflour with a little water and add to the sauce gradually. Once you have desired thickness pass it through a fine sieve and sit to one side.
Serve with traditional Christmas vegetables!
Pear Tart Tatin – Christmas pudding Ice Cream
If you’re looking for a Christmas day dessert which is slightly different – look no further! This really is a dessert which requires no introduction. Classically made with apples – I have chosen to use pears here with a hint of cinnamon for that festive feel! This dessert never fails to disappoint!
Serves 4
Ingredients
Tart
110g caster sugar
35g Unsalted butter – Diced
½ tsp. Ground cinnamon
2-3 Pears – peeled, cored and quartered
250g Puff Pastry
Ice Cream
5-6 Scoops Vanilla ice cream
Christmas pudding – Small
Method
Pre heat oven to gas mark 8/ 230c/ fan 210c
First it’s the simple task of mixing the ice cream and Christmas pudding together. If you have a blender or mixer do this on a low speed until everything is mixed together then refreeze until needed.
Place a small frying pan – ovenproof handle on a medium heat. Add the sugar and heat until a caramel has formed. Add the butter and whisk this into the caramel along with the cinnamon.
Place the pears into the caramel mix and spoon over the mixture. Turn the heat down slightly and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the pears are just cooked. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Roll out the pastry to about 5mm thick and cut a disc slightly bigger than your pan.
Carefully place the pastry disc on top of the pears and caramel, then carefully push the pastry around the outside of the pears and down into the sides of the pan.
Bake the tart for around 30 minutes in the oven, or until the pastry is golden brown and puffed up.
Remove from the oven and leave the tart for 10 minutes to sit. Place a large plate over the top of the pan and carefully turn the tart onto the plate. Cut into portions and serve immediately with the ice cream.
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